Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


UC researchers at cutting-edge of human-robot interaction

January 3, 2014

University of Canterbury (UC) researchers will continue experimenting over summer to find exciting new functions for their first life-sized humanoid robot whose components have been created using a 3D printer.

The robot, called InMoov, can be replicated on any 3D printer. While it only has a torso, it can talk, move in complex ways, recognise voices and has several in-built cameras. The benefit of 3D printing is the convenient and affordable cost of prototyping.

Experiments and research activities with the robot are being carried out at UC’s HIT Lab NZ, headed by Professor Mark Billinghurst and Associate Professor Christoph Bartneck. HIT Lab PhD student Eduardo Sandoval says the 3D printer is producing the parts of the robot.

``The amazing thing is that 3D printers have become very affordable and anyone can three-dimensionally print their own robot.

``We will be working on this project and with other robots throughout 2014. It is an exciting new field to be involved in,’’ Sandoval says.

One of the Government’s 10 National Scientific Challenges announced this year included robotic development.

Some New Zealand companies are developing industrial robots. However, research in social robotics is a great chance for New Zealand to develop an export industry, Sandoval says.

``We will soon see personal robots that could help assist elderly people living alone, or taking care of children and offering information in public places. Japan is the world leader in this area and they are developing robots for their domestic market.

``Researchers at UC can offer their expertise to industry and work together to create a totally new industry with the obvious benefit to the New Zealand public.

``One of the first steps is for UC’s HIT Lab researchers to study the psychological, sociological and linguistic aspects of the human robot interaction,’’ Sandoval says.

Sandoval, who has recently been honoured by the National University of Mexico with the medal Alfonso Caso, says UC researchers will continue over summer making videos showing the amazing capabilities of the HIT Lab robots.
Last year, the HIT Lab created a video with six robots dancing Gangnam style that went viral and is the most viewed video created at UC with more of 336,000 views on YouTube.

Sandoval says their work with the the InMoov humanoid robot is useful for interaction experiments.

``One of the main factors in our study of robots is researching the degree of human features that the robots display. People react in different ways according to these factors. Once our InMoov robot is finished we will have more tools to develop and experiment with.

``Robotics is a hot topic these days. Robots have helped people in many areas, including dangerous situations performing precise tasks in different fields.

``However, the sci-fi style robots coming that purport to help in the home as personal assistants are not too far off become reality at this point. In the next five to 10 years we will start to see robots in our homes, offices and schools.’’

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Cricket: Dramatic Win Puts Black Caps In Finals

In Parliament: When Parliament resumed at 2pm the House passed a motion on a voice vote admiring the performance of the New Zealand cricket team in last night’s World Cup semi-final and wishing them well for the final on the weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Moon Shot/Kills Switch: The X Factor Judges Removed

MediaWorks has today decided that Natalia Kills and Willie Moon are no longer suitable to judge The X Factor and have removed them from the show. MediaWorks CEO, Mark Weldon, said that last night on The X Factor both Kills and Moon made comments that were completely unacceptable. More>>

ALSO:

Tessa Nichol: Up Up & Away In The Wairarapa

It’s an overcast morning in the Wairarapa but the mood on the ground in Carterton’s Carrington Park is anything but grey. More than 20 hot air balloons are getting ready to take off into the cloudy sky to mark the start of this year’s Wairarapa Balloon Festival. More>>

Golden Shears: Scotsman Wins Golden Shears Open Final

A Scottish shearer who settled in New Zealand to farm in Taranaki has become the first shearer from overseas to win the Golden Shears Open Shearing Championship. More>>

ALSO:

Shipped On A Bottle: Young Change-Makers Take To The Sea On Plastic Bottle Kayaks

With the aim of harnessing innovative design to construct kayaks solely from recycled materials, the “waste positive” project Plastic Bottle Kayak brings adventure into Kiwi classrooms. The call is out now for classrooms to send in messages and artwork to be inserted into the bottles. More>>

TV3 Video: Auckland Arts Festival Kicks Off

The Auckland Arts Festival kicks off March 4, with artists from New Zealand and all over the world on show. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news