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A flexible, intelligent robot is regarded as a general purpose machine system that may include effectors, sensors, computers, and auxiliary equipment and, like a human, can perform a variety of tasks under unpredictable conditions. Development of intelligent robots is essential for increasing the growth rate of today's robot population in industry and elsewhere. Robotics research and development topics include manipulation, end effectors, mobility, sensing (noncontact and contact), adaptive control, robot programming languages, and manufacturing process planning. Past achievements and current issues related to each of these topics are described briefly.