news    views    podcast    learn    |    about    contribute     republish    

Dr. Satyandra K. Gupta is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland. He is the director of the Maryland Robotics Center and the Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory. He served as a program director for the National Robotics Initiative at the National Science Foundation from September 2012 to September 2014. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, he was a Research Scientist in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

by   -   September 15, 2015

robot_cliff_edgeSocrates famously said that “the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Yet while we often equate human intelligence with the ability to recognize when help is needed and where to seek it out, most robots are simply not aware enough of their own actions to assess them, let alone ask for help — resulting in task execution failures that shut down production lines, require human intervention and reduce productivity. While occasional robot failures can be tolerated, relying on humans to clean up the mess does not make for a viable business model, especially for small production batch operations or non-repetitive tasks. If robots are to be successfully deployed outside large factory settings, and into small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), they will have to get smarter and learn to ask for help when they are stuck.