Robotics is the inter-disciplinary branch of engineering and science that includes mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and others. Robotics deals with the design, construction, operation, and use of robots, as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing.
These technologies are used to develop machines that can substitute for humans. Robots can be used in any situation and for any purpose, but today many are used in dangerous environments (including bomb detection and de-activation), manufacturing processes, or where humans cannot survive.
Robots can take on any form but some are made to resemble humans in appearance. This is said to help in the acceptance of a robot in certain replicative behaviors usually performed by people. Such robots attempt to replicate walking, lifting, speech, cognition, and basically anything a human can do. Many of today’s robots are inspired by nature, contributing to the field of bio-inspired robotics.
The following YouTube.com video from the 2013 We Robot Conference at Stanford University assesses intellectual property considerations of importance to the robotics industry:
Today, robotics is a rapidly growing field, as technological advances continue; researching, designing, and building new robots serve various practical purposes, whether domestically, commercially, or militarily. Many robots are built to do jobs that are hazardous to people such as defusing bombs, finding survivors in unstable ruins, and exploring mines and shipwrecks.
By 1970 robotic manufacturing was widespread across the automotive industry in the United States and Japan, and by the late 1980s Japan had become the world leader in the manufacture and use of industrial robots. Nowadays, the applications of robotic systems can be found in our surroundings and aimed at improving our day to day lives. As more players enter the robotics ecosystem and as innovation focuses on more advanced robotics, companies are increasingly turning to the tools of the IP system to safeguard their interests.
As the commercial stakes rise, it will be interesting to see if robotics companies change their approach to IP management. As to this notion, a big question is whether we need protection and whether we need to give incentives to a robot/machine for its creations. Compared to the standard industrial robot innovation of the past, robotics innovation today involves more actors, more technology fields and many more patent filings.
Many robotics companies are using patent documents to find out about the latest technological developments, to gain insights about competitors’ strategies and to monitor whether competitors’ patent claims need to be challenged.
New materials and cutting-edge breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, mechatronics, navigation, sensing, object recognition and information processing have transformed robotics into a multidisciplinary field.
Robots are already having a significant impact on manufacturing processes in the automotive and electronics sectors. The industrial robot market, including the cost of software, peripherals and systems engineering, is set to increase to around USD 33 billion this year.
The following list provides links to recently issued IoT patents issued by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office:
- 9,540,171—Autonomous order fulfillment and inventory control robots
- 9,539,726—Systems and methods for safe compliant insertion and hybrid force/motion telemanipulation of continuum robots
- 9,538,892—Robot management systems for determining docking station pose including mobile robots and methods using same
- 9,530,058—Visual-assist robots
- 9,529,359—Interactive behavior engagement and management in subordinate airborne robots
- 9,520,731—Control method for cleaning robots
- 9,513,627—Autonomous coordination of resources amongst robots
- 9,494,341—Solar tracking system employing multiple mobile robots
- 9,492,048—Removing debris from cleaning robots
- D770,695—Cleansing station for cleaning rotary atomizers for painting robots
- 9,481,086—Control method for floating-base robots including generating feasible motions using time warping
- 9,476,771—Control method for cleaning robots
- 9,475,192—Simulation device for plural robots
- 9,468,349—Robot management systems for determining docking station pose including mobile robots and methods using same
- 9,464,754—Automated mobile boom system for crawling robots
- 9,463,571—Apparatus and methods for online training of robots
- 9,457,474—Opening packages at high speeds using robots
- 9,442,488—Proximity sensing on mobile robots
- 9,441,820—Systems and methods for integrating lighting effects with robots
- 9,437,097—Systems and methods for using robots to monitor environmental conditions in an environment
- 9,434,072—Vision-guided robots and methods of training them
- 9,431,027—Synchronized gesture and speech production for humanoid robots using random numbers
- 9,427,876—Inflatable robots, robotic components and assemblies and methods including same
- 9,418,696—Fast-access self-repairing tape library using mobile robots
- 9,415,512—System and method for enhancing a visualization of coordinate points within a robots working envelope
Numerous trademarks relating to IoT products and services have been registered, the pace of these filings is quickening.You can search for these and other trademarks by clicking this link for the USPTO TESS webpage.Here are some examples of recent filings, and their respective application serial numbers:
- 87128225–CYEREG EDUCATION, VERIFICATION, EMPLOYMENT
- 87182207–DB DANGERBALL
- 87010898–MR. ROBOT COMPUTER REPAIR WITH A SMILE!
- 87123417–R ROBORZOID
- 87179923–RED ROBOT
- 87135299–REGAL ROBOT
- 87135294–REGAL ROBOT
- 87112458–VR ROBOT
- 87131125–WHAT’S SO COOL ABOUT MANUFACTURING?
For more reading on robots and intellectual property, see the following articles, papers, and blogs:
- Breakthrough technologies – robotics and IP
- [Robots and intellectual property]. – NCBI
- Intellectual Property Considerations for the Robotics Industry …
- Intellectual Property Magazine: Rise of the robots | Innography
- “Rise of the robots”: about intellectual property as well as machines
- Autonomous Creation – Creation by Robots: Who owns the IP Rights …
- WIPO IP Report: 3D Printing, Nanotechnology, Robotics – Next Ticket …
- iRobot Corporation’s Intellectual Property∗
- iRobot Files Lawsuit for Infringement of Five Patents in … – Investors
- The next challenges for the robotics industry – Taylor Wessing
- Breakthrough technologies – Robotics, innovation and intellectual …
- Surgical Robotics and the Attack of the Patent Trolls – Forbes
- Legal Implications of Robot Automation – New Friends 2015