July 12th, 2013

Robots: Mining Automation

In today’s episode we speak with Martin Adams from the University of Chile about using robots in the mining industry. Mining is a dangerous job that would strongly benefit from robotic helpers. To drive this effort, the mining industry funded the Advanced Mining Technology Centre (AMTC). As the principal investigator there, Adams explores the use of robotic technologies such as mapping and SLAM that would be essential in mining automation. He also tells us why he chose to do robotics in South America.

Martin Adams
Martin Adams is the principle investigator in the industrially sponsored Advanced Mining Technology Centre (AMTC). He is also Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Dept. of Electrical Engineering, University of Chile. In, 1988, he obtained his first degree in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, U.K and continued to study for a D.Phil. at the Robotics Research Group, University of Oxford, which he received in 1992. He continued his research in autonomous robot navigation as a project leader and part time lecturer at the Institute of Robotics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland. From 1996 to 2000, he served as a senior research scientist in robotics and control, in the field of semiconductor assembly automation, at the European Semiconductor Equipment Centre (ESEC), Switzerland. From 2000 to 2010, he was Associate Professor at the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

His research work focuses on autonomous robot navigation, sensing, sensor data interpretation and control, and he has published many technical papers in these fields. He has been the principle investigator and leader of many robotics projects, coordinating researchers from local industries and local and overseas universities and has served as associate editor on various journal and conference editorial boards.

Links:

| More

June 28th, 2013

Robots: Robotics Business Review

In this episode we meet with Tom Green, editor in chief of the Robotics Business Review, to discuss current trends in robotics. Robotics Business Review is a global robotics news and information resource headquartered in metro Boston (USA).

Green shares his view on how the focus within the robotics community differs in different parts of the world, and what impact public funding has on this. According to him, it is not technology but people that hold development up at the moment. We also hear about some success stories, that show how robotics make a difference in people’s lives.

Tom Green
Tom Green is the Editor in chief of the Robotics Business Review, a global robotics news and information resource headquartered in metro Boston (USA). 

Formerly, Green worked as print/online writer and video producer for the MITRE Corporation, an R&D facility specializing in computer engineering, avionics, robotics, RADAR, marine engineering, satellite communications, systems engineering and deep-space information systems for the U.S. federal government, NATO, World Radiocommunication Conferences and civilian projects worldwide (2000-2009). In 2010, Green published an Amazon best-selling history of the computer revolution: “Bright Boys: The Making of Information Technology 1938-1958″. He was also online editor/writer for Millipore/Merck Corporation; website developer and editor for JAZD Business Publications; and TV program developer for Gostelradio.

He is also an Emmy-nominated, award-winning writer, producer and playwrighter who utilizes online editorial and video content to report on and produce programs on science, technology and engineering. Green wrote and produced the forum-based TV pilot “Lifelines” for a local Boston network. His stage plays have been produced at Boston’s Next Move Theater and then reproduced as radio plays for National Public Radio.

Links:

| More

Related episodes:

June 14th, 2013

Robots: The OpenROV Project

In the episode, we speak with Eric Stackpole and David Lang from the OpenROV project about their challenge in developing Eric’s idea to find an easy way to explore a cave that was rumored to contain a sunken treasure near his home.

OpenROV (OPEN-source Remotely Operated Vehicle) is a telerobotic submarine built to make underwater exploration and education affordable. We will hear of their learning curve to turn a fun idea into a funded kick-starter project, on a shoestring budget and how they inspired the community to develop the project further. This has united the imagination of DYI beginners, amateurs, professional engineers and scientists from over 50 countries, with far more applications than were original conceded, from pollution monitoring to species identification in the Antarctica.

Eric Stackpole
Eric Stackpole is a Co-Founder of OpenROV and the original designer of the robot. He currently works part-time for NASA at the Ames Research Center and is finishing his masters thesis in mechatronics at Santa Clara University. Eric has always been an enthusiast of  exploration technology, from building a telerobot to attend classes in college to lugging ham radios up mountains during backpacking trips.

David Lang
David Lang is a Co-Founder of OpenROV. He also writes the Zero to Maker column for the MAKE blog, where he chronicles his crash-course into the maker world. Prior to underwater robots, David managed OCSC Sailing in Berkeley where he helped hundreds of students learn to sail and led sailing adventures around the world.

Links:

| More

Related episodes:

May 31st, 2013

Robots: Curved Artificial Compound Eye

In this episode, we speak with Ramon Pericet and Michal Dobrzynski from EPFL about their Curved Artificial Compound Eye (CurvACE) published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Inspired by the fly’s vision system, their sensor can enable a large range of applications that require motion detection using a small plug-and-play device. As shown in the video below, you could use these sensors to control small robots navigating an environment, even in the dark, or equip a small autonomous flying robot with limited payload. Other applications include home automation, surveillance, medical instruments, prosthetic devices, and smart clothing.


The artificial compound eye features a panoramic, hemispherical field of view with a resolution identical to that of the fruitfly in less than 1 mm thickness. Additionally, it can extract images 3 times faster than a fruitfly, and includes neuromorphic photoreceptors that allow motion perception in a wide range of environments from a sunny day to moon light. To build the sensors, the researchers align an array of microlenses, an array of photodetectors, and a flexible PCB that mechanically supports and electrically connects the ensemble.

This work is part of the European Project Curvace which brings together a total of 15 people from four partners in France, Germany and Switzerland.

You can read our full coverage about this new sensor on Robohub.

Ramon Pericet Camara
Ramon Pericet Camara is the scientific coordinator for the CurvACE project and a postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at EPFL. His research interests are oriented towards bio-inspired robotics, soft robotics, and soft-condensed matter physics.

Ramon received a Masters degree in Physics in 2000 from the University of Granada (Spain) and a PhD in Multidisciplinary Research from the University of Geneva (Switzerland) in 2006. Subsequently, he was granted a fellowship for prospective researchers from the Swiss National Science Foundation to join the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz (Germany).

Michal Dobrzynski
Michal Dobrzynski is a PhD student at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at EPFL. He obtained his master degree in Automatic Control and Robotics in 2006 from the Warsaw Technical University (Poland). He then joined the SGAR S.L. Company (Barcelona, Spain) as a Robot and PLC Software Engineer where his work focused on industrial robots and automatic lines programming and visualization. Next, in 2007, he joined a Numerical Method Laboratory at the University Politechnica of Bucharest (Romania) where he spent two years working in the FP6 “Early Stage Training 3″ project as a Researcher.




Links:

| More

Related episodes:

May 17th, 2013

Robots: Autonomous Lethal Weapons

In this episode, AJung talks to Peter Asaro from The New School in New York city about autonomous weapons systems. Peter tells us about the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an international consortium of NGOs working together to ban autonomous weapons systems. You can read our full coverage on Robohub.

Peter Asaro
Peter Asaro is an Assistant Professor at The New School and an Affiliated Scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. As a Co-founder and Vice-Chair for the International Committee for Robot Arms Control founded in 2009, Peter has been thinking, talking, and writing about lethal robots for many years. Computer scientist and philosopher by training, he is one of the leading figures in roboethics urging scientists to join the Scientists’ Call to ban autonomous lethal weapons.

Links:

| More

Related episodes: