: : Subsumption Robots and the Application of Intelligent Robots
to the Service Industry
A new breed of robots whose characteristics, objectives and operational modes drastically differ from more
conventional industrial robots is gaining increased interest. Conventional robotics, which have been successful
in improving productivity and relieving human workers from tedious routine tasks in manufacturing, now faces
a new challenge of automating areas of labour other than those directly linked to production.
These new types of robots aim to achieve a high level of flexibility, adaptability and efficiency in areas of
operation which are disliked by humans. These areas are typically called the "3 K (Kitsui, Kitanai, or Kiken)
industry" in Japan and are being recognized as a major problem area in obtaining labour, and a social problem
as well. In English terms, this means "Drudgery, Dirty, or Dangerous"; therefore, it should be termed the "3 D
Industry". The type of jobs referred to here are commonly found in the service industry, and the term Service
Robot is now being commonly used in Japan to refer to the robots which do these jobs. Here, the latest
intelligent robot technology based on Subsumption Architecture (SA) is introduced along with its actual and
SA was invented by Professor R.A. Brooks of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the Massachussetts
Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1986. It proposed a drastically new approach to robot control, and has been
a direct challenge to more established conventional process architecture for intelligent robots. From its
announcement up until the early 1990s, many of the researchers in conventional robotics either ignored its
existence or attacked it viciously. However, the SA theory has been gradually accepted, and in 1991 Professor
Brooks received the "Computers and Thought" award, the highest award in AI research. Through his set of
theories on intelligence, Brooks has introduced a new approach to AI research. A new movement called
"Behavior-based AI" is forming around Brooks led by a group of young researchers who are critical of
the conventional approach to AI. The philosophical aspect of his research is also attracting interest among
researchers in Japan.
© 2008, AAI Canada, Inc.
112 John Cavanaugh Drive, Ottawa,
Ontario, Canada K0A 1L0
TEL: +1.613.839.6161 or 1.800.895.1122 ; FAX: +1.613.839.6616
AAI Canada, Inc. provides this information as an informational tool to the public,
and is not responsible for any errors in content. All information should be verified by the reader.
General Inquiries: Contact Us
Technical Inquiries: Webmaster