From January, Heriot-Watt University will be showcasing its contribution to the development of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for future generations.
The Year of Robotics mascot competition has been created to encourage an interest in robotics and artificial intelligence in children from a young age. The winning design will be used as the official mascot for the Year of Robotics and will be created by a 3D printer.
Seven-year-old Chloe Porter from Dean Park Primary and 10-year-old Joseph Mendonca from Currie Primary were joined by the University’s resident robot Pepper to kick start the competition. Chloe said: “It was so exciting to meet Pepper, I wish I could have taken [him] home with me!”
Professor Oliver Lemon, Computer Scientist at Heriot-Watt University and one of the academics behind the Year of Robotics, said, “Robots, although still a novelty in large part today, are going to become increasingly more socially engrained in the near future. Today’s generation of young people are going to grow-up and work alongside autonomous, intelligent machines in such a way that social robots will become the norm.”
Professor Lemon’s research with Pepper is part of an EU-funded project, MuMMer (Multi-Modal Mall Entertainment Robot), to develop a humanoid robot - based on Softbank Robotics’ Pepper platform - that can interact autonomously and naturally in the dynamic environments of a public shopping mall, providing an engaging and entertaining experience to the general public.
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