If you’ve ever swatted a mosquito away from your face, only to have it return again (and again and again), you know that insects can be remarkably acrobatic and resilient in flight. Those traits help them navigate the aerial world, with all of its wind gusts, obstacles, and general uncertainty. Such traits are also hard to build into flying robots, but MIT Assistant Professor Kevin Yufeng Chen has built a system that approaches insects’ agility.
Scientists from the University of Bristol and the Royal Veterinary College have discovered how birds are able to fly in gusty conditions – findings that could inform the development of bio-inspired small-scale aircraft.
Researchers from the University of Zurich and NCCR Robotics have demonstrated a flying robot that can detect and avoid fast-moving objects. A step towards drones that can fly faster in harsh environments, accomplishing more in less time.
In this episode Abate interviews Yariv Bash from Flytrex. Yariv discusses how Flytrex works in cooperation with local businesses in a city to use drones to rapidly transport goods in a local region. A practical application is the delivery of food from local restaurants. Yariv discusses Flytrex’s plans for using their USD$7.5 million series B round of funding.
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.
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.
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.
The European Robotics League (ERL) announced the winners of ERL Emergency Robots 2017 major tournament, during the awards ceremony held on Saturday, 23rd September at Giardini Pro Patria, in Piombino, Italy.
The ERL Emergency Robots 2017 competition consisted of four scenarios, inspired by the nuclear accident of Fukushima (Japan, 2011) and designed specifically for multi-domain human-robot teams. The first scenario is The Grand Challenge made up of three domains – sea, air, land, and the other three scenarios are made of only two domains.