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Illah Nourbakhsh

‘Bean-counting’ is a dull but necessary component of every grant proposal; it helps to keep our plans realistic, doable and accountable. But what if we weren’t tied to grants and budgets? Would it change the way we approach our work?

This month we asked the Robotics by Invitation panel to tell us what kind of research they would undertake if money weren’t an obstacle. Here’s what Mark Tilden and Illah Nourbakhsh have to say …

 

Illah Nourbakhsh

Illah Nourbaksh on “What would you research if you did not have to worry about grants?”

 Community empowerment through massive robotic sensing. There is no question we live in a world that is changing. Pollutants are changing the dynamics of the air we breathe, the water we drink and even the soil on which we live. Yet the power to measure pollution …

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Mark-Tilden

Mark Tilden on “What would you research if you did not have to worry about grants?”

 Well, I’m lucky enough to be a gentleman scientist, so I concurrently study problems on minimal dynamical control systems (optimizing performance to silicon ratios), power regeneration and efficiency, alien robot morphologies …

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by   -   June 17, 2013

Community empowerment through massive robotic sensing.

There is no question we live in a world that is changing. Pollutants are changing the dynamics of the air we breathe, the water we drink and even the soil on which we live. Yet the power to measure pollution, measure human behavior (including Emergency Room visits) and correlate the values is held tightly by government and corporate players.  They have the money to focus on sensors and values that make their case, and they have the marketing skills to then present those values in the best possible light for reelection and for corporate profit.

But in fact those most touched by a changing world are ordinary citizens, and it is the citizen who has the potential to make decisions that immediately impact health and future legislation, from what neighborhood to live in to which politician to elect. Robotic sensing technologies are rapidly becoming less expensive, and with the right infusion of research I believe we could develop the networking, data visualization and interaction smarts to have global, publicly accessible information about all sources of pollution. This would empower citizens and communities to make far more informed decisions, and to fight biased information presentations with their own re-interpretation of source data. This will take new innovation in sensing technologies, networking, Big Data storage, search, retrieval and evaluation.

It is the stuff of robotics, through and through, applied to the deep goal of community empowerment at an international scale.

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by   -   March 29, 2013

Robot Futures is a new book written by Dr. Illah Nourbakhsh, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who has been teaching roboethics at the university for many years. According to Dr. Noel Sharkey, this book is “[a]n exhilarating dash into the future of robotics from a scholar with the enthusiasm of a bag of monkeys. It is gripping from the start with little sci-fi stories in each chapter punching home points backed up forcefully by factual reality. This is an entertaining tour de force that will appeal to anyone with an interest in robots.”



inVia Robotics: Product-Picking Robots for the Warehouse
October 7, 2019


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