Director of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, Keshini Navaratnam, is joined by two leading roboticists to discuss how autonomous systems can inspire future generations.

Alongside being an electrical engineer, Dr Ayanna Howard is an educator, researcher and innovator. Her work focuses on how humans and autonomous systems can work together and the ethics behind doing so. This research has allowed Ayanna to make significant contributions to artificial intelligence, computer vision and robotics.

Ayanna is currently a professor and the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Endowed Chair in Bioengineering in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is also Director of the Human-Automation Systems Lab at Georgia Tech and has previously worked with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology.

Joining Ayanna and Keshini in the discussion is aeronautical engineer, Dr Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu. Ashitey is the chief engineer for Mobility and Robotic Systems with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In this role, Ashitey has played an integral part in Planetary Rover Operations, with his research aiding the missions of rovers Spirit, Opportunity and InSight.

He is also the founder of the Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation. Set up in 2011, the organisation encourages and inspires young Ghanaians to take up science and technology through hands-on robotics workshops.

During this discussion, the engineers discuss the future of robotics, the making of Bionic Woman and designing Mars Rovers.