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Team Collaborative Deliciousness, led by Dr. Yue Hu and composed of team members Jeffery Lee (MASc in progress, mechatronics) and Cheng Tang, an undergraduate student in computer engineering, was selected as one of three finalists in the prestigious international competition for the KUKA Innovation Award at Hannover Messe, one of the world's largest industrial trade fairs. This year's theme was "Robots for the People."   

The mission of FIRST Robotics Canada is to promote robotics alongside science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects to Canadian youth. To do this FIRST organizes robotics competitions for students from elementary to high school. Students design, build and program robots to compete in a variety of fun challenges, from shooting balls into hoops to stacking boxes. FIRST provides resources, mentorship and support to participating teams, giving them the foundation to work together and use their ingenuity to solve problems.

Forcen, a robotics sensing company, has received Pre-A $8.5 million funding round as it scales operations for its prototype production facility to support more customers and to continue developing its research and development for its force sensing technology for robots. 

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Justin Trudeau, meet Codi

Cobionix, the startup developing Codi™️, an AI-powered robotics system that can perform ultrasounds, met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Honorable Marci Ien, Minister responsible for Women and Gender Equality Canada, and Honorable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs at Saskatoon’s Virtual Health Hub earlier this week.

Talking to a robot often feels stilted or delayed, thanks to computer software trying to keep up with the conversation. However, new research from the University of Waterloo has improved the ability for humans to communicate naturally with humanoid robots.

An interdisciplinary research team from the University of Waterloo's Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Lab (SIRRL) has found that people prefer interacting with robots they perceive to have social identities like their own.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

A decade of winning ideas

Twelve senior student teams from the Faculty of Engineering competed in this year’s Norman Esch Entrepreneurship Awards for Capstone Design, pitching their startup ideas to a panel of judges who distributed more than $110,000 in investment funding for the projects.

With health-care systems under increasing strain, University of Waterloo engineers are developing ways to literally lighten the load for overburdened hospital workers.  

Health-care is physically demanding work; caregivers push equipment-laden carts and transfer patients on heavy beds between wings through obstacle-filled hallways.  

The Financial Post interviewed Waterloo Engineering professor Dr. William Melek to discuss the future of AI and robotics in manufacturing.

The article discusses how people have mixed feelings toward robots with some viewing them as workplace competition.

Melek frames it differently: “Automation is best for quality control or unsavoury tasks that are either too repetitive, dangerous, or just too boring for a human. I think humans utilizing automation and AI will take jobs away from humans who are not (utilizing automation).”

Go to Robots and AI are taking over factory floors, but manufacturing still needs the human touch for the full story.