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.
As we continue to develop social robots designed for connectedness, we struggle with paradoxes related to authenticity, transience, and replication. In this talk, I will attempt to link together 15 years of experience designing social robots with 100-year-old texts on transience, replication, and the fear of dying. Can there be meaningful relationships with robots who do not suffer natural decay? What would our families look like if we all choose to buy identical robotic family members? Could hand-crafted robotics offer a relief from the mass-replication of the robot’s physical body and thus also from the mass-customization of social experiences?
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.
“Within the framework of the European project ROBOTT-NET we are developing software and robotic solutions for the prevention and control of rodents in enclosed spaces”, says Marco Lorenzo, Service Supervisor at Irabia Control De Plagas.
In this episode, Ron Vanderkley interviews Mark Pivac, Chief Technical Officer and co-founder of FBR (formerly Fastbrick Robotics) about the world’s first end-to-end autonomous bricklaying robot, ‘Hadrian X’. Three years after his first interview, we catch up with Pivac to see how FBR has expanded its operation and chat about their latest commercial prototype, ‘Hadrian X’, as well as the future of the robotic construction industry.
In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Zhuoran Zhang, PhD student at the University of Toronto, about how robots can be used to assist in artificial insemination. Zhang discusses how precise robotic manipulators can be used to extract a single sperm and how sperm can be evaluated for fitness using computer vision. Zhang also discusses his future plans.
In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Brian Gerkey, CEO of Open Robotics about the Robot Operating System (ROS) and Gazebo. Both ROS and Gazebo are open source and are widely used in the robotics community. ROS is a set of software libraries and tools, and Gazebo is a 3D robotics simulator. Gerkey explains ROS and Gazebo and talks about how they are used in robotics, as well as some of the design decisions of the second version of ROS, ROS2.
In this episode, Lauren Klein interviews Michal Luria, a PhD candidate in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, about research that explores the boundaries of Human-Robot Interaction. Michal draws inspiration from the Medieval Times for her project to test how historical automata can inform modern robotics. She also discusses her work with cathartic objects to support emotional release.
In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Bilge Mutlu, Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, about design-thinking in human-robot interaction. Professor Mutlu discusses design-thinking at a high-level, how design relates to science, and he speaks about the main areas of his work: the design space, the evaluation space, and how features are used within a context. He also gives advice on how to apply a design-oriented mindset.
In this episode, Lauren Klein interviews Professor Milind Tambe of Computer Science and Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Southern California about his research using artificial intelligence for wildlife conservation. Dr. Tambe describes his team’s use of security games to combat poaching, and his experience deploying his algorithms to inform park ranger schedules internationally.
In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Bernt Børnich, CEO, CTO, and Co-founder of Halodi Robotics, about Eve (EVEr3), a general purpose full-size humanoid robot, capable of a wide variety of tasks. Børnich discusses how Eve can be used in research, how Eve’s motors have been designed to be safe around humans (including why they use a low gear ratio), how they do direct force control and the benefits of this approach, and how they use machine learning to reduce cogging in their motors. Børnich also discusses the longterm goal of Halodi Robotics and how they plan to support researchers using Eve.
In this episode, Lauren Klein interviews Hae Won Park, a Research Scientist in the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab, about storytelling robots for children. Dr. Park elaborates on enabling robots to understand how children are learning, and how they can help children with literacy skills and encourage exploration.
In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Dylan Glas, Senior Robotics Software Architect at Futurewei Technologies and former chief architect for the ERICA android in the ERATO Ishiguro Symbiotic Human-Robot Interaction Project, about his work on ERICA, a realistic android robot. Glas discusses how ERICA was designed, the uncanny valley, the software architecture of ERICA, and some of the research studies that ERICA has been involved in.
In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Amy Loutfi, a professor at Örebro University, about how semantic representations can be used to help robots reason about the world. Loutfi discusses semantics in general, as well as how semantics have been used for a simulated quad rotor to do path planning within constraints.
In this interview, Audrow Nash interviews Jaime Fernández Fisac, a PhD student at University of California, Berkeley, working with Professors Shankar Sastry, Claire Tomlin, and Anca Dragan. 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.