People have dreamed of “robots”, which would free them from unpleasant, dull, dirty and dangerous tasks and work for them as servants, for almost 100 years (Capek, 1921). It took 40 years for these dreams to materialize in the first industrial robots. Another 25 years later the robot technology, which was developed in the first place as a tool for automation to increase the efficiency of production, also had made its first steps beyond the fences of manufacturing halls. In 1989 Joe Engelberger wrote his book Robotics in Service, which frequently counts as the “birth notice” of service robotics. In this book he presented an amazing collection of service robots and predicted that this new species of robots would pervade our daily lives and would become an economic success outperforming the market for industrial robots by a magnitude. Twenty years later, this pervasion is still to happen. A few service robots have entered the market: domestic and professional cleaning robots, lawnmowers, milking robots, surgical robots, or entertainment robots. Notwithstanding these first products it seems that we have to wait another decade or two or three before being able to buy robots for daily services as any other appliance.
KeywordsIndustrial Robot Service Robot Surgical Robot Reference Architecture Everyday Environment
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