Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

July 13th, 2012

Robots: Launching Startups

Today we talk with Andra Keay, founder of Robot Launch Pad, robotics startup accelerator based in Silicon Valley, about latest events, lean startup methodology, funding, and gender.

Andra Keay
Andra Keay is a Robot Startup Evangelist passionate about growing robotics, one startup at a time. Supported by key actors in the field including Erin Rapacki and Ryan Calo, Robot Launch Pad aims to bridge the software, web and mobile startup worlds of Silicon Valley and San Francisco with the robotics community and the flourishing local maker sphere. In this interview, Keay tells us about the excellent startup events organized by Robot Launch Pad in April including the Robot Retreat, the Robot Block Party, Mega Startup Weekend and a Cloud Robotics Hackathon. She brings us into her world of lean startup methodology, minimum viable products and tells us about the importance of women in science.

Before launching Robot Launch Pad, Keay completed her Master of Digital Cultures in the area of Human-Robot Interactions at the University of Sydney. Her project on “the Naming of Robots” explored how roboticists express identity and gender through their technology. Passionate about robotics for a long time, she has also been running science and robot workshops for children since 1995, including coaching competition teams in Moonbots, First Lego League and RoboCup Jnr.

Finally, don’t miss Andra Keay’s other blogs, Robot State and Andragy.

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February 11th, 2011

Robots: Robotics Roadmaps – Japan

In today’s episode we discuss the national funding strategies of Japan, as a part of a series on funding strategies worldwide. In particular, we’ll be talking to an expert and leading figure in Japanese Robotics, Tomomasa Sato, who will give us insights into the Japanese robotics roadmap – for the past, present and future!

Tomomasa Sato

Prof. Tomomasa Sato received his bachelor, master and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tokyo. After completing his PhD, he joined the Electrotechnical Laboratory of the Ministry of Industrial Science and Technology. In 1991, he then moved to the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology of the University of Tokyo, where from 1998 onwards, has was Professor of the Department of Mechano-Informatics where he directed the Intelligent Cooperative Systems Laboratory.

His research interests include intelligent machines, robots and environments. He is an active member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of Instrument and Control Engineers, and Robotics Society of Japan, which he presided from 2007 to 2008 and lead the creation of the Academic Roadmap on Robotics.

He currently is a project manager for intelligent robot projects supported by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, otherwise known at METI.

During this interview, Tomomasa Sato tells us about the money spent in robotics, the differences between industry and government funding and developments and the cultural differences that make Japanese people accept robots into their daily lives.

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