Tuesday 18 July 2017

CATCH and Sheffield Robotics celebrate UK Robotics Week with Talks and Demonstrations

As part of UK Robotics Week, CATCH was proud to hold events in conjunction with Sheffield Robotics including talks and two Open Labs.

Professor Tony Prescott, Director of Sheffield Robotics kicked off an hour of talks. After a brief introduction to the centre, he shared the current developments in robotics and how the use of industrial robots in manufacturing around the world has grown. Although many people are disappointed that the reality of robots is somewhat different to what we see on the big screen, over the last six years since Sheffield Robotics launched, it has become clearer how we can use robotics more to overcome challenges such as an ageing population.

This theme led seamlessly onto the next slot and a talk by CATCH Professor Luc de Witte entitled "Robots in Care: Science Fiction or Reality?" He shared that it's not science fiction and that the potential for sensible applications of robots in care is enormous. Examples of robots currently used in care are Paro, Zora and even telecare robots. 

The talks were concluded by Sebastian Conran who founded Consequential Robotics and is the Designer in Residence here at the University of Sheffield. Sebastian took a different angle, discussing how emotional engagement is so important when designing robots. Two innovations of the company are Intellitable and MiRo.

Following the talks, both the Robot Foundry at Sheffield Robotics and the CATCH Home Lab opened their doors for the afternoon. At the Robot Foundry, Sheffield Robotics researchers were on hand to discuss the latest robotics research and give demonstrations. Visitors discovered how the centre is using robots to learn about the amazing abilities of bees and humans; how collaborative robots could take dreary and dangerous work out of manufacturing; and how they are working to build real-life transforming robots.

The CATCH Home Lab also showcased demonstrations of robots linked with speech technology such as MiRo and Pepper (image above).

For more information on our work in the field of robotics, please contact Simon Butler.

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