Personal Robots on the Horizon
Steve Cousins (Willow Garage)
Robots are not close to being ubiquitous, but we are getting closer to a day when personal robots will be commonplace. Robotic technologies, with either sensing or actuation, are rapidly being adopted as advances in computation allow us to do more with them. Robots are following a path that parallels that of computing. Mainframe computers and industrial robot arms are both large, expensive devices that operate behind locked doors on behalf of an organization. Like personal computers, personal robots are used directly by individuals to increase their effectiveness in whatever they do.
Steve Cousins is the President and CEO of Willow Garage, a robotics company that acts a a catalyst to create a new industry in personal robotics by creating open source software and state-of-the-art robot hardware. Before joining Willow Garage, Steve was a senior manager in user experience research at IBM's Almaden Research Center. Steve was a member of (Xerox) PARC's senior staff in the "post-Weiser" era, and a researcher at PARC while Mark Weiser was there. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University, and a BS and MS in Computer Science from Washington University.