Jul 31, 2008

Collaboration and mutualisation, keys to intelligent robotics

The world is getting ready to take up one of the major human challenges, the harmonious development of intelligent robotics for applications as varied as health, aged and disabled assistance, space exploration and entertainment. Some of these challenges are familiar such as skin and touch or walking movement. Others will need to be invented such as ergonomics or robot language (to each other or with humans). These wide areas of exploration require numerous competencies and a universal culture that would be able to transcend the boundaries of human society and its organisations. Tomorrow, a French robot should be able understand its Japanese counterpart that it has never met.
As Professor Minoru Asada stresses, emphasises, whatever the size, one business cannot master all the development dimensions and the market launch of intelligent robotics on its own.
This blog, an initiative of IBPC Osaka, is a first step towards the meeting of its laboratories and facilities with European researchers.

Jul 27, 2008

RoboCup, far from football

Carried by Osaka’s researchers and French corporations such as Aldebaran, the RoboCup is one of the most significant events in communicating robotics and artificial-intelligence research. It would appear that for France and the rest of Europe, who are just beginning to gauge these key Asian industries, to organize a robot tournament would interest only technology fanatics. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite.
Let’s think about what it means to play soccer. The robot needs to assure autonomous functions and use its legs to run (the most difficult action for a biped), all the while following its objectives. It’s necessary for the robot to watch and keep the ball while taking into account the position of other players (teammates or opponents). It must communicate in real time with the others; it must learn, inform and teach; it must manage the third-party messages of the referee; decide, keep, shoot or pass.
Finally, if you add the ultimate objective, to beat a team of humans in 2050, it will be easy to understand that what the researchers of the world are looking at now is something quite different.
A robot able to attain precise objectives, either alone or in association with congénères or humans, can manage crises and unexpected situations. Accidents or natural disasters; medical supervision; the future of man in space: these are only a few possible fields of use. This shows there is phenomenal interest in the development of new-generation robotics. If you needed proof, surely that is it.
RoboCup 2009’s site...