Café Scientifique looks at emergence of personal robots on Sept. 13

by John McIntosh on September 10, 2011

Rich Mahoney, Ph.D. will discuss the emergence of personal robots and the drivers that may lead to their evolution and wider adoption by society in a talk titled “Robots and the Democratization of Quality” at Café Scientifique on Tuesday, Sept. 13 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm.

Robots play a fascinating and increasingly vital role in the world. Although they have contributed significantly to the manufacturing base that defines our modern existence, there is still some disappointment in society’s collective expectation of what robots should be doing for us. To counter this skepticism, there is a nascent, promising trend to design robots able to perform services for human users in more personal settings. Some of the latest inroads include products like Roomba, the da Vinci surgical robot, and a variety of military robots used to defuse roadside bombs.

In contrast to the robots of destruction often featured in movies and literature, we are witnessing the rise of “good robots,” designed to work closely with humans. Dr. Mahoney will explain how these robots can increase widespread access to quality services in healthcare and personal care by augmenting human capabilities.

Dr. Mahoney has more than 20 years of experience in research, development, and commercialization of healthcare robotics technology, with a particular emphasis on assistive and therapeutic applications. At SRI, he leads a team working on cutting edge robotics projects, including advanced component technologies and tele-manipulation for healthcare, security, and consumer applications.

Sponsored by Altos Therapeutics and SRI, Café Scientifique events are free and open to all; doors open at 5:15 pm. SRI is located at Middlefield Road and Ringwood Ave.

Coffee, tea and biscotti will be complimentary, provided by SRI; bring your own mug if you wish to avoid using disposable cups. Courtesy of Kepler’s there will be a drawing for a $30 gift card for books or merchandise at Kepler’s on El Camino Real in Menlo Park.

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