The Challenge of Autonomy: What We Can Learn from Research on Robots Designed for Harsh Environments
Editors: Uwe Engel
In Robots in Care and Everyday Life, Springer, chapter 4, pages 57-80, Oct/2022.
In addition to areas of application in people’s everyday lives and the area of education and services, robots are primarily envisioned in non-immediate living environments by the society—i.e., ininaccessible or even hostile environments to humans.
The results of this population survey clearly demonstrate that such application options come across with a high level of acceptance and application potential among the population.
Nevertheless,it is expected that the underlying AI in such systems works reliably and that safety for humans is guaranteed.
In this chapter,the results of the study are compared with state-of-the-art systems from classical application environments for robots,like the deep-sea and space.
Here,systems have to interact with their environment to a large extent on their own over longer periods of time.
Although typically the designs are such that humans are able to intervene in specific situations and so external decisions are possible,the requirements for autonomy are also extremely high.
From this perspective one can easily derive what kind of requirements are also necessary,and what challenges are still in front of us,when robots should be acting largely autonomous in our everyday life.