External lecture

Invited talk by Prof. João Filipe Ferreira at the RobotCraft2016 event (hosted by Ingeniarius at the DEEC, FCTUC)
DEEC Auditorium A4.1
2016-06-27, 14:00

At the Forefront of Robotics - History, Trends, Examples and Opportunities in Portugal for Innovators in STEM

Robotics currently seems ripe with opportunities. As a matter of fact, in recent years, an increasing amount of dissemination of developments in this field has been aired throughout mass-media channels, ranging from short news-flashes on recent advances to full-blown documentaries, such as the BBC's 2013 documentary "How Robots Will Change the World", adding to this science-fiction works for the big screen portraying the impact of robotics in the "near future", such as "Robot & Frank" in 2012, or "Ex Machina" in 2015. Is all this hype really justified? What are the opportunities that robotics actually provides for innovators in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)? And what about in our own country, Portugal?

In this talk, I will attempt to provide a couple of directions in order for you, the audience, to find your own paths towards answering these questions. I will do this by presenting a (very short) overview of the History of the advances in this field, followed by a few considerations over possible routes for innovation in the near future, while attempting to bypass the effect of the "rose-coloured glasses" through which the media tend to approach these issues. Then, I will present the Portuguese Chapter of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) and talk about the benefits of collaborating or joining, and finish by talking about current work being carried out by the Artificial Perception for Intelligent Systems and Robotics (AP4ISR) team at the Institute of Systems and Robotics of the University of Coimbra as an example of concrete, enthralling research that one can pursue in this field.