BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Sunday, 18 January, 2004, 09:58 GMT
University win 'AI' award
A group of scientists in the north-east of England have won an award for their work with artificial intelligence.

Sunderland University's Mira robot
The award-winning robot was built at Sunderland

The University of Sunderland team beat off competition from around the world to win the British Computer Society's Machine Intelligence Award.

The judges, at a conference in Cambridge, said they were impressed with the team's demonstration of a visually and verbally guided robot.

The award is all the more rewarding for the team as very strict guidelines were set down to establish to what extent the robots represented a genuine advance in artificial intelligence.

The team, led by Professor Stefan Wermter, focused on the practical use of visual recognition and navigation, which is perceived as difficult when working on machine intelligence.

Innovative techniques from neural networks - a network of electronic components designed to mimic the human brain - were integrated into the MIrror-neuron Robot Agent (MIRA) robot.

'Neural networks'

Professor Wermter said: "We are extremely pleased to have won this award.

"It is recognition for our research, the field of intelligent systems and for the University of Sunderland. The whole team did an excellent job.

"One novel aspect was that the robot was controlled by artificial computational neural networks.

"The robot had been trained through the use of neural networks to approach and grasp an object.

"There are a lot of very restricted industrial robots, but it is important to have ones which can talk, see, grasp, imitate and learn in everyday situations.

"We are working on the next generation of intelligent robots and we believe that learning and neural networks will be a key technology to make them smarter and more robust."

The University's School of Computing and Technology set up one of the country's first Masters degrees in artificial intelligence in 2003.

Sony shows off jogging robot
18 Dec 03  |  Technology
Humanoid robots wow Japanese
04 Apr 03  |  Technology

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific