The Robot Animator

Text: Anke Brodmerkel

Oliver Brock has a vision: he wants to develop robots that are almost as intelligent as humans but can operate much more precisely. Today’s robots can only carry out the same tasks in the same environment. The autonomous helpers the 44-year old Humboldt Professor is working on at TU Berlin are supposed to master complicated reactions and sequences of movement enabling them to carry out valuable services in medicine and space travel, or at nuclear disaster sites. For this purpose, the computer scientist, who spent 15 years working in the USA before returning to his home city in 2009, equips them with cameras and delicate gripper arms and develops computer programmes for them. The software is effectively the robots’ brains: they can thus learn to make their own decisions.