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ETH Zurich

by   -   December 12, 2014

ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich are founding a new translational research centre at the interface of medicine, science and engineering: the Wyss Translational Center Zurich. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the new centre aims to accelerate the development and application of innovative medical therapies and groundbreaking robotic systems.

by   -   September 24, 2014
 A camera man gets up, close, and personal with the human and machine actors on the "Sparked" set.
A camera man gets up, close, and personal with the human and machine actors on the “Sparked” set.

If you thought “SPARKED” – the new short film by Cirque du Soleil, ETH Zurich, and Verity Studios – is too real-looking to be CGI, you were right. But why go to all the trouble of using quadrotors to get those lampshades dancing in the air for real? We asked Bill Keays, Science and Technology Advisor at Cirque du Soleil, to give us an insider’s perspective about Cirque’s motivation for the film and how it came together.

by   -   September 22, 2014

The dance between human and machine has never looked quite like this.

by   -   July 17, 2014

Iida_Fumiya_0_0Guest talk in the ShanghAI Lectures, 2011-11-17

Artificial ontogenetic development has been nicely demonstrated by many computer simulation studies in the past. There are, however, still a number of technical challenges in bringing it to the real world. In this presentation, I will introduce some potential solutions to this challenging problem, solutions that stem from soft robotics research. More specifically, we demonstrate how autonomous construction, autonomous body extension, and autonomous robot climbing locomotion can be achieved by exploiting unconventional soft material such as Hot Melt Adhesives.

by   -   July 3, 2014

Although I am amazed with UAVs and their versatility, I must admit that having a flying camera zoom by – and zoom in on me – can be intimidating. Not because the drone has a camera, but because I don’t always know who is behind that camera. If the drone operator were immediately identifiable, however, I would have no problem. That is exactly the issue Fotokite tries to solve.

by   -   February 28, 2014
TEDGlobal 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. June 12-15, 2013. Photo: James Duncan Davidson
TEDGlobal 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. June 12-15, 2013. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

In this 4th interview of our four-part ECHORD series, conducted last June, Sascha Griffiths from TUM talks to Raffaello D’Andrea, Professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zurich and technical co-founder of Kiva Systems. The series explores success stories and common obstacles in industry-academia collaborations in the field of robotics, and examines the differences  between these collaborations in the US, Europe and Asia.

by   -   June 12, 2013


“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” — a catch phrase that aptly expresses the Distributed Flight Array: a modular robot consisting of hexagonal-shaped single-rotor units that can take on just about any shape or form. Although each unit is capable of generating enough thrust to lift itself off the ground, on its own it is incapable of flight much like a helicopter cannot fly without its tail rotor. However, when joined together, these units evolve into a sophisticated multi-rotor system capable of coordinated flight and much more.

by   -   April 25, 2013


In the 9th part of the ShanghAI Lecture series, we look at ontogenetic development as Rolf Pfeifer talks about the path from locomotion to cognition. This is followed by two guest lectures: The first one by Ning Lan (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China) on cortico-muscular communication in the nervous system, the second by Roland Siegwart (ETH Zurich) on the design and navigation of robots with various moving abilities.

by   -   March 30, 2013


In this sixth part of the ShanghAI Lecture series, Rolf Pfeifer introduces the topic “Artificial Evolution” and gives examples of evolutionary processes in artificial intelligence. The first guest lecture, by Francesco Mondada (EPFL) is about the use of robots in daily life; in the second guest lecture, Robert Riener (ETH Zürich) talks about rehabilitation robots.

by   -   March 5, 2013


Designing robots that can function outside of controlled, factory environments isn’t easy. When those environments have people in them, they are especially unpredictable and difficult for a robot to navigate.

Enter Rezero: a compact ballbot that can fluidly drive in any direction without prior orientation.

by   -   February 21, 2013


Two of the most challenging problems tackled with quadrocopters so far are balancing an inverted pendulum and juggling balls. My colleagues at ETH Zurich’s Flying Machine Arena have now combined the two.

by   -   February 4, 2013

Raffaello DAndrea Quadrocopter2

During the 20 minute presentation, Raffaello D’Andrea revealed some of the key concepts behind his group’s impressive demonstrations of quadrocopters juggling, throwing and catching balls, dancing, and building structures – and illustrated them with live examples with quadrocopters flying on stage.

by   -   November 8, 2012

First person view of the quadrocopter racing through a pylon slalom course.

Manual programming of robots only gets you so far. And, as you can see in the video, for quadrocopters that’s not very far at all (see the “Without Learning” part starting at 1:30):

by   -   October 25, 2012

San Francisco based Bossa Nova Robotics develops personal robots for the home based on the ballbot technology under license from CMU. Founded by robotics entrepreneur Sarjoun Skaff as a spin-off out of Carnegie Mellon University´s Robotics Institute in 2005, the company  manufactures the mObi robot that will be available for researchers and developers in 2013. The platform will feature PrimeSense 3D depth sensors, next generation Intel hardware and a reconfigurable plartform. The Intel processor runs either Windows or ROS (Robot Operating System).  As the first commercially availavble ballbot plarform, mObi will provide unique capabilities for a broad range of robotics research and Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) applications.