We’re living in an exciting time for robotics. Robots are being used in ways they’ve never been used before, and they’re better than they’ve ever been. It seems like every day there’s an impressive new development in robotics, artificial intelligence, or both. Things that once existed only in imaginations are slowly entering reality. For example, mind-controlled robots now exist.
NPR reported that researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and Boston University have developed a system for mind-controlled robots. This is certainly exciting, but could mind-controlled robots benefit manufacturing?
Controlling robots with your brain
As you would expect, the technology is fairly basic at the moment. The robot does respond to your brain siganls, but you can’t simply think, “Robot, make a sandwich and do the laundry.” and have a Dagwood and fresh linens.
A person wears an EEG cap which measures brain signals. These signals are used to correct the robot’s behavior. Basically, the robot does its thing, a person identifies when it makes a mistake, and the robot notes when a brain notices a mistake. Eventually the robot corrects its actions until it performs the tasks properly.
So the robot isn’t mind-controlled in the science fiction sense. The robot won’t conquer the world or even make a sandwich because you ask it to. Instead, the robot gets feedback when it’s doing something wrong, and it corrects its actions until it does it right.
Can mind-controlled robots be useful in an industrial setting?
Sometimes technological advances end up benefiting manufacturing and industry, even when that wasn’t the intent. After all, breakthroughs don’t happen in a vacuum, and discoveries in one field can often be applied to many other areas.
Current mind-controlled robots are totally not usable in manufacturing. Manufacturing and industry rely on speed, consistency, and precision. However, as with all new technologies this first step provides proof of concept, and could be the basis for more advanced forms of the technology in the future.
It’s possible that robots that can respond to signals from the brain could find a place in factories to enhance current production methods. Until then, make sure your motion control system is working like it should. Call us today for Indramat repair, maintenance, or service!