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Muscle-powered bio-bots walk on command

A new generation of miniature biological robots is flexing its muscle. Engineers have demonstrated a class of walking 'bio-bots' powered by muscle cells and controlled with electrical pulses, giving researchers unprecedented command over their function.

NB: This article has been taken from Science Daily.

Future of Artificial Intelligence and robotics

Ruzena Bajcsy is an American computer scientist who specializes in robotics. She is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is also Director Emerita of CITRIS (the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society). For pioneering researcher Ruzena Bajcsy, fostering cutting-edge technology to improve people's lives is a noble challenge. Dr. Bajcsy took the helm at CITRIS in November 2001, after devoting more than 30 years of her life to research in the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence and machine perception. Bajcsy's credentials reach across the traditionally discrete fields of neuroscience, applied mechanics and computer science. She is a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine, a distinction few people can match.

Her projects include: 

  • Collaborative Virtual Environments Portray Virtual Heritage
  • Public Health Assisting Smart Technologies (PHAST)
  • Tele-immersion for Physicians
  • Telemedicine Framework for Evaluation and Training of Upper Extremity

The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) creates information technology solutions for many of our most pressing social, environmental, and health care problems. CITRIS was created to “shorten the pipeline” between world-class laboratory research and the creation of start-ups, larger companies, and whole industries. CITRIS facilitates partnerships and collaborations among more than 300 faculty members and thousands of students from numerous departments at four University of California campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Merced, and Santa Cruz) with industrial researchers from over 60 corporations. Together, the groups are thinking about information technology in ways it's never been thought of before. CITRIS works to find solutions to many of the concerns that face all of us today, from monitoring the environment and finding viable, sustainable energy alternatives to simplifying health care delivery and developing secure systems for electronic medical records and remote diagnosis, all of which will ultimately boost economic productivity. CITRIS represents a bold and exciting vision that leverages one of the top university systems in the world with highly successful corporate partners and government resources.

Video abstract: 
  • Podcast 1 depicts a vision on what the future might hold in terms of Artificial Intelligence and robotics
  • Podcast 2 explores the fundamental challenges in this field
  • Podcast 3 thinks about the theoretical and technological development that could impact the future for this area

To listen to this interview, please click on the podcasts on the right of this page. A synthesis report is also available for download below.

Leading Picture: 
Name Interviewee: 
Ruzena Bajcsy
In this interview, Ruzena Bajcsy illustrates the future trends in Artificial Intelligence and robotics, in view of the creation of machines able to help humans (especially older people) in their everyday tasks and activities.
Interview Record: 
YouTUBE Screenshot: 

Recognizing people by the way they walk

Recognizing people by the way they walk can have numerous applications in the fields of security, leisure or medicine. Ramon Mollineda, lecturer at the Department of Computing Languages and Systems at the Universitat Jaume I, is working with his team in the development of this new biometric technique that takes into account the way a person walks and his/her silhouette.

Games for teaching conflict resolution - The SIREN project

In this demo, we describe the design and technology of the SIREN game, an adaptive serious game designed to support children in learning about conflict resolution. Relying on experiential learning as an underlying learning philosophy, the SIREN game puts players in the role of interdependent villagers who need to work through the various conflicts that arise in the game world. To gradually earn guru status, players must successfully complete various personalised quests, which require cooperation between players.

COntinuous Multi-parametric and Multi-layered analysis Of DIabetes TYpe 1 & 2

The COMMODITY12 project provides diabetic patients with a system to monitor their health by integrating three main technologies: the Smart Hub of Bodytel is an application for Smart phones to collect medical data as glucose, blood pressure, weight, breathing, ECG, heart rate and activity. The GOLEM Agent Intelligent platform produces alerts which can cover: hypoglycaemia, hyperglycaemia, foot ulceration, treatment adjustment, sleep apnoea early detection. The care management system of Portavita supports the agents and sends the information to doctors and patients.

Emotion as morphofunctionality.

We argue for a morphofunctional approach to emotion modeling that can also aid the design of adaptive embodied systems. By morphofunctionality we target the online change in both structure and function of a system, and relate it to the notion of physiology and emotion in animals. Besides the biological intuition that emotions serve the function of preparing the body, we investigate the control requirements that any morphofunctional autonomous system must face. We argue that changes in morphology modify the dynamics of the system, thus forming a variable structure system (VSS).

Distributed Responsibility instead of diluted responsibility

A core experience in our contemporary socio-technical lifeworld - often resulting in fear - concerns responsibility and accountability: namely, the difficulty to attribute responsibility and to locate accountability in ever more distributed and entangled socio-technical systems. Think small: about the difficulties of finding and reaching the person to make responsible in case of a non-functioning internet connection? Think big: who’s responsible – accountable and liable – for the financial crisis?


Increasing intelligence of autonomous systems

Advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural user interfaces will have wide repercussions for society and economy in the coming 20-30 years. Future robotic systems, for instance, will operate autonomously alongside humans and assist them in complex manufacturing tasks. Also, they will be able to conduct certain service tasks such as cleaning or maintenance completely on their own.


Participative e-Democracy



Towards the Singularity

About 25 years ago, inspired by the invention of field programmable gate arrays, many engineers recognised that in principle these could be used as the basis of an evolving machine, using a biomimetic approach. Starting with an array of FPGA-like machines and evolutionary algorithms, clearly the hardware would be able to evolve to its physical limits. It wasn’t long after that before the first simple evolving software and then hardware was achieved.


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