Terminator or Robo-Butler? Robotics at Academia Annensis

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It’s always great to get a glimpse from the past. Today I was invited to Gymnasium bei St. Anna, my former academic high school („Gymnasium“ in German). Amazing to see, that so many great things haven’t changed – while some others have (and so far I can certainly say to the better!). The school seems to be flourishing – a real achievement considering its foundation in 1531 as one of Europe’s most traditional schools.

My keynote was part of a lecture series for the „Academia Annensis“ – very talented students from all academic years are invited to attend talks by interdisciplinary experts. I was stunned by their motivation and excitement for the topic – although presenting robotics always feels a little bit like cheating as I am lucky to work in such a trendy, requested and thought-provoking field. And I had a little help from a friend: robot seal „Paro“ joined me and many students took the opportunity to cuddle Paro afterwards…

Unfortunately, we had to stop the discussion far too early – it felt as if the listeners could have gone one for hours.

Thanks to the the school, the wonderful headmaster Peter Schwertschlager and the Societas Annensis (the alumni association) esp. their chairman Prof. Hans-Eberhard Schurk.

Please find the (password protected) slides here. To obtain the password, please refer to Mr. Schwertschlager.


A special thanks to the students:
You were a great audience! I admire your curiosity, hunger for knowledge and smartness! Thanks for listening so patiently and even more for your great, clever, sometimes out-of-the-box questions. And remember: non scholae sed vitae discimus!

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