Meeting of great minds in new lab

23 October 2007 | Story by Helen Théron

Future perfect: Graeme McPhillips, Anet Potgieter and Stephen Marais of UCT's robotics lab with some of their mechanical creations

A FIFA soccer world cup featuring a team of robots?

Dr Anet Potgieter head of UCT's new Agents and Robotics Research Laboratory, believes this will be a reality by 2050.

The new laboratory was launched last week, a merger between computer science's Agents Research Laboratory and mechanical engineering's Robotics Research Laboratory.

The Agents Research Laboratory focuses on computational intelligence, self-awareness and emergent behaviour modelling. The Robotics laboratory develops hardware and control of a variety of robots. Projects include rescue and inspection robots and small soccer robots. The new laboratory will participate in the RoboCup international robotics competition and plans to establish the RoboCup Standard League in Africa.

"This competition aims to develop autonomous robots to promote research and education in the field of artificial intelligence," Potgieter said. "We are collaborating with German knowledge-based systems group, Aachen, and Austria's Graz University of Technology to participate in the international RoboCup."

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