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News Link • Robots and Artificial Intelligence

Increasingly, Robots of All Sizes Are Human Workmates

• Technologyreview.com
 

Most industrial robots are far less friendly than the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner, which is safe enough to be a surprisingly popular means of feline transportation. Industrial robots often sit behind metal fences, their mechanical arms a blur of terrific speed and precision; to prevent serious injury to humans (or worse), these robots are normally shut down when anyone enters their workspace.

In recent years, however, the fences have started to disappear as a gentler breed of robot has entered the workplace and new features have made even conventional industrial robots safer to be around. This shift is altering the dynamics of labor in many factories and workshops, allowing humans and robots to work together in efficient new ways.

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