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by   -   April 24, 2018

By Siddharth Reddy

Imagine a drone pilot remotely flying a quadrotor, using an onboard camera to navigate and land. Unfamiliar flight dynamics, terrain, and network latency can make this system challenging for a human to control. One approach to this problem is to train an autonomous agent to perform tasks like patrolling and mapping without human intervention. This strategy works well when the task is clearly specified and the agent can observe all the information it needs to succeed. Unfortunately, many real-world applications that involve human users do not satisfy these conditions: the user’s intent is often private information that the agent cannot directly access, and the task may be too complicated for the user to precisely define. For example, the pilot may want to track a set of moving objects (e.g., a herd of animals) and change object priorities on the fly (e.g., focus on individuals who unexpectedly appear injured). Shared autonomy addresses this problem by combining user input with automated assistance; in other words, augmenting human control instead of replacing it.

by   -   April 24, 2018

Short delivery time, high flexibility and reduced costs for handling parts before assembly. These are the main goals that Danfoss Drives wanted to achieve by creating an automated assembly line. But while the goals were clear, the way to achieve them was cloudier.

by   -   April 24, 2018

With the Robot Launch 2018 competition in full swing – deadline May 15 for entries wanting to compete on stage in Brisbane at ICRA 2018 – we thought it was time to look at last years’ Robot Launch finalists. And a very successful bunch they are too!

by   -   April 18, 2018

In this episode of Robots in Depth, Per Sjöborg speaks with David Johan, Co-Founder and CEO of Shape Robotics.

by   -   April 17, 2018

In a basement of New York University in 2013, Dr. Sergei Lupashin wowed the room of one hundred leading technology enthusiasts with one of the first indoor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) demonstrations. During his presentation, Dr. Lupashin of ETH Zurich  attached a dog leash to an aerial drone while declaring to the audience, “there has to be another way” of flying robots safely around people. Lupashin’s creativity eventually led to the invention of Fotokite and one of the most successful Indiegogo campaigns.

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 17, 2018

Great news here at Dreaming Robots as we’ve just been able to confirm with Sky Atlantic and NowTV that we will be live tweeting again each episode of the new series of HBO’s completely fantastic Westworld, starting with the Season 2 premiere on 23 April.

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   -   April 11, 2018
Aude Oliva (right), a principal research scientist at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Dan Gutfreund (left), a principal investigator at the MIT–IBM Watson AI Laboratory and a staff member at IBM Research, are the principal investigators for the Moments in Time Dataset, one of the projects related to AI algorithms funded by the MIT–IBM Watson AI Laboratory.
Photo: John Mottern/Feature Photo Service for IBM

By Meg Murphy
A person watching videos that show things opening — a door, a book, curtains, a blooming flower, a yawning dog — easily understands the same type of action is depicted in each clip.

by   -   April 4, 2018

In this episode of Robots in Depth, Per Sjöborg speaks with Harsha Prahlad, CoFounder and Chief Technology and Products Officer at Grabit Inc. Harsha talks about his novel gripper for soft goods manufacturing, and how he got into robotics via the aerospace industry.

by   -   March 30, 2018

In this episode of Robots in Depth, Per Sjöborg speaks with Franziska Kirstein, Human-Robot Interaction Expert and Project Manager at Blue Ocean Robotics, about her experience as a linguist working with human robot interaction.

by   -   March 30, 2018

Associate professor of mechanical engineering Sangbae Kim and his team at the Biomimetic Robotics Lab developed the quadruped robot, the MIT Cheetah.
Photo: David Sella

By Eric Brown

If you were to ask someone to name a new technology that emerged from MIT in the 21st century, there’s a good chance they would name the robotic cheetah. Developed by the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Biomimetic Robotics Lab under the direction of Associate Professor Sangbae Kim, the quadruped MIT Cheetah has made headlines for its dynamic legged gait, speed, jumping ability, and biomimetic design.

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

Using drones to gather information and samples from a hazardous scene can help incident commanders make critical decisions. Image credit – ROCSAFE

by Anthony King

Crimes that involve chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) materials pose a deadly threat not just to the target of the attack but to innocent bystanders and police investigators. Often, these crimes may involve unusual circumstances or they are terrorist-related incidents, such as an assassination attempt or the sending of poisons through the mail.

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