iCub team wins UK science photography prize for second year running
- Published: Monday, 21 March 2016 14:13
- Written by Aberystwyth University
'iCub and the tutor' by Sandy Spence from the Department of Computer Science is the winner of the 'People' prize in this year's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Science Photography Competition.
This is the second year in succession that Spence and colleagues have won the award.
In 2015 'The Greatest Discovery' which showed the iCub humanoid robot 'listening' to the unborn child of mother to be Ayesha Jones, won the 'People' prize.
A year on, and Ayesha's daughter Caiya features in 'iCub and the tutor', sitting at a table and playing with the iCub robot.
Both images were inspired by the work of the Intelligent Robotics Group at Aberystwyth University who are applying how young children learn about the world around them to the development of humanoid robots.
In 2015 the group was awarded £560,000 by the EPSRC for a three year research project that sees the group working with developmental psychologists to help robots learn more about the physics of objects and how to use objects as tools.
Patricia Shaw, a lecturer in Computer Science and a member of the Intelligent Robotics Group, explains: "During infancy, children learn from their experiences of the world around them. Through playing with objects they build up an understanding of what objects are and how to use them, along with concepts about the basic physics of the world such as object permanence.
"In this research, we are modelling how young infants learn and applying it to a humanoid robot. The aim is to develop a mechanism for robots to learn about the basic physics of the world through understanding objects. In 'iCub and the tutor', the iCub robot is learning about how to play from the baby."
"We are delighted to have won this award for the second year running. It is recognition of the excellent work the team here at Aberystwyth University is doing, and offers us a great opportunity to share with everyone what we are working to achieve."
The winners of the EPSRC Science Photography Competition have been announced today, Monday 21 March.
There were five categories in this year's awards: 'Eureka', 'Equipment', 'People', 'Innovation', and 'Weird and Wonderful'.
The over-all winner was 'Microwave ion-trap chip for quantum computation' by Diana Prado Lopes Aude Craik and Norbert Linke from the University of Oxford.
The other winners came from the University of Edinburgh, University of Cambridge and Imperial College London.
Competition judge, Professor Robert Winston, Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London, said: "It is crucial to promote greater understanding of science and engineering research, the role it plays in making new discoveries, developing new technologies and in making the world a better place for us all. These are truly inspirational images and tell great stories. It was a real pleasure to take part as a judge and I hope people will want to find out more."
Congratulating the winners and entrants, Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC's Chief Executive, said: "Yet again, the standard of entries into this year's competition shows the inquisitive, artistic and perceptive nature of the people EPSRC supports. I'd like to thank everyone who entered; you made judging a very hard but enjoyable task.
"This competition helps us engage with academics and these stunning images are a great way to connect the general public with research they fund, and inspire everyone to take an interest in science and engineering."
The competition received over 200 entries which were drawn from researchers in receipt of EPSRC funding.
The judges were Martin Keene - Group Picture Editor - Press Association;
Professor Robert Winston - Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London
Professor Philip Nelson - EPSRC's Chief Executive
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From atoms to astronomy and robots to robust materials, this video provides a snapshot of the variety of physical sciences research conducted at the University.
A partnership between London South Bank University, London Underground, and Islington Council is pioneering the use of waste heat to cut carbon emissions.
Anne-May Janssen on maximising the Higher Education sector’s profile in Europe and supporting universities to thrive after Brexit.
Businesses, academics and artists join forces at event aiming to create innovative solutions to the challenges elderly people face.
Newcastle Business School's initiative gives international students greater access to securing work experience, and SMEs the opportunity to bring in new talent.
The initiative allows students of sound and music courses to explore a range of potential career paths through engaging with those already working in industry.
Birmingham City University is proud be putting the Arts into STEM with STEAMhouse, its new collaborative centre for business innovation and creation.
Project Director, Dr. Steve Harding, Birmingham City University, on the thinking that led to the Urban M project.
Rich Adams, Corporate Projects Manager at the University of Plymouth, outlines five reasons why businesses can benefit from collaborating with a university.
Bangor University brings students from different subjects together to compete in multi-disciplinary teams, addressing a real business challenge.
University of Birmingham works with marketing agency to explore the impact of figurative messages within advertising using state-of-the- art technologies.
The story of a top rated KTP between ‘Window Cleaning Warehouse’ and Cardiff Metropolitan University sparking innovation in new markets.
The Design Academy project links design expertise with the ‘real world,’ and fosters greater collaboration between the faculty disciplines.
Dr Toby Thompson on how Cisco collaboration technology has helped Cranfield University deliver the first completely virtual engineering post graduate course.
Tom Kneen, Head of Innovation Business Development at Cisco, discusses Cisco's partnership with UCL to create an Artificial Intelligence Research Centre.
