Anyone who has frequented my blog entries knows that I am one of the biggest robot-enthusiasts at DMC. That's why I was so excited to get a chance to attend a lecture at the Museum of Science and Industry given recently by Dr. Minoru Asada, a top researcher in modern robotics and one of the driving forces behind Robocup, and Mr. Ken Nagasaka, of Panasonic Factory Solutions of America.
Aside from getting to see human vs. robot soccer, presented by Dr. Asada, both presentations were great as well.
Mr. Nagasaka addressed the revolution going on in hardware and how in just a few years, we've reduced huge factory-sized manufacturing lines down to the size of the just a room or a cell. This was an interesting presentation for me, as I have done a good deal of work with Panasonic PLC's, and Mr. Nagasaka gave a good history the whole company.
The really nerdy fun part from my point of view though was Dr. Asada's presentation. He showed many examples of the work being done in his lab, where the process of teaching robots to learn various tasks is shedding new light on human development.
He also presented several videos from Robocup, which, if you haven't checked in on in a while, has gotten a lot closer to its goal of challenging a human soccer team. This is another inspiring venture that basically is Dr. Asada's way of challenging electrical, mechanical, and software developers to work together in many technological frontiers, including AI, machine vision, and balance.
In all, the day was a great opportunity to see a glimpse of what the future of robotics and technology has in store. It is a reminder that often times the work we do at DMC is part of a bigger picture, where business, manufacturing, and everyday life are made better by automation technology.