IJARS Video Series - New video lecture “Robotic Assistants: Science meets Fiction” by Dr. Carme Torras

February 11, 2016

The latest IJARS Video Series lecture is titled ‘Robot Assistants: Science Meets Fiction’, featuring prof. Carme Torras from the Spanish Scientific Research Council (CSIC).

During the lecture, Prof. Torras focuses on the process of working on assistive robots employed as helpers to disabled or elderly people, shopping helpers, cleaning aids, even co-workers in workshops and factories. Among the main challenges of developing such robots, Prof. Torras mentions the adaptation of systems in order to allow for ‘non-experts’ to program them. Also, safety in home environments, capability to manipulate with deformable objects (for example clothes), tolerance to inaccurate actions, goal-directed executions and capability to actively collaborate with human beings are key issues discussed. Prof. Torras shows us visual demonstrations of techniques applied to successfully overcome issues connected to perception, manipulation and execution.

The last part of the lecture tackles a very much ongoing debate concerning assistive robotics - ethical and social implications of having robots in people’s everyday life. In particular, Prof. Torras highlights one question that has been troubling the minds of many: how will human nature change with increasing H-R interaction? The answer to this question leads us to introduce and discuss science fiction depictions of relationships between robot and humans as current science has yet to reach the fictional reality we are so so well accustomed to watching or reading about.

If you liked this lecture, we invite you to follow IJARS Video Series regularly.