One of the major developments in robotics in recent years has
been their increasing closeness to humans. In this talk we will
review three aspects of this trend: Robots in and on our bodies,
robots in the home, and robots in society. In the latter part
of the talk we will discuss some of the emerging psychological,
sociological and ethical issues which may arise as a result of
George A. Bekey is an Emeritus Professor of
Computer Science and founder of the Robotics Research Laboratory
at the University of Southern California. His research interests
include autonomous robotic systems, multi-robot cooperation and
human-robot interaction. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering
from UCLA. During his USC career he was Chairman of the
Electrical Engineering Department and later of the Computer
Science Department. In the late 1990s he served as Associate
Dean for Research of the School of Engineering. He has published
over 200 papers and several books in robotics, biomedical
engineering, computer simulation, control systems, and
human-machine systems. His latest book entitled "Autonomous
Robots" was published by MIT Press in May 2005.
Dr. Bekey is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and
a Fellow of the IEEE, the AAAI, and the AAAS. He has received a
number of awards from professional societies and from USC.
George officially retired from USC in 2002, but continues to be
active on a part-time basis at the University, as well as in
consulting and service on the advisory boards of several high
technology companies. He recently led a major program funded by
NSF and NASA to ascertain the status of robotics R&D worldwide.
He is Editor in Chief of the journal "Autonomous Robots" and a
member of the Administrative Committee of the IEEE Robotics and
Automation Society. He is affiliated with a medical devices
startup company in San Luis Obispo and a robotics startup in Los
Angeles. He also teaches part-time in the Biomedical Engineering
program at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo.