Redesigning Manufacturing Machines, Design Tools, and Robotics for Smart Human Augmented Spatial Interfaces – by Dr. Karthik Ramani
Abstract: The convergence of many factors such as low-cost sensors, electronics, computing, fabrication, and more recently machine learning, aided by human interactive interfaces has created the potential to redesign our manufacturing ecosystem. I will describe three themes in our research. First is redesigning intuitive design tools and machines around humans to enable easy access to manufacturing by non-experts. I will provide examples of mixed dimensional suggestive modeling and creating objects directly in the physical world. Second, I will show construction of reconfigurable modular robots and mixed reality interactions with new forms of distributed intelligence and an open system architecture, that can give rise to vastly new forms of smart machines, robotic structures, and functions. Furthermore, because these robots and machines can be programmed and controlled with just a mobile phone, the developers of such “low-cost” robotics and machine “apps” do not need programming experiences at all. It will transform high-tech to low-tech and make it accessible to small and medium scale industries. Third, I will demonstrate new forms of location-aware collaborative intelligence and information exchange between humans-robots and machines. In addition, new soft interface wearables will free hands to work and interact at the same time, enabling augmentation. With such possibilities, our factories can be more productive and agile by using cognitively intuitive, spatially aware, and easy to program interactive interfaces that aid the human(s)-robot(s)-machine(s) to work together. Our research directions in artificial intelligence-based human augmentation technologies will have a direct impact on workforce re-skilling programs, increasing human labor capacity, factory productivity, and agility.
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