The Economist talks about our Robotics Research

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08 June 2015



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Research on Robotics led by Dr Walterio Mayol-Cuevas has featured in a recent article in the Economist. In the context of the recently held Amazon picking challenge competition aimed at developing fully autonomous robots able to assemble orders, they discuss the alternative possibilities created by our work on developing new forms and devices for handheld robotics.

They describe our work as a way of "How to combine man and machine without creating a cyborg". On their Babbage radio show they also consider our work as a bridge between the traditional Artificial Intelligence (AI) that ultimately aims for full autonomous machines, and the much less studied Intelligence Augmentation (IA) that aims to enhance people with machines.

The handheld robot project explores ways to exploit the intuitiveness of using handheld tools with advances in robot actuation and sensing by combining both the cognitive and physical capabilities of users and robots.

A first paper on this line of work was presented at the IEEE Int Conference on Robotics and Automation 2015 by post graduate student Austin Gregg-Smith and Dr Walterio Mayol-Cuevas, Reader at the Department of Computer Science.

The Economist article is available from their website here, and Babbage Radio show here.