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by   -   April 17, 2018

The choice of gait, that is whether we walk or run, comes to us so naturally that we hardly ever think about it.  We walk at slow speeds and run at high speeds.  If we get on a treadmill and slowly crank up the speed, we will start out with walking, but at some point we will switch to running; involuntarily and simply because it feels right.  We are so accustomed to this, that we find it rather amusing to see someone walking at high speeds, for example, during the racewalk at the Olympics.  This automatic choice of gait happens in almost all animals, though sometimes with different gaits.  Horses, for example, tend to walk at slow speeds, trot at intermediate speeds, and gallop at high speeds.  What is it that makes walking better suited for low speeds and running better for high speeds?  How do we know that we have to switch, and why don’t we skip or gallop like horses?  What exactly is it that constitutes walking, running, trotting, galloping, and all the other gaits that can be found in nature?

by   -   April 11, 2018

Motion control problems have become standard benchmarks for reinforcement learning, and deep RL methods have been shown to be effective for a diverse suite of tasks ranging from manipulation to locomotion. However, characters trained with deep RL often exhibit unnatural behaviours, bearing artifacts such as jittering, asymmetric gaits, and excessive movement of limbs. Can we train our characters to produce more natural behaviours?

by   -   April 11, 2018


It all started with 166 companies spread across 12 European countries appling for a “golden ticket” to ROBOTT-NET’s Voucher Program. 64 companies received a voucher and highly specialized consultancy from a broad range of the brightest robotics experts around Europe. Now five of the 64 projects have been selected for a ROBOTT-NET pilot.

by   -   March 30, 2018

The European project ROBOTT-NET helps the best ideas in industrial robotics become reality. 400 hours of free consulting with robotics experts from all over Europe has helped companies, both small and large, find out how robot automation can contribute to them and which automation solution is the right one for each company.

by   -   March 26, 2018


The European Robotics Forum 2018 (ERF2018) in Tampere brought together over 900 attendees from robotics academia and industry. To bridge the two, euRobotics hosted the Georges Giralt PhD Award 2017 & 2018 and the TechTransfer Award 2018, during a Gala Dinner event on 14 March, in Tampere, Finland.

by   -   March 21, 2018

Award winners in robot competitions held by the were named on 14 March 2018, during this year’s European Robotics Forum (ERF), held in Tampere, Finland on 13–15 March.

Awards for the ERL’s 2017-18 season were presented at a Gala Dinner to winning teams that took part in all ERL competitions: Service Robots (ERL-SR), Industry Robots (ERL-IR) and Emergency Robots (ERL-ER).

by   -   March 21, 2018

As Mark Hamill humorously shared the behind-the-scenes of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” with a packed SXSW audience, two floors below on the exhibit floor Universal Robots recreated General Grievous’ famed light saber battles. The battling machines were steps away from a twelve foot dancing Kuka robot and an automated coffee dispensary. Somehow the famed interactive festival known for its late night drinking, dancing and concerts had a very mechanical feel this year. Everywhere debates ensued between utopian tech visionaries and dystopia-fearing humanists.

by   -   March 2, 2018

This soft robotic gripper is the result of a platform technology developed by Harvard researchers to create soft robots with embedded sensors that can sense inputs as diverse as movement, pressure, touch, and temperature. Credit: Ryan L. Truby/Harvard University

By Leah Burrows

Researchers at Harvard University have built soft robots inspired by nature that can crawl, swim, grasp delicate objects and even assist a beating heart, but none of these devices has been able to sense and respond to the world around them.

by   -   February 8, 2018

impedance_control

Humans physically interact with each other every day – from grabbing someone’s hand when they are about to spill their drink, to giving your friend a nudge to steer them in the right direction, physical interaction is an intuitive way to convey information about personal preferences and how to perform a task correctly.

by   -   February 2, 2018

Completely unfolded, the milliDelta with 15 mm-by-15 mm-20 mm roughly compares to a cent piece, and uses piezoelectric actuators, and flexural joints in its three arms to control high-frequency movements of a stage on top. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

By Benjamin Boettner

Because of their high precision and speed, Delta robots are deployed in many industrial processes, including pick-and-place assemblies, machining, welding and food packaging. Starting with the first version developed by Reymond Clavel for a chocolate factory to quickly place chocolate pralines in their packages, Delta robots use three individually controlled and lightweight arms that guide a platform to move fast and accurately in three directions. The platform is either used as a stage, similar to the ones being used in flight simulators, or coupled to a manipulating device that can, for example, grasp, move, and release objects in prescribed patterns. Over time, roboticists have designed smaller and smaller Delta robots for tasks in limited workspaces, yet shrinking them further to the millimeter scale with conventional manufacturing techniques and components has proven fruitless.

by   -   January 12, 2018

A new AI machine creates new music from songs it’s fed, mimicking their style. Image credit – FlowMachines

by Kevin Casey

The first full-length mainstream music album co-written with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) was released on 12 January and experts believe that the science behind it could lead to a whole new style of music composition.

A Lucie micro drone takes off from a performer’s hand as part of a drone show. Photo: Verity Studios 2017

2017 was the year where indoor drone shows came into their own. Verity Studios’ Lucie drones alone completed more than 20,000 autonomous flights. A Synthetic Swarm of 99 Lucie micro drones started touring with Metallica (the tour is ongoing and was just announced the 5th highest grossing tour worldwide for 2017). Micro drones are now performing at Madison Square Garden as part of each New York Knicks home game — the first resident drone show in a full-scale arena setting. Since early 2017, a drone swarm has been performing weekly on a first cruise ship. And micro drones performed thousands of flights at Changi Airport Singapore as part of its 2017 Christmas show.

by   -   December 31, 2017

By Ivan Evtimov, Kevin Eykholt, Earlence Fernandes, and Bo Li based on recent research by Ivan Evtimov, Kevin Eykholt, Earlence Fernandes, Tadayoshi Kohno, Bo Li, Atul Prakash, Amir Rahmati, Dawn Song, and Florian Tramèr.

Deep neural networks (DNNs) have enabled great progress in a variety of application areas, including image processing, text analysis, and speech recognition. DNNs are also being incorporated as an important component in many cyber-physical systems. For instance, the vision system of a self-driving car can take advantage of DNNs to better recognize pedestrians, vehicles, and road signs. However, recent research has shown that DNNs are vulnerable to adversarial examples: Adding carefully crafted adversarial perturbations to the inputs can mislead the target DNN into mislabeling them during run time. Such adversarial examples raise security and safety concerns when applying DNNs in the real world. For example, adversarially perturbed inputs could mislead the perceptual systems of an autonomous vehicle into misclassifying road signs, with potentially catastrophic consequences.

by   -   December 24, 2017


Happy holidays everyone! Here are some more robot videos to get you into the holiday spirit.

by   -   December 24, 2017

By Carlos Florensa

Reinforcement Learning (RL) is a powerful technique capable of solving complex tasks such as locomotion, Atari games, racing games, and robotic manipulation tasks, all through training an agent to optimize behaviors over a reward function. There are many tasks, however, for which it is hard to design a reward function that is both easy to train and that yields the desired behavior once optimized.



DART: Noise injection for robust imitation learning
April 14, 2018


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