SPOUTING Shakespeare and acting out a scene from The Terminator, Artie the robot was the star of a science and technology fair in Oxford yesterday.
Visitors to Venturefest 2014 at the Said Business School also had a chance to try out three space rovers brought by Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Space which is developing software for the next generation of rovers on Mars.
Dr Nigel Crook, head of Oxford Brookes University’s department of computing and communication technologies, which uses ARTIE to study human interaction with robots, said: “ARTIE can do some clever things and is multi-lingual but he is not capable of complicated interactions, so we are still a long way off the robots you see in the I Robot film. But they can be used in other ways, such as to help teach children language skills in schools.”
Dr Nigel Crook
Parked near the entrance to the show was RobotCar, the UK’s first self-driving car which can steer to within 1cm of accuracy. Prof Paul Newman, who leads Oxford University’s mobile robotics team which developed it, said: “We are interested in technology that helps machines know where they are in the world without using satellites.
“One of the applications of that are self-drive cars, where humans won’t need to drive.”
The show, which brought together more than 1,100 entrepreneurs and investors, encourages inventors, scientists and engineers to network and matches them up with investors.
Artie is a life-size humanoid robot used by researchers at Oxford Brookes University to study how humans interact with robots.
Since Venturefest started in Oxford 15 years ago, the idea has been copied by other cities including York, Cardiff and Bristol.
Lynn Shepherd, of Oxford Instruments, who takes over as chairwoman of Venturefest in September, said: “This is all about bringing together people who want to start, grow and invest in business.”
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