The Future is Robotic: U of T Groundbreakers

Can tiny, worm-like robots revolutionize the way surgeons work? How will human-robot interactions be improved? Can AI and robotics create self-driving cars that make winter driving safer?

These are just some of the questions that interdisciplinary teams of professors and students at the University of Toronto are answering through their work with the University of Toronto Robotics Institute, one of U of T’s Institutional Strategic Initiatives.

In episode three of the Groundbreakers video series, U of T Mississauga Associate Professor Jessica Burgner-Kahrs and grad student Hannah Zhang talk with host Ainka Jess about surgical robots, while Associate Professor Steve Waslander of UTIAS and grad student Chude Qian discuss autonomous vehicles.

“I really like interdisciplinary work where we’re drawing ideas from different fields, collaborating with amazing researchers across U of T,” Zhang says. “In this way of thinking about research and problem-solving, we can really find some unique solutions that can impact continuum robotics and have downstream effects for whatever applications they end up [addressing].

“I really want to be in this space.”

Groundbreakers is a multimedia series that includes articles at U of T News and features research leaders involved with U of T’s Institutional Strategic Initiatives, whose work will transform lives.