Vehicle-manipulator systems and mobile manipulators have the potential to bring advanced robotic technology out of the structured environment of the factory floor and into unstructured and possibly hostile plants at distant locations. Vehicle-manipulator systems are composed of two parts: the vehicle brings mobility and locomotion capabilities which allow the system to reach distant areas, while the manipulator arm allows for complex manipulation. This is a powerful combination, as advanced robotic solutions that previously only have been available in the structured environment of the factory floor can be utilized also in other areas, many of which are novel to robotics.
Vehicle-manipulator systems are an important class of mobile robots, which will bring with them advances in areas such as underwater and space manipulation, field robotics, service robotics, and several other areas. It is believed that mobile robotic technology will introduce several technological advances to novel application areas in the same way that industrial robots revolutionized factory automation a few decades ago. This chapter gives a short overview of the most important mobile robots discussed in this book, and describes how mobile robots will account for several of the most important advances in robotics over the next decades.
KeywordsMobile Robot Underwater Vehicle Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Industrial Robot Robotic Manipulator
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