This year’s International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2013) was held in Tokyo, Japan— a globally recognized hotspot for some of the most fascinating robots on earth. Under the name of New Horizon, this conference aimed to get participants looking forward towards a new era of intelligent systems capable of meeting the needs of the fast-changing times we live in.
The event which was held over six days this November, drew top-notch experts from various areas of robotic expertise. Most of us robot lovers are well acquainted with rough-terrain rovers like AlphaDog, BigDog, and Cheetah. Responsible for developing the machines mentioned above, CTO and founder of Boston Dynamics, Mark Raibert, gave a plenary talk at this year’s IROS. The theme of his discourse centred on the theme of what makes machines capable of leaving the lab and entering the real world? And, how do we enable them with the kind of athleticism and agility normally only found in humans and animals?
But what about the robots we’d like to keep in labs? Masayuki Yamato, of Tokyo Women’s Medical University has been investigating the use of robots in regenerative medicine. In fact, Yamato is currently looking at how robots may be able to help fabricate transplantable layers of cells.
You may be familiar with the use of medical robots but now researchers like Tim C. Lüth from Technische Universität München in Germany are looking at ways to manufacture robots quickly for one-time use with individual patients. The solution is straight out of Sc-Fi: disposable robots made from 3D printers.
A large robot exhibit was also part of this year’s event- held every 2 years the International Robot Exhibition (IREX) marked it’s 20th anniversary. Many of the humanoid robots on display may have seemed to take on an almost eerily-human appearance. To explain the rhyme and reason for our feelings about creepily life-like bots, the event also held a special session:The Uncanny Valley Revisited, A Tribute to Masahiro Mori