Unearthing the mysteries of the ocean’s deep through technology will provide answers to some of humankind’s greatest questions, from exploration to climate change, said a leading expert in robotics at a special lecture.
“75% of our planet is covered with water and we know about Mars more than we know about our oceans. Robotics are essential in humanity’s efforts to discover more about environments that are challenging to access but crucial to understanding more about climate change,” Professor Oussama Khatib, Director of Stanford Robotic Lab at Stanford University, explained in the second session of the ‘Future Talks’ series organised by the Museum of the Future.
During the session, Professor Khatib, who pioneered the OceanOne humanoid robot, gave an overview of the innovative OceanOne, a bimanual underwater humanoid robot with haptic feedback allows human pilots an unprecedented ability to explore the depths of the oceans in high fidelity.
OceanOne was designed, he said, as a highly autonomous robotic diver capable of physically interacting with hazardous marine environments while communicating with a human through an artificial intelligence (AI) interface.
Human‐robot synergies can uncover new natural resources, build and maintain infrastructure, and enhance disaster prevention and recovery capabilities, whether harvested oceans, mines, mountain tops or in space, Al Khatib explained to the audience in Dubai’s iconic landmark.
“Robotics have applications across sectors, including healthcare and construction. Robots are now performing everyday tasks and we even have social robots able to write articles and create content. The future is robots that physically interact with the world, and this is what is being exhibited at the Museum of the Future. I have been watching the Museum’s construction for some years now and I am very excited about the opening – it is a great moment in the advancement of tech and in looking at the future."
Professor Khatib said that if humanity is to truly grasp how to sustain human life on Earth, it will depend on the success of humans and robots coordinating to gather data and intelligence from previously unexplored territories which currently pose a physical threat to humanity.
During the session Professor Khatib explained how OceanOne was deployed in an expedition in the Mediterranean to King Louis XIV’s flagship Lune, lying off the coast of Toulon at ninety‐one meters, while hinting the development of a new prototype of OceanOne, with the ability to reach 1,000 metres.
From his part, Khalifa Al Qama, Director of Dubai Future Labs said: “with the advent of advanced technology, especially in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence, the world is witnessing major transformations in the relationship between humans and machines and robots, this relationship embodies one of the main fields of interest for the Museum of the Future, being an incubator for global visionaries talents and genius at both regional and world levels, and a comprehensive lab to future technologies, ideas and cities.”
Future Talks convenes global industry leaders to explore future of their sectors, including cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs); the role Dubai plays in investing in the future; the future of mixed reality; the reality of the Arab world; science; the future of mobility; the role that metaverse technology plays in changing the world; the future of finance; the future of the technology sector; and the state of the world in 2022.
Future Talks aims to explore various fields and enhance the ability of research institutions to anticipate the future, as well as celebrate the successes of scientists and talents and institutionalise, design and create the future, as part of the Museum of the Future’s efforts to forge a novel global intellectual centre capable of providing innovative solutions to humanity’s biggest challenges.
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