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interview by   -   February 4, 2019



In this interview, Audrow Nash interviews Jaime Fernández Fisac, a PhD student at University of California, Berkeley, in Anca Dragan’s InterACT Lab. Fisac is interested in ensuring that autonomous systems such as self-driving cars, delivery drones, and home robots can operate and learn in the world—while satisfying safety constraints. Towards this goal, Fisac discusses different examples of his work with unmanned aerial vehicles and talks about safe robot learning in general; including, the curse of dimensionality and how it impacts control problems (including how some systems can be decomposed into simpler control problems), how simulation can be leveraged before trying learning on a physical robot, safe sets, and how a robot can modify its behavior based on how confident it is that its model is correct.

interview by   -   January 9, 2019



In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Pauline Pound, Philippe Morere, and Yujung Liu about the work they presented at the 2018 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) in Madrid, Spain.

interview by   -   December 27, 2018



In this interview, Audrow Nash interviews Kristoffer Richardsson, Michael Zillich, and Paulo Alvito.

interview by   -   November 12, 2018



In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Alexandros Kogkas, Katie Driggs-Campbell, and Martin Karlsson about the work they presented at the 2018 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) in Madrid, Spain.

interview by   -   September 2, 2018

In this episode, Audrow Nash interview Magnus Egerstedt, Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, about a way for anyone interested in swarm robotics to test their ideas on hardware, called the Robotarium.  The Robotarium is a 725-square-foot lab at the the Georgia Institute of Technology that houses nearly 100 rolling and flying robots.  To test their ideas, people can write their own programs, upload them to the Robotarium, and then watch the machines carry out their commands.

In this interview, Egerstedt speaks about the kinds of robots used in the Robotarium, design decisions in making the Robotarium, the differences between doing research in simulation and on hardware, and about lessons learnt and the challenges of building the Robotarium.

interview by   -   June 23, 2018

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Juxi Leitner, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at QUT; and Nicholas Panitz, Ben Wilson, and James Brett, from CSIRO.

Leitner speaks about the Amazon Picking challenge, a challenge to advance the state of robotic grasping, and their robot which won the challenge in 2017. Their robot is similar to a cartesian 3D printer in form and uses either a suction cup or a pinch gripper for grabbing objects. Their robot has a depth camera and uses a digital scale to determine if an object has been picked up successfully. Leitner discusses what their team did differently from other teams that helped them win the competition.

Panitz, Wilson, and Brett speak about their hexapod robots. Their hexapods are for several purposes, such as environmental monitoring and remote inspection. They choose to use hexapods because they are statically stable. They discuss the design of their hexapods and how research works at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, or CSIRO.

interview by   -   March 31, 2018



In this interview, Audrow speaks with Andrea Bajcsy and Dylan P. Losey about a method that allows robots to infer a human’s objective through physical interaction. They discuss their approach, the challenges of learning complex tasks, and their experience collaborating between different universities.

A Lucie micro drone takes off from a performer’s hand as part of a drone show. Photo: Verity Studios 2017

2017 was the year where indoor drone shows came into their own. Verity Studios’ Lucie drones alone completed more than 20,000 autonomous flights. A Synthetic Swarm of 99 Lucie micro drones started touring with Metallica (the tour is ongoing and was just announced the 5th highest grossing tour worldwide for 2017). Micro drones are now performing at Madison Square Garden as part of each New York Knicks home game — the first resident drone show in a full-scale arena setting. Since early 2017, a drone swarm has been performing weekly on a first cruise ship. And micro drones performed thousands of flights at Changi Airport Singapore as part of its 2017 Christmas show.

interview by   -   December 24, 2017

In this interview, Audrow Nash interviews Helen Huang, Joint Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State, about a method of tuning powered lower limb prostheses. Huang explains how powered prostheses are adjusted for each patient and how she is using supervised and reinforcement learning to tune prosthesis. Huang also discusses why she is not using the energetic cost of transport as a metric and the challenge of people adapting to a device while it learns from them.

interview by   -   December 10, 2017
Image: ICRA 2017

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews several companies at the International Conference for Robotics and Automation (ICRA). ICRA is the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s biggest conference and one of the leading international forums for robotics researchers to present their work.

interview by   -   September 17, 2017



In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Katsu Yamane, Senior Research Scientist at Disney, about robotics in Disney. Yamane discusses Disney’s history with robots, how Disney currently uses Robots, how designing robots at Disney is different than in academia or industry, a realistic robot simulator used by Disney’s animators, and on becoming a Disney Research “Imagineer.”

by   -   July 24, 2017
Adriana Schulz, an MIT PhD student in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, demonstrates the InstantCAD computer-aided-design-optimizing interface. Photo: Rachel Gordon/MIT CSAIL

Almost every object we use is developed with computer-aided design (CAD). Ironically, while CAD programs are good for creating designs, using them is actually very difficult and time-consuming if you’re trying to improve an existing design to make the most optimal product. Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Columbia University are trying to make the process faster and easier: In a new paper, they’ve developed InstantCAD, a tool that lets designers interactively edit, improve, and optimize CAD models using a more streamlined and intuitive workflow.

By Christoph Salge, Marie Curie Global Fellow, University of Hertfordshire

How do you stop a robot from hurting people? Many existing robots, such as those assembling cars in factories, shut down immediately when a human comes near. But this quick fix wouldn’t work for something like a self-driving car that might have to move to avoid a collision, or a care robot that might need to catch an old person if they fall. With robots set to become our servants, companions and co-workers, we need to deal with the increasingly complex situations this will create and the ethical and safety questions this will raise.

by   -   June 30, 2017

The Robot Academy is a new learning resource from Professor Peter Corke and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the team behind the award-winning Introduction to Robotics and Robotic Vision courses. There are over 200 lessons available, all for free.

The lessons were created in 2015 for the Introduction to Robotics and Robotic Vision courses. We describe our approach to creating the original courses in the article, An Innovative Educational Change: Massive Open Online Courses in Robotics and Robotic Vision. The courses were designed for university undergraduate students but many lessons are suitable for anybody, as you can easily see the difficulty rating for each lesson. Below are lessons from inverse kinematics and robot motion.

by   -   June 28, 2017

MATLAB© is a programming language and environment designed for scientific computing. It is one of the best languages for developing robot control algorithms and is widely used in the research community. While it is often thought of as an offline programming language, there are several ways to interface with it to control robotic hardware ‘in the loop’. As part of our own development we surveyed a number of different projects that accomplish this by using a message passing system and we compared the approaches they took. This post focuses on bindings for the following message passing frameworks: LCM, ROS, DDS, and ZeroMQ.



Semantics in Robotics
February 18, 2019


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