To question whether robots will change our lives in the future ignores the fact that they’re already impacting our daily lives. Ever since the first toaster popped up by itself, we’ve nonchalantly accepted that machines can be trusted to do stuff for us. Robots, no matter how cute or creepy (we’re talking about you, robots with human-like faces and dead eyes) are basically automatic motorized tools. We live with robots every day. They play our news and music, run our cars, tape shows we want to watch, and cook our food. Since they don’t have a face, we tend to not to see them as robots.
But the reality is that mobile robots are already doing dirty, dangerous jobs, and the applications for these highly useful and intelligent tools will only expand as the use of robots saves lives, time, and money. Robots are being developed for elder care, and are expected to make mobile telepresence shopping, tourism and medical assistance routine tasks in the near future.
Since robots are often working in environments that cannot receive GNSS signals, such as underground mining, undersea exploration, or indoors, inertial navigation is essential to enable the robots to know where they are on Earth, and to determine where they need to go.
The 2019 Roboinsights conference on November 6 at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) brings together science and business to discuss robots and how we want to live with them – now and in the future. Alessandro Rossi, KVH Industries’ Inertial Navigation Group business development manager, is a featured speaker at the conference, and will be discussing sensors for robotics and why gyroscopes and inertial measurement units (IMUs) are essential for accurate, reliable navigation.
Fiber optic gyros (FOGs) and FOG-based inertial systems offer high performance, low noise, high bandwidth, and low latency. FOGs and FOG-based inertial sensors are unaffected by the loss of GNSS signals as they use computers, motion sensors, and rotation sensors to continuously calculate position, orientation, and the velocity of a moving object without using external references such as GNSS. FOGs are also very resistant to shock, vibration and weather, making them ideal for all sorts of demanding environments and applications. Check out this robotic system designed to reopen flooded mines.
KVH’s precision inertial technology supports system integrators in projects such as self-driving vehicles, humanoids, autonomous underwater vehicles, drones, 3D mobile mapping, optical sensor stabilization, oil and gas exploration, mining operations and many more emerging applications. The company’s expertise in robotics is field-proven as in the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge, KVH’s 1750 IMU was on 10 out of 25 finalists, including the winner.
As the increasing presence of various robotic helpers in industry and the day-to-day lives of consumers becomes a wider reality, seems like a great idea to get psyched for the future when your mobile telepresence robot companion will not only make you toast, but will butter it and deliver it right to you.