era of the 1980's has produced the emergence of Artificial Intelligence,
the research towards autonomous intelligent systems: Human-less
factories and Autonomous, Intelligent Robots have been projected
as potential realities for the mid 90's.
the initial effort underestimated the goals set:. By the end of
the 80's, the autonomous intelligent system concept faded away.
The huge problems arising from real world interpretation, requiring
massive self-contained real-world expertise, postponed the autonomous
system dream for yet some more time.
the last few years, the availability of new software and hardware
products, the drop of cost of high bandwidth communications as well
as the dramatic drop of cost of processing power put together the
basic enabling technologies to support the development of Advanced
Robotics concepts with good quality / price ratios.
of Robotics slowly matures towards a dedicated, highly specialised
field of technology, that early visionaries have named "Robotics
Science" (Michael Brady, 1987). Gradually, the appearance of
the "T-model" Robot that is bound to revolutionise the
sector, becomes a round the corner possibility. The sectors of risky
surveillance, intervention, remediation as well as demining, certainly
represent a serious candidate for autonomous, out-door robotics.
They have been long recognised for their high market potentials
for such systems once these machines would be able to do the job
correctly and at affordable prices. HTR is expecting the "T-Model"
to appear in one of these sectors.
been founded on 1998, at a moment when the founding members believed
that it was time to apply the advanced robot technology in the context
of the "telepresence" approach for the future autonomous
systems. Such solution by-passes the lack of "fully operational"
AI through the use of gradually higher level of remote supervision.
On the other hand, it is a fact that out-door machines need mobility
and dexterity matching those of living creatures : HTR considered
that "intelligence could emerge from higher mobility"
(*) and invested towards technologies permitting the higher agility
of these robot platforms, using artificial legs.