Cute Seal Robots Support Dementia Patients

Seal-like robots may play a crucial role in the care of people with dementia across New Zealand.  CARES academic, Associate Professor Elizabeth Broadbent, has led a 12-week study showing that the Paro seal robot “helps sufferers smile and talk more, gives them a sense of purpose and something to love and cuddle.”   To find out more about the study read the recent article in the NZ Herald (28th August 2017) here or contact Dr Broadbent here.

Robots and Humans

Calling for a Ban on Killer Robots

The founders of 116 robotics and artificial intelligence companies, from across 26 countries, are calling on the UN and governments to ban the use of lethal autonomous weapons. Earlier today, CARES Director, Prof. Bruce MacDonald was on Radio Live talking to Wendyl Nissen about the potential threat of killer robots.

“In this case, the, so-called killer robots are shooting at people or exploding bombs… there are dire consequences if something goes wrong and people are quite rightly flagging that up and saying we really ought to think about what we are doing here.” – Prof. Bruce MacDonald.

To hear Bruce and Wendyl discuss the various issues around sending robots to fight wars and the potential problems of removing the human decision-making element in the final button pushing side, listen to the full broadcast here.  To find out more about the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, click here.


Photo credit: from the Radio Live article.

Women in Software Engineering

Welcoming Women & Girls to Software Engineering

“We are here to tell you that women deserve a seat at the [engineering and technology] table, and the reasons why.”  Three UOA software engineering experts with 24 years of collective experience teaching software engineering have responded to recent media stories suggesting the tech industry doesn’t need more female software engineers.   A. Prof Catherine Watson (one of our valued CARES academics), Dr Rashina Hoda and Dr Kelly Blincoe note that, “there is a sizeable cohort of highly talented females out in society who would make excellent engineers, but due to society’s expectations they are not encouraged”.  To read the whole Newsroom article, click here.

To find out more about studying Software Engineering at the University of Auckland, click here.


Photo credit: University of Auckland.