In this episode, Jack Rasiel interviews Vijay Kumar, Professor and Dean of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Kumar discusses the guiding ideas behind his research on micro unmanned aerial vehicles, gives his thoughts on the future of robotics in the lab and field, and speaks about setting realistic expectations for robotics technology.
We want to share with you our recent breakthrough teaching drones to fly using an eye-inspired camera, which opens the door to them performing fast, agile maneuvers and flying in low-light environments, where all commercial drones fail. Possible applications include supporting rescue teams with search missions at dusk or dawn. We submitted this work to the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.
The field of drone delivery is currently a big topic in robotics. However, the reason that your internet shopping doesn’t yet arrive via drone is that current flying robots can prove a safety risk to people and are difficult to transport and store.
Last year, Intel partnered with Lady Gaga on the Super Bowl Halftime Show to showcase its latest aerial technology called “Shooting Star.” Intel did a reprise performance of its Shooting Star technology for Singapore’s 52nd birthday this past week. Instead of fireworks, the tech-savvy country celebrated its National Day Parade with a swarm of 300 LED drones animating the night sky with shapes, logos, and even a map of the country.
Jim Robinson of RRE Ventures said it best last month at the Silicon Dragon Conference when comparing Silicon Valley to New York, “There are two kinds of centers that have a lot of startups and technology, there are technology centers and commerce centers.” New York falls into the later category, while the Valley is the former. Sitting next to Jim, I reflected that Singapore might be in both groups, an Asian commerce hub and a leader in mechatronics. As an advocate for automation, I am often disheartened that the United States significantly lags behind its industrial counterparts in manufacturing autonomous machines. The key to a pro-job policy could be gleaning from the successes of countries like Singapore to implement America’s own ‘Robot First Plan.’