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Student wearing VR glasses using Virtual Reality haptic system - Virtual Dental Lab in action.
Virtual reality haptic system - Virtual Dental Lab in action.

Feedback and interaction

The mobile robots interact with their environment – to move around avoiding obstacles (or other robots), the robot has to sense those obstacles, and steer away. Or if a robot is to follow other robots, it has to sense them and turn towards them. If the other robots move, then the robot has to respond to that.

The steersman interacts with his boat – if it goes off course, he has to adjust his rudder in response.

A car driver similarly interacts with his car to make it drive in the right lane and at the right speed, and (hopefully) avoiding what else is in the road.

Interaction in fact occurs whenever humans work with ‘machines’ – where machine could include robots, computers, etc.

When you have a conversation with someone, you listen to them and then respond suitably. What you say depends on what they say and do.

So interaction is a feedback process, and there are lots of examples of feedback associated with robotics.

Let’s first consider interacting with Baxter, then Virtual Reality and Haptics.

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