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David Pietrocola is a robotics engineer and founder of Robots In DC, a blog covering robotics news, public policy and tutorials from the nation's capital. He is also the CEO of Lifebotics LLC, which is developing robotic solutions for independent living. His research interests include personal and service robots, intelligent systems, and human-robot interaction. From April 2011 to September 2012, he served at the National Science Foundation as an analyst for interdisciplinary research and graduate education. He earned a M.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering with Honors and Phi Beta Kappa from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. David has published and presented peer-reviewed research in a variety of areas, including autonomous mobile robots, agent-based modeling, virtual agents, human behavior modeling, serious games, digital copyright laws, and graduate education. He has helped develop several award-winning autonomous robots for outdoor navigation in uncertain environments, and has been a judge, volunteer, and rules writer for the Trinity College Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest since 2006. He is a member of IEEE, the IEEE-USA Intellectual Property Committee, and the IEEE-USA Research and Development Committee.
by   -   August 23, 2013

AUVSI returned to D.C. for 2013.

AUVSI returned to D.C. for 2013.

Amidst a climate of fiscal austerity and vibrant debates over the growing importance of unmanned vehicles in foreign policy and homeland security, the 2013 AUVSI Unmanned Systems Conference returned to Washington, D.C., last week after hosting the 2012 event in Las Vegas. The event was not without controversy, however, as activist group Code Pink held a demonstration outside the venue and disrupted a keynote address. The show itself was a tale of two storylines as the exhibit hall demonstrated that applications for defense and law enforcement are still the lifeblood of the unmanned systems industry, while the technical program and panel discussions pointed to a growing interest to move into commercial industries. Here’s what you missed:

by   -   March 21, 2013

The Congressional Robotics Caucus welcomed the release Wednesday of a follow-up revision to the highly influential 2009 report, A Roadmap for U.S. Robotics: From Internet to Roboticswhich inspired the U.S. government’s first cohesive robotics research funding strategy in the $50 million National Robotics Initiative. The report outlines the progress of robots in multiple industries over the last five years, identifies goals for the coming decade and emphasizes the importance of the robotics research pipeline to maintaining U.S. innovation.

by   -   December 26, 2012

The past year was a watershed moment for robotics. From defense to exploration, startups to legislation, we saw products, laws, and investments that have shifted robotics out of the lab and into our lives. They have built on decades of basic and applied research, taking advantage of plummeting component costs and maturing core technologies such as batteries and communications. Below are the top 10 stories of 2012. And choosing only 10 from so many successes, research, and new products was extremely difficult. Perhaps that’s really the best story of the year.

by   -   October 29, 2012

Every week, robots are making 60,000 food deliveries to patients in 150 hospitals across the United States. A lovable robotic baby seal is transforming the lives of hundreds of individuals suffering from dementia in Denmark. For thousands of small business owners in manufacturing and assembly, a $20,000 robot is a welcome competitive edge after years of offshoring. And a self-driving car that has logged 100,000 miles could be commercially available in five years.

by   -   October 23, 2012

Robots In DC made the trip from Washington and we’re ready to kick off our coverage of the unique and exciting RoboBusiness event, which is bringing together leaders from robotics businesses, research & development, and investment. As the official festivities kick off here on Tuesday, Monday’s sessions brought together researchers, business owners, and engineers developing cutting-edge robots for quality of life technology as well as manufacturing. In fact, we also saw the first public demonstration of Baxter, the inexpensive manufacturing robot from Rethink Robotics, which garnered quite a bit of mainstream press coverage when it debuted back in September.

by   -   October 19, 2012

Open-source software is making it easier to reuse algorithms and allow engineers and researchers to focus on their problems of interest instead of reinventing the wheel for each project. Not an expert in path planning or don’t have the time (or patience) to implement SLAM? There’s a package for that. Manipulator control? Package for that too. Additionally, falling component prices and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) devices are making robotics hardware more available. This tutorial will teach you how to put together a simple remote teleoperation robot using these principles.