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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.

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   -   December 10, 2017
Image: ICRA 2017

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews several companies at the International Conference for Robotics and Automation (ICRA). ICRA is the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s biggest conference and one of the leading international forums for robotics researchers to present their work.

interview by   -   November 24, 2017



In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Peter Adamczyk, Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on semi-active foot and ankle prostheses. The difference is that active below-knee prostheses work to move the person’s weight, emulating the calf muscle, while semi-active devices use small amounts of power to improve the performance of the prosthesis. Adamczyk discusses the motivation for semi-active devices and gives three examples: shiftable shapes, controllable keels, and alignable ankles.

interview by   -   November 11, 2017



In this interview, Audrow Nash interviews Marco Hutter, Assistant Professor for Robotic Systems at ETH Zürich, about a quadrupedal robot designed for autonomous operation in challenging environments, called ANYmal. Hutter discusses ANYmal’s design, the ARGOS oil and gas rig inspection challenge, and the advantages and complexities of quadrupedal locomotion. 

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.

 

interview by   -   September 30, 2017



In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Ayanna Howard, Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, about her work to help children with the movement disorder cerebral palsy. Howard discusses how robots and tablet can be used to “gamify” pediatric therapy. The idea is that if therapy is fun and engaging children are more likely to do it, and thus, they are more likely to see the long-term benefits of the therapy. Howard discusses how therapy is “gamified,” how a small humanoid robot is used to coach children, and how they work with pediatricians.

by   -   September 27, 2017


The ERL Emergency Robots 2017 (#ERLemergency2017) major tournament in Piombino, Italy, gathered 130 participants from 16 universities and companies from 8 European countries. Participating teams designed robots able to bring the first relief to survivors in disaster-response scenarios. The #ERLemergency2017 scenarios were inspired by the Fukushima 2011 nuclear accident. The robotics competition took place from 15-23 September 2017 at Enel’s Torre del Sale, and saw sea, land and air robots collaborating.

interview by   -   August 5, 2017

 

In this episode, MeiXing Dong interviews Matthias Vanoni, co-founder and CEO of Biowatch. Vanoni speaks about Biowatch, a wrist-veins biometric reader that functions as a security solution for mobile payments and smart devices. They discuss the technical challenges of building a miniaturized wrist-vein reader and how this device changes the usual user authentication process.

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.

Folding robots based on origami have emerged as an exciting new frontier of robotic design, but generally require onboard batteries or a wired connection to a power source, limiting their functionality. Scientist have now created battery-free folding robots that are capable of complex, repeatable movements powered and controlled through a wireless magnetic field.

interview by   -   July 8, 2017



In this episode, MeiXing Dong conducts interviews at the 2017 Midwest Speech and Language Days workshop in Chicago. She talks with Michael White of Ohio State University about question interpretation in a dialogue system; Dmitriy Dligach of Loyola University Chicago about extracting patient timelines from doctor’s notes; and Denis Newman-Griffiths of Ohio State University about connecting words and phrases to relevant medical topics.

interview by   -   June 24, 2017

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Sergey Levine, assistant professor at UC Berkeley, about deep learning on robotics. Levine explains what deep learning is and he discusses the challenges of using deep learning in robotics. Lastly, Levine speaks about his collaboration with Google and some of the surprising behavior that emerged from his deep learning approach (how the system grasps soft objects).

In addition to the main interview, Audrow interviewed Levine about his professional path. They spoke about what questions motivate him, why his PhD experience was different to what he had expected, the value of self-directed learning,  work-life balance, and what he wishes he’d known in graduate school.

File 20170609 4841 73vkw2
A subject plays a computer game as part of a neural security experiment at the University of Washington.
Patrick Bennett, CC BY-ND

By Eran Klein, University of Washington and Katherine Pratt, University of Washington

 

In the 1995 film “Batman Forever,” the Riddler used 3-D television to secretly access viewers’ most personal thoughts in his hunt for Batman’s true identity. By 2011, the metrics company Nielsen had acquired Neurofocus and had created a “consumer neuroscience” division that uses integrated conscious and unconscious data to track customer decision-making habits. What was once a nefarious scheme in a Hollywood blockbuster seems poised to become a reality.

by   -   June 21, 2017
Image: MIT News

Laparoscopy is a surgical technique in which a fiber-optic camera is inserted into a patient’s abdominal cavity to provide a video feed that guides the surgeon through a minimally invasive procedure. Laparoscopic surgeries can take hours, and the video generated by the camera — the laparoscope — is often recorded. Those recordings contain a wealth of information that could be useful for training both medical providers and computer systems that would aid with surgery, but because reviewing them is so time consuming, they mostly sit idle.



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January 20, 2018


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