Robots: From domestic assistants to planet explorers – El Sol de México

At the beginning of 2024, within the framework of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)technology companies like Samsung, LG, Aiper and BeatBot, among others, they presented new models of robots that serve as assistants at home. They went from teams that clean the floor to companion quadrupeds, some humanoid types that chat or serve drinks, and even others that mow the grass.

Now the University of Southern California in conjunction with other educational centers and entities such as the A&M University from Texashe Institute of Georgia Tech and NASA, they tried Spirit quadruped robot as a rescuer on a mountain 1,200 meters high.

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The team, made up of engineers, cognitive scientists, geoscientists, and scientists specializing in the study of planetssubjected to Spirit to field tests within the framework of the project LASSIE (Legged Autonomous Surface Science in Analog Environments).

During the five days that the tests lasted, Spirit covered a variety of difficult terrain using its thin metal legs to move over, through and over shifting earth, melted snow and rocks, this as part of a process to better understand the properties of the substrate and learn to move better through these extreme terrains.

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In a statement, the multi-university team said that the use of this type of robots is mainly for the exploration of galactic surfacesas the moon and maybe the others planets of our solar system, but also for the rescue.

Feifei Qianresearcher at the University of Southern California and project leader, referred to The Sun of Mexico which currently already There are different types of uses for robots in everyday lifesuch as quadcopters that take photos or record videos, as well as ground equipment that delivers food in restaurants or even on the street.

“However, one of the main challenges for robots to be used in a greater variety of scenarios is their ability to understand complex environments and move freely in them. This is exactly what is intended LASSIE: create robots that can ‘sense’ and understand their environmentsand use that information to adjust the way they interact and move,” explained the academic.

He stressed that these capabilities will allow robots in the future cope in more complex scenarios of life everyday, and even explore other planets and rescue lost equipment on complex surfaceslike mountains.

LASSIE It is a field project to prepare future planetary explorations. When testing robots like Spirit “In analog planetary environments on Earth, we can better understand and prepare for the possible challenges that our robots and rovers may encounter during their missions, and thus use this knowledge to enhance scientific discoveries during these missions,” Qian added.

In various environments, the trend is the use of robots, for example in retail, department stores and self-service stores, in addition to assistance as receptionists and security guards.

– Jorge de Jesús Lozoya. Research professor

The researcher considered that in the same way that the automobiles and airplanes enhanced the human ability to travel the world more efficiently, as robots Being more capable will improve people’s ability to understand, explore and achieve more.

Focused on service

At the beginning of this year, a story went viral on social networks. waiter robot in a café in New Liona team called Gabino that has spaces in its body to accommodate the dishes that leads to each of the tables.

Jorge from Jesus Lozoyaresearch professor at the School of Engineering and Sciences Tec de Monterreycommented to this newspaper that this type of robots are increasingly common in Asiawhere you can also see others assisting passengers at the airport South Koreafor example, or some as police officers, in different cities of China.

“In various environments the trend is use of robotsfor example in the retailthe Department stores and of self service are using this equipment, in addition to the typical use in the production linethey already focus them towards the attendance as receptionists, watchmen with a routine of security“, highlighted the specialist.

Lozoya commented that once they have achieved specialize robots for professional uselike those used in the industry manufacturing or in the defense sectorcompanies have focused on personal teams, which are currently experiencing a development boom.

“The trend is that users, people or companies that are going to use these robotsthey are not going to buy the equipment but what they are going to acquire is the service what it offers, then an interesting business model in which companies sell a service where the robot is the means by which they offer that added value“, considered.

The specialist pointed out that, as has happened in the history of technology, The first equipment is very expensive, but little by little they will become more affordable and then There will be a massification of service robots.

He commented that Today the manufacture of a robot prototype is between one hundred thousand and 300 thousand pesosjust talk about your manufacturing and the components, but in the case of Service equipment can reach up to two million pesos.

According to the specialist, The adoption of this equipment in the Latin American market may occur in about 10 years, Meanwhile in The United States and Europe will take five years and in Asian markets such as Korea and China, where they are already more visible, It will be about two more years, he estimated.

Android sale announced

In recent months, one of the robotics announcements that has caused the most stir is that of Optimus Gen 2, the humanoid robot announced by billionaire Elon Muskowner of tesla and of the social network before Twitter.

It’s about a team 1.70 meters tall and weighing 54 kilograms which has extremitiesas legs and armsand which not only moves with relative ease, like a person, but also communicates fluently thanks to the integration of artificial intelligence (AI).

Some days ago, Musk announced that the sale to the public of his humanoid robot, developed by Tesla, will begin at the end of 2025and you will have the ability to perform useful tasks, which will make you, he said, one of your company’s most valuable assets.

The CEO of one of the largest electric car companies explained that Optimus Gen 2 can currently perform some simple tasksbut it will be towards the fourth quarter of this year when it will be able to carry out useful work for people.

One of the main challenges for robots to be used in a greater variety of scenarios is their ability to understand complex environments and move freely in them.

– Feifei Qian. Researcher and leader of the LASSIE project

Musk detailed in a conference with analysts that This humanoid robot will be sensitive and capable of moving to perform the tasks requested by users Therefore, he considered, it does not have “a significant limit for the size of the economy.”

The businessman asserted that the efficiency of Tesla AI inferencethat is, the process that uses a model of learning automatic to draw conclusions from new data, “it is much better than any other company.”

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