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Gutsy name for the robot with a soft heart

In summary:

  • 'Gutsy' has been chosen out of 300 public suggestions as the name of UTS's second-generation personal robot (PR2), the first one acquired in Australia
  • Gutsy enables UTS and its research partners to explore new challenges in social robotics and smart digital ecosystems

UTS's resident PR2, the first second-generation personal robot in Australia, has been officially named Gutsy following an online crowdsourcing exercise and public naming competition.

Gutsy,  who has been programmed by UTS researchers to give hugs and high-fives, was chosen by a selection committee, consisting of Vice-Chancellor Ross Milbourne, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Peter Booth, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Attila Brungs, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology Hung Nguyen and Professor Mary-Anne Williams from UTS, as well as Glenn Wightwick from IBM.

UTS received a flood of around 300 inventive suggestions, with over 5000 people casting their vote from a shortlist of five names. The other suggested names were STU, Rusty, Matilda and Milbourne.

Professor Williams, Associate Dean (Research and Development) in the Faculty of Engineering and IT and head of the Innovation and Enterprise Research Lab – also known as The Magic Lab – is confident the name is a felicitous fit.

"We selected Gutsy because it captures the spirit of UTS and robots must be courageous and bold in their decision making as they strive to reach their objectives," Professor Williams said.

Xun Wang, PhD researcher exploring opportunities for human-robot collaboration in The Magic Lab with Gutsy, couldn't agree more.

"We have big ambitions with this personal robot, so the name Gutsy fits perfectly," Mr Wang said.

Gutsy is already adding tremendous value to a wide range of research projects currently underway at UTS, enabling UTS researchers to explore new challenges in social robotics and smart digital ecosystems.

"As well as exploring how robots can co-exist safely and usefully with humans, The Magic Lab is looking at robot-to-robot interaction and teaching robots to learn from their personal experience, rather than relying on human instructions.

Professor Feigenbaum delivering the the IBM-UTS Alan Turing Public LectureProfessor Feigenbaum delivering the the IBM-UTS Alan Turing Public Lecture

"We’ll be exploring these challenges with our research partners and the wider PR2 community, so 2013 will be exciting and challenging as we help Gutsy develop new and valuable skills," Mr Wang said.

Gutsy displayed his softer side most recently at the IBM-UTS Alan Turing Public Lecture, where he hugged Professor Edward Feigenbaum of Stanford University – widely considered a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence.

Professor Feigenbaum was invited to deliver a lecture on the future of robotics upon receiving the ACM Turing Award, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in computer science.

For more information on UTS's resident robot, follow @gutsy_robot  on Twitter.

Xavier Mayes

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