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British online supermarket chain Ocado has received support from a German team of scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Under the guidance of Prof. Tamim Asfour , KIT delivers the necessary hardware for a sophisticated form of human-robot communication. ARMAR-6 can only respond to simple commands as of yet, but is reliable in completing them. The goal is for the robot to be able to notice, of its own accord, where and how its help is required in the warehouse. This achievement remains a major challenge for AI systems. The European Union is funding the project due to the foundational nature of the research. The market is skyrocketing. The International Federation of Robotics predicts that more than 3 million collaborative robots will be in use by 2020.

The research team presented ARMAR-6’s predecessor ARMAR-3 in late 2017. This robot is intended to help w ith household tasks in the kitchen . However, it appears it will take a few more years before these “cobots” appear in our kitchens. Prof. Asfour estimates that robotic household assistants will first be ready for series production in 2030.