Future Directions

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In this book, we have tried to give the reader a feel for the sorts of analytical tools that one needs in the study of robotic manipulation. We have adopted a mathematical point of view because of its compactness. One thing that this mathematical point of view masks is the excitement that we feel for robotics technology and its future because of the considerable innovation and the development being made in its use. The robotics industry has reached one plateau with the successful introduction of robots into automotive manufacturing---spot welding and painting are two arenas where robotic usage is almost universal, assembly of engines is an area where the amount of utilization is more varied---and into electronic assembly. There are several other areas where the usage of robotics is in its infancy and this chapter is dedicated to brief descriptions of some of these fields along with a quick assessment of their current status.

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