Palestra - 2ªf 15 Abril

8 Abril 2013, 14:34 Luís Manuel Marques Custódio

Na próxima 2ªf, dia 15 de Abril, no horário da aula teórica de MCSM decorrerá a palestra intitulada '"Soft Robotics" - the next generation of intelligent machines', apresentada pelo Prof. Rolf Pfeifer, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, University of Zurich, Switzerland.

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Researchers from robotics and artificial intelligence increasingly agree that ideas from biology and self-organization can strongly benefit the design of autonomous robots. Biological organisms have evolved to perform and survive in a world characterized by rapid changes, high uncertainty, indefinite richness, and limited availability of information. The term "Soft Robotics" designates a new generation of robots capable of functioning in the real world by capitalizing on "soft" designs at various levels: surface (skin), movement mechanisms (muscles, tendons), and interaction with other agents (smooth, friendly interaction). Industrial robots, in contrast, operate in highly controlled environments with no or very little uncertainty. By "outsourcing" functionality to morphological and material characteristics - e.g. to the elasticity of the muscle-tendon system - the distinction between control and to-be-controlled, which is at the heart of manufacturing and control theory, breaks down and entirely new concepts will be required. In this lecture I will argue that the next generation of intelligent machines – robots – will be of the “soft” kind and I will explore the theoretical and practical implications, whose importance can hardly be over-estimated. I will be using many examples and case studies. In particular I will be introducing the tendon-driven “soft” robot “Roboy” that we have been developing in our laboratory over the last few months. Although many challenges remain, concepts from biologically inspired “soft” robotics will eventually enable researchers to engineer machines for the real world that possess at least some of the desirable properties of biological organisms, such as adaptivity, robustness, and versatility.

Short Bio

Master’s degree in physics and mathematics and Ph.D. in computer science (1979) from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. Three years as a post-doctoral fellow at Carnegie-Mellon and at Yale University in the US. Since 1987: professor of computer science at the Department of Informatics, University of Zurich, and director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Visiting professor and research fellow at the Free University of Brussels, the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass., the Neurosciences Institute (NSI) in San Diego, the Beijing Open Laboratory for Cognitive Science, and the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris. Elected "21st Century COE Professor, Information Science and Technology" at the University of Tokyo in 2004. In 2009: visiting professor at the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa, and at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China; appointed "Fellow of the School of Engineering" at the University of Tokyo. Currently: Deputy Director of the NCCR Robotics, the "National Competence Center for Research in Robotics" in Switzerland. Research interests: embodied intelligence, biorobotics, morphological computation, modular robotics, self-assembly and educational technology. Authored books: "Understanding Intelligence", MIT Press, 1999 (with C. Scheier), "How the body shapes the way we think: a new view of intelligence," 2007 (with Josh Bongard) MIT Press (popular science style), "Designing intelligence - why brains aren't enough" (short version - with Josh Bongard and Don Berry, e-book), and "La révolution de l'intelligence du corps", 2012 ("The revolution of embodied intelligence"; with Alexandre Pitti) (in French). Lecture series: “The ShanghAI Lectures”, a global mixed-reality lecture series on embodied intelligence, broadcast in 2012 from the University of Zurich, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China in cooperation with other universities from around the globe. World exhibition: ROBOTS ON TOUR - World Congress and Exhibition of Robots, Humanoids, Cyborgs, and more. 8/9 March 2013, Zurich (Puls 5): Recent project: Roboy, a “soft” tendon-driven small humanoid: