Top 24 Under 24: Alannah Yip, The Roboticist 0
Alannah Yip is in our Top 24 Under 24. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)
Just turned 20, Alannah Yip shows off the drive train for her robotics team's upcoming project — a human-sized home-assistant robot on wheels.
At this early phase, it's little more than a motorized box, but Yip and the University of B.C. Thunderbots@Home team she captains have designed powerful arms that use simple shapes to calculate their movements.
“We're designing this robot from scratch,” she boasted. “Building it by ourselves with no professor's help.”
Her hope with this extracurricular hobby is not simply to invent a helpful tool, but to study how humans and robots might one day relate.
“As robotics are getting more and more widespread, it's difficult to know how robots should interact with a human,” she said. “That brings up a lot of questions about how we incorporate robotics into our day-to-day lives.
“How human do you want them to look? Do you want to know that they're robots? There's so many nuances to the way humans act that are hard to translate.”
Her goal is to continue such research in industrial robotics and machine learning, but she doesn't predict that androids will be common for many decades.
“Humans are still much more effective at doing most stuff,” she said. “A lot of what we'll see is more use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in our lifetimes. Maybe it won't be quite visible, more in background of your home — ambient intelligence ... We're still learning and bringing it all to life.”