Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

November 6th, 2009

Robots: Stroke Rehabilitation

In today’s show we’ll be looking at robots used for the rehabilitation of stroke patients. Our first guest, Ludovic Dovat for the National University of Singapore is part of a multi-national team working on robotic devices that help patients regain the use of their hands. Our second guest, David Brown, is co-founder of Kinea Design near Chicago that makes a rehabilitation robot called the KineAssist. As a physiotherapist, he gives us his hands-on view on how robots can help patients re-learn to walk.

Ludovic Dovat

Ludovic Dovat has recently completed his PhD at the National University of Singapore, where he worked in conjunction with doctors and engineers from the Imperial College in London and Simon Fraser and McGill Universities in Canada on robotic systems designed specifically for hand rehabilitation for stroke victims. He tells us about three of the systems that they’ve designed and successfully tested with stroke victims to help them re-learn complex tasks such as handwriting, manipulation and coordination of their fingers.

Dovat explains that most stroke victims are sent home as soon as they are able to walk and do not have a chance to re-learn essential but more delicate tasks like gripping and writing due to the complexity and expense of rehabilitating the hand. His robotic systems are used in conjunction with physiotherapists to ease the recovery process for both victim and therapist and help patients lead fuller and ultimately happier lives while reducing the cost of the therapy.

David Brown

David Brown is co-founder of Kinea Design, Associate Professor in the Departments of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Science, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University in Chicago.

He specializes in post-stroke disabilities and novel engineering that can help his patients get back on their feet. With a nice balance between his background in physiotherapy and academic science, he’s been in the field, with machines such as the KineAssist that can challenge patients with difficult walking exercices while catching them if they fall. Over the years, Kinea Design has been expanding their portfolio with products like arm prosthetics and haptic interfaces for DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program which Dean Kamen just recently presented in our show.

More generally, Brown tells us about his patients, colleagues and the market of rehabilitataion robots from a medical perspective.

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Latest News:

Have a look at the Robots forum for more information about iRