TU Delft celebrates 174th anniversary with both humans and robots

News - 06 January 2016 - Webredactie Communication

Robots are becoming increasingly important in our daily lives and the social discussion surrounding robotisation is expected to continue unabated in 2016. How can robots improve our quality of life and work? How can we ensure that they are able to interact with us correctly, and vice versa? And how much progress have we actually made in developing smart robots? These questions will take centre stage during a seminar and academic ceremony with the theme of Robotics, organised by TU Delft on Friday, 8 January 2016 as part of the university’s 174th anniversary celebrations.

Collaboration between humans and robots

We are living in a world in which the appliances we use are becoming increasingly smarter. How do we interact with these devices? Are they really just appliances to be used, or do we work together with them? And how can we maintain control of these self-learning machines? The seminar entitled ‘Intelligent robots: tools or teammates?’ addresses the underlying principles of communication and operation. The speakers – from the Netherlands and beyond – will examine these principles by drawing on such fields as artificial intelligence, human-machine interaction and collaboration between humans and machines. 

Our future with robots

During his afternoon Foundation Day Lecture ‘Our future with robots’, Dr Robert Babuska, Scientific Director of the TU Delft Robotics Institute, will place the development of smart robots in a wider perspective. He will explain how robotics relates to the wider concept of ‘artificial intelligence’, and demonstrate how much progress has actually been made in the development of smart robots. Babuska will draw on various examples to illustrate the challenges we face if robots no longer work separately from us, but together with us, and how robotics research is searching for answers to these new issues. He will also make a case for governmental stimulation and facilitation on a national level, in order to ensure that the Netherlands continues to rank amongst the forerunners in this field in the future. 

Sebastian Thrun on research, enterprise and education 

During the morning seminar, Sebastian Thrun, Professor in Computer Science at Stanford University, will discuss intelligent machines, and how these machines cope with the unruly environments in which they are increasingly found. During the academic ceremony held in the afternoon, Thrun will receive an honorary doctorate from TU Delft and will give a presentation focusing on the relationship between research, enterprise and education in the development of robotics. As well as being a professor and scientist, Sebastian Thrun is founder of online education platform Udacity and he holds several positions including head of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project. He is lauded around the world for his pioneering approach to connecting these various worlds in which he is involved.   

Publication: Robotics for Future Presidents

During the academic ceremony, Robert Babuska will present Rector Magnificus Karel Luyben with the first edition of a unique book: Robotics for Future Presidents. This richly-illustrated publication offers an overview of global developments in the field of robotics, including visions of these developments put forward by the TU Delft Robotics Institute and a host of international experts. As such, the book offers a wealth of essential information for those making decisions regarding the implementation of robotics on the shop floor and in daily life. The book concludes with a concise timeline of the history of robots. Commissioned by the TU Delft Robotics Institute, the publication was compiled by scientific journalists Bas de Hond, Bennie Mols and Bram Vermeer.

Seminar and academic ceremony 

The morning seminar ‘Intelligent robots: tools or teammates?’ will be held from 10:00 to 14:30, followed by the academic ceremony from 15:00 to 17:00. Both events will be held in the TU Delft Aula Conference Centre, Mekelweg 5. 

For more detailed information on the programmes, please check www.tudelft.nl/dies

Watch the events live

The seminar and the academic ceremony can both be viewed live or at a later date on www.tudelft.nl/dies

Additional information 
Meer informatie over het TU Delft Robotics Institute 


Website for the book Robotics for Future Presidents

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