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.
In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Katsu Yamane, Senior Research Scientist at Disney, about robotics in Disney. Yamane discusses Disney’s history with robots, how Disney currently uses Robots, how designing robots at Disney is different than in academia or industry, a realistic robot simulator used by Disney’s animators, and on becoming a Disney Research “Imagineer.”
Here are the slides I gave recently as member of panel Sci-Fi Dreams: How visions of the future are shaping the development of intelligent technology, at the Centre for the Future of Intelligence 2017 conference. I presented three short stories about robot stories.
Happy International World Book and Copyright Day! Here at Robohub, we’re celebrating by sharing our list of 20 robot related books (in no particular order) aimed at engaging kids and/or teens with everything robotics. Ranging from funny fictional narratives to DIY drone building and coding, these books are sure to fire the imaginations of our future innovators and creators.
In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Bradley Knox, founder of bots_alive. Knox speaks about an add-on to a Hexbug, a six-legged robotic toy, that makes the bot behave more like a character. They discuss the novel way Knox uses machine learning to create a sense character. They also discuss the limitation of technology to emulate living creatures, and how the bots_alive robot was built within these limitations.
Brad Knox talks bots_alive and a new form of character AI. Much like motion capture for scripted animation, this new technique may revolutionize how interactive characters are created, through observation of authentic human-generated behavior.
Design company After the Flood team-up with author Lloyd Shepherd and illustrator Eunike Nugroho to offer a speculative glimpse of first-contact between a 21st century explorer and a host of wild robots. Are they friend or foe? Where do they come from and what controls them? If we saw one for the first time tomorrow, what would we tell our friends?
In this roundtable edition, we watched the Black Mirror episode “Hated in the Nation” and asked our Robohub team members: with many institutions focused on developing aerial drone technology, and in light of the pressing reality of climate change and bee colony collapse, do we see robotic bees in our future? Would swarms of artificial insects even be desirable?
How can robotics help to enhance the development of the modern arts? Japan’s famous playwright, stage director Oriza Hirata and leading roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro launched the “Robot Theater Project” at Osaka University to explore the boundary between human-robot interactions through robot theater. Their work includes renditions of Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters”, Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”, and their own play “I, Worker”. Their work has spread internationally to Paris, New York, Toronto and Taipei.
For this interview, we would like to invite their collaboration partner Yi-Wei Keng, director of Taipei Arts Festival, to share his insights on the intersection of robotics and the arts.
Last week Raffaello D’Andrea, professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and founder of Verity Studios, demonstrated a whole series of novel flying machines live on stage at TED2016: From a novel Tail-Sitter (a small, fixed-wing aircraft that can optimally recover a stable flight position after a disturbance and smoothly transition from hover into forward flight and back), to the “Monospinner” (the world’s mechanically simplest flying machine, with only a single moving part), to the “Omnicopter” (the world’s first flying machine that can move into any direction independent of its orientation and its rotation), to a novel fully redundant quadrocopter (the world’s first, consisting of two separate two-propeller flying machines), to a synthetic swarm (33 flying machines swarming above the audience).
Thymio is a playful robot designed to help children discover programming, motors, light and motion sensors, and ultimately, logical and inventive thinking – right out of the box. Earlier versions of Thymio are already in use at home or school by tens of thousands of children worldwide. Now Thymio’s development team is crowdfunding to bring you a wireless version of this loveable educational robot.
In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Hunter Lloyd, who is a Professor of Robotics at Montana State University and a comedian. Hunter performs a comedy act for all ages with partner Looney, a NAO Humanoid Robot from Aldebaran Robotics. Lloyd discusses making people laugh with his robot partner, why he does it, and how what he’s learned as a comedian relates to robotics.