News

BBC World Service: "The robot designed to replace astronauts"

Earlier today, Prof Sethu Vijayakumar, co-director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, was interviewed by BBC World Service radio about the NASA Valkyrie robot project. He explained why Valkyrie resembles human beings and talked about its use in space exploration, as well as its applications on Earth.

To hear the full interview, please visit: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p038f64b

Useful links

Professor Sethu Vijayakumar's website

EPSRC Humanoid Robotics Sandpit held at the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics

On 3rd and 4th November 2015, researchers from the groups of Nicolas Mansard (LAAS, Toulouse), Jeremy Wyatt (U. of Birmingham) and Matt Howard (Kings College London) visited for two days to discuss avenues for potential collaboration in the area of humanoid control and manipulation. After a presentions from the visiting groups, Edinburgh research staff and PhD students gave a tutorial session demonstrating their humanoid simulation environment, research in whole-body motion planning and locomotion.

Edinburgh Centre for Robotics First Annual Conference

On Friday 23rd October 2015, the first Edinburgh Centre for Robotics took place in the James Watt Centre II at Heriot-Watt University. Industrial delegates, academic staff and students (CDT & aligned) attended the event. Professor Peter Corke, from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, opened the Conference with his talk “Why Robots See?”, which highlighted the similarities and differences between human and robot visions, as well as pondered on the future of Robotics in relation to recent advances in Computer Vision.

Edinburgh Centre for Robotics welcomes new arrival

At the end of last week a large wooden crate arrived at the Robotics Lab at Heriot-Watt University.  Since then our team has been busy unpacking and assembling our latest piece of equipment.  We are now delighted to share images of the FLASH robot, the latest addition to the Robotics Lab. His unique, mechanoidal appearance allows him to avoid the uncanny valley phenomenon and use gestures, face and the whole body to efficiently express emotions.

Useful Links

Robotics Lab

"Sharing autonomy (and responsibility): The robots are ready, are you?" Professor Vijayakumar's Our Changing World Lecture 2015

Professor Sethu Vijayakumar, who holds a RAEng - Microsoft Research Chair in Robotics and is the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics director at the University of Edinburgh, delivered the first lecture in the University’s Our Changing World series for 2015 on Tuesday 29th September 2015.

TrimBot2020: A gardening robot for rose, hedge and topiary trimming

The School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh (Robotarium East) has been successful with a Horizon 2020 research proposal, called TrimBot2020. The project will research the underlying robotics and vision technologies and prototype the first outdoor garden trimming robot. The robot will navigate over varying terrain, approach rose bushes, hedges and boxwood topiary, to trim them to an ideal shape.

Edinburgh Centre for Robotics in the Sunday Herald

"Robots that can understand human emotions are being brought into Scottish schools to help with teaching. It’s hoped the machines will be used to assist in subjects such as history or geography – and because they can sense when children are bored, frustrated or unhappy, they’ll be able to adapt their teaching methods in a simpler way to a human tutor."

Robotics Lab (Robotarium West) at BBC London

This week, three academics from the Robotics Lab at Heriot-Watt University (Robotarium West), Dr Patricia A Vargas (Director), Dr Katrin Lohan (Deputy Director) and Prof Ruth Aylett plus 3 other researchers, Steven Kay, Ingo Keller and Srinivasan Janarthanam, went down to London to give interviews at the BBC and present demos to show their work. They took many robotic equipment, including three NAOs, several e-pucks, one air-drone and Nikita our iCub talking head.