If you’ve been staying on top of artificial intelligence news lately, you may know that the games of chess and Go were two of the grand challenges for AI. But do you know what the equivalent is for robotics? It’s table tennis. Just think about how the game requires razor sharp perception and movement, a tall order for a machine. [This ‘match’ was shot in 2014 – entertaining but already game over…]

As entertaining as human vs. robot games can be, what they actually demonstrate is much more important. They test the technology’s readiness for practical applications in the real world—like self-driving cars that can navigate around unexpected people in a street.

At the Exponential Manufacturing conference, robotics expert and director of Columbia University’s Creative Machine Labs, Hod Lipson, examined five exponential trends shaping and accelerating the future of the robotics industry.

1) Power is indispensable for robotic systems, so improved power­—whether better battery storage or greater efficiency—is a massive exponential driver in robotics.

2) Computers used in robots are faster, cheaper, and more energy efficient than ever before.

3) New materials have the potential to change how robots are built as well as which tasks they can perform.

4) With new technologies like 3D printing, the speed of manufacturing robots is itself accelerating.

5) Advanced machine learning algorithms are enabling robots to be more autonomous and able to respond and adapt to complex, organic situations—a challenging prospect for robots relying on human programming.

Flying robots. Each of these five things will have an influence. New materials is particularly intriguing to me – imagine soft drones that can flex…

read more at singularityhub.com

 

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