Professor, Centre for Autonomous Systems
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About Patric Jensfelts research
Robotics started out mainly as automation, but now covers a wide range of applications. Today, robots are commonplace in production systems where they provide speed, precision and strength. They assist surgeons and explore places far away in space. Robotics technology also plays an in integral role in non-robotics applications; for example, to add assistive and safety features in cars and trucks.
To go beyond pre-programmed applications or the need for a human in-the-loop requires autonomy. This provides the ability to cope with the uncertainty that characterizes the real world and to deal with events for which the system was not programmed. The ability to move about in the environment, to know where the robot is and what the environment looks like have, are key enablers for autonomy of mobile robots. Dealing with more advanced tasks and interacting in a natural way with humans requires that robots also understand enough to make predictions about what will happen based on past experience and information from sensors.
Robotics has the potential to assist us humans and our society in many ways. Robots can lend us a helping hand when we need one, they can carry out tasks that are too dangerous or dull, and the robotics technology will enable new and exciting new products in the future.