Tony Belpaeme

Bringing robots closer to people

While robots have been an undeniable success in automation, their uptake as a consumer product has been slow. I look into the technical reasons for this, showing how two factors compound to make the development of a consumer robot a tremendous technical challenge. First, the consumer robot has to deal with unpredictable and dynamic environments. Second, the robot has to operate with people and as such understand what people do and communicate in order to respond appropriately. These are tremendous challenges, but new developments in AI and robotics are closing the gap between the dream and a consumer robot reality.

Tony Belpaeme is Professor of Cognitive Systems and Robotics at Plymouth University. He is associated with the Cognition Institute and the Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, and coordinated the ALIZ-E project. His research interests include social systems, cognitive robotics, and artificial intelligence in general. Tony and his team try to further the science and technology behind artificial intelligence and social robots; starting from the observation that people treat machines and robots as social beings, they build robots that responds in an appropriate manner and show how social robots can be deployed in healthcare and education settings.

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