GRASP on Robotics is an inaugural series of talks hosted by the GRASP Laboratory. GRASP leverages academic, research, and industry connections to deliver a set of high class tech talks with the mission of providing technical topics and meaningful discussions. 

Join the live-stream here Fridays from 10:30am -11:25am followed by a Q&A panel between our speaker, faculty, and students until 11:45am.

Spring 2023 GRASP on Robotics: Rodney Brooks, Robust.AI, “Academic research: exploration vs exploitation”

This is a hybrid event with in-person attendance in Wu and Chen and virtual attendance via Zoom. This week’s presenter will be in-person as well. 



Intelligent action is critical in robotics, more so than much of AI where results are often mediated by humans in the loop. That said, robotics also needs to interact with humans. Currently we are in an age of exploitation of techniques that give new capabilities, and this is as true in academia as it is in industry. But we should hope that a few people in academia are also exploring whether current techniques are the ultimate solutions for robotics, or whether we should give some thought to whether we are busy riding a silicon-powered wave which will asymptote way below where popular hypenotism would lead us to expect. Perhaps there are really different questions to ask; looking at biological systems suggests that perhaps we don’t yet have a good grasp of very fundamental possibilities, and that there are rich rewards (and also possible penury) for those willing to take a hard look.