BTN.com LiveBIG Staff, January 21, 2020

What comes to mind when you think of robots? Heartless, calculating villains, such as Gort, Roy Batty and T-800? Or, helpful, kind creations, like Johnny 5, Data and Wall-E?

Likely, robots will neither become your best buddy nor break bad anytime soon.

Yet still, robots inspire fear. The most tangible and seemingly-urgent face of this fear is that they are coming for our jobs.

According to researchers and roboticists at Northwestern University's newly-opened Center for Robotics and Biosystems, this is an unfounded fear.

In an interview with the McCormick School of Engineering magazine, Kevin Lynch, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the center, addresses those concerns head-on.

 

 "Some people worry about our future with robots," says Lynch. "Certainly there will be a changing employment landscape and the potential for misuse of the technology. But advanced robotics will bring countless benefits to our economy, health, and quality of life. Our future is one of human-robot co-evolution, and the center is working to make that future as beneficial to humanity as possible."

 

Indeed, the goal and thrust of the work done at the new facility, housed inside Northwestern Technological Institute, is towards human-robot collaboration.

Faculty and students from a broad swath of disciplines make up the research cohort. Their work touches on a wide array of fields in which robots will likely assist humans. Those range from the further exploration of space to the advancement of medicine.

 

 

To find out more about the work done at the Center for Robotics and Biosystems and about Northwestern's rich robotics history, click here.