By Esther Rolf∗, David Fridovich-Keil∗, and Max Simchowitz
In many tasks in machine learning, it is common to want to answer questions given fixed, pre-collected datasets. In some applications, however, we are not given data a priori; instead, we must collect the data we require to answer the questions of interest.
A crucial task for energy providers is the reliable and safe operation of their plants, especially when producing energy offshore. Autonomous mobile robots are able to offer comprehensive support through regular and automated inspection of machinery and infrastructure. In a world’s first pilot installation, transmission system operator TenneT tested the autonomous legged robot ANYmal on one of the world’s largest offshore converter platforms in the North Sea.
By Daniel Seita, Jeff Mahler, Mike Danielczuk, Matthew Matl, and Ken Goldberg
This post explores two independent innovations and the potential for combining them in robotics. Two years before the AlexNet results on ImageNet were released in 2012, Microsoft rolled out the Kinect for the X-Box. This class of low-cost depth sensors emerged just as Deep Learning boosted Artificial Intelligence by accelerating performance of hyper-parametric function approximators leading to surprising advances in image classification, speech recognition, and language translation.
From about 245 to 66 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Although well-preserved skeletons give us a good idea of what they looked like, the way their limbs worked remains a bigger mystery. But computer simulations may soon provide a realistic glimpse into how some species moved and inform work in fields such as robotics, prosthetics and architecture.
Whether it’s everyday tasks like washing our hands or stunning feats of acrobatic prowess, humans are able to learn an incredible array of skills by watching other humans. With the proliferation of publicly available video data from sources like YouTube, it is now easier than ever to find video clips of whatever skills we are interested in.
The deployment of connected, automated, and autonomous vehicles presents us with transformational opportunities for road transport. These opportunities reach beyond single-vehicle automation: by enabling groups of vehicles to jointly agree on maneuvers and navigation strategies, real-time coordination promises to improve overall traffic throughput, road capacity, and passenger safety. However, coordinated driving for intelligent vehicles still remains a challenging research problem, and testing new approaches is cumbersome. Developing true-scale facilities for safe, controlled vehicle testbeds is massively expensive and requires a vast amount of space. One approach to facilitating experimental research and education is to build low-cost testbeds that incorporate fleets of down-sized, car-like mobile platforms.
In the future, smart textile-based soft robotic exosuits could be worn by soldiers, fire fighters and rescue workers to help them traverse difficult terrain and arrive fresh at their destinations so that they can perform their respective tasks more effectively. They could also become a powerful means to enhance mobility and quality of living for people suffering from neurodegenerative disorders and for the elderly.
In this post, we demonstrate how deep reinforcement learning (deep RL) can be used to learn how to control dexterous hands for a variety of manipulation tasks. We discuss how such methods can learn to make use of low-cost hardware, can be implemented efficiently, and how they can be complemented with techniques such as demonstrations and simulation to accelerate learning.
An earlier version of this post was published on Off the Convex Path. It is reposted here with the author’s permission.
In the last few years, deep learning practitioners have proposed a litany of different sequence models. Although recurrent neural networks were once the tool of choice, now models like the autoregressive Wavenet or the Transformer are replacing RNNs on a diverse set of tasks. In this post, we explore the trade-offs between recurrent and feed-forward models.
Since programming is an extremely time-consuming business, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are often forced to manage without robots. Researchers from Fraunhofer IPA have therefore developed the software RobotKit specially for welding tasks. In an initial test scenario, the kit reduced programming times from 90 down to just 7 minutes.
Learning a new skill by observing another individual, the ability to imitate, is a key part of intelligence in human and animals. Can we enable a robot to do the same, learning to manipulate a new object by simply watching a human manipulating the object just as in the video below?