by Silvia Marchetti
ROME, June 6 (Xinhua) -- To be a leader of the world, one has to be a leader in robotics. That's the prediction of Aldous Huxley, the author of the "Brave New World."
Italy may well become one of Huxley's world leaders in that it is becoming a leader in industrial robotics and it is taking giant steps forward in service-applied bionics, a top researcher told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.
"Italy has always been a front-runner in industrial robotics but we also are advancing in embodied intelligence with a number of strategic projects aimed at furthering research and experimentation," said Barbara Mazzolai, assistant professor at the groundbreaking, prestigious Sant' Anna University Research Center in Micro-engineering (CRIM).
The CRIM lab was established at the Sant' Anna University of Pisa in 1991 and is coordinated by Professor Paolo Dario. Its mission is to be a leader in the research and development of bio-applied micro- and nano-robots and systems.
The CRIM lab is already the creator of DustCart, a robot for differentiated waste disposal and a robot which is being showcased at the Italian Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo.
DustCart has won an innovators' competition launched last year by the Italian government.
"Our research center has a 20-year experience in robotics applied to everyday human needs. DustCart, for example, is the typical model of the perfect dialogue between man and machine," she said.