Latest developments in robotics

  • R. Probst
  • P. Kopacek
3 Engineering Systems
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1333)


According to the last directions in robotics application in industry worldwide this paper tries to give an overview on the current state and future directions in robotics research. Meanwhile an industrial robot is more or less a tool in classical application fields like spot welding, materials handling, spray painting, assembling etc. Because of a saturation in this application fields the producers of industrial robots have to recognize new application fields.

Therefore future developements in robotics have to be done in two main directions. First, robots for classical applications have to be equipped with additional features to increase the efficiency and the possibility of usage. This features can be divided into the following groups:
  • • combined force and position control

  • • external sensors based on microsystems

  • • adaptable analyzing of sensor signals

  • • flexible and lightweight robots.

Especially „intelligent” sensors are necessary for new robot applications in the field of assembing/disassembling.

A second direction for further applications is the service sector. Robots in the hospital, in the household, in amusement parks are some examples for so called service robots. Service robots look quite different than conventional ones and therefore research have going on in additional directions such as external sensors, new grippers and gripping devices, new kinematic structures. Efforts have to be undertaken to further development of key components of these robots towards efficiency, performance, miniaturization and cost. Here the collaboration of research institutions, service industry and robot and component manufacturers has the potential to create valuable synergies.

In this paper a first overview on this new generation of robots is given and first applications are presented. Research results show that robots for such purposes differs in the kinematic structure as well as in the demands of control from robots applied for conventional purposes.


industrial robots service robots sensors microsystems intelligent robots 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Probst
    • 1
  • P. Kopacek
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Handling Devices and RoboticsVienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria

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