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Paving the way for humanoid robots


The ProRobot study on humanoid robots is the main result of the ProRobot project. The study gives a complete, in-depth and long-term prognosis on the future of humanoid robots, concerning all technical, economic and social aspects. In the ProRobot project, the following results could be achieved: -Complete State-of-the-Art overview -Future predictions for all significant technology fields -Identification of promising application fields for humanoid robots -Scenario analysis for the future market development -Identification of social obstacles and problems -Comparison of geographic differences -Complete roadmap for the future development -Presentation of technological support priorities -Discussion of economic support strategies -Implementation of the project web site to make the study available -Implementation of a web directory for humanoid robot resources As an overall conclusion, the project is rather optimistic for the future development in the field of humanoid robots. An early market introduction in the field of entertainment robots is expected, and is assumed to be a success especially in the Asian region. With more and more service abilities acquired by the robots, the usage of humanoid robots will become beneficial even in less robot-enthusiastic regions, where non-humanoid service robots might be introduced prior to the humanoid ones. However, many already proposed applications would need much more time, as the technical development will be slowed down by the development of general-purpose artificial intelligence. In the end, a stable and slowly growing market can be expected for humanoid robots. This development might be further advanced by unforeseen technical breakthroughs or non-predictable market hypes in the future. The ProRobot project consortium hopes that the ProRobot study can contribute to the orientation of researchers and developers of humanoid robots for the future, as there is currently a distinct lack of reliable future forecasts in this area, with many projects still looking for a promising development direction.