Here at ZenRobotics, we are more than well aware of the innovator’s dilemma: how much we should focus on the next six months to deliver the best possible customer experience for our current customers versus how much we should focus on a somewhat longer term view – advancing the state of the art, for example.
In our case, the innovator’s dilemma is even more crucial, given that the field of intelligent robotics is currently at a boiling point.
We were among the first ones to make robots work in unstructured environments using machine learning – and waste sorting really represents one of the most challenging unstructured environments there are.
However, the rest of the world is also moving forwards in robotic manipulation and we want to stay on the edge, pushing the envelope.
So, it makes me really proud to now be able to present the fruits of our labor, recently accepted to the academic IROS 2016 conference in Korea next week.
As an achievement, this is a big deal. However, for us, this is not the end, rather just one step forward in figuring out how to make robots perform real-world tasks that are at the same time difficult and commercially interesting.