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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Sponsoring International Robotic Handshake Competition

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Sponsoring International Robotic Handshake Competition

December 30, 2009

Press Releases, Robotics & High-Tech

BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL — June 18, 2010 — Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) will be sponsoring the world’s first international tournament to build robots that can shake hands.

Dr. Amir Karniel, an engineer at BGU, announced the competition last week at the Sixth Computational Motor Control Workshop, led by the Biomedical Engineering Department of BGU.

“The handshake is of interest not merely as a reduced version of the ultimate humanoid test, but also due to its bidirectional nature, in which both sides actively shake hands and explore each other,” Dr. Karniel explains. “It can tell us a lot about people’s motor control.”

Karniel believes a better understanding of the mechanics of a human handshake can result in the rise of medical applications, such as judging the extent of the disability of a person with cerebral palsy by shaking his hand.

To be considered for the competition, the robots must have motor intelligence, the construction of a human-like robot, with abilities indistinguishable from those of a human. The entries for the competition could include robots that can communicate with each other or do other various things besides just shake hands.

Applicants should present an initial idea to Dr. Karniel by the end of August at akarniel@bgu.ac.il by submitting their name, affiliation, e-mail address, research field, title of the proposed handshake, and a few words about the main idea of their proposed algorithm.

“BGU is the leading Israeli university in the development of robotics applications in a number of areas, including homeland security, agriculture and healthcare,” explains Doron Krakow, executive vice president of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. “This is one more endeavor that should reap very interesting results.”

The winner will be announced at next year’s computational motor control conference, and will receive $1,000.

About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. Activities include showcasing BGU’s academic excellence and cutting-edge research through educational programs, events and informative communications. AABGU’s main purpose is to support Ben-Gurion’s vision and the university that bears his name by creating a community of Americans committed to improving the world tomorrow from the heart of the Israeli desert today.

Media Contact:
Andrew Lavin
A. Lavin Communications