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26 January, 2006 - 09:05 By Staff Reporter

Robot begins ‘house training’

K9 meet canine. The dog minders – even babysitters – of the future may well be robots, if technology from the University of Hertfordshire can be adequately house trained.The university has just taken a robot out of its computer science school in Hatfield and ‘lodged’ it with householders nearby.

The object of the exercise is to research how robots can react with humans.

Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn, who heads the school’s artificial intelligence effort, said: “We aim to develop personalised robot companions.

“Some people will want a robot with a human head and arms while others will be more comfortable with just a technical box.

“We are studying how a robot companion can be personalised and modified according to people’s different preferences, likes and dislikes.”

It is envisaged that these robots in future could be programmed to perform tasks such as laying the table or taking the garbage out – or more responsible roles such as minding children or pets.



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