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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Robots that Understand

Researchers at the Center of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology, CITEC, University of Bielefeld, Germany, have a vision of technology that understands. Future machines should be orientated towards people instead of - as hitherto – visa versa. From everyday appliances to robots. Prerequisites are the natural interaction with people and the flexibility of machines so that they can adjust their features to changing conditions, whereas the research of Cognitive Interaction Technology is the necessary pioneer work. A key of this is the search for the fundamental architectural principles of cognitive man-machine interaction.

The Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics, Cor-Lab, is a central institute at Bielefeld University, which realizes progress in human-machine interaction in close cooperation with industrial partners. It hosts a graduate school in cognition and robotics and further projects in this domain, like e.g. the EU project ITALK. This research at Bielefeld University has also convinced representatives of the Honda Research Institute Europe GmbH to support the CoR-Lab's graduate school in joint projects and to provide research grants for PhD students and young postdocs. An important cornerstone of the cooperation are the two ASIMO humanoid robots, which Honda supplies for innovative research projects in the CoR-Lab. CoR-Lab and CITEC cooperate closely in the domains of robotics oriented cognitive research and within their graduate schools in the form of joint programs.

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