Alex Denley, Deputy Director – Innovation & Transformation at South Bank University’s Technopark, discusses Cisco’s Webex collaboration technology.
As the State of the Relationship captures so well, universities and businesses are collaborating to target skills needs in particular sectors and regions.
The British Army is offering its soldiers the chance to study for a university degree in management and leadership, delivered by the University of Portsmouth.
The living lab will facilitate the research, development and demonstration of new smart energy technologies, in partnership with SMEs and industry leaders.
Leeds Beckett University’s Business Centres are currently home to 240 SMEs in Leeds and Wakefield, helping innovative new businesses grow.
Together with industry partners, Pearson Business School is designing a new innovative degree apprenticeship scheme.
In a new book, industry practitioners discuss how they see and develop successful collaborations between their global companies and universities.
The University of Leeds has developed a new hair dyeing technology, using natural dyes extracted from blackcurrant waste from the manufacture of Ribena.
Universities have a key role to play in economic and societal development. Hear how the University of Leeds' new Nexus building is playing its part.
New College Durham and Business Durham worked in partnership to develop a new level 5 module titled Innovation, Idea Generation and Enterprise.
The Institute of Coding will transform how digital skills are delivered within higher education and across the workplace. Just as the potential is large, so is the challenge.
Bournemouth University’s Orthopaedic Research Institute works with health organisations, businesses and researchers to improve orthopaedic practice and care.
Helen Higson, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Aston University, reflects on the changing dynamic between provider, employer and learner.
Delivered by Aston Business School, the TRAN-SIP project focuses on transforming SMEs to improve their revenues through the adoption of advanced services.
City’s Social Enterprise Festival was a public platform focused on making an impact through innovative workshops, debates and competitions.
Simeon Djankov, Executive Director of the Financial Markets Group at LSE, discusses the goals and observations made through LSE’s collaboration with Swiss Re.
As the internet continues to grow rapidly, guaranteeing our security online becomes more and more critical.
Graded ‘outstanding’ by Innovate UK, the KTP has supported the University’s longer term strategic partnership with Panalpina.
University spin-out, Medherant, is developing the world’s first ibuprofen pain relief patch, based on research conducted at the University of Warwick.
Famouth University's LAUNCHPAD is a new way of incubating high growth Tech start-ups that completely reverses the way business and universities work together.
Imagine an offshore energy field that is operated, inspected and maintained from the shore, is completely future-proof and will add £6bn to the UK’s economy...
Nestled in the heart of London’s Tech City, IDEALondon is an innovation centre with a difference...
Loughborough University, HLP Architects and BRE Group work together to develop new "dementia-friendly" home.
The 3M BIC in Huddersfield has made a substantial impact on the growth of many local and regional businesses, focusing on the needs of SMEs.
This KTP will introduce elements of artificial intelligence, drawing on Aston's expertise in computational intelligence and machine learning.
The collaboration highlights how the University of Aberdeen is actively collaborating with local SMEs to develop new relationships.
Deloitte’s latest Power Up: UK skills report examines the opportunities for employers, educators and policymakers of recognising transferable skills.
Sir Martin Wood founded Oxford Instruments in 1959 as a spin-out company to manufacture superconducting magnets for research. See what they're working on today.
Thales and University of Bristol enter new phase of strategic engagement.
A humanoid robot learning about how to play from a young child, has won a top UK science photography award
Robust, tangible and productive collaborations that are having a direct impact on the way business operates.
The Business Engagement team has brought the project at the heart of the University of Birmingham’s strategic relationship with Twycross Zoo to life.
The paradigms of what the industry thought it knew has shifted on its axis, creating a world where start-ups have reshaped the marketplace.
Loughborough University has launched a free toolkit to help entrepreneurs understand their customers’ needs – and boost their business success.
Digital and physical environments to be interwoven, with intent-based networking at University of Northampton's new Waterside campus
BISPA, Loughborough University’s dedicated training centre supports innovation in BIM.
The overall objective of the programme, which is implemented jointly by a number of organisations, is to enhance the capacities of Georgian authorities.
In June 2014, Dr Max Roser made this ground-breaking publication available online, having worked on it since 2011.
This long-standing relationship has not only benefited the NAO, but has indirectly contributed to saving taxpayers’ money.
bildr, a mobile phone app, is a product created by the Frameworks project that helps Oxford graduate students and staff track how their career is developing.
The Oxford-Man Institute, founded in 2007 as an innovative collaboration between the University of Oxford and Man Group, to become part of the Department of Engineering Science focused on machine learning
Deriving insights from huge chunks of data has come on at quite apace in recent years, with projects able to detect everything from oil prices to terrorist threats by wading through big data.