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Cambridge Knowledge Series Talk: Robotics—Evolution, Myths, Realities, and Current Trend

Date: Jan 15, 2021 - 8:00 PM to Jan 15, 2021 - 9:30 PM
Location: Zoom

The concepts of “Robots” have been of interest to humans from the historical times, initially with the desire to create “artificial slaves.” The term “robot” was introduced by the Russian-born American science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov in 1942. Since the technology was not developing to keep up with the “dreams,” initially Robotics was primarily of entertainment value, relegated to plays, movies, stories, and so on. The practical applications started in the late 1950s and the 1960s with the development of programmable devices for factories and assembly lines, as flexible automation. However, since the expectations were not adequately realized, the general enthusiasm and funding for Robotics subsided to some extent. With subsequent research, development and curricular enhancement in Engineering and Computer Science and with the resurgence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly machine learning, Robotics has found numerous practical applications today, in industry, medicine, household, and the general society. Important developments and practical strides are being made, particularly in Soft Robotics, Mobile Robotics (Aerial—drones, Under Water, Ground), Swarm Robotics, Homecare, Surgery, Assistive Devices, and Active Prosthesis. The talk will start with a brief history of Robotics while indicating some associated myths and unfair expectations. Next it will outline key developments in the area. The talk will conclude by presenting some important practical applications of Robotics, as developed by groups worldwide including the Industrial Automation Laboratory at the University of British Columbia, headed by the speaker.

Event website: Zoom link