Recently, Senior Editor Ada Brunstein attended the International Conference on Robotics and Automation where she promoted our robust robotics and and artificial intelligence titles as well as to scope out what is new and exciting in the field. In addition to working our booth, there was definitely a lot to see. Here's a taste:
This year’s ICRA was held in Kobe, Japan where my most challenging task of the week was ordering food in a restaurant with no English speakers or English writing anywhere. I dined with four roboticists (and if the question is how many roboticists does it take to order dinner in Japan, the answer is way more than we had there). After much pointing and gesturing (and with some help from a few very friendly locals) we ended up with a basket full of dead fish on the table. From there we had to choose the ones we wanted, easy enough, and explain how we wanted them cooked – really not so easy.
Next to the food, robots were definitely the highlight. This conference has quite a few robotic displays, from those that will one day roam the surface of other planets to those that will one day roam the surface of our living rooms. My favorite by far is Keepon, a little bot that looks like two yellow nerf balls sitting on top of one another. There’s a Wii-type application where you hold a remote control kind of thing and when you bop up and down, he bops up and down with you. When you sway side to side, he sways with you. It’s quite endearing and is meant to ultimately be used to enhance social skills and interaction among kids with various disabilities.