About this event

Since earliest history humans have created legends and myths around mechanical systems that have the capabilities (or superior capabilities) to humans. In the 21st century, with advances in computational, mechatronic and cognitive technology, and even more critical changes in demographics, the idea of machines that emulate and serve humans is approaching a (industrial, commercial and social) reality. Yet many people remain sceptical about the need for, and possibility of, viable humanoid.

This lecture will consider these needs and development of the mechatronic technologies needed to create a viable humanoid. It will explore the history of humanoid development from the early 1970s to the most advanced current systems and future possibilities. This will focus on the mechatronic development of the iCub (a child sized (4 years old) humanoid) before considering the design of a (as yet unnamed) humanoid that introduces a number of new technical innovations. The lecture will outline future advances in the mechatronics (and cognitive aspects of the humanoids) that yet need to be achieved. There will be a brief consideration of the social, ethical and economic viability of humanoids.

About the Speaker

Professor Darwin Caldwell is a noted international researcher and academic in Robotics. He is currently a Department Director for Advanced Robotics at IIT (Italian Institute of Technology), Genoa and has been heavily involved as project leader in the development of the iCub. He has published over over 170 papers, received awards at several international conference and events and is visiting professor at the University of Sheffield, Kings College London, University of Wales Bangor and University of Manchester

Professor Caldwell studied at Ballymena Academy and then completed his B.Sc and Ph.D in Robotics from the University of Hull in 1986 and 1990 respectively, and completed an MSc in Management at the University of Salford in 1994. His research interests include innovative actuators and sensors, haptic feedback, force augmentation exoskeletons, dexterous manipulators, humanoid robotics (iCub), bipedal and quadrapedal robots, biomimetic systems, rehabilitation robotics, telepresence and teleoperation procedures, and robotics and automation systems for the food industry.

He was previously at the University of Salford between 1989 to 2007 as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and finally Professor of Advanced Robotics in the Centre for Robotics and Automation between 1999 and 2007. He is currently Chair of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Chapter (UKRI) and a past co-chair of the IET Robotics and Mechatronics Network. He is on the editorial board of Industrial Robot as well as being guest editor of several journals. In association with Professor John Gray of the University of Salford he was responsible for the establishment of the Yorkshire Forward funded Centre for Food Robotics and Automation (CenFRA).

Official Website: http://www.theiet.org/local/uk/london/icub.cfm

Added by balabanovic on January 6, 2010