As part of the opening keynote at Autodesk University in Las Vegas, our CTO, Jeff Kowalski, made the case that humans and robots can work collaboratively in the future.
Prior to his presentation, we showed a humorous video by The Onion that presented a contrary opinion.
There is a fear that robots are going to take jobs from humans. But more interestingly, humans and robots will evolve their capabilities by working together. You’re not going to lose your job to a robot, but you might lose your job to someone who is using robots in clever ways to augment their capabilities.
We have an Applied Research Lab in at our Pier 9 office San Francisco where one of our big areas of focus is robotics — specifically, human-robot collaboration. We wanted to build a robot that could help a person working in construction do repetitive, high-precision tasks, without the need for robotics or computer expertise. Tasks like cutting out holes for outlets and light switches in drywall. So we put a trim router at the end of the robot's arm and gave him a natural language interface and artificial sight. That way, the robot's human partner can tell the robot what to do in plain English and with simple gestures. There’s no CAD, no CAM, not even a computer to interact with.
Collaboration is alive the lab.