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Research & Innovation

Last Wednesday we started this series of posts showcasing the plenary and keynote talks from the IEEE/RSJ IROS2020 (International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems). This is a great opportunity to stay up to date with the latest robotics & AI research from top roboticists in the world. This week we’re bringing you Prof. Frank Dellaert (Georgia Institute of Technology; Google AI) and Prof. Ashish Deshpande (The University of Texas).

In the young discipline of robotics-inspired biology, robots replace experimental animals, allowing researchers to learn about animals under a wider range of conditions than exist in nature or the laboratory. What is the secret behind the steady but oh-so-elegant way in which cats move? That’s the subject of a study in Frontiers in Neurorobotics by scientists from Osaka University, who built a novel, 47cm-long and 7.6kg-heavy robotic cat.

Are you curious about the people behind the robots? The series ‘Real Roboticist’, produced by the 2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), shows the people at the forefront of robotics research from a more personal perspective. In case you missed it during the On-Demand conference, no worries! IEEE has recently made their original series public, and every Sunday we’ll bring you an interview with a real roboticist for you to get inspired. This week is the turn of Davide Scaramuzza, Professor and Director of the Robotics and Perception Group at the University of Zürich.

Would you like to stay up to date with the latest robotics & AI research from top roboticists? The IEEE/RSJ IROS2020 (International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems) recently released their Plenary and Keynote talks in the IEEE RAS YouTube channel. We’re starting a new focus series with all their talks. This week, we’re featuring Professor Yukie Nagai (University of Tokyo), talking about cognitive development in humans and robots, and Professor Danica Kragic (KTH Royal Institute of Technology), talking about the impact of robotics and AI in the fashion industry.

For the first time an autonomously flying quadrotor has outperformed two human pilots in a drone race. The success is based on a novel algorithm that was developed by researchers of the University of Zurich. It calculates time-optimal trajectories that fully consider the drones’ limitations.

A commonly shared dream by engineers and fire & rescue services, would be to have swarms of such drones help in search-and-rescue scenarios, for instance to localize gas leaks without endangering human lives. Tiny drones are ideal for such tasks, since they are small enough to navigate in narrow spaces, safe, agile, and very inexpensive. In this article, we show how we tackled the complex problem of swarm gas source localization in cluttered environments by using a simple bug algorithm with evolved parameters, and then tested it onboard a fully autonomous swarm of tiny drones.

The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Taiwan has introduced the AI-Based High Density Shuttle Rack System (SRS). This smart storage system, which operates without manpower in thousands of square meters of space, uses Artificial Intelligence to make warehousing decisions.

The Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) hosted their first virtual conference last Wednesday, the 30th of June. With over 50 talks, the conference was a gathering of top robotics researchers, business leaders and PhD/post-doctoral students showcasing cutting-edge research. In their four dedicated tracks, speakers covered a wide range of topics such as unmanned aerial vehicles, soft robotics, assistive technologies, human-robot interaction, robot safety & ethics, or swarm robotics, among others. Moreover, there were two panels discussing the future of robotics, and smart automation & startups.

A team of researchers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found a way to embed synthetic biology reactions into fabrics, creating wearable biosensors that can be customized to detect pathogens and toxins and alert the wearer.

The Learning for Caregiving Robots workshop at IEEE ICRA 2021 discussed how learning can enable robotic systems towards achieving consistently efficient and safe human assistance across activities of daily living (ADLs). Here we bring you the recordings of the workshop, including talks from the nine invited speakers and two panel discussions.


Results from the DOTS competition were released yesterday, after an intense month with teams from around the world designing new algorithms for robot swarms tasked with delivering emergency food parcels.

Siddharth Mayya (University of Pennsylvania), Gennaro Notomista (CNRS Rennes), Roderich Gross (The University of Sheffield) and Vijay Kumar (University of Pennsylvania) were the organisers of this IEEE ICRA 2021 workshop aiming to identify and accelerate developments that help swarm robotics technology transition into the real world. Here we bring you the recordings of the session in case you missed it or would like to re-watch.

Did you have the chance to attend the 2021 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2021)? Here we bring you the papers that received an award this year in case you missed them. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists!

Robots that safely navigate busy corridors to deliver medicines to nurses. And drones that manoeuvre around people, rubbish bins and poles without smashing things up. This is possible thanks to the models developed by researcher Javier Alonso-Mora from TU Delft.

Researchers from the University of Bristol have demonstrated how a new special type of camera can build a pictorial map of where it has been and use this map to know where it currently is, something that will be incredibly useful in the development of smart sensors, driverless cars and robotics.

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Marsupial Robots
September 14, 2021


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