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by   -   December 7, 2019

MIT researchers have invented a way to efficiently optimize the control and design of soft robots for target tasks, which has traditionally been a monumental undertaking in computation.

MIT CSAIL Model-based Embedded and Robotic Systems Group         


interview by   -   November 26, 2019



In this episode Lilly Clark interviews Marlyse Reeves, PhD student at MIT, about her work in cognitive robotics and hybrid activity-motion planning. Reeves discusses the role of robotics in space, the challenges of multi-vehicle missions, planning under uncertainty, and her work on an underwater exploration mission.

by   -   November 21, 2019

Europe is focussed on making robots that work for the benefit of society. This requires empowering future roboticists and users of all ages and backgrounds. In its 9th edition, the European Robotics Week (#ERW2019) is expected to host more than 1000 events across Europe. Over the years, and over 5,000 events, the organisers have learned a thing or two about reaching the public, and ultimately making the robots people want.

by   -   November 21, 2019

The 2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (#IROS2019) was held in Macau earlier this month. The theme this year was “robots connecting people”.

by   -   November 21, 2019

The new “growing robot” can be programmed to grow, or extend, in different directions, based on the sequence of chain units that are locked and fed out from the “growing tip,” or gearbox.
Image courtesy of researchers, edited by MIT News

In today’s factories and warehouses, it’s not uncommon to see robots whizzing about, shuttling items or tools from one station to another. For the most part, robots navigate pretty easily across open layouts. But they have a much harder time winding through narrow spaces to carry out tasks such as reaching for a product at the back of a cluttered shelf, or snaking around a car’s engine parts to unscrew an oil cap.

by   -   November 21, 2019
In lane-merging scenarios, a system developed at MIT could distinguish between altruistic and egoistic driving behavior.
Image courtesy of the researchers.

Self-driving cars are coming. But for all their fancy sensors and intricate data-crunching abilities, even the most cutting-edge cars lack something that (almost) every 16-year-old with a learner’s permit has: social awareness.

interview by   -   November 11, 2019


In this episode, we hear from Brad Hayes, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, who directs the university’s Collaborative AI and Robotics lab. The lab’s work focuses on developing systems that can learn from and work with humans—from physical robots or machines, to software systems or decision support tools—so that together, the human and system can achieve more than each could achieve on their own.

Our interviewer Audrow caught up with Dr. Hayes to discuss why collaboration may at times be preferable to full autonomy and automation, how human naration can be used to help robots learn from demonstration, and the challenges of developing collaborative systems, including the importance of shared models and safety to allow adoption of such technologies in future.

by   -   November 6, 2019

The 2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (#IROS2019) is being held in Macau this week. The theme this year is “robots connecting people”.

by   -   November 6, 2019

The Wyss Institute’s and SEAS robotics team built different models of the soft actuator powered RoboBee. Shown here is a four-wing, two actuator, and an eight-wing, four-actuator RoboBee model the latter of which being the first soft actuator-powered flying microrobot that is capable of controlled hovering flight. Credit: Harvard Microrobotics Lab/Harvard SEAS
By Leah Burrows

The sight of a RoboBee careening towards a wall or crashing into a glass box may have once triggered panic in the researchers in the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), but no more.

by   -   November 6, 2019

By David Gaddy

When learning to follow natural language instructions, neural networks tend to be very data hungry – they require a huge number of examples pairing language with actions in order to learn effectively. This post is about reducing those heavy data requirements by first watching actions in the environment before moving on to learning from language data. Inspired by the idea that it is easier to map language to meanings that have already been formed, we introduce a semi-supervised approach that aims to separate the formation of abstractions from the learning of language.

by   -   November 6, 2019

Joao Ramos (center), co-inventor of HERMES (left), and Little HERMES (right)
Photo: Tony Pulsone

By Jennifer Chu

Rescuing victims from a burning building, a chemical spill, or any disaster that is inaccessible to human responders could one day be a mission for resilient, adaptable robots. Imagine, for instance, rescue-bots that can bound through rubble on all fours, then rise up on two legs to push aside a heavy obstacle or break through a locked door.

by   -   November 6, 2019

For last-mile delivery, robots of the future may use a new MIT algorithm to find the front door, using clues in their environment.
Image: MIT News

By Jennifer Chu

In the not too distant future, robots may be dispatched as last-mile delivery vehicles to drop your takeout order, package, or meal-kit subscription at your doorstep — if they can find the door.

by   -   November 4, 2019

By K.N. McGuire, C. De Wagter, K. Tuyls, H.J. Kappen, G.C.H.E. de Croon

Greenhouses, search-and-rescue teams and warehouses are all looking for new methods to enable surveillance in a manner that is quick and safe for the objects and people surrounding them. Many of them already found their way into robotics, but wheeled ground-bound systems have limited maneuverability. Ideally it would be great if flying robots, a.k.a. micro aerial vehicles (MAV) can take advantage of their 3rd dimension to perform surveillance.

by   -   November 4, 2019

The 2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (#IROS2019) is being held in Macau this week. The theme this year is “robots connecting people”.

by   -   October 30, 2019

with Guy Hoffman
Robotics Researcher, Cornell University

An Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium, co-sponsored by the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies and CITRIS People and Robots (CPAR), presented with Berkeley Arts + Design as part of Arts + Design Mondays.

As we continue to develop social robots designed for connectedness, we struggle with paradoxes related to authenticity, transience, and replication. In this talk, I will attempt to link together 15 years of experience designing social robots with 100-year-old texts on transience, replication, and the fear of dying. Can there be meaningful relationships with robots who do not suffer natural decay? What would our families look like if we all choose to buy identical robotic family members? Could hand-crafted robotics offer a relief from the mass-replication of the robot’s physical body and thus also from the mass-customization of social experiences?

Cognitive Robotics Under Uncertainty
November 26, 2019