Robot helpers that can aid stroke survivors with physiotherapy and robot pets to combat loneliness will be on display next week at the University of Sheffield as part of UK Robotics Week (24 - 30 June 2017).
Sheffield Robotics and CATCH (Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare), both part of the university, will open their labs so members of the public can see the latest developments and hear from world-renowned academics on Monday 26 June.
Adults and children alike can meet Pepper, a state of the art humanoid robot, and MiRo, a pet-like companion robot, and discover how robotics research could have a positive impact on our everyday lives.
Professor Tony Prescott, Director of Sheffield Robotics and Professor Luc De Witte, Chair in Health Services Research at the University of Sheffield, and award-winning designer Sebastian Conran will be giving a short talk on ‘Robotics in Social Care’ in the world-leading teaching facility, the Diamond from 1-2pm.
Academics at the University are exploring how robotics can help stroke survivors to do physio exercises, assist with routine tasks to help people stay independent in their own homes for longer and help people to feel less lonely or bored.
At the Robot Foundry, Sheffield Robotics researchers will be on hand to discuss the latest robotics research and give demonstrations. Visitors can discover how experts are using robots to learn about the amazing abilities of bees and humans; work with a collaborative robot that could take dreary and dangerous work out of manufacturing; and find out about the work building real-life transforming robots.
The CATCH Home Lab will showcase demonstrations of robots linked with speech technology such as MiRo – a MiRo pet-like social companion robot. MiRo understands simple commands like ‘come here’ and ‘how are you today’? Being able to speak to a companion robot often makes people feel less lonely or bored. Robot pets also have advantages over real pets in areas such as hygiene, which becomes an issue in a hospital or care home.
Professor Tony Prescott said: “UK Robotics Week is a fantastic opportunity for the public to find out more about how robots could be helping humans in the future. It’s great for us to be able to show our amazing technology, answer questions about our work, and ease concerns that people might have about robots.”
The University of Sheffield is leading the way in robotics research. Sheffield Robotics has one of the largest portfolios of ongoing publicly-funded robotics research in the UK. Students have the chance to work with robotics through innovative teaching using facilities like the robot area in the Diamond building.
All events and talks are free to attend and booking is not essential.