Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

August 15th, 2008

Robots: DelFly and Europe’s Micro Air Vehicle Competition

In this episode we talk about two major events in aerial robotics in the last few weeks: the announcement of the Delfly Micro and the 2008 European Micro Air Vehicle (EMAV) Competition. We first speak with Christophe de Wagter, a member of the Dutch team that’s been churning out amazing flapping-wing robots in the last few years. Our second interview features Peter Vörsmann, chair of this year’s EMAV competition, to explain the latest advances in autonomous flying vehicles.

Christophe de Wagter

In a recent press release a Dutch team of researchers from the Delft University of Technology announced the DelFly Micro, the latest and smallest member of the DelFly family, achieving flight at a very impressive 3g. Not only can this robot fly for 3 minutes, it actually carries a camera, and thus can sense its environment and is already capable of some basic autonomous flight.



De Wagter is one of the main developers of the DelFly family of ornithopters and tells us about the new platform’s capabilities, as well as the motivations of the project. He also tells us about the recent EMAV’08 competition in Germany and the impressive results of the DelFly II, the precursor to the DelFly Micro.



Peter Vörsmann

With its third edition in Braunschweig, Germany, the European Micro Air Vehicle competition (EMAV) reunited the MAV family of flapping, rotary and flying wing robots. The indoor and outdoor competitions were focussed on advancing the state-of-the art in aircraft maneuverability and autonomy while minimizing the size of the MAVs (see the mission description and rules). The 14 outdoor teams and 9 indoor teams showed off their platforms as they swooped over forests through arches and up a chimney, a hand-full of the MAVs performing autonomously.

The chair of the competition, Prof. Peter Vörsmann from the TU Braunschweig and Director of the Institute of Aerospace Systems, tells us about his view on the event, its challenges and impact. He also presents his Institute’s work on MAVs with autopilot technologies, meteorological MAVs and his future aerobatic robots.

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Visit the Robots Forum for links and discussions about the
RED teaching robot, Hanson and Byrne’s singing robot and the iRobot Negotiator presented in the podcast.

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July 4th, 2008

Robots: Robot Soccer

To close this year’s soccer season after Spain’s victory in the EUROCUP we went to the robotic kingdom to see who was driving the game. With Prof. Manuela Veloso from Carnegie Mellon University and President-Elect of
the International RoboCup Federation, we’ll be looking behind the scene of the best known competition in robot soccer. Finally, we’ll be discussing the future of artificial dribblers and their odds against the human 2050 world champions with a poll and discussion on our forum.

Manuela Veloso

Robot SoccerManuela Veloso is Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, President-Elect of
the International RoboCup Federation and leader of the Coral Research Group (Cooperate, Observe, Reason, Act, and Learn). Since the first official Robocup soccer games in 1997, she’s been active in presenting teams to the Sony AIBO 4-legged league, the smallsize league, simulation league and Segway league with a great success at adding stars to the shirts of her robotic players with numerous first places in world and US championships.

In this episode we’ll be focusing on CMDragons’ cookie-box-like omni-wheeled robots from the small size league and their off-board perception.



We’ll also be looking at how the CMDash team has tamed the AIBO robot dogs to perceive their world and cooperate in a decentralized manner. Veloso gives us some insight on the challenges related to competing against different opponents and the need for teams to adapt during the games.



Finally, since the AIBOs are no longer produced, the RoboCup Federation is now making way for the Nao humanoid as the next challenging platform in robot soccer along with other research driving leagues such as the Nanogram league previously featured in Talking Robots (see Brad Nelson‘s interview).

Poll

Do you think robots will be able to beat humans at soccer by 2050?

Yes
No


View results

More discussions on this topic on our forum.

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Visit the Robots Forum for links and discussions about
Pixar Animation’s Wall-E Robot Movie, the cutest robots as selected by TIME magazine and the 2008 European Robot Football Cup mentioned in the podcast.

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