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Ricardo Téllez


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Co-founder and CTO of The Construct. Prior to this role, he was a postdoc researcher at the Robotics Institute of the Spanish Research Council, and worked for more than seven years at Pal Robotics developing human size humanoid robots, including the navigation system and the reasoning engine. He holds a PhD in artificial intelligence and aims to create robots that really understand what they are doing.



by   -   November 24, 2018

A couple of months ago I interviewed Joel Esposito about the state of robotics education for the ROS Developers Podcast #21. On that podcast, Joel talks about his research on how robotics is taught around the world. He identifies a set of common robotics subjects that need to be explained in order to make students know about robotics, and a list of resources that people are using to teach them. But most important, he points out the importance of practicing with robots what students learn.

by   -   October 1, 2018

I read an article entitled Games Hold the Key to Teaching Artificial Intelligent Systems, by Danny Vena, in which the author states that computer games like Minecraft, Civilization, and Grand Theft Auto have been used to train intelligent systems to perform better in visual learning, understand language, and collaborate with humans. The author concludes that games are going to be a key element in the field of artificial intelligence in the near future. And he is almost right.

In my opinion, the article only touches the surface of artificial intelligence by talking about games. Games have been a good starting point for the generation of intelligent systems that outperform humans, but going deeper into the realm of robots that are useful in human environments will require something more complex than games. And I’m talking about simulations.

by   -   October 24, 2017

Self-driving cars are inevitable.

In recent years, self-driving cars have become a priority for automotive companies. BMW, Bosch, Google, Baidu, Toyota, GE, Tesla, Ford, Uber and Volvo are investing in autonomous driving research. Also, many new companies have appeared in the autonomous cars industry: Drive.ai, Cruise, nuTonomy, Waymo to name a few (read this post for a list of 260 companies involved in the self-driving industry).

Last week I was talking to one lead engineer of a Singapore company which is building a benchmarking system for robot solutions. Having seen my presentation at ROSCON2016 about robot benchmarking, he asked me how I would benchmark solutions that are non-ROS compatible. I said that I wouldn’t dedicate time to benchmark solutions that are not ROS-based. Instead, I suggested I would use the time to polish the ROS-based benchmarking and suggest that vendors adopt that middleware in their products.

Lecturer Steffen Pfiffner of University of Weingarten in Germany is teaching ROS to 26 students at the same time at a very fast pace. His students, all of them within the Master on Computer Science of University of Weingarten, use only a web browser. They connect to a web page containing the lessons, a ROS development environment and several ROS based simulated robots. Using the browser, Pfiffner and his colleague Benjamin Stähle, are able to teach how to program with ROS quickly and to many students. This is what Robot Ignite Academy is made for.

Imagine how easy it would be to learn skating, if only it doesn’t hurt everytime you fall. Unfortunately, we, humans,  don’t have that option. Robots, however, can now “learn” their skills on a simulation platform without being afraid of crashing into a wall. Yes, “it learns“! This is possible with the reinforcement learning algorithms provided by OpenAI Gym and the ROS Development Studio.

You probably know the Sphero robot. It is a small robot with the shape of a ball. In case that you have one, you must know that it is possible to control it using ROS, by installing in your computer the Sphero ROS packages developed by Melonee Wise and connecting to the robot using the bluetooth of the computer.

by   -   October 6, 2016

Ricardo Tellez discusses The Construct approach to learning how to programme robotics and utilising the Robot Ignite Academy.

Image: The Construct
Image: The Construct

By Miguel Angel

One of the most wanted robot simulations is a robot that can be used for anything. Robonaut is one like this. NASA kindly gave this simulation for public use and we thought here in The Construct that we could use it to make an even better user-friendly version. We created a test to demonstrate the possibilities that The Construct has to offer in Space Zero gravity simulations.

by   -   January 7, 2016

There are magnificent tutorials about how to create plugins for Gazebo in the GazeboSim webpage. There are even some tutorials about how to create plugins for Gazebo + ROS, which show that there are several types of plugins (world, model, sensor, system, visual), and indicate how to create a plugin for a world-type plugin. But I recently I needed to create a plugin for a light detector and couldn’t find a concrete example. Here’s a how-to post showing you how I did it.

by   -   December 28, 2015

During my long experience at Pal Robotics developing humanoid robots, I learned just how much a good simulator can help speed up the development and maintenance processes of robot building. To my surprise, however, I recently discovered that lots of robotics companies don’t use a simulator for this purpose. In this post I’ll share with you the key reasons why you should be using a simulator for your robot development.

by   -   November 24, 2015

The Robot Race to Hawaii is a robotics contest where participants program a humanoid Nao robot to run a 10-meter race in the shortest time possible. The whole competition is run in a Webots simulation inside The Construct hosting platform. Participants need only a computer equipped with web browser to participate, and are not required to download any applications. There is no cost to enter.

by   -   November 13, 2015

Darpa Robotics Challenge winners, KAIST, were the stars of last week’s Humanoids 2015 conference, in Seoul, Korea. It was the first major outing for humanoid robots since the DRC earlier this year and even featured a mini-Darpa challenge.

The Construct is a Barcelona based startup created to simplify the simulation of robots. The goal is to allow anybody to simulate complex robots and environments with minimal knowledge, without having to install or maintain anything in their computers, and without having to build the simulations from scratch.