Outland Robotics


A convergence of low-cost electronics, new kinds of sensors, and high-performance computer power opens up enormous potential in making things "smart":

    Smart PRODUCTS
      Provide intuitive, interactive capabilities.

    Smart TOOLS
      Help people work more safely and efficiently.

    Smart MACHINES
      Respond intelligently to users and environs.

Many tasks can be performed more efficiently and safely when sensors, electronics, and controls are incorporated into the process. Productivity improvements through automation and robotics have been extremely successful in factory settings, but these depend on a tightly controlled environment.

To bring automation to less structured environments, intelligent use of sensors can help make things smart enough to know where they are, where you are, and what you want them to do. They work cooperatively in carrying out each task by sensing and responding to the environment and the user.

In some cases autonomous robotic systems will take over certain kinds of jobs. However, in the near future smaller steps are more likely. Already, portable drills learn the maximum torque required and shut off power as soon as a screw is fully driven in, extending battery life. Automated devices remove spots in carpet, and GPS-enabled systems can tell us exactly where we are and where we need to go. Lifting devices respond to the user's guidance by sensing touch on the object, eliminating clumsy controls.

Just as robots and automation machinery greatly increased the productivity and safety of manufacturing, so too will automation rapidly advance for those who work in:

  • construction sites
  • agricultural fields
  • maintenance activities
  • hospitality
  • foodservice, and
  • commercial and retail settings.
Last Updated 2005 November 17