Health care workers are not the only unwilling essential services frontline workers at increased risk of COVID-19. According to the Washington Post on April 12, “At least 41 grocery workers have died of the coronavirus and thousands more have tested positive in recent weeks”. At the same time, grocery stores are seeing a surge in demand and are currently hiring. The food industry is also seeing increasing adoption of robots in both the back end supply chain and in the food retail and food service sectors.
Since 2001, the University of California’s Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) has leveraged multi-disciplinary research to tackle large societal problems like IT for healthcare, and intelligent infrastructure for public safety, water management and environmental sustainability. Now CITRIS is launching a new initiative that will focus on robotics research that benefits humans and involves humans in the loop.
“Why We Love Robots” is a 5-minute short documentary film co-directed by UC Berkeley Prof. Ken Goldberg and his wife, award-winning filmmaker Tiffany Shlain. The film was nominated for an Emmy Award and won a “Botscar” (Robot filmOscar) at the 2014 Robot Film Festival, and explores the human fascination with robots and new research trends in the field.