Teresa Escrig

News and oppinion about Cognitive AI & Robotics

Archive for the ‘Science’ tag

What are the benefits of Artificial Intelligence in Robotics?

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Happy New Year to all!  It’s been a while since my last post. Too busy. Now, I’m back.

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Robotics is not only a research field within artificial intelligence, but a field of application, one where all areas of artificial intelligence can be tested and integrated into a final result.

Amazing humanoid robots exhibit elegant and smooth motion capable of walking, running, and going up and down stairs.  They use their hands to protect themselves when falling, and to get up afterward.  They’re an example of the tremendous financial and human capital that is being devoted to research and development in the field of electronics, control and the design of robots.

Very often, the behavior of these robots contains a fixed number of pre-programmed instructions that are repeated regardless of  any changes in the environment. These robots have no autonomy, nor adaptation, to the changing environment, and therefore do not show intelligent behavior. We are amazed by the technology they provide, which is fantastic! But we can not infer that, because the robots are physically so realistic and the movements so precise and gentle, that they are able to do what we (people) do. Read the rest of this entry »

We need Service Robots to feed disable students

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Dear Teresa, My name is Paul Doyle and I am Head of Access R&D at Hereward College in Coventry. Hereward is a residential college that supports disabled students. We have for some years developed a keen interest in the use of robotics as an assistive technology.

I have been in contact with many providers of robots over the years from the PR2 at Willow Garage to the Care-o-bot by Fraunhofer with little tangible progress. What we have failed to achieve to date is to embed and evaluate an actual device in a real care/living/education environment such as Hereward to see if it actually works and if it is financially viable!

I would like to challenge any robot for example to help with the scenario I posted recently on a Linkedin forum:

Today when I was having lunch in our refectory I observed a number of students (with a variety of physical disabilities) waiting in an orderly queue for a human career to help feed them their lunchtime meal. Due to a shortage of careers some of the students waited for a very long time before a staff member could ask what the student wanted from the menu, picked up the chosen meal from the counter and then fed the student in an appropriate manner (food at the right temperature consistency and rate).
This situation led me to ponder the questions could a robot have helped carry out these tasks to some degree, and bearing in mind the care staff are paid not much over minimum wage, when (if ever) will a robot alternative be a financially viable?”

I would hope manufacturers could see this exposure to a group of users as a development resource, as we have a residential care and education setting where such technologies can be tested in a managed and safe environment.

Many of the young people at Hereward will eventually be the recipients of assistive robot technologies if and when they come online, so hearing what they need/want would I imagine provide a useful insight to product developers.

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How to unlock your full potential by losing your fear to fail

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In my opinion, loosing the fear to fail is one of the most important attitudes we need to adopt to unlock the genius mind that we all have.

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” is the bottom line of this amazing talk by Regina Dugan, the director of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, about people who do not decide their next step based on the fear to fail, but beside the fear to fail, they do it any way.

In this breathtaking talk she describes some of the extraordinary projects — a robotic hummingbird, a prosthetic arm controlled by thought, and, well, the internet — that her agency has created by not worrying that they might fail.

I personally would dedicate more thoughts to the actual use of the results of the research.  She could not give a straight answer to that question to TED’s director Chris Anderson.

It is absolutely worthwhile to watch.

 

A more or less concise Historical Evolution of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. From Plato to the 1990’s

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Lets first consider the historical evolution that shows man’s desire to build a machine like ourselves.  From philosophers and alchemists of the Middle Ages to 21st century scientists, the fascinating idea of creating a machine like the human being has endured.

The origins of Artificial Intelligence are attributed to the philosophers of antiquity. Plato (428 BC) wanted to know the characteristics of piety to determine if action could be regarded as pious.  This could be the first algorithm.  Aristotle conceived an informal system of syllogistic reasoning by which one could draw conclusions from premises, which became the precursor of reasoning.

Philosophers delineated the most important ideas related to artificial intelligence, but also needed a formalization of mathematics in three areas: computer science, logic and probability.   Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Teresa Escrig

March 14th, 2012 at 10:50 pm