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Robotics as a future and emerging technology: biomimetics, cybernetics, and neuro-robotics in European projects

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7 Author(s)
Dario, P. ; Scuola Superiore Sant''Anna, Pisa, Italy ; Carrozza, M.C. ; Guglielmelli, E. ; Laschi, C.
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The evolution of the paradigm of modern biomechatronics and robotics can be seen in two main directions, standing as two extremities of a range of future biomechatronics systems: increasing the performance and miniaturization of the hardware platform and increasing the intelligence of the integrated system. Regarding the first direction, the current challenge is to develop sophisticated machines with a higher level of miniaturization and performance, as they can be inspired by insects. Towards the other extremity, there is research on intelligent and autonomous robots, like humanoids. At intermediate levels, one can envisage the development of machines with a good degree of sophistication and performance and with a moderate degree of intelligence and that are more prone to human supervision and control or even to integration with natural bodies as bionic components. In this article, three projects funded by the European Commission in the 5th Framework Programme, in the Information Society Technology-Future and Emerging Technologies (IST-FET) program, are presented as implementing three levels of this evolution of the biomechatronic paradigm: from the biomimetic wormlike microrobot for endoscopic exploration to a cybernetic hand prosthesis to an anthropomorphic robotic platform implementing learning schemes for sensory-motor coordination in manipulation.

Published in:

Robotics & Automation Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 2 )