Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

December 11th, 2015

Robots: Multi-Agent Systems and Human-Swarm Interaction

In this episode, Andrew Vaziri interviews Magnus Egerstedt, Professor at Georiga Tech, about his research in swarm robotics and multi-agent systems. They discuss privacy and security concerns, as well as research into interfaces designed to enable a single operator to control large swarms of robots.

The video below shows some of the strategies used by Magnus’ lab.

Magnus Egerstedt


Magnus Egerstedt is Schlumberger Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he serves as Associate Chair for Research. He received an MSc in Engineering Physics and a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, and a BSc in Philosophy from Stockholm University. He was then a Postdoctoral Scholar at Harvard University. Dr. Egerstedt is the director of the Georgia Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory (GRITS Lab), a Fellow of the IEEE, and a recipient of a number of research and teaching awards, including the Ragazzini Award from A2C2.


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September 4th, 2015

Robots: Fotokite Phi - Transcript

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Sergei Lupashin about Perspective Robotics upcoming flying camera, the Fotokite Phi.

The Phi is a rotor-craft unmanned aerial vehicle, called a quadrocopter, that a user controls with a retractable leash. As the quadrocopter flies, it keeps tension on the leash; this tension allows it to determine where it is in space with respect to the user holding the leash. Because the Phi figures out where it is from the leash, it can follow the user without a vision system or GPS. Lupashin says that the leash also allows users to learn to fly the Phi in a short time and that it provides a natural way of controlling the quadrocopter.

For easy transport, the four arms with propellers of the Phi can be folded up so that it can fit in a large-thermos-size cylinder.

Perspective Robotics is running an Indiegogo campaign to fund production of the Fotokite Phi. The campaign’s video is below.



Sergei Lupashin


Sergei Lupashin is the founder of Perspective Robotics, the Swiss company behind the Fotokite. Previous to that he worked in aerospace and participated in robotics competitions such as the DARPA Grand+Urban Challenges (autonomous cars). He was chief architect for the ETH Flying Machine Arena, where he enjoyed torturing little quadrocopters until they learned to do flips. He holds a BS in Elec & Comp Engineering from Cornell, an MSc + PhD in Mechanical Engineering from ETH Zurich (topic: aerial robotics) and is a TED Fellow. Sergei is passionate about building devices that are usable and useful in the real world.



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August 7th, 2015

Robots: Mobile Microrobotics Challenge - Transcript

In this interview, Audrow Nash talks to two teams from Mobile Microrobotics Challenge at the 2015 International Conference for Robotics and Automation (ICRA).

The first team was from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. We spoke with Leanne King about the Autonomous Mobility & Accuracy Challenge. In this competition, teams try to move a small robot accurately around a shape. The robot can be a small piece of metal or even a bubble generated by a laser. Leanne’s team won the Mobility & Accuracy Challenge.

The second team was from West University of Timișoara (UVT) in Romania. We spoke to Ioan Alexandru Ivan about the Microassembly Challenge, where teams tried to move small triangles against walls and other fixtures using a micro-robot. The Ivan’s team placed second in the Microassembly Challenge.



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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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May 15th, 2015

Robots: Supernumerary Limbs - Transcript

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Federico Parietti, a PhD candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, about his research on supernumerary robotic limbs that can be used in manufacturing and for rehabilitative purposes, among other uses.

The videos below demonstrate how supernumerary limbs can be used to assist in tasks. This research was done in the same lab that Federico works in.

Federico Parietti

Federico Parietti is currently a PhD candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his research focuses on the design and control of wearable robots and man-machine interfaces. Previously, Parietti was a Research Associate and Visiting Scholar at Carnegie Mellon University and an International Student at ETH Zurich, in Switzerland.





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