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interview by   -   May 20, 2020

In this episode, Kate Zhou interviews Farrell Helbling, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Microrobotics lab, who has worked on developing the RoboBee, an insect-inspired robot that is the lightest vehicle to achieve untethered flight. Farrell discusses challenges with building the robot at centimeter-scale as well as integration of sensors and power electronics particularly in considerations with weight trade-offs.

interview by   -   May 11, 2020

In this episode, Lilly Clark interviews Jeannette Bohg, Assistant Professor at Stanford, about her work in interactive perception and robot learning for grasping and manipulation tasks. Bohg discusses how robots and humans are different, the challenge of high dimensional data, and unsolved problems including continuous learning and decentralized manipulation.

interview by   -   April 28, 2020

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Janet Vertessi, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Princeton, on her book Seeing Like a Rover: How Robots, Teams, and Images Craft Knowledge of Mars. The book is written about her experience living and working with NASA’s Mars Rover team, and includes her observations about the team’s leadership and their relationship with their robot millions of miles away on Mars. She also gives some advice from her findings for teams.

interview by   -   April 13, 2020

In this episode, Lilly interviews Kajal Gada on her work at BrainCorp, the San Diego-based company behind BrainOS, a technology stack for autonomous solutions. Kajal discusses BrainCorp’s cloud-connected operating system and their floor cleaning, vacuuming, and warehouse delivery robots. She also articulates some of the challenges in becoming a software engineer and developing commercial solutions.

interview by   -   March 28, 2020

In this episode, Abate interviews David Mindell, co-founder of Humatics. David discusses a system they developed that can detect the location of a special tracking device down to a centimeter level accuracy. They are currently developing a device to detect location down to a millimeter level accuracy. This solves a the core problem of localization for robots. David discusses the technology behind these products and their applications.

interview by   -   March 1, 2020


In this interview, Lilly interviews Vijay Kumar, Professor and Dean at the University of Pennsylvania. He discusses coordination, cooperation, and collaboration in multi-robot systems. He also explains where he draws inspiration from in his research, and why robotics has yet to meet science fiction.

interview by   -   February 17, 2020

In this episode, Shihan Lu interviews Dr. Heather Culbertson, Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Southern California, about her work in haptics. Dr. Culbertson discusses the data-driven realistic texture modeling and rendering, haptic technologies in the social touch, the combination of haptics and robots, expectations and obstacles of haptics in the next 5 years.

interview by   -   February 2, 2020

In this episode, Lauren Klein interviews Human-Robot Interaction researcher Patrícia Alves-Oliveira. Alves-Oliveira tells us about the upcoming RSS Pioneers workshop at the 2020 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference; the workshop brings senior PhD students and postdoctoral researchers together to collaborate and discuss their work with distinguished members of the robotics field. She also describes her own research designing robots to encourage creativity in children.

interview by   -   January 29, 2020


In this episode, Lilly interviews Juxi Leitner, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Queensland University of Technology and Co-Founder/CEO of LYRO Robotics. LYRO spun out of the 2017 win of the Amazon Robotics Challenge by Team ACRV. Here Juxi discusses deep learning, computer vision, intent in grasping and manipulation, and bridging the gap between abstract and low-level understandings of the world. He also discusses why robotics is really an integration field, the Amazon and other robotics challenges, and what’s important to consider when spinning an idea into a company.

interview by   -   January 10, 2020


In this episode, our interviewer Audrow Nash speaks to Gil Weinberg, Professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Music and the founding director of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology. Weinberg leads a research lab called the Robotic Musicianship group, which focuses on developing artificial creativity and musical expression for robots and on augmented humans. Weinberg discusses several of his improvisational robots and how they work, including Shimon, a multi-armed robot marimba player, as well as his work in prosthetic devices for musicians.

interview by , and   -   December 22, 2019

Welcome to the 300th episode of the Robohub podcast! You might not know that the podcast has been going in one form or another for 14 years. Originally called “Talking Robots,” the podcast was started in 2006 by Dario Floreano and several of his PhD students at EPFL, in Switzerland, including Sabine Hauert, Peter Dürr, and Markus Waibel, who are all still involved in Robohub today.  Since then, the podcast team has become international, with most of its interviewers in the United States and Europe, and all of its members being volunteers.

To celebrate 300 episodes of our podcast, we thought we would catch up with some of our former, as well as current, volunteers from around the world to find out why and how they got involved in the podcast, how their involvement impacted on their lives and careers, and what they’re doing in their day jobs now.

interview by   -   December 9, 2019

From Robert the Robot, 1950s toy ad

In this episode, we take a closer look at the effect of novelty in human-robot interaction. Novelty is the quality of being new or unusual.

The typical view is that while something is new, or “a novelty”, it will initially make us behave differently than we would normally. But over time, as the novelty wears off, we will likely return to our regular behaviors. For example, a new robot may cause a person to behave differently initially, as its introduced into the person’s life, but after some time, the robot won’t be as exciting, novel and motivating, and the person might return to their previous behavioral patterns, interacting less with the robot.

To find out more about the concept of novelty in human-robot interactions, our interviewer Audrow caught up with Catharina Vesterager Smedegaard, a PhD-student at Aarhus University in Denmark, whose field of study is Philosophy.

Catharina sees novelty differently to how we typically see it. She thinks of it as projecting what we don’t know onto what we already know, which has implications for how human-robot interactions are designed and researched. She also speaks about her experience in philosophy more generally, and gives us advice on philosophical thinking.

interview by   -   November 26, 2019



In this episode Lilly Clark interviews Marlyse Reeves, PhD student at MIT, about her work in cognitive robotics and hybrid activity-motion planning. Reeves discusses the role of robotics in space, the challenges of multi-vehicle missions, planning under uncertainty, and her work on an underwater exploration mission.

interview by   -   November 11, 2019


In this episode, we hear from Brad Hayes, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, who directs the university’s Collaborative AI and Robotics lab. The lab’s work focuses on developing systems that can learn from and work with humans—from physical robots or machines, to software systems or decision support tools—so that together, the human and system can achieve more than each could achieve on their own.

Our interviewer Audrow caught up with Dr. Hayes to discuss why collaboration may at times be preferable to full autonomy and automation, how human naration can be used to help robots learn from demonstration, and the challenges of developing collaborative systems, including the importance of shared models and safety to allow adoption of such technologies in future.

interview by   -   October 29, 2019


In this episode Lilly Clark interviews Nicholas Roy, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, about the Quest for Intelligence initiative and his research in robust robotics. Roy discusses how cognitive science pushes artificial intelligence, further pushing the capabilities of engineering tools and services, and speaks about the importance of explainable and ethical AI. He explains the challenges of capturing context and semantics in useful models of a system, and designing unmanned aerial vehicles and robots which interact with humans.



about Robohub Podcast:

Robohub Podcast is a non-profit robotics podcast where we interview experts in robotics, including researchers, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and venture capitalists. Our interviewers are researchers, entrepreneurs, and engineers involved in robotics. Our interviews are technical and, often, get into the details of what we are discussing, but we make an effort to have our interviews understandable to a general audience.


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