Friday, December 28, 2012

University of Zürich to Birth Most Advanced Robotic Boy By March 9, 2013

Helperbot sounds so, ummm......helpful.

From UofZ's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory:
Roboy Press Release 2012-12-17
TECHNOLOGY FAST TRACK – Roboy, the ambassador of a new generation of intelligent machines, is brought to life

17 December 2012 – Roboy is a robot with a future. He represents a new generation of robots and an innovative research direction for science and industry. This pioneering project began a good five months ago at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich, and its goal is to develop one of the most advanced humanoid robots within the record-breaking timeframe of only nine months. Today “Roboy” is getting a new face and can already move his arms – and soon he will be presented to the public to celebrate the laboratory's 25th anniversary at the robotics fair "Robots on Tour".

Successful technology transfer and innovative funding
The achievements of the 15 project partners and over 40 engineers and scientists so far are impressive. Research and industry are working together on a joint project, thus enabling a spectacular technology transfer. All involved are staunch supporters of the new research direction of "soft robotics" and aim to support Switzerland as a hub of technology. Another innovative element that's innovative in this project is the way it is funded. "Financing the project through sponsorship and crowd funding enables us to implement an extremely ambitious project in an academic environment", explains Prof. Rolf Pfeifer, who can look back on a comprehensive body of research activity from his 25 years as head of the AI Lab. Those who support the project benefit not only from direct access to the expertise involved but also from a little note of recognition: their names or company logos are engraved onto the "Roboy", and for CHF 5,000 Roboy will pay a visit to the company together with Prof. Pfeifer. Roboy already has several appointments in his calendar for 2013.

Living side-by-side with service robots like Roboy
Service robots are machines that are, to a certain extent, able to execute services independently for the convenience of human beings. Since they share their "living space" with people, user- friendliness and safety, above all, are of great importance. This is why so-called "soft robotics" – the development of robots that are soft to the touch, soft in their interaction, soft and natural in their movements – will play an ever greater role in this field....MORE

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HT: Science World Report
Also at The Verge
Humanoid soft-robot Roboy, developed by the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich.