New industries are being created, with robotics providing the essential arms, legs and sensors that bring big data and artificial intelligence out of the laboratory and into the real world.
Over 800 leading international scientists, companies, and policymakers working in robotics have gathered in Edinburgh for the European Robotics Forum (#ERF2017). With the theme ‘Living and Working With Robots' the focus is on applications in manufacturing, disaster relief, agriculture, healthcare, assistive living, education, and mining.
The three day programme features keynotes, panel discussions, workshops, and plenty of robots roaming the exhibit floor. Visitors may encounter a humanoid from Pal Robotics, a bartender robot from KUKA, Shadow's human-like hands, or the latest state-of-the-art robots from European research. Success stories from Horizon 2020, the European Union's framework programme for research and innovation, and FP7 European projects are on display.
Research and application
Heriot-Watt University's Professor David Lane, General Chair of the 2017 Forum and Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, said, “We're delighted this year to have two invited keynotes of outstanding quality and relevance from the UK, representing both research and disruptive industrial application of robotics and artificial intelligence. EURobotics and its members are committed to the innovation that translates technology from research to new products and services. New industries are being created, with robotics providing the essential arms, legs and sensors that bring big data and artificial intelligence out of the laboratory and into the real world.”
In discussing robots and society, Dr Patricia A. Vargas, ERF2017 General Chair and Director of the Robotics Laboratory at Heriot-Watt University, said, “As robots gradually move to our homes and workplace, we must make sure they are fully ethical. A potential morality code for robots should include human responsibilities, and take into account how humans can interact with robots in a safe way. The European Robotics Forum is the ideal place to drive these discussions.”
Dr Cécile Huet,Deputy Head of European Commission Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Unit, said, “A set of EU projects will demonstrate the broad impact of the EU funding programme in robotics: from progress in foundational research in robot learning, to in touch sensing for a new dimension in intuitive Human-Robot cooperation, to inspection in the oil-and-gas industry, security, care, manufacturing for SMEs, or the vast applications enabled by the progress in drones autonomous navigation.”