My name is Fumiya Iida. I’m a university
lecturer in Mechatronics. I’m the Director of the Biologically Inspired Robotics Lab. One of the things were interested in is robots versus humans. Whether robots can be better than humans and in what way humans can be
better than robots. So we have been working on the projects on robotics that
the robots can build robots because building robot is a really difficult
challenge, even for humans. We need to think about many different materials,
many different designs. What you see here is a project where we’re comparing
humans and machines in terms of their capability to design a system. So the problem here is locomotion – the robot has to move as fast as possible. And we designed the machine algorithm that basically optimises the design and does
this automatically. And we asked can the machine actually outperform the human
designer? We found that the human is actually very good when only few
parameters are optimized in the system like only one parameter for curvature of
the foot and actuation frequency but as soon as there are more decisions to be
made like multiple design parameters of curvature and also of actuation, then we
find the machine actually outperformed the human designer. I think it will be
very useful in the future for designing robots that explore new planets or our
planet or also to search-and-rescue in like cluttered environments so I
think that’s going to be the application for this. So easy problem for a human is
really dealing with last one metre problem, which is usually very difficult
for robots. The last one metre problem, basically means that – how we can physically touch and interact with variations of objects. So the example of this kind is a kind of agricultural harvesting problem. Another example we’re looking at is how
medical doctors palpate human subjects. So they touch our belly and inspect to
where our livers and what’s the physical condition of livers and so on. From engineering point of view this is something unsolved yet. So we are really
in an exciting period of the history of mankind and robotics revolution is
happening right now. I think robotics is really exciting
subject area because you have two faces one of them is that we want to build
technologies, new technology that helps human societies and that that’s
really exciting aspects of robotics but on the other hand there’s also another
philosophical aspect of this – We can actually learn who we are and what makes us, us by building robots and
because robots are very different from humans but you know trying to make
robots like humans really help us understanding where we are.

3 thoughts on “Humans and Robots”

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