In this interview, Peter Corke gives us a retrospective on the differences between the field of robotics now and when he just started his career 30 years ago, pointing out what strikes him as the most important milestones in robotics in the past 10 years. He goes on to share his view on the role of editorship, and the difference between robotics research papers and articles published in a robotics magazine, as well as his perspective on traditional publishing vs open access publishing.
A very unfortunate incident for NASA and the commercial orbital transportation services program took place yesterday. The Antares rocket that was about to send the Cygnus spacecraft on the ISS exploded a few seconds after its launch from NASA’s Wallops flight facilities. No casualties or even small injuries were reported, although the area is being contained and treated with caution. It is a major incident for US spaceflight that breaks a trouble-free period and could have important implications for the private spaceflight sector.
What’s with all the quadrotors in auto advertising these days? And what do quadrotor swarms have to do with cars? Probably not much at all, but apparently associating your auto brand with high-performance quads is de rigeur. Subaru is following the lead of Lexus (which launched its quadrotor ad last November), upping the ante by having the driver of the new WRX STI engage in a pas de deux (or should we say, ’pas de plusieurs?’) with a swarm of 300 LED-lit quadrotors. It makes for some pretty stunning footage, but before you get too excited, unlike the original Lexus ad (which had at least a decent portion of real footage from Kmel’s impressive quads) almost all of the quadrotor eye-candy in the new Subaru ad is CGI. The automaker’s desire to associate themselves with cutting edge technology may be a sign of just how popular quadrotors have become, but is hyper-realistic CGI enhancement inflating consumer’s expectations of what quadrotors can actually do? (see the video below)
In this video update, we show that a quadrocopter can be safely piloted by hand after a motor fails, without the aid of a motion capture system. This follows our previous video, where we demonstrated how a complete propeller failure can be automatically detected, and that a quadrocopter can still maintain stable flight despite the complete loss of a propeller.
NASA, MIT and DARPA will host the Fifth Annual Zero Robotics SPHERES Student Challenge today at 7:30am (EST). The event will take place at MIT’s campus in Cambridge, Mass. where student teams from the US and other countries will join NASA, ESA,MIT, DARPA, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, and IT consulting firm Appiro.
The time has come for the robots competing on the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) to make their first public appearance. The trials for the final 2014 event will take place on December 20-21, 2013 and you can watch them live (or up close if you are lucky!). As stated on DARPA’s website: “The Trials will provide a baseline on the current state of robotics and determine which teams will continue on to the DRC Finals in 2014 with continued DARPA funding. Competing in the 2014 Finals will lead to one team winning a $2 million prize.“
Click after the jump for the live video and twitter stream or go directly to http://www.theroboticschallenge.org/.
We take you now to sunny, southern California, where a small group of enthusiasts has constructed a very realistic, Arduino-based replica of Pixar’s WALL-E, entirely from custom-fabricated parts.
The beloved Wall-E robot was just computer generated graphics in the Pixar movie, but fans have spent years trying to bring him to life. We visit Mike McMaster’s workshop to see his incredible life-size Wall-E, a remote controlled robot that lives among an R2-D2 droid and other pets on Mike’s orange farm.
This concludes the ShanghAI Lecture series of 2012. After a wrap-up of the class, we announce the winners of the EmbedIT and NAO competitions and end with an outlook of the future of the ShanghAI Lectures.
Then there are three guest lectures: Tamás Haidegger (Budapest University of Technology and Economics) on surgical robots, Aude Billard (EPFL) on how the body shapes the way we move (and how humans can shape the way robots move), and Jamie Paik (EPFL) on soft robotics.