Saturday, February 03, 2007

Robotics Conference

I spent the last two days attending the "Robotics for Society: New Directions in Cognitive Science" conference. It took place at Robson Square (downtown Vancouver). Invited speakers included:

James Little (UBC): Space for interaction with a robot
Gordon Cheng (ATR): Humanoid robotics perspective to neuroscience
Richard Vaughan (SFU): Assault and batteries: on the utility of robot aggression, competition and violence
Rodney Brooks (MIT): Robotics and everyday life
Alan Mackworth (UBC): You, robot, do no harm!
Hideki Kozima (NICT): A social robot in the wild world; practices in therapeutic and pedagogical applications
Stefan Schaal (USC): Computational motor control, humanoid robotics, and their societal relevance
Masaaki Honda (Waseda): Talking robot mimicking human speech production
Richard Rosenberg (UBC)

There were also various poster presentations outside of the theater. I found the conference very enjoyable because it provided exposure to a large variety of robots currently being researched and developed. My favorite presentation was by Rodney Brooks. Not only was he an excellent speaker, but he is also very well known in the field of robotics (I read a book by him in high school, as well as some of his research papers). He also founded the iRobot Corporation (well known for the Roomba robots). Unfortunately, attending the conference has put me way behind on my homework, so I am going to be spending the next 24 hours trying to catch up :(.

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