Robot footballers show the Ronaldo touch
Free-moving autonomous robots put extra kick into Hanover Fair
Autonomous robots - capable of finding their own way around and performing various tasks - were the theme of this year's Hanover Fair.
They ranged from industrial robot fork-lift trucks for car factories to robotic jelly fish, programmed to keep clear of each other in water.
Applications - or intended applications - were mostly in manufacturing. But there were also robots to inform the public, look for intruders, survey rough terrain, clean windows - and play football! Some worked better than others, but there were none that posed any kind of threat to humans working in the same environment. Markus Eich from the DFKI Bremen and University of Bremen Robotics Laboratory was demonstrating a pair of autonomous security robots called 'SentryBots', which also worked in tandem. These were equipped with laser range finders for navigation and passive infra-red sensors to detect human intruders.
A longer version of this article appears in the June issue of Eureka.
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