Two New Robots Join Robotics Lab

Baxter, an advanced research robot

Baxter, an advanced research robot. Photo Courtesy of Rethink Robotics, Inc.

Researchers in the Computer Science and Engineering Department are excited to have two new robots in their lab this year. The new robots will help professors and students better understand how humans and robots can work together.

Computer scientists at the University of Nevada, Reno are studying how robots can be used in places like offices, factories and hospitals. They want to help design robots that could work alongside a human being. For example, the robots could work on an assembly line in a factory, deliver mail in an office, or help patients in a hospital.

But first, robots have to be able to interact more naturally with humans. Hospitals and factories are busy, crowded places, and robots need to be able to move safely and work without bothering people.

The new robots are larger and more powerful than the other robots in the lab. They are as big as a human adult and are able to move around and pick things up. They also have advanced cameras and other sensors that help them see where they are and what’s around them. All of these features will help the researchers create more realistic situations for robots and humans to interact in.

The PR2 robot

The PR2 robot. Photo courtesy of Willow Garage.

In addition to the two new robots, the robotics lab at the University has a lot of other robots. Students and professors are using the robots for different kinds of  research. They are studying how robots can learn to understand what humans are doing and also how robots can learn to do new tasks by watching humans.

The lab has  11 small human-like robots, one small robotic dog, and more than 20 other robots in use in its research. All together, there are more robots in the Robotics Lab than people!

You can learn more about robots by coming to a College of Engineering Summer Camp or deciding to earn a degree in computer science and engineering.

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