In movies, robots are often portrayed as human-like, evil creatures that want to take over the world. But what is the real deal? Why do we need robots and what should we use them for?
On Feb. 9, the Robotics Innovation Challenge, arranged by Swedish robotics cluster Robotdalen, was held in Eskilstuna, Sweden. The day focused on challenges, opportunities and solutions when developing new robots. But what are the needs, and can robots fulfill them?
International experts shared their point of view, new robots were presented on an innovation catwalk and the winner of the international prize competition Robotdalen Innovation Award was announced. Visitors were able to check out robots and talk to innovators and companies about their view on robots and their role in society.
"Robots are here to provide improved quality of life for us humans. Product development must stem from the needs of the individual and contribute to a safer and more secure work environment and everyday life," says Erik Lundqvist, General Manager at Robotdalen. "In Robotdalen, we don’t want robots to look like real people, since robots are tools, just like machines or computers. We want to change the perception that robots pose a threath and will "take over". We control them and they can contribute with a lot for individuals in health care as well as for increased competitiveness in the manufacturing industry."
Other Robotics Innovation Challenge experienced key note speakers also shared their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities in the field of robotics. Anders Sandberg, professor at Oxford, adressed the meeting between man and technology. Rodney Brooks, one of the world’s foremost roboticists, shared his thoughts on artifical intelligence and experiences from his companies iRobot och Heartland Robotics. Per Strömberg from the Stockholm School of Economics talked about entrepreunership and venture capital.
Learn more about the Robotics Innovation Challenge: www.robotdalen.se/ric2012