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by   -   October 3, 2019

By Anusha Nagabandi

Dexterous manipulation with multi-fingered hands is a grand challenge in robotics: the versatility of the human hand is as yet unrivaled by the capabilities of robotic systems, and bridging this gap will enable more general and capable robots. Although some real-world tasks (like picking up a television remote or a screwdriver) can be accomplished with simple parallel jaw grippers, there are countless tasks (like functionally using the remote to change the channel or using the screwdriver to screw in a nail) in which dexterity enabled by redundant degrees of freedom is critical. In fact, dexterous manipulation is defined as being object-centric, with the goal of controlling object movement through precise control of forces and motions — something that is not possible without the ability to simultaneously impact the object from multiple directions. For example, using only two fingers to attempt common tasks such as opening the lid of a jar or hitting a nail with a hammer would quickly encounter the challenges of slippage, complex contact forces, and underactuation. Although dexterous multi-fingered hands can indeed enable flexibility and success of a wide range of manipulation skills, many of these more complex behaviors are also notoriously difficult to control: They require finely balancing contact forces, breaking and reestablishing contacts repeatedly, and maintaining control of unactuated objects. Success in such settings requires a sufficiently dexterous hand, as well as an intelligent policy that can endow such a hand with the appropriate control strategy. We study precisely this in our work on Deep Dynamics Models for Learning Dexterous Manipulation.

by   -   October 3, 2019

By Leah Burrows

What would it take to transform a flat sheet into a human face? How would the sheet need to grow and shrink to form eyes that are concave into the face and a convex nose and chin that protrude?

by   -   October 3, 2019

By Kourosh Hakhamaneshi

In this post, we share some recent promising results regarding the applications of Deep Learning in analog IC design. While this work targets a specific application, the proposed methods can be used in other black box optimization problems where the environment lacks a cheap/fast evaluation procedure.

by   -   October 3, 2019

One of the biggest urban legends growing up in New York City were rumors about alligators living in the sewers. This myth even inspired a popular children’s book called “The Great Escape: Or, The Sewer Story,” with illustrations of reptiles crawling out of apartment toilets. To this day, city dwellers anxiously look at manholes wondering what lurks below. This curiosity was shared last month by the US Defense Department with its appeal for access to commercial underground complexes.

by   -   October 1, 2019
TeamBathDrones Research’s aerial robot. Photo: European Robotics League

The European Robotics League (ERL) presents the SciRoc Challenge, a new robotics competition on smart cities that occurs every two years in a European city. Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 framework programme, the first SciRoc challenge takes place in the city of Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. In the context of smart shopping, robots interact with the Milton Keynes Data Hub (MK:DataHub) in a shopping mall. They update stock lists, take customers’ orders or find out the location of a person in need. On the third day of the competition, teams continued competing in the five different episodes and the public could see the first trials in the emergency category. The aerial teams were ready to start delivering autonomously the first-aid kit to the mannequin placed inside the flying arena!

by   -   September 25, 2019
Team bi-it-bots KUKA platform for the shopping pick and pack episode. Photo Credits: European Robotics League

The ERL Smart Cities Robotics Challenge 2019 takes place from 17-21st September in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. Funded by the European Commission under the SciRoc Horizon 2020 project, this new challenge of the European Robotics League (ERL) focuses on the role of robots in smart cities. The competition includes five different episodes or scenarios under three categories: human-robot interaction & mobility, emergency and manipulation. On the second day of the competition teams kept working on improving their scores to secure a place in the finals.

by   -   September 19, 2019

The ERL Smart Cities Robotics Challenge (SciRoc Challenge) includes five different episodes around the topic of smart shopping. Ten teams from five different countries have travelled to Milton Keynes, UK, to participate in this unique biennial event that brings together the three European Robotics League (ERL) competitions: consumer, professional and emergency.

by   -   September 18, 2019
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The city of Milton Keynes hosts from the 17th to the 21st of September the European Robotics League – Smart Cities Robotics Challenge (SciRoc Challenge). For the first time, international researchers in robotics and artificial intelligence meet in a shopping mall to demonstrate the state of the art in robotics within the context of smart cities and specifically smart shopping.

by   -   September 17, 2019

New robot platform improves patient experience using AI to help patients navigate barriers and health care challenges

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Catalia Health and Pfizer today announced they have launched a pilot program to explore patient behaviors outside of clinical environments and to test the impact regular engagement with artificial intelligence (AI) has on patients’ treatment journeys. The 12-month pilot uses the Mabu® Wellness Coach, a robot that uses artificial intelligence to gather insights into symptom management and medication adherence trends in select patients.

by   -   September 16, 2019

Jellyfish are about 95% water, making them some of the most diaphanous, delicate animals on the planet. But the remaining 5% of them have yielded important scientific discoveries, like green fluorescent protein (GFP) that is now used extensively by scientists to study gene expression, and life-cycle reversal that could hold the keys to combating aging. Jellyfish may very well harbor other, potentially life-changing secrets, but the difficulty of collecting them has severely limited the study of such “forgotten fauna.” The sampling tools available to marine biologists on remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) were largely developed for the marine oil and gas industries, and are much better-suited to grasping and manipulating rocks and heavy equipment than jellies, often shredding them to pieces in attempts to capture them.

by   -   September 9, 2019

A recent report by the OECD showed that Europe is only capitalising on a fraction (12%) of its digital potential. Most companies limit their digital use to email and internet. Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are particularly slow to integrate digital technologies. The recent Digital Economy and Society Index Report found that “Less than a fifth of companies in the EU-28 are highly digitised“ and that “Use of robots is low on an EU level, with 6.7% of all enterprises using industrial or service robots. The share of large enterprises that use robots is four times higher than the share of SMEs.” 

Yet advances in robotics, AI, cloud computing, and big data have the potential to boost productivity and change the industrial landscape.

by   -   September 9, 2019
Manus – at World Economic Forum 2018

Madeline Gannon’s “Robots Are Creatures, Not Things” will be the first work of the Fall 2019-Spring 2020 season of the Colloquiums at UC Berkeley’s Center for New Media at 6pm on Sept 9th.

Dr. Madeline Gannon is a multidisciplinary designer inventing better ways to communicate with machines. In her work, Gannon seeks to blend knowledge from design, robotics, and human-computer interaction to innovate at the intersection of art and technology. Gannon designs her research to engage with wide audiences across scientific and cultural communities: her work has been exhibited at international cultural institutions, published at ACM conferences, and covered by diverse global media outlets. Her 2016 interactive installation, Mimus, even earned her the nickname, “The Robot Whisperer.”

by   -   September 4, 2019
Depiction of a soft robotic device known as a dynamic soft reservoir (DSR)
Image courtesy of the researchers.

Researchers from the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) at MIT; the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway); and AMBER, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research, recently announced a significant breakthrough in soft robotics that could help patients requiring in-situ (implanted) medical devices such as breast implants, pacemakers, neural probes, glucose biosensors, and drug and cell delivery devices.

by   -   August 25, 2019

A new generation of swarming robots which can independently learn and evolve new behaviours in the wild is one step closer, thanks to research from the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England (UWE).

by   -   August 25, 2019

By Laure-Anne Pessina and Nicola Nosengo
Scientists at EPFL have developed a tiny pump that could play a big role in the development of autonomous soft robots, lightweight exoskeletons and smart clothing. Flexible, silent and weighing only one gram, it is poised to replace the rigid, noisy and bulky pumps currently used. The scientists’ work has just been published in Nature.

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Using Natural Language in Human-Robot Collaboration
November 11, 2019


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