Exploring the Latest Innovations in Robotics: Humanoids, Generative AI, and Beyond

use of robot platforms, but the challenge of working in natural, outdoor environments is very different than the structured environments of factories and warehouses. Aaron Saunders, Boston Dynamics: Any area where there is manual labor involved is also ripe for robotics; almost by definition, if humans (or animals) perform a task today, then it is a candidate for robotics. As humans exchange roles closer to the minds rather than their muscles, robots will expand into new roles. Ken Goldberg, UC Berkeley: Right now, health and eldercare are two areas getting a lot of attention. It’s unfortunate how much time nurses spend on administrative work instead of interacting with patients. There’s a real opportunity here to apply robots to dull, dirty and dangerous jobs — freeing up time for humans to focus on the caring aspects. Russ Tedrake, TRI: Health and eldercare will become a large market for robotics, and we will see a lot of robotics companies devoted to improving quality of life. However, perhaps the even larger trend is the proliferation of robots across every industry that involves the physical world. Technology in which we’ve invested is already making robots better suited for unpredictable, everyday environments. Dhruv Batra, Meta: Hospital and eldercare robots will be the next major category for robotics. General-purpose robots that can operate in environments designed for humans and assist people with daily activities have the potential to play a huge role in supporting an aging population. However, we collectively need to get more laser-focused on a common set of force-multiplying infrastructures that can make these systems practical and usable for developers around the world. Matthew Johnson-Roberson, CMU: There is some evidence of robots cleaning streets, doing utility line maintenance, farming and eldercare robots are making inroads. Robotic technology has so much potential, it’s a truly exciting time for robotics and the future of robotics is even more exciting. Deepu Talla, NVIDIA: The next major category for robotics is construction. This has been a physically demanding job traditionally, and robots can help alleviate some of the physically intensive work. Their ability to operate alongside humans will be crucial as they work together. Additionally, using Generative AI to optimize construction with robots is a fascinating area of development.

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