Visitors to the Natural History Museum in London this month won't merely be greeted by a typical museum employee, but by a robot -- the Linda robot. Linda, a robot developed by the University of Lincoln, is designed to learn about its surroundings, making it a good fit to work in dynamic human environments.
The Linda robot's name is a reference to 'Lindum Colonia,' the ancient namy for the city of Lincoln. It is one of half a dozen robots built for the $12 million STRANDS project, which aims to develop robots suitable for working with human workers such as security guards and nursing home staff.
The Linda robot can operate and move around independently by creating 3D maps of its environment and continually updating them to take into account how they change. By mapping shapes, people and activities, the robot can learn about its environment and alter its behavior accordingly.