Drexel University College of Medicine Automation Discussion and Responses

1-For this week’s activity you will be envisioning imaginary automated products. For each product, describe (1) the task that they product has automated, (2) a general sketch (written or drawn) of the key automated features, (3) the desired benefits from adding the automation, and (4) possible challenges with the automation.

Product 1: a product that completes household tasks

Product 2: a product that provides transportation

2- Describe 1-2 insights/connections/revelations you had from the readings for each of the following topics:

situation awareness

  • benefits and challenges of automation (different levels)

robot design considerations

Post 1

Here are some thoughts I had while going through this week’s readings:1) In Chapter 17, I was fascinated by the establishment of three levels of situational awareness. In various settings and through certain events, I always bounced between having part or all of the levels involved. The mentioning of the levels not necessarily being linear resonates with me because a lot of time I feel like I can only project what a future outcome will be of a certain environment (which helps make decisions easier), but I struggle in understanding the significance and perception of everything going on. I sometimes think that I’m thinking forward too much and not understanding the background plus the present state of everything around me, which can make certain situations complex. 2) In Figure 1 of Chapter 52, there is a key detail highlighted that I never extrapolated before. Automation being the only key in handling a load will result in a lower level of performance while completing a task, which is interesting because there are various thoughts from people on how automation could outright potentially perform better than humans. Different industries are looking to take dangerous or overwhelmingly awful tasks and hand them over to automated processes in order to better collaborate with people. As the example showed, having a person work with the automation can result in greater levels of performance, which I believe is more of the goal. Replacement would be too difficult for so many functions (especially in a brief period of time) – instead, having people and machines work together will bring greater problem and task solutions.3) I believe that the uses of virtual, augmented and mixed reality capabilities with HRI will continue to grow at an increasing rate. There’s been various talk about creating virtual worlds or “metaverses” that allow for a greater depth of interaction between people and robots virtually. One of my favorite movies, Ready Player One, displays this level of interaction on a grand level where people can fully adapt various movements to their virtualized worlds. I’m hoping for a greater expansion of virtual reality because I believe it is the next avenue of interaction for everyone on the planet – all your interactions are based in using a singular (or potentially multiple) devices and can be done from any environment. I also find it interesting that virtualized robots will be able to communicate even greater with people and really push the envelope of the VR/AR space. 

Post 2

1. The task that the product is automating is the process of cutting up fruits, vegetables, and other foods. Some of the key automated features are the product are: The display which the user inputs what they would like to cut and style of cut which the product then uses to analyze and chop up the food, the automated arm which attaches to the users knife of choice and then cuts the food up, and the knife grip which adjusts to any size kitchen knife and allows for the switching of knives depending on the users’ wants. The desired benefits from the automation are mainly: people being able to make a meal quicker as the product allows them to multitask better, people with arthritis or hand issues being able to cut foods up without having to struggle, and that more people will be inspired to cook from home and potentially eat healthier as the process has been made much easier. The two possible challenges I think are most important are: the analysis of the item being cut as the food item could be much larger or smaller than what the product may assume and a person accidentally getting cut during the products operation as it  would need to be programmed to know when a human hand is in the cutting area.2. The form of transportation that my product is automating is providing is unicycling. Some of the key automated fetures are the gyroscopic stabilizer in the unicycle which allows the user to stay perfectly upright and not worry about having to keep their own balance as the process is automated by the stabilizer and the tilt based sensor which senses the direction that the user is leaning and reacts by making the battery powered motor automatically move the unicycle in whatever direction they lean thus automating the need to push pedals. The desired benefits of the automation of unicycling are mainly: getting people to go outside more and experience the beauty of the world, getting people to ride more unicycles because they are dying out, and then to get people to lean more towards electric powered forms of transportation. The possible challenges with this automation are that the speed of the unicycle could be dangerous and new riders who are learning the device could get hurt and that the battery that is inside of the unicycle (if Lithium-ion) could be dangerous as these batteries have a tendency to explode in vapes, hoverboards, phones, and cars. 

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