Monday, March 24, 2014

Robbie the robot passes UN inspection - Video

Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) meets "Robbie the Robot" developed for Cork teenager Joanne O'Riordan, who was born without limbs.

Robbie the Robot, a prototype robot built by researchers and engineering students in Trinity College Dublin for Cork teenager Joanne O'Riordan, who was born with a rare condition known as Total Amelia, was officially unveiled today.

In April 2012 Joanne O'Riordan addressed an audience of international delegates at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 'Girls in ICT Day' celebrations in New York and put forward a challenge for someone to build her a robot.

Assistant Professor Kevin Kelly in the School of Engineering, Trinity, and a team of young engineers took up this challenge.

Thanks to a generous donation of €50,000 from the ITU, the team built a prototype humanoid robot, with a head, arms, torso and a single 'leg' which uses two wheels to move around.

Speaking about the motivation behind the project, Assistant Professor Kelly said: "Anyone who saw Joanne's appearance on the Late Late Show in 2011 couldn't fail to be both impressed and inspired by her, and I was no different."

"However, it was her appearance at the UN conference that really compelled me to get involved."

"Firstly, by her presence alone she was inspiring young girls to consider technology or engineering as possible careers – something very dear to my heart, and that I've worked to encourage for many years now."

"And secondly, the research in autonomous robots and gripping technology that we were engaged in at Trinity seemed an ideal match for what Joanne was asking for."

"I got in touch with Joanne and her family and we began discussing how we could help."

ITU Secretary General, Dr Touré, who was behind the funding for this project said: "Joanne's courage and energy are formidable – and her enthusiasm for the power of information and communication technologies to help her overcome her challenges and engage with the world around her is truly inspiring.

ITU undertakes a lot of work in the areas of empowering young girls and promoting ICTs for accessiblity – but it took Joanne to show us all the vital importance of these efforts.

ITU is very proud indeed to have been a part of this pioneering project."

No comments:

Post a Comment