Oregon State among top robotics programs in country, according to report

Posted at 8:36 AM, Sep 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-19 10:36:39-04

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    CORVALLIS, OR (KPTV) — Over the past several years, Oregon State University has quietly developed one of the top robotics programs in the country, according to a recent report.

On a list of top 20 robotics engineering schools in the U.S. compiled by the website Grad School Hub and released this spring, OSU ranks fourth.

“The whole industry is exploding in a way that’s just exciting,” said Kagan Tumer, director of the Collaborative Robotics and Intelligence Systems Institute at OSU.

At CoRIS, students and researchers are combining state-of-the-art mechanical engineering with advances in artificial intelligence.

“From a big picture helping humanity perspective, it’s AI that can find solutions to problems that we haven’t been able to find solutions because we haven’t been able to frame the problems the right way,” said Tumer.

With the rapid development of the technology, there have been warnings from within the scientific community about the potential dangers, from an AI-based cyberattack to weaponized robots.

Tumer said worries about scenes from the Terminator movies are overblown.

“It’s not so much about the robot or the AI system as an entity that’s going to have its own ideas, it’s who’s in charge and who’s controlling the technology,” he said.

One of the most prominent developments to come out of CoRIS is the “CASSIE” project, which Tumer called “the most human-like” or “biologically inspired” walking machines in the country.

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