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“Everyone’s familiar with trying to make a living with art. I bet they’ve never known a robot with that dream,” says Gaka-Chu. A retired welding robot, it is working to be financially independent by creating art and selling it online. But what is it that makes its art real?
At the end of October, the company Airalab, a resident of ITMO University’s Technopark, presented its Internet of Things (IoT) solutions at one of the largest exhibitions in the field, IoT Solutions World Congress, this year hosted in Barcelona, Spain. Among other things, the event allowed them to sign a contract with a Uruguayan company for the supply of software that enables getting real-time updates on environmental monitoring. ITMO.NEWS met one of the company’s founders, associate professor at ITMO’s Faculty of Control Systems and Robotics Alexander Kapitonov to find out what countries also expressed interest in the company’s developments.
This year, Valery Chernov enrolled at ITMO’s Department of Computer Science and Control Systems in an experimental program with unique educational tracks. This December, he was the only Russian representative at the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar (SIYSS), which coincides with the Nobel Prize festivities and is held annually since 1976. During the event, participants presented their research, attended lectures by Nobel Prize laureates, discussed the relevant issues and even danced with some of the world’s brightest minds.
Each year, there are more and more devices that are connected to a global network. In 2014, there were about 16 billion of them - more than twice the Earth's population; analysts from the ABI Research company expect their number to be about 40 billion by 2020. The number of robots is growing as well. Specialists from the Airalab team state that now, it is not robots that exist among humans, but it is humans who are beginning to live in the world of machines. Yet, what's next? How will humans and robots interact? And are we capable of creating a full-fledged robot economy – and what’s more important, a comprehensible and a safe one? A couple of years ago Sergei Lonshakov, a blockchain developer and Aira project's architect proposed combining robotics and the Ethereum platform. As of now, his team has already attracted $220,000 from Cybernator, a pre-seed fund of Satoshi Fund company, completed the first phase of ICO (initial distribution of the system’s tokens) at the volume of 5,000 ETH, and is close to launching an MVP project. Alexander Kapitonov, Airalab'sprogressor and teaching fellow at ITMO's Department of Computer Science and Control Systems, shared about the project's future and the prospects of robot economy.