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Joseph F. Engelberger

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Robots can play a major role in the service industries. And it is in that direction that robotics needs to turn, Joseph Engelberger asserts, not toward the routine factory jobs of the past. Engelberger was instrumental in founding the robotics industry and his book Robotics in Practice is now a classic. In Robotics in Service he observes that the time is ripe for robotics to launch itself into an entirely new marketplace. Engelberger's starting point is the fact that it is now feasible to equip robots with a wide repertoire of senses and to provide them with at least rudimentary intelligence. We can produce a range of robotic devices that can be put to work performing a variety of services that have become increasingly unattractive to the human labor force because of their mundane nature or the dangers they involve. Part I of the book provides a robotics technology update, concentrating on the new developments, particularly in sensory equipment and artificial intelligence. Part II examines in detail 15 specific applications - ranging from commercial cleaning and fast food service to jobs in space and aid for the handicapped and the elderly - that are ripe for exploitation. Joseph F. Engelberger was the founder of Unimation, the first manufacturer of industrial robots in the world. He is a past president of the Robot Institute of America and currently Chairman of Transition Research Corporation