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Adriana Hamacher


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Adriana is a contributor to Economist Insights, Robohub and the UK's Knowledge Transfer Network. An award winning writer, seasoned web content editor and BBC trained broadcast journalist and producer, her work has appeared on various platforms including Discovery Channel, the BBC and IPC Magazines.



BERT2, a humanoid robot assistant. Credit: University of Bristol
BERT2, a humanoid robot assistant. Credit: University of Bristol

Making an assistive robot partner expressive and communicative is likely to make it more satisfying to work with and lead to users trusting it more, even if it makes mistakes, a new study suggests.

Image: Messe München International
Image: Messe München International

Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution – was the main theme at the largest robot and automation fair in the world, Germany’s AUTOMATICA, which took place in Munich throughout the last week of June. But what exactly is Industry 4.0 and how do developers and manufacturers big and small believe it will revolutionise production?

by   -   November 27, 2015
Robothespian welcomes visitors to Bristol Robotics Lab during #ERW2015. Image: euRobotics
Robothespian welcomes visitors to Bristol Robotics Lab during #ERW2015. Image: RIF@Bristol

Bridging the gap between cutting-edge research in academia and the vibrant robotics startup ecosystem is no easy task. This Wednesday in the UK city of Bristol, a free public event titled “From Imagination to Market” — the centre piece of European Robotics Week 2015 — took on that challenge by bringing together leading innovators, researchers, startups and strategists. Below are the key moments and insights from the event.

by   -   November 26, 2015
"Robots and Society" panel discussion at the Bristol Robotics Lab during European Robotics Week 2015 ERW2015
“Robots and Society” panel discussion during European Robotics Week 2015. #ERW2015

A mouthwatering array of over 750 events has been taking place throughout Europe this week as the continent celebrates Robotics Week 2015. The festivities began with an eye-opening debate on “Robots and Society” in the UK city of Bristol on Tuesday, with experts versed in strategy, business, academia, law and policy. But, for many, the star of the show was Nao, in his guise as robot avatar.

by   -   October 19, 2015
Robotsforgood
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the competition launch. Image: uae4goodawards/instagram

The first UAE Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Awards for Good aim to encourage research and development to meet challenges in the health, education and social services sectors. But less than two weeks remain to enter the contest, where individuals, teams, universities and companies from around the world can all compete for £1m in prize money.

ICRA 2015 Organising Committee
ICRA 2015 Organising Committee

Ada Lovelace was the world’s first computer programmer, and heralded symbolic logic by demonstrating future applications for the universal computing machine that Charles Babbage proposed. She was exceptional in her era for her mathematical brilliance, but though she imagined future applications for a multitude of technological innovations, women at that time were not encouraged to speak about or publish their work, so Lovelace’s genius was appended as ‘notes’ onto the work of others and not seen as a major contribution in its own right.

The fact that the contributions of women such as Lovelace have not been celebrated until recently gives us cause to remedy the situation. Now in its third year, our list of ‘25 Women in Robotics You Need to Know About’ is both a shoutout and a call to look at what all these women in robotics have achieved! 

by   -   September 16, 2015

IIIM2The Icelandic Institute of Intelligent Machines (IIIM) has become the first R&D centre in the world to adopt a policy that repudiates development of robotic technologies intended for military operations.

by   -   September 11, 2015

bristol_living_lab2Bristol Robotics Laboratory, one of the world’s leading centres for robotics, has opened a “living lab,” a replica apartment to test assistive robots designed to help elderly people live more independently. The UK facility is the latest to fabricate a home environment to develop and evaluate new robotics solutions, but it’s not the first.

 The Jaeger-Lipson coffee balloon gripper. Its soft end effector adapts itself to the object it grasps. Source: John Amend
The Jaeger-Lipson coffee balloon gripper. Its soft end effector adapts itself to the object it grasps. Source: John Amend

Soft robots are versatile, often much safer, more energy-efficient, robust and resilient than their more rigid counterparts. But one of the biggest challenges facing soft robotics is control – often, classical approaches don’t apply. The answer may lie in morphological computation, an idea that stems from biological systems using their bodies to control basic actions.

by   -   September 2, 2015

35under35

The MIT Technology Review’s annual list of 35 Innovators Under 35 aims to illustrate the most important emerging technologies of the moment. Released this August, the 2015 list features a number of robotics and AI visionaries. Check them out.

Leading hotel operator the InterContinental Group is introducing delivery robots at its Crowne Plaza San Jose-Silicon Valley property. The robots, made by local startup Savioke, will deliver snacks, toothbrushes and other amenities to guests in their rooms.

Close up, in 3D, what jumps out at you is not just how astonishing today’s humanoid robots are, but also how miraculous the human body they mimic is. National Geographic’s Robots 3D is showing in big screen, IMAX and digital cinemas throughout the world this summer. It presents an authentic and fascinating glimpse into the work of replicating some of our most challenging human characteristics.

Source: Special Eurobarometer 427 – Autonomous Systems
Source: Special Eurobarometer 427 – Autonomous Systems

A major study into European attitudes toward automation has found that while almost two thirds of people polled feel generally positive about robots, public acceptance of them in the EU is in decline. This comes despite the finding that personal experience with robots is on the rise, and the more personal experience people have with robots, the more favourably they tend to think of them.