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Audrow Nash


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Audrow is the Podcast Director for Robohub, an NSF Fellow, and a Master's student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. He is part of Dr. C. David Remy's Robotics and Motion Laboratory (RAM-Lab), which develops legged robots and assistive robotic devices such as active prostheses and exoskeletons.



by   -   September 17, 2018


In this interview, Audrow Nash interviews Amruta Moktali, VP of Product Management at Salesforce Analytics, about Salesforce Analytics’ analytic and artificial intelligence software. Moktali discusses the data-pipeline, how data is processed (e.g., noise), and how insights are identified.  She also talks about how dimensions in the data can be controlled for (such as race, gender, or zip-code) to avoid bias and how other dimensions can be selected as actionable so Salesforce can make recommendations—and how they use interpretable methods so that these recommendations can be explained.  Moktali also tells about her professional path, including going from computer engineering and computer science to product management and her experience with intrapreneurship (that is, starting an endeavor within a large organization).

by   -   September 2, 2018

In this episode, Audrow Nash interview Magnus Egerstedt, Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, about a way for anyone interested in swarm robotics to test their ideas on hardware, called the Robotarium.  The Robotarium is a 725-square-foot lab at the the Georgia Institute of Technology that houses nearly 100 rolling and flying robots.  To test their ideas, people can write their own programs, upload them to the Robotarium, and then watch the machines carry out their commands.

In this interview, Egerstedt speaks about the kinds of robots used in the Robotarium, design decisions in making the Robotarium, the differences between doing research in simulation and on hardware, and about lessons learnt and the challenges of building the Robotarium.

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Chris McCool and Chris Lehnert about different projects that relate to agriculture at the Queensland University of Technology. McCool speaks about a large robot for weed management in fields. The robot uses Real-time kinematic GPS (very accurate) and a camera with deep learning to recognize various types of plants. Lehnert speaks about a robot to harvest sweet peppers. The robot first grabs on to the sweet pepper with a suction cup and then uses a small saw to cut the fruit from the bush. Chris speaks about using their method for other crops, how their robot does in terms of deployment, and the future of agriculture.

 

by   -   July 21, 2018

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Shuo Yang about DJI’s RoboMaster first-person shooter (FPS) competition, a competition designed to get people excited about robotics. For the competition, university teams build and program a robot to go against DJI’s robots in a shooting battle. Each robot has a way of propelling marble-sized plastic balls and pressure sensors on their sides to register if they’ve been hit by an opponent’s projectile. Shuo speaks about the goals of the competition, the teams that are involved, what strategies the teams use, the difficulties the team had in making their robot’s good competitors, the future of the challenge, and how people can get involved.

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Juxi Leitner, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at QUT; and Nicholas Panitz, Ben Wilson, and James Brett, from CSIRO.

Leitner speaks about the Amazon Picking challenge, a challenge to advance the state of robotic grasping, and their robot which won the challenge in 2017. Their robot is similar to a cartesian 3D printer in form and uses either a suction cup or a pinch gripper for grabbing objects. Their robot has a depth camera and uses a digital scale to determine if an object has been picked up successfully. Leitner discusses what their team did differently from other teams that helped them win the competition.

Panitz, Wilson, and Brett speak about their hexapod robots. Their hexapods are for several purposes, such as environmental monitoring and remote inspection. They choose to use hexapods because they are statically stable. They discuss the design of their hexapods and how research works at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, or CSIRO.

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Jonathan W. Hurst, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Oregon State University and CTO and co-founder of Agility Robotics, about legged locomotion, about a bipedal robot, called “Cassie.” Hurst discusses Cassie’s design, what types of research questions Cassie should allow, and applications of walking robots, including package delivery. 

In this interview, Audrow Nash speaks with Sangin Park, Senior Research Engineer at Hyundai, about exoskeletons. Park describes three exoskeleton prototypes: one for helping workers reduce back pain, one for assisting a person with paraplegia, and an exoskeleton for soldiers. Park discusses the sensors and actuators of each exoskeleton, as well as Hyundai’s exoskeleton ambitions.

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.



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 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.



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. 

by   -   February 5, 2018
Image from the South China Morning Post

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Karl Weaver (魏卡爾), formerly the Original Equipment Manufacturer Business Development Director for Oasis Smart SIM. Weaver discusses how wearable technology is growing as a form of payment system in China. He speaks about wireless technology, including Near-Field Communications (NFC) and Embedded SIM cards (eSIM), in wearable technology and in other applications, such as bike rental.



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.

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.

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.