Robotics con at University of Sydney

Computing the Future Symposium envisions robots everywhere.

If you love all things robotic and are in Sydney, Australia check out the Computing the Future Symposium at the University of Sydney today. The symposium, reports The Sydney Morning Herald has leading roboticists discussing how robotics will impact everything from the military to domestic environments.

Future scenarios envisioned by scientists such as working in mines, patrolling Australian coastlines with unmanned aircraft and autonomous vehicles conducting ground reconnaissance are just a few applications which scientists hope will make Australia leader a leader in field robotics.

"Australia may end up being one of the biggest users of robotics in the world," says Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems at the University of Sydney, who leads a team of 200 researchers - the world's second-biggest such centre.

Commercial and military applications in robotics seem promising. The University of Sydney, along with Patrick cargo terminals are developing robotics systems in mining, agriculture and defence.

"It's a big expense to use manned ships for surveillance and, for safety reasons, we're struggling to get people to work in mines, so the obvious solution is to automate. In future we will see all mines in Western Australia, for example, manned from Perth," says Durrant-Whyte.

Despite technological advances, robotic applications for household use is far away. Durrant-Whyte says it is still difficult to make robots negotiate stairs and closed doors with ease or perform calculating actions such as pouring water in a glass.