The team at Edinburgh Centre for Robotics was delighted to welcome Professor Michael Beetz to Edinburgh last week. Professor Beetz is a professor for Computer Science at the Faculty for Mathematics & Informatics of the University Bremen and Head of the Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IAI). IAI investigates AI-based control methods for robotic agents, with a focus on human-scale everyday manipulation tasks.
On 1st December 2015, Professor Sethu Vijayakumar, Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics Professor of Robotics in the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, concluded a contract signing with Hitachi's Central Research Labs (CRL-CER) in Tokyo, with support from UKTI and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. This marks the beginning of an exciting collaboration in the domain of intelligent warehousing and autonomous manipulation robots between the School of Informatics and one of the leading manufacturing giants of Japan.
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.
Two Heriot-Watt researchers, Amol Deshmukh and Dr. Srini Janarthanam from the department of Computer Science, recently took two robots into Beeslack Community High School in Penicuik. The researchers, led by Professor Ruth Aylett and Dr Helen Hastie, are part of a large European project EMOTE (www.emote-project.eu), which also has partners in Sweden, Germany and Portugal. The team have been creating a learning environment that includes a socially aware robotic tutor and a large touch table.
On 2nd September 2015, Sky News correspondent James Matthewson visited the Robotarium facilities at the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh. ‘Jazz’, ‘BLUE’, ‘The Castle’, a Prosthetic Hand, and other robots featured each hour from 9:30, as part of the Robot Revolution week at Sky News.
All six videos from the coverage can be found in our channel's YouTube playlist.
On Monday 18th May, the Centre was delighted to welcome a delegation from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, to discuss developments and teaming opportunities in Marine Robotics. The visit was a direct result of Professor David Lane's recent keynote speech on 22 April at the Japanese Embassy London's Japan-UK Robotics Seminar http://www.uk.emb-japan.go.jp/en/event/2015/06/robotics.html
On Monday 18th May, Professor Nick Taylor escorted a delegation from the Economic and Commercial Office of the Chinese Embassy led by its Head, Minister Counsellor Jin Xu, on a tour of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics at Heriot-Watt University. They were accompanied by Ruth Moir, Heriot-Watt’s Assistant Principal (International Development) and James Brodie of the China Britain Business Council.
At the beginning of March The Edinburgh Centre for Robotics played host to the BBC's Science editor, David Shukman. He visited both the Heriot-Watt University and University of Edinburgh sites, and got a taste of our current research. It was a great way to showcase the facilities, technology and research that the centre has to offer.
The BBC spent time with a number of academics associated with the centre with Centre co-director Professor David Lane explaining that there is ''a global race to be the country that develops the best smart robots".
In February of this year, Professors David Lane and Sethu Vijayakumar, Directors of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics spent a week in Japan, a visit organised by The British Embassy’s Science and Innovation department. The visit's main objective was to highlight the strength of UK institutions, industries and start-ups to the Japanese market.
On Thursday 18th December, the 2014 Christmas Lecture for the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences and the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics at Heriot-Watt University, "Human Selves/Robot Selves", was delivered by Tony Prescott, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield and Director of Sheffield Robotics.