GWAI-81 pp 30-49 | Cite as

Robotics Research: From Toy Worlds to Industrial Applications

  • Jörgen P. Foith
Conference paper
Part of the Informatik-Fachberichte book series (INFORMATIK, volume 47)


The idea of constructing artificial devices that act like humans or animals has intrigued mankind for a long time. Early designs were supposed to be decorative, astonishing, and amusing. Today, there is a strong interest in applying robots to practical tasks, particularly in manufacturing.

Modern robotics has its roots in teleoperators, NC machine tools, and Artificial Intelligence. Main developments that have led to present day industrial robots are briefly discussed. Today, industrial robots of the first and second generation are applied in a variety of tasks, yet their number is far from a long predicted ‘robot revolution’. It is strongly felt that this is due to the lack of sensors and the lack of high level task representations.

In order to provide these robots with some kind of ‘practical intelligence’, work is going on in a number of Artificial Intelligence research laboratories around the world, in particular in USA and Japan. The paper summarizes the efforts that are being made in manipulator design, development of sensory equipment, and design and implementation of robot control languages. It is noted that, despite all the progress that has been achieved, much remains to be done.


Industrial Robot Blue Collar Worker Assembly Task Touch Sensor Torque Sensor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörgen P. Foith
    • 1
  1. 1.Fraunhofer-Institut f. Informations- und Datenverarbeitung (IITB)KarlsruheWest-Germany

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