WPI Explores Robots In The Workplace

(Photo: WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe)

WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Some fear losing their jobs to robotic technology, but research at Worcester Polytechnic Institute is exploring robotic assistants in the workplace that work side-by-side with their human counterparts.

WPI has been awarded a $3 million contract by the National Science Foundation to explore just that, with professors and more than 100 graduate students delving into the possibilities.

"I think robots can be doing tasks that are hard for humans, too mundane for humans or too repetitive for humans," said Cagdas Onal, WPI mechanical engineering professor and principal investigator on the grant, "humans can do some tasks that are really hard for robots, that require some higher level reasoning and cognitive skills."

So far students have created a 5 foot tall robotic nursing assistant named Trina that can serve food, medications, clean beds and take patients’ vital signs.

WBZ Newsradio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports

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