Special Issue on New Challenges in Robotics Technology
Terenziano Raparelli and Pierluigi Beomonte Zobel
Politecnico di Torino
C.so Duca degli Abruzzi, 24
10129 Torino, Italy
Universitàdegli Studi dell’Aquila
Loc. Monteluco di Roio
67100 L’Aquila, Italy
Robotics has reached a top technological level in recent years, a level at which it can be successfully used not only in structured spaces (for less complex applications) but also increasingly in unstructured spaces. Robotics technology is now used effectively in hospitals for rehabilitation and assistive devices, in the home for domestic applications, in the space for autonomous robots and automated vehicles, in amusement parks for entertainment attractions, and on the ground for military applications. In industrial applications, robotics has enlarged its scope with high-speed robots, cooperative robots, and smart robotic devices for production set-ups. These new applications have created new challenges in robotics. New materials have been developed to make frames lighter and smarter, new actuators and sensors have been made in compliance with specific applications and for more advanced performance, new flexible gripper devices have been produced with superior control systems, and new interfaces have been developed that are integrated with the devices and easier to use. This special issue features 18 research articles related to the latest research results and practical case studies in robotics technology. Subjects include robots for rehabilitation, robots as assistive devices, robots for agriculture, robots for exploration, robots for automation and industrial applications, service robots, new actuators, new sensors, new gripping devices, new control strategies, and robotic systems. We deeply appreciate the careful efforts of all the authors and thank the reviewers for their incisive efforts. Without these contributions, this special issue could not have been printed. We hope that this special issue will trigger further research on robotics technology. Finally a special memory of Cesare Rossi, one of the authors, that died suddenly after the preparation of the manuscript.
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