February 6th, 2015

Robots: Mobile Robots and Virtual Worlds

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Professor Riccardo Cassinis from the University of Brescia in Italy about using robotics in education. Cassinis speaks about having children, from primary school through university, access and control robots remotely to learn subjects such as programming, geography, and foreign languages.

Riccardo Cassinis

CassinisRRiccardo Cassinis graduated in 1977 at the Politecnico di Milano  in Electrical Engineering, where he continued to work until 1987  as a Fellow, Assistant Professor, and Research Associate. Currently at the University of Brescia, he is the Director of the Advanced Robotics Laboratory and an Associate Professor of Advanced Computer Programming and of Robotics. His current research interests aim at taking advantage of Internet technologies for building autonomous robots for surveillance and environmental data collection.

Links:

| More

Related episodes:

January 23rd, 2015

Robots: Looney the Robot

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Hunter Lloyd, who is a Professor of Robotics at Montana State University and a comedian. Hunter performs a comedy act for all ages with partner Looney, a NAO Humanoid Robot from Aldebaran Robotics. Lloyd discusses making people laugh with his robot partner, why he does it, and how what he’s learned as a comedian relates to robotics.

Hunter Lloyd

Hunter LloydHunter Lloyd is an award winning Professor, business owner, inventor, author, comedian, and family man. While Hunter was an undergraduate student studying accounting, he postponed his college career to start stand-up comedy. For six years Hunter toured the country working with acts such as Jerry Seinfeld and Tim Allen. Hunter headlined his first comedy show at Laffs in Tucson, Arizona; at the age of 23, he appeared on television networks such as MTV, VH1 and The Comedy Channel. After touring for several years, Hunter went back to complete his undergraduate degree and graduate school where he studied engineering and computer science, which eventually led him to the field of robotics. Hunter is now a Professor of Robotics at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. Hunter and his students have excelled in a number of competitions including the NASA Robotics Championship, the Robot Olympic Games, and Robogames.

Hunter is also a robotics entrepreneur: founding a robotics company in 2005 that helped develop the RangeWatcher and WatchKeeper technologies for the Predator Unmanned Aircraft Group. Today, Hunter combines his skills as a robotics engineer and comedian to perform to audiences of students, inspiring them to follow their dreams in the fields of math and science.

Links:

| More

Related episodes:

January 10th, 2015

Robots: RoboThespian - Transcript

In today’s podcast, Ron Vanderkley speaks with Will Jackson from Engineered Arts Limited about his team’s work making robot actors.

Engineered Arts was founded in October 2004 by Will Jackson, to produce mixed media installations for UK science centres and museums, many of which involved simple mechanical figures, animated by standard industrial controllers.

In early in 2005, the Company began work on the Mechanical Theatre for the Eden Project. This involved three figures, with storylines focused on genetic modification. Rather than designing another set of figures for this new commission, Engineered Arts decided to develop a generic programmable figure that would be used for the Mechanical Theatre, and the succession of similar commissions that would hopefully follow. The result was RoboThespian Mark 1 (RT1).

From thereon, Engineered Arts took a change of direction and now concentrates entirely on development and sales of an ever expanding range of humanoid and semi-humanoid robots featuring natural human-like movement and advanced social behaviours.

RoboThespian, now in its third version, is a life sized humanoid robot designed for human interaction in a public environment. It is fully interactive, multilingual, and user-friendly. Clients range from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre through to Questacon, The National Science and Technology Centre in Australia. You can watch it in action in the video below.

Will Jackson
Will Jackson and his RoboThespianWill Jackson has a BA in 3D design from University of Brighton, UK and is the Founder of Engineered Arts Ltd.

Links:

| More

Related episodes:

December 27th, 2014

Robots: 3D SLAM

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Professor John Leonard from MIT about his research on dense, object-based 3D Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM).

Leonard explains what SLAM is, as well as its practical applications. The explanations include what it means for SLAM to be object-based (versus feature-based) and to have dense (versus sparse) environmental mapping. The interview closes with advice for aspiring roboticists.

John Leonard
jleonard_05_nov2014John J. Leonard is Professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering and Associate Department Head for Research in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is also a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). His research addresses the problems of navigation and mapping for autonomous mobile robots. He holds the degrees of B.S.E.E. in Electrical Engineering and Science from the University of Pennsylvania (1987) and D.Phil. in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford (1994). He studied at Oxford under a Thouron Fellowship and Research Assistantship funded by the ESPRIT program of the European Community. Prof. Leonard joined the MIT faculty in 1996, after five years as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Research Scientist in the MIT Sea Grant Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Laboratory. He has served an associate editor of the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering and of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation. He was team leader for MIT’s DARPA Urban Challenge team, which was one of eleven teams to qualify for the Urban Challenge final event and one of six teams to complete the race. He is the recipient of an NSF Career Award (1998), an E.T.S. Walton Visitor Award from Science Foundation Ireland (2004), the King-Sun Fu Memorial Best Transactions on Robotics Paper Award (2006), and he is an IEEE Fellow (2014).

Links:

| More

Related episodes:

December 13th, 2014

Robots: Robotics in Theatre, Film and Television - Transcript

In this episode, Ron Vanderkley speaks with Mythbusters Grant Imahara, and Richard McKenna from The Creature Technology Company about robotics in the Film, Television and Theatre industries.

Grant Imahara

Ron Vanderkley talking with Grant Imahara at SupaNova 2014

Ron Vanderkley talking with Grant Imahara at SupaNova 2014

Grant Imahara graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in electrical engineering. It was shortly after that Imahara was hired as an engineer at LucasFilms and Industrial Light & Magic, building and operating a number of visual effects, models and robots for popular films/film series (such as Star Wars, Galaxy Quest, Jurassic Park, Terminator, The Matrix and AI: Artificial Intelligence). Imahara also built the Energizer Bunny, for the battery company’s commercials, Deadblow robot on BattleBots and Jeff Peterson from The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Imahara is perhaps best known as a presenter on Discovery Channel’s MythBusters, and is often seen making robots or robotic rigs needed to aid in the testing of various myths. Imahara appeared at Supanova 2014 promoting his casting as Mr. Sulu in the popular professional web-series Star Trek: Continues.

Richard McKenna
Richard-McKenna_220x220Richard McKenna is Chief Engineer at The Creature Technology Company. He joined CTC in 2010 and has worked on all of the major projects since that time, including How to Train Your Dragon; King Kong and the Sochi Olympic Mascots.  He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation Engineering from Swinburne University and is certified as a “Chartered Professional Engineer” by Engineers Australia, registered on the National Professional Engineers Register (NPER). Prior to joining CTC, the majority of Richard’s time was spent in the defence industry, and he has also worked in special effects for film and television.

Links:

| More

Related episodes: