A smartphone app allows a user to plan a task for a robot to perform. The robot carries out the task automatically once the phone is loaded onto its docking station. Image credit: Purdue University image/C Design Lab
If any factory worker could program low-cost robots, then more factories could actually use robotics to increase worker productivity.
This is because workers would be able to shift to taking on more varied and higher-level tasks, and factories could produce a greater variety of products.
That's the idea behind a prototype smartphone app Purdue University researchers have developed that allows a user to easily program any robot to perform a mundane activity, such as picking up parts from one area and delivering them to another.
Purdue researchers presented their research on the embedded app, called VRa, in June at DIS 2019 in San Diego. The platform is patented through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization, with plans to make it available for commercial use.