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A RISC approach to robotics

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2 Author(s)
Canny, John ; California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA ; Goldberg, K.

This article describes a framework that combines simple hardware traditionally used in manufacturing with sensor-based planning and design algorithms from robotics. For repetitive assembly, the authors argue that this combination can reduce start-up and maintenance costs, increase throughput, and greatly reduce the set-up and changeover times for new products. The proposed hardware bears a close resemblance to existing "hard" automation; what is new is the application of computational methods for robust design and control of these systems, and more extensive use of (simple) sensors. Clearly this enhances the capabilities of the hardware. A less-obvious benefit is that software capability is also enhanced--algorithms for fine-motion, grasp planning and some sensing algorithms which would be intractable on a general-purpose robot work in real-time when applied to simple hardware. To describe this approach the authors chose the acronym RISC--Reduced Intricacy in Sensing and Control-by analogy with computer architecture. Analogously, the authors propose to use simple hardware elements that are coordinated by software to perform complex tasks.<>

Published in:

Robotics & Automation Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 1 )