Speakers > Helge Ritter

Helge Ritter

Helge Ritter

Professor, Bielefeld University

Title: Robotics for a human future

Summary: Advances in AI and mechatronics are about to transform the capabilities of robots: visual discrimination of objects can now be on par with humans. Improved actuators, along with “tactile intelligence” will give robots more human-like dexterity and the sensitivity to work safely and flexibly “hand-hand” with humans. Complementing current task-directed robot skills with some degree of social intelligence will make robots more natural and acceptable for humans, for instance in mixed human-robot teams. With these and further developments robotics will become a decisive resource for coping with major societal challenges: maintaining competitiveness, welfare, affordable care even in aging populations, and a clean environment. While robots may substitute us in a range of fields, robotics will open up many new ones, and will ultimately enhance our understanding of what it means to be human.

Bio: Helge Ritter studied physics and mathematics. After a Ph.D. in physics at Technical University of Munich he stayed at Helsinki University of Technology and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Since 1990 he is professor for neuroinfor- matics at Bielefeld University. He was awarded the SEL Alcatel Research Prize and the Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation. He is co-founder and Director of the Bielefeld Institute for Cognition and Robotics (CoR-Lab), member of the German Academy of Science and Engineering, the NRW Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts, and since its inception in 2007 coordinator of the Bielefeld Cluster of Excellence “Cognitive Interaction Technology” (CITEC).

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