Wednesday, December 14, 2011


There are a variety of reasons why it's probably not a good idea to have robots moving around at high speed indoors.
  • There's likely to be more wear on the carpet, and "tracks" will become conspicuous.
  • There's a tripping hazard.  One second there is no robot and the next there is.
  • If anything goes wrong and the robot hits something, it could cause non-trivial damage - possibly including generating fire hazards.
  • Last but not least, more speed usually means more noise.  Noise level is something often forgotten, but for robots operating indoors I think it will be a factor.  People already fuss over noisy PC cooling fans.
However, in industrial settings such as warehouses where there are rarely people around and it's a more controlled environment I expect that it will be normal for robots to be moving at this kind of speed.

For most domestic or office space service robots probably a very pedestrian Turtlebot-like speed of 0.3m/s will be about as fast as it gets, and may even be slower if handling objects.

1 comment:

Mike Shimniok said...

For some reason I'm reminded of the episode "Wink of an Eye" from Star Trek (original series). Robots operate on that wildly accelerated timeframe already, no matter how slow their bodies travel. If the sensors are fast enough obstacle avoidance at high speed isn't entirely out of reach.