‘New Friends’ is a bit of a playful name for a conference that deals with one of the hot topics of today: what will be the role of social robots in our society in the near future? Are the robots really the ‘new friends’ of mankind?
The 2016 conference was held in Barcelona on 2-4 november. It featured keynote speakers from all 5 continents, and numerous research results from all imaginable angles, both technological and psychological. Many interesting pilots and implementations were shown, and many robot manufacturers were on display and did demo’s, with the usual suspects such as Nao, and a few new ones too.
Themes running through the conference were: robotic for the elderely, robots for education, robots for treatments of mental illnesses, and a stream about ethics, economics and legal.
VanPaz had submitted a paper “Considerations on the market of Social and Educational Robots for children with autism spectrum disorder. This paper got accepted, leading to VanPaz having a 20 minute plenary session on the conference.
Many thanks to New Friends and the LaSalle Ramon Llull university for inviting us to this inspiring event.
Picture: Paz with the latest Hookie prototype