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The Robots of “Tomorrow” Come Into Existence “Today”

2012 October 5
by andreakbass

The Robots of Tomorrow

Since NASA’s Curiosity rover landed in Mars’ Gale Crater this August, millions of people worldwide have gained a new appreciation for what advances in science – specifically those in the field of robotics – might imply for their future. The Curiosity robot, with its $2.5B price-tag, its picture-perfect renderings of Martian topography (via its MastCam), and its ability to visualize and analyze Martian soil down to 12.5 microns, has achieved a cult following on Earth one usually finds only with rock-stars. There is definitely something about the Curiosity that goes beyond the here and now and promises the first denizen* of tomorrow.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be on Martian soil to encounter futuristic robots.  Here on Earth, one can see the numerous applications that robotics are favorably impacting.  Broadly framed we see the following as exciting worldwide developments for which robots (and robotic sciences) are responsible. In Australia, a bionic eye has reconnected a blind woman’s optic nerve, allowing her to see perfectly again. At a trendy New York luxury hotel, a 20’ robotic arm named YOBOT handles guests’ luggage as they arrive and depart without so much as asking for a tip. Companies like CSAIL and Tecnalia are developing robots that interact competently and intelligently with their human co-workers. And, of course, there are currently 76 countries in the world that field UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) for purposes as various as defense, surveillance, weather tracking and data collection. True, you don’t yet see C3PO wandering lost down a tree-lined sidewalk in, say, Cleveland … but robotics is truly still in its infancy.

Among the many features of the Curiosity rover to consider is the robot’s use of titanium.  Its tubing was actually provided by a Chattanooga-based bicycle company that specializes in building titanium bikes. PEI already has a proven track record of building perfectly-dimensioned titanium components for the aerospace, microelectronics and maxillofacial surgical industries so it only seems natural to our company to celebrate the next logical step forward with a martian rover’s use of titanium.  With our ISO 9001:2008 and AS 9100-2009 certifications, our proximity to technology corridors outside of Cambridge and Boston, MA, and our mastery of etching difficult to machine metals, we are proud that PEI stands to become one of the principle suppliers of robotic components in North America.

At PEI, we have a long history of making the “distant future” of tomorrow come to life today. Come find out the specifics of how and why our company can help you build the intelligent machinery of tomorrow – today.

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