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This is because workers would be able to shift to taking on more varied and higher-level tasks, and factories could produce a greater variety of products.
That's the idea behind a prototype smartphone app Purdue University researchers have developed that allows a user to easily program any robot to perform a mundane activity, such as picking up parts from one area and delivering them to another.
Setup - Care - Household - Chores - Plants
The setup could also take care of household chores -- no more plants dying because you forgot to water them.
Purdue researchers present their research on the embedded app, called VRa, on June 23 at DIS 2019 in San Diego. The platform is patented through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization, with plans to make it available for commercial use.
Smaller - Companies - Software - Programmers - Robots
"Smaller companies can't afford software programmers or expensive mobile robots," said Karthik Ramani, Purdue's Donald W. Feddersen Professor of Mechanical Engineering. "We've made it to where they can do the programming themselves, dramatically bringing down the costs of building and programming mobile robots," he said.
Using augmented reality, the app allows the user to either walk out where the robot should go to perform its tasks, or draw out a workflow directly into real space. The app offers options for how those tasks can be performed, such as under a certain time limit, on repeat or after a machine has done its job.
User - Phone - Dock - Robot - Phone
After programming, the user drops the phone into a dock attached to the robot. While the phone needs to be familiar with the type of robot it's "becoming" to perform tasks, the dock can be wirelessly connected to the robot's basic controls and motor.
The phone is both the eyes and brain for the robot, controlling its navigation and tasks.
Phone - Docking - Station - Robot - Ramani
"As long as the phone is in the docking station, it is the robot," Ramani said. "Whatever...
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