February 10th, 2012

Robots: Senseable Robots

In today’s episode we look at some of the work done by the Senseable City Lab. We’ll be talking to Carlo Ratti, the director of the Lab, about two of the Lab’s many projects – namely Flyfire and Seaswarm.

Carlo Ratti

An architect and engineer by training, Carlo Ratti practices in Italy and teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directs the Senseable City Lab. He graduated from the Politecnico di Torino and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris, and later earned his MPhil and PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK.

As well as being a regular contributor to the architecture magazine Domus and the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Carlo has written for the BBC, La Stampa, Scientific American and The New York Times. His work has been exhibited worldwide at venues such as the Venice Biennale, the Design Museum Barcelona, the Science Museum in London, GAFTA in San Francisco and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. His Digital Water Pavilion at the 2008 World Expo was hailed by Time Magazine as one of the ‘Best Inventions of the Year’. Carlo was recently a presenter at TED 2011 and is serving as a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Urban Management. He is also a program director at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow and a curator of the 2012 BMW Guggenheim Pavilion in Berlin.

Carlo founded the Senseable City Lab in 2004 within the City Design and Development group at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab. The Lab’s mission is to creatively intervene and investigate the interface between people, technologies and the city. Whilst fostering interdisciplinary, the Lab’s work draws on diverse fields such as urban planning, architecture, design, engineering, computer science, natural sciences and economics to capture the full nature of urban problems and deliver research and applications that empower citizens to make choices that result in a more liveable urban condition.


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  • Ashley from Canada

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but I watched the first video.  Those micro-helicopters aren’t very reliable; I shudder to think about babysitting 1000 of them, and 1000 only makes for a 32×32 display.

  • Pal Gunnar Jensaas

    mass makes densety makes powerblock just seems like the answer

  • Pal Gunnar Jensaas

    key to a.is to pre program a shapeble personality base making it abel t make own personal un edited revelations, start out with a rpg filter for white wolf maybee w quirks etc. this will distingish the diffrent ai machines from each other, as it much do man attitude and style, i ready to scrap up a ruff prototype scheetch /program-design, it will bee abele to work up new things it dont regognize and as much dream of un tryed experience squared in the ais personalty for as long as needed, the robotics needed are here, maybee they walk uparound us? spies w no human cost, but sky hi material cost, so probably few just tests, man stupid, controlled by its excpected economics, add embryo cage for fluids and a 3d printer for max longlivity,quite an intresting topic among manny, need sensors seeing ekko,feeling etc.gyro stabilisation ans simoulation, j just like girls and orgasm, it aint gone bee pretty, the lack cell is born/surrounding personality, så kann du velge hvor mye er miljø og hvormye er gener/robotics, i see it well doable, butt dont expect it on ten years time! Uttrykksikonet tongue, running apps behind yur back to suprise you at your sweet 50 maybee, do they have soul, well do they have sense of self is answer like animals, it rings two personalitytrats allready, controll, and big brother maybee Uttrykksikonet tongue, lets get a foot up the ass and drive by china w a 2 billion strong ai robots kingship, ok to have if yellowstone were to blow, discovery channel made possible ways on living for man and its stuff on all galaxy planets, and its never 100% safe, either sec. company or nato troopers for ai badge., can be pumped with lots cyber ware to lill human cost pr droide humans,halfbloods and ai cyborgs. look backwards the future been here in most cases, id love to help out designing programs hacking any possiblle left problems, its in belife, and the line not to choke belife to much, wich i call an err, this is a program w needs rs and role modells insh allah