Special Report: What Does the Future Hold for Robots?

By November 09, 2006

Specialists agree that research in robotics is rapidly expanding. As proof, every fifteen days a new robot—humanoid or other—is created in Japan. Between humanoid robots—direct descendants of articulated arms—and the “Internet of things,” which will enable consumers to remotely control objects at home or in the office, will machines replace humans? Hardly, but you can bet that robots are already weaving their way into our daily lives. Home, entertainment, and surveillance robots: with the rapid development of new, adapted technologies, all these little technological gems can be expected to proliferate even quicker. New languages like Universal Robotic Body Interface (URBI) should enable remote control of robots, or any system with actuators and sensors. A little feather in France’s cap: the system was developed by French engineer Jean-Christophe Baillie.

Another boon for robotics: The deployment of home Wi-Fi systems, and especially the movement towards IPv6 (50,000 IP addresses per square meter), foreshadow the future of smart homes, with or without robots.

This is an exciting technological time not unlike the 1980s for computing. At that time, robotics was in its infancy and being successfully used in the automobile, construction, and distribution industries, among others. All that remains is to find the business models that will get the market off the ground.

Since the 1980s, the world of robots has grown. Robotics has now been fully embraced by many industries, including medicine, transportation, and reception services. Beyond business uses, robots are also entering the consumer market and, in the short or medium term, will be making their way into our homes. L'Atelier takes a look at the future of robots with the help of two robotics specialists: Frédéric Kaplan, artificial intelligence researcher at Sony CSL, and Bruno Maisonnier, founder of Aldebaran Robotics.

In this report, you will find a selection of robots that could change our future, at home and at work.

Robopolis: "Utility Robots Are a Big Success"
Jérôme Damelincourt, who runs the Robopolis store in Paris, agreed to give us his take on a world he has always been into: robotics. The robot Asimo already serves coffee and converses. Where is Robotics heading?

Robots for People
Typing "robot" into Google yields some interesting results. The number of hits is as staggering as the intensity of interest in the underlying question: Can robots replace humans?

Robots for Business
Even though robots have already broadly demonstrated their ability to replace humans in the industrial world, where they obediently and meticulously carry out the most menial and repetitive...

Legal mentions © L’Atelier BNP Paribas