Professor Ruth Aylett and Professor Nick Taylor, on behalf of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, hosted a visit by the renowned roboticist Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University and the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute of Japan on Tuesday 18 November.
Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro specialises in exceptionally human-like androids and is perhaps best known for his life-size Repliee R1 modelled on his daughter (aged 4) and his Geminoid HI-1 replica of himself, constructed in 2006. His illuminating and thought provoking talk was peppered with humorous comments and anecdotes, including a suggestion of plastic surgery now that he is nearly 10 years older than his android alter-ego. Ishiguro's androids are tele-operated and he uses them to investigate Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), or more accurately as he puts it, Human-Humanoid Interaction (HHI). His research is as much a study of people as it is of robots and he says that his primary research question is "what is a human"?
Earlier in the day Professor Ishiguro had run a workshop entitled "Kids Love Robots" at St Mary's primary school in Leith which was organised by Professor Ruth Aylett and colleagues in the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences in conjunction with Professor Adrian Cheok of City University and Yoram Chisik of the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute.
Professor Ishiguro delivered a talk to a packed Cairn Auditorium in Heriot-Watt University's Postgraduate Centre. An edited recording of Prof Ishiguro's lecture will soon be available from the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics website
The Edinburgh Centre for Robotics
The Edinburgh Centre for Robotics was launched in 2014 as a joint venture between the Schools of Mathematical and Computer Sciences & Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University and the Schools of Informatics & Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. It is supported by the two universities, EPSRC and industry.