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bio-inspired

interview by   -   June 23, 2018

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Juxi Leitner, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at QUT; and Nicholas Panitz, Ben Wilson, and James Brett, from CSIRO.

Leitner speaks about the Amazon Picking challenge, a challenge to advance the state of robotic grasping, and their robot which won the challenge in 2017. Their robot is similar to a cartesian 3D printer in form and uses either a suction cup or a pinch gripper for grabbing objects. Their robot has a depth camera and uses a digital scale to determine if an object has been picked up successfully. Leitner discusses what their team did differently from other teams that helped them win the competition.

Panitz, Wilson, and Brett speak about their hexapod robots. Their hexapods are for several purposes, such as environmental monitoring and remote inspection. They choose to use hexapods because they are statically stable. They discuss the design of their hexapods and how research works at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, or CSIRO.

interview by   -   March 19, 2018



In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Maja Matarić, a professor at the University of Southern California and the Chief Science Officer of Embodied, about socially assistive robotics. Socially assistive robotics aims to endow robots with the ability to help people through individual non-contact assistance in convalescence, rehabilitation, training, and education. For example, a robot could help a child on the autism spectrum to connect to more neurotypical children and could help to motivate a stroke victim to follow their exercise routine for rehabilitation (see the videos below). In this interview, Matarić discusses the care gap in health care, how her work leverages research in psychology to make robots engaging, and opportunities in socially assistive robotics for entrepreneurship.

interview by   -   March 4, 2018



In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Monica Daley about learning from birds about legged locomotion. To do this, Daley analyzes the gaits of guineafowl in various experiments to understand the mechanical principles underlying gaits, such as energetic economy, mechanical limits, and how the birds avoid injury. She then tests her ideas about legged locomotion on legged robots with collaborators, including Jonathan Hurst from Oregon State University. Daley also speaks about her experience with interdisciplinary collaborations. 

interview by   -   January 6, 2018



In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Elliott Rouse, Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, about an open-source prosthetic leg—that is a robotic knee and ankle. Rouse’s goal is to provide an inexpensive and capable platform for researchers to use so that they can work on prostheses without developing their own hardware, which is both time-consuming and expensive. Rouse discusses the design of the leg, the software interface, and the project’s timeline.

interview by   -   December 24, 2017

In this interview, Audrow Nash interviews Helen Huang, Joint Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State, about a method of tuning powered lower limb prostheses. Huang explains how powered prostheses are adjusted for each patient and how she is using supervised and reinforcement learning to tune prosthesis. Huang also discusses why she is not using the energetic cost of transport as a metric and the challenge of people adapting to a device while it learns from them.

interview by   -   October 28, 2017



In this episode, Jack Rasiel interviews Vijay Kumar, Professor and Dean of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.  Kumar discusses the guiding ideas behind his research on micro unmanned aerial vehicles, gives his thoughts on the future of robotics in the lab and field, and speaks about setting realistic expectations for robotics technology.

 

A team led by Sunil Agrawal, professor of mechanical engineering and of rehabilitation and regenerative medicine at Columbia Engineering, has published a pilot study in Science Robotics that demonstrates a robotic training method that improves posture and walking in children with crouch gait by enhancing their muscle strength and coordination.

A newly developed vine-like robot can grow across long distances without moving its whole body. It could prove useful in search and rescue operations and medical applications.

Why are spiders’ webs so complex? Might they have other functionalities besides being a simple trap? One of the most interesting answers to this question is that spiders might use their webs as computational devices.

by   -   June 27, 2017

MIT CSAIL team’s system of quadcopters that fly and drive suggest another approach to developing flying cars

Harvard scientists use simple materials to create semi-soft machines that walk like insects.

The device named “Spark” flew high above the man on stage with his hands waving in the direction of the flying object. In a demonstration of DJI’s newest drone, the audience marveled at the Coke can-sized device’s most compelling feature: gesture controls. Instead of a traditional remote control, this flying selfie machine follows hand movements across the sky. Gestures are the most innate language of mammals, and including robots in our primal movements means we have reached a new milestone of co-existence.

A researcher at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is developing a bio-inspired ‘smart’ knee joint for prosthetic lower limbs. Dr Appolinaire Etoundi, based at Bristol Robotics Laboratory, is leading the research and will analyse the functions, features and mechanisms of the human knee in order to translate this information into a new bio-inspired procedure for designing prosthetics.

by   -   May 4, 2017

Teen roboticist Ben Vagle returns with an updated version of his TrotBot—this time featuring retractile toes.

Image courtesy of flora robotica, Photo by Anders Ingvartsen, CITA

Robots and plants are being intricately linked into a new type of living technology that its creators believe could be used to grow a house.



ICRA 2018 Exhibition
June 23, 2018


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