July 24th, 2015

Robots: Cheetah 2 - Transcript

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Sangbae Kim, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), at the International Conference of Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2015. They speak about an electrically powered quadruped called the Cheetah 2.


Sangbae Kim

sangbaeProf. Sangbae Kim is the director of the Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory and an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. His research focuses on the bio-inspired robotic platform design by extracting principles from complex biological systems. Kim’s achievements on bio-inspired robot development include the world‘s first directional adhesive inspired from gecko lizards, and a climbing robot, Stickybot, that utilizes the directional adhesives to climb smooth surfaces featured in TIME’s best inventions in 2006. The MIT Cheetah achieves stable outdoor running at an efficiency of animals, employing biomechanical principles from studies of best runners in nature. This achievement was covered by more than 200 articles. He is a recipient of King-Sun Fu Memorial Best Transactions on Robotics Paper Award (2008), DARPA YFA(2013), and NSF CAREER (2014) award.



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July 10th, 2015

Robots: Towards Automating Fieldwork - Transcript

In this episode, Per Sjöborg talks to Dr. Hans-Peter Grothaus, from CLAASabout automation in agriculture.

There is a small window of time when crops are ready to harvest. If, during this window, not all of the crops are harvested, the farmer can experience large financial losses. This means that systems that automate fieldwork must be reliable. And reliability, or robustness, is a major challenge because field conditions change during the day (it could start raining) and it is tough to know soil conditions in advance. In this interview, these challenges are discussed, as well as how field data can help farmers make decisions and the market for agricultural robotics.


Dr. Hans-Peter Grothaus


Dr. Hans-Peter Grothaus studied Agriculture Sciences at the Universität Göttingen in Germany, where he wrote his dissertation. Since 2008, Grothaus has been the head of development for system-based services at CLAAS in Harsewinkel, Germany.






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June 26th, 2015

Robots: Robotic Rehabilitation and Biomimicry Environmental Monitoring - Transcript

In this episode, Ron Vanderkley speaks with Dr. Lei Cui from Curtin University about his team’s work on 3D printable hand orthosis for rehabilitation, a  task-oriented 4-DOF robotic device for upper-limb rehabilitation and a 3-DOF platform providing multi-directional perturbations for research into balance rehabilitation. They also discuss the fastest untethered robotic fish for river monitoring and an amphibious robot for monitoring the Swan-Canning River System.


A 3D Printable Parametric Hand Exoskeleton for Finger Rehabilitation

ComBot: a Compact Robot for Upper-Limb Rehabilitation

A 3-DOF Robotic Platform for Research into Multi-Directional Stance Perturbations

Curtin Robotic Fish

AmBot: A Bio-Inspired Amphibious Robot for Monitoring the Swan-Canning Estuary System


Lei Cui


Dr. Lei Cui completed his PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering in July 2010 from the Centre for Robotics Research, King’s College London (UK). He continued his employment as Postdoctoral Research Associate after graduation. In February 2011 he moved to the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University(US) and worked as Postdoctoral Fellow until July 2012. He joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Curtin University (AU) and was appointed Lecturer in Mechatronics, which he currently holds.



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June 12th, 2015

Robots: CyPhy LVL 1 Drone - Transcript

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Helen Greiner, CEO and founder of CyPhy Works and co-founder of iRobot, about CyPhy Work’s LVL 1 photography drone. The LVL 1 drone has six propellers that are angled up and rotated slightly, which allows the drone to fly without tilting; flying without tilting is significant because, Helen says, it makes the drone more intuitive to control, as well as removing the need for a costly and high-maintenance camera stabilizing gimbal system.

CyPhy Works has an KickStarter campaign for the LVL 1 drone that ends June 18th, 2015. The Kickstarter video and a link to the campaign are below.


Helen Griener

Helen Greiner co-founded iRobot in 1990 and served as President until 2004 and Chairman until 2008. During her tenure, Ms. Greiner guided iRobot into its position as a global leader with the release of the Roomba™, the PackBot™and SUGV military robots. She built a culture of practical innovation and delivery that led to the deployment of 6,000 PackBots. In addition, Ms. Greiner headed up iRobot’s financing projects, raising $35M in venture capital for a $75M initial public offering. Greiner holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in computer science, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



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May 29th, 2015

Robots: RoboBusiness Company Showcase - Transcript


In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks to several robotics companies at the company showcase at RoboBusiness 2014, which took place in Boston, Massachusetts.

The following is an ordered list of the people interviewed.

  1. Norm Domholt (1m 40s), CEO of NPC Robotics,  talks about their modular remote operate vehicle Black Dog.
  2. Annemarie Laudanski (6m 20s), Lead Field Applications Engineer at Xsens, demos their inertial motion capture system.
  3. Carl Vause (9m 14s), CEO of Soft Robotics, speaks about the capability of the soft robotic manipulators, which can be used to pick fruit, among other applications.
  4. Konrad Fagertun (13m 56s), COO of NLinks, tells about their new robot which drills holes in ceilings – a laborious and difficult task for humans.
  5. Asim Ikram (15m 51s), CEO of Neo Robotics, discusses the market for robots in the Gulf Cooperation Council region.
  6. Harri Valpola(21m 40s), Head of Technology at Zen Robotics, talks about the companies waste sorting robotic system.
  7. Dick Zhang (26m 15s), CEO of Identified Technology, speaks about their self-piloting aerial drone systems for automated energy, mining, and construction site monitoring, surveying, and mapping.


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