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by   -   July 9, 2017

The Second Edition of the award-winning Springer Handbook of Robotics edited by Bruno Siciliano and Oussama Khatib has recently been published. The contents of the first edition have been restructured to achieve four main objectives: the enlargement of foundational topics for robotics, the enlightenment of design of various types of robotic systems, the extension of the treatment on robots moving in the environment, and the enrichment of advanced robotics applications.

Crops are key for a sustainable food production and we face several challenges in crop production. First, we need to feed a growing world population. Second, our society demands high-quality foods. Third, we have to reduce the amount agrochemicals that we apply to our fields as it directly affects our ecosystem. Precision farming techniques offer a great potential to address these challenges, but we have to acquire and provide the relevant information about the field status to the farmers such that specific actions can be taken.

This paper won the IEEE Robotics & Automation Best Automation Paper Award at ICRA 2017.

Driverless car merging into traffic. How big of a gap between vehicles is acceptable? Image credit: Jordan Collver

I’m examining the perception of autonomous cars using hypothetical scenarios. Each of the hypothetical scenarios is accompanied with an image to help illustrate the scene — using grey tones and nondescript human-like features — along with the option to listen to the question spoken out loud to fully visualise an association. 

If you live in the UK, you can take this survey and help contribute to my research!

by   -   June 26, 2017
Credit: Aurora Flight Sciences.

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is researching autonomous co-piloting so they can fly without a human pilot on board. The robotic system — called the Common Aircraft Retrofit for Novel Autonomous Control (CARNAC) (not to be confused with the old Johnny Carson Carnac routine) — has the potential to reduce costs, enable new missions, and improve performance.

It is unclear if Masayoshi Son, Chairman of Softbank, was one of the 17 million YouTube viewers of Boston Dynamic’s Big Dog before acquiring the company for an undisclosed amount this past Thursday. What is clear is the acquisition of Boston Dynamics by Softbank is a big deal. Softbank’s humanoid robot Pepper is trading up her dainty wheels for a pair of sturdy legs.

by   -   June 9, 2017

New design could provide communication support in disaster zones.

Spotmini by Boston Dynamics. Source: Boston Dynamics/YouTube

In a long-awaited transaction, The New York Times Dealbook announced that SoftBank was buying Boston Dynamics from Alphabet (Google). Also included in the deal is the Japanese startup Schaft. Acquisition details were not disclosed.

by   -   June 5, 2017

GelSight technology lets robots gauge objects’ hardness and manipulate small tools.

by   -   May 31, 2017

New algorithm quickly makes sense of incoming visual data.

In 1985, a twenty-two year old Garry Kasparov became the youngest World Chess Champion. Twelve years later, he was defeated by the only player capable of challenging the grandmaster, IBM’s Deep Blue. That same year (1997), RoboCup was formed to take on the world’s most popular game, soccer, with robots. Twenty years later, we are on the threshold of the accomplishing the biggest feat in machine intelligence, a team of fully autonomous humanoids beating human players at FIFA World Cup soccer.

For decades robotic exoskeletons were the subject of science fiction novels and movies. But in recent years, exoskeleton technology has made huge progress towards reality and exciting research projects and new companies have surfaced.

by   -   May 16, 2017

Professor David Mindell, who researches the interaction between automation and human behavior, discusses the interdependence of people, robots, and infrastructure.

NAO robot. Photo courtesy: Paul Bremner/UWE

I was asked to write a short op-ed on the European Parliament Law Committee’s recommendations on civil law rules for robotics. In the end, the piece didn’t get published, so I am posting it here:

After reading the press releases for this batch of 24 research reports, although they vary widely in their forecasts, they almost all agree that most segments of the robotics industry are expected to grow at a double-digit pace at least through 2022.

by   -   April 26, 2017

For three days, experts in the field of robotics and unmanned systems from all over the world gathered in the Netherlands.



High-Performance Autonomous Vehicles
October 14, 2017


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