International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems

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Robotic Assistants: Science meets Fiction

Lecturer: Dr. Carme Torras, Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial (CSIC-UPC), Spain

Carme Torras, Research Professor at the Spanish Scientific Research Council (CSIC) presents the lecture on ‘Robotic Assistants: Science meets Fiction’. Her research group pertains to the Perception and Manipulation lab and their main interests evolve around introducing robot manipulators in human environments in the form of a robot assistant. 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.

Type: Video Lecture
Lecturer: Dr. Carme Torras, Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial (CSIC-UPC), Spain
Location: Seattle, USA
Filmed: May 2015
Published: February 2016
DOI: 10.5772/62467
Copyright: InTech
License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Dr. Carme Torras, Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial (CSIC-UPC), Spain
Credits: Institut de Robòtica
Informàtica Industrial, CSIC-UPC

Carme Torras is Research Professor at the Spanish Scientific Research Council (CSIC). She received M.Sc. degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from the Universitat de Barcelona and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, respectively, and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). Prof. Torras has published five books and about two hundred papers in the areas of robot kinematics, computer vision, geometric reasoning, machine learning and manipulation planning. She has been local project leader of several European projects in the frontier between AI and Robotics, among which the FP6 IP project “Perception, Action and COgnition through Learning of Object-Action Complexes” (PACO-PLUS), and the FP7 STREP projects “GARdeNIng with a Cognitive System” (GARNICS) and “Intelligent observation and execution of Actions and manipulations” (IntellAct).

She was awarded the Narcís Monturiol Medal of the Generalitat de Catalunya in 2000, and she became ECCAI Fellow in 2007, member of Academia Europaea in 2010, and member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona in 2013. Prof. Torras was IEEE RAS Associate Vice-President for Publication Activities (2012-13) and she is currently Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics.

  • You can download the .pdf presentation here: Robotic Assistants: Science meets Fiction

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