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New lab to provide researchers remote access to robots

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New York, Jan 18 (IANS) Aimed at boosting research in robotics, the Georgia Institute of Technology is building a new laboratory that would allow roboticists from around the US to conduct experiments remotely.

With the new "Robotarium", expected to be fully operational in 2017, researchers from other universities, as well as middle and high school students, would schedule experiments, upload their own programming code, watch the robots in real-time via streamed video feeds and receive scientific data demonstrating the results.

The new robot laboratory is expected to house up to 100 ground and aerial swarm robots.

"Building and maintaining a world-class, multi-robot lab is too expensive for a large number of roboticists and budding roboticists. This creates a steep barrier to entry into our field," said Magnus Egerstedt, professor at Georgia Institute of Technology.

"We need to provide more access to more people in order to continue creating robot-assisted technologies. The Robotarium will allow that," Egerstedt noted.

The team led by Egerstedt has already created a mini-version of the Robotarium.

"A research instrument like the Robotarium has the potential to build stronger networks of collaborative research, making the whole significantly larger than the sum of its parts," he said.

"It’s going to be a room where robots are always roaming around," Egerstedt said.

"Georgia Tech students will be able to hang out and watch research that is happening across the country and beyond," he noted in an official statement.

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