From its past, largely industrial focus, the field of robotics is now rapidly expanding into the human realm. This shift was brought on in part by advances in technologies that make human-centered applications possible. A new generation of robots can now interact, explore, and work with humans. And this robotic boom is sure to directly touch people’s lives at home, at work, and within communities, not to mention provide support in education and health care.
Aude Billard is Associate Professor and Head of the LASA Laboratory in the School of Engineering at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). She received her M.Sc. in physics from EPFL and a MSc. in knowledge-base systems as well as a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh. Prior to joining EPFL in 2006, she was an assistant professor of computer sciences at the University of Southern California. She was elected a member of the Administrative Committee of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. She was the recipient of several best paper awards at ICRA, IROS, ROMAN, of the best IEEE reviewer award and she served as general chair for HRI and Humanoids conference.
Oussama Khatib received his doctorate in electrical engineering from Sup’Aero, Toulouse, France, in 1980. He is a professor of computer science at Stanford University and co-editor of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics series. He has served on the editorial boards of several journals and as chair or co-chair for numerous international conferences. He co-edited the Springer Handbook of Robotics, which received the PROSE Award for Excellence in Physical Sciences & Mathematics and was also the winner in the category Engineering & Technology. He is a fellow of IEEE and has served RAS as Distinguished Lecturer, member of the Administrative Committee, and Program Chair of ICRA (2000). He is President of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR) and a recipient of the Japan Robot Association (JARA) Award in Research and Development and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Pioneer Award.
Design, construction, and use of machines (robots) to perform tasks done traditionally by human beings. Robots are widely used in such industries as automobile manufacture to perform simple repetitive tasks, and in industries where work must be performed in environments hazardous to humans. Many aspects of robotics involve artificial intelligence; robots may be equipped with the equivalent of human senses such as vision, touch, and the ability to sense temperature. Some are even capable of simple decision making, and current robotics research is geared toward devising robots with a degree of self-sufficiency that will permit mobility and decision-making in an unstructured environment. Today's industrial robots do not resemble human beings; a robot in human form is called an android.