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by   -   May 6, 2020

By Benjamin Eysenbach and Abhishek Gupta

This post is cross-listed on the CMU ML blog.

The history of machine learning has largely been a story of increasing abstraction. In the dawn of ML, researchers spent considerable effort engineering features. As deep learning gained popularity, researchers then shifted towards tuning the update rules and learning rates for their optimizers. Recent research in meta-learning has climbed one level of abstraction higher: many researchers now spend their days manually constructing task distributions, from which they can automatically learn good optimizers. What might be the next rung on this ladder? In this post we introduce theory and algorithms for unsupervised meta-learning, where machine learning algorithms themselves propose their own task distributions. Unsupervised meta-learning further reduces the amount of human supervision required to solve tasks, potentially inserting a new rung on this ladder of abstraction.

by   -   April 27, 2020

Looking at the Open Source COVID-19 Medical Supplies production tally of handcrafted masks and faceshields, we’re trying to answer that question in our weekly discussions about ‘COVID-19, robots and us’. We talked to  Rachel ‘McCrafty’ Sadd has been building systems and automation for COVID mask making, as the founder of Project Mask Making and #distillmyheart projects in the SF Bay Area, an artist and also as Executive Director of Ace Monster Toys makerspace/studio. Rachel has been organizing volunteers and automating workflows to get 1700 cloth masks hand sewn and distributed to people at risk before the end of April. “Where’s my f*king robot!” was the theme of her short presentation.

by   -   April 20, 2020

Health care workers are not the only unwilling essential services frontline workers at increased risk of COVID-19. According to the Washington Post on April 12, “At least 41 grocery workers have died of the coronavirus and thousands more have tested positive in recent weeks”. At the same time, grocery stores are seeing a surge in demand and are currently hiring. The food industry is also seeing increasing adoption of robots in both the back end supply chain and in the food retail and food service sectors.

by   -   April 18, 2020

Community, Art and the Vernacular in Technological Ecosystems

by   -   April 17, 2020

COVID-19, robots and us – weekly discussion from March 31 2020

by   -   April 13, 2020
Thessaloniki, Greece – April 6, 2020: Drone with recorded message informs citizens of Thessaloniki to stay home to be protected from the coronavirus.

Robots could have a role to play in COVID-19, whether it’s automating laboratory research, helping with logistics, disinfecting hospitals, education, or allowing carers, colleagues or loved ones to connect using telepresence. Yet many of these solutions are still in development or early deployment. The hope is that accelerating these translations could make a difference.

This page aims to compile some resources for roboticists who are able to help, users who need robots for COVID-19 applications, and people who want to learn about robotics while on lockdown.

by   -   April 13, 2020

Using a robot to disrupt the gait cycle of participants, researchers discovered that feedforward mechanisms controlled by the cerebellum and feedback mechanisms controlled at the spinal level determine how the nervous system responds to robot-induced changes in step length. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

By Tim Sullivan, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network Communications

Many of us aren’t spending much time outside lately, but there are still many obstacles for us to navigate as we walk around: the edge of the coffee table, small children, the family dog. How do our brains adjust to changes in our walking strides? Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Motion Analysis Laboratory at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital used robots to try to answer that question, and discovered that mechanisms in both the cerebellum and the spinal cord determine how the nervous system responds to robot-induced changes in step length. The new study is published in the latest issue of Scientific Reports, and points the way toward improving robot-based physical rehabilitation programs for patients.

by   -   April 13, 2020

“Are we trusting AI too much?: Examining Human-Robot Interactions in the Real World”

by   -   April 7, 2020

HRI2020 has already kicked off with workshops and the Industry Talks Session on April 3, however the first release of videos has only just gone online with the welcome from General Chairs Tony Belpaeme, ID Lab, University of Ghent and James Young, University of Manitoba.

by and   -   April 6, 2020

The YouTube originals series “The Age of A.I.” was released in December 2019. If you haven’t already seen it now could be a good time to catch up – with much of the world in enforced or voluntary isolation many of us will be stuck at home with hours to fill. Sit back and marvel at the many incredible, and often heart-warming, applications of AI.

by   -   April 6, 2020


The 15th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction – HRI 2020 – was meant to take place in the city of Cambridge UK. Instead it will be launching online today. You can follow latest happenings on twitter and youtube. Check here for a list of all the papers.

by   -   April 6, 2020


By Xue Bin (Jason) Peng

Whether it’s a dog chasing after a ball, or a monkey swinging through the trees, animals can effortlessly perform an incredibly rich repertoire of agile locomotion skills. But designing controllers that enable legged robots to replicate these agile behaviors can be a very challenging task. The superior agility seen in animals, as compared to robots, might lead one to wonder: can we create more agile robotic controllers with less effort by directly imitating animals?

by   -   March 24, 2020

Silicon Valley Robotics and the CITRIS People and Robots Initiative are hosting a weekly “COVID-19, robots and us” online discussion with experts from the robotics and health community on Tuesdays at 7pm (California time – PDT). You can sign-up for the free event here.

by   -   March 24, 2020

A simulation system invented at MIT to train driverless cars creates a photorealistic world with infinite steering possibilities, helping the cars learn to navigate a host of worse-case scenarios before cruising down real streets.

By Rob Matheson

A simulation system invented at MIT to train driverless cars creates a photorealistic world with infinite steering possibilities, helping the cars learn to navigate a host of worse-case scenarios before cruising down real streets.  

by   -   March 19, 2020

Researchers from the University of Zurich and NCCR Robotics have demonstrated a flying robot that can detect and avoid fast-moving objects. A step towards drones that can fly faster in harsh environments, accomplishing more in less time.

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