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interview by   -   April 14, 2018
Toyota HSR Trained with DART to Make a Bed.

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Michael Laskey, PhD student at UC Berkeley, about a method for robust imitation learning, called DART. Laskey discusses how DART relates to previous imitation learning methods, how this approach has been used for folding bed sheets, and on the importance of robotics leveraging theory in other disciplines.

by   -   April 11, 2018


It all started with 166 companies spread across 12 European countries appling for a “golden ticket” to ROBOTT-NET’s Voucher Program. 64 companies received a voucher and highly specialized consultancy from a broad range of the brightest robotics experts around Europe. Now five of the 64 projects have been selected for a ROBOTT-NET pilot.

interview by   -   March 31, 2018



In this interview, Audrow speaks with Andrea Bajcsy and Dylan P. Losey about a method that allows robots to infer a human’s objective through physical interaction. They discuss their approach, the challenges of learning complex tasks, and their experience collaborating between different universities.

by   -   March 30, 2018

The European project ROBOTT-NET helps the best ideas in industrial robotics become reality. 400 hours of free consulting with robotics experts from all over Europe has helped companies, both small and large, find out how robot automation can contribute to them and which automation solution is the right one for each company.

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   -   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   -   October 14, 2017



In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Chris Gerdes, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, about designing high-performance autonomous vehicles. The idea is to make vehicles safer, as Gerdes says, he wants to “develop vehicles that could avoid any accident that can be avoided within the laws of physics.”

In this interview, Gerdes discusses developing a model for high-performance control of a vehicle; their autonomous race car, an Audi TTS named ‘Shelley,’ and how its autonomous performance compares to ameteur and professional race car drivers; and an autonomous, drifting Delorean named ‘MARTY.’

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 29, 2017


The European Robotics League (ERL) announced the winners of ERL Emergency Robots 2017 major tournament, during the awards ceremony held on Saturday, 23rd September at Giardini Pro Patria, in Piombino, Italy.

The ERL Emergency Robots 2017 competition consisted of four scenarios, inspired by the nuclear accident of Fukushima (Japan, 2011) and designed specifically for multi-domain human-robot teams. The first scenario is The Grand Challenge made up of three domains – sea, air, land, and the other three scenarios are made of only two domains.



DART: Noise injection for robust imitation learning
April 14, 2018


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