Can you imagine what the future looks like if more women take the leading role in science and technology?
"While women account for 52% of the European population, only around 1 in 3 graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is a woman."
- Commissioner Marija Gabriel, during the ICT2018 in Vienna
Swarm Intelligence with Martina Szopek
Coming from the University of Graz (Austria), Martina specializes on swarm intelligence, a form of collective intelligence often observed in animals. This type of behaviour is foreseen to be replicated in computing and in robotics.
Repairing the Brain with Michela Chiappalone
While working at the IIT in Genoa (Italy), Michela led a FET project called BrainBow, which aims to repair patients' brain once injured using a new generation neuro-prostheses.
These devices should enable patients' neuronal circuits to communicate with one another, thus replacing the portion of the brain where the damage is located.
Robots imitating plants with Barbara Mazzolai
This was the question raised by Barbara Mazzolai, who leads the international team of Micro-Biorobotics at the IIT in Pontedera (Italy). She led the FET project Plantoid, in which they designed robots in the form of roots that study the composition and quality of its surroundings e.s. soil.
Another FET project she is involved in is the GrowBot, in which they build robots that imitate climbing plants that are flexible and move against gravity.
Soft robotics with Cecilia Laschi
Ten years ago the octopus inspired the world’s first entirely soft robot, made with silicone.
Cecilia Laschi who works at the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pontedera (Italy) is working on a FET project called Octopus, in which they build robots that mimic the octopus using soft materials.
This will change the way we think of robots as they become more flexible therefore allowing us to create less robust robots that can help us in our day-to-day lives.
Living architecture with Rachel Armstrong
We've also met Rachel Armstrong at the Innovative Enterprise Week in Bucharest held last year. She was interviewed together with 8 other experts from the academia, the industry and the government, as we asked, "How can visionary science bring innovation into society?"
A professor at the Newcastle University, she's leading the Living Architecture (LIAR) project and was involved with the flora robotica project. Both these projects have one thing in common: integrating nature into society by combining our knowledge on biology with architecture.
Last year we were given the chance to ask the women behind the "ByAxon" project on Gender Balance in Modern Research
Five out of six of ByAxons' Principal Investigators are women.
Four of them shred their thoughts on gender diversity in projects related to emerging technologies: Laura Ballerini, Laurence Mechin, Teresa González & Mª Concepción Serrano
Read our interview with them here.