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interview by   -   April 17, 2017



In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Roland Siegwart and Matthias Hüni about Kickstart Accelerator, a Swiss Startup Accelerator. Siegwart leads the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zürich and is one of the initiators of Kickstart Accelerator. Hüni is the vertical lead of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at Kickstart Accelerator and is involved in the program’s operations. Kickstart Accelerator seeks to provide international entrepreneurs with an inlet to the Swiss ecosystem, including connections to industry and academia.

Northwestern University mechanical engineering professor Todd Murphey and his team are engineering robots that one might say could make robotic assistance as seamless as “humanly” possible. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the team is using novel algorithmic tools, such as a drawing robot, to develop the algorithms, or rules of behavior, that would greatly enhance a robot’s ability to adapt to human unpredictability.

From bustling cities to tiny farming communities, the bright lights of the local stadium are common beacons to the Friday night ritual of high school football. But across the sprawling stretches of rural America, these stadiums are commonly far from doctors who could quickly diagnose and treat head injuries that have brought so much scrutiny to the sport. But by using a remote-controlled robot, a neurologist sitting hundreds of miles from the field can evaluate athletes for concussion with the same accuracy as on-site physicians.

Image courtesy of flora robotica, Photo by Anders Ingvartsen, CITA

Robots and plants are being intricately linked into a new type of living technology that its creators believe could be used to grow a house.

What do you get when you put together wood and rope? Well according to Plymouth University’s Professor Guido Bugmann: a low-cost, open source, 2 meter tall robot! All buildable for under £2000. The Cheap Arm Project (CHAP) began as an MSc project aimed at developing an affordable mobile robot arm system that could be used by wheelchair users to access daily objects at inaccessible heights or weights (the extreme case being 2 litre bottle).

by   -   March 21, 2017

A bio-inspired gel material developed at MIT could help engineers control movements of soft robots.

interview by   -   March 18, 2017



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.

Ghost Robotics—a leader in fast and lightweight direct-drive legged robots—announced recently that its Minitaur model has been updated with advanced reactive behaviors for navigating grass, rock, sand, snow and ice fields, urban objects and debris, and vertical terrain.

by   -   March 6, 2017
The feedback system enables human operators to correct the robot’s choice in real-time – Jason Dorfman, MIT CSAIL

For robots to do what we want, they need to understand us. Too often, this means having to meet them halfway: teaching them the intricacies of human language, for example, or giving them explicit commands for very specific tasks. But what if we could develop robots that were a more natural extension of us and that could actually do whatever we are thinking?

by   -   March 1, 2017

The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is part of a consortium which has received a £4.6 million grant to build a new generation of robots for use in nuclear sites. The funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council will help develop smaller robotics technologies that will be able to operate autonomously and effectively in hazardous environments.

by   -   February 17, 2017
MIT Professor Regina Barzilay has struck up new research collaborations, drawn in MIT students, launched projects with local doctors, and begun empowering cancer treatment with the machine-learning insight that has already transformed many areas of modern life.
Photo: Lillie Paquette/School of Engineering

Computer scientist Regina Barzilay is working with MIT students and medical doctors in an ambitious bid to revolutionize cancer care. She is relying on a tool largely unrecognized in the oncology world but deeply familiar to hers: machine learning.

Chances are that you’ve never given much thought to how insects walk, or what combination of leg movements–or gaits–is most stable or fastest, but, if like a group of scientists from Ramdya, Floreano and Ijspeert labs, NCCR Robotics, you are trying to create fast and robust robots, taking inspiration some of nature’s most agile movers might give you just the inspiration you need.

Felix Von Drigalski, of the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, introduces a versatile, open-source, two-finger gripper for textile manipulation that can sustain significant pushing loads in order to perform tucking tasks, using active perception.

by   -   February 2, 2017
“Hydrogels are soft, wet, biocompatible, and can form more friendly interfaces with human organs,” says Xuanhe Zhao, associate professor of mechanical engineering and civil and environmental engineering at MIT. Photo: Hyunwoo Yuk/MIT Soft Active Materials Lab

Engineers at MIT have fabricated transparent, gel-based robots that move when water is pumped in and out of them. The bots can perform a number of fast, forceful tasks, including kicking a ball underwater, and grabbing and releasing a live fish.

by   -   February 1, 2017

Coupled with audio and vital-sign data, this deep-learning, wearable system could someday serve as a “social coach” for people with anxiety or Asperger’s





Kickstart Accelerator
April 17, 2017


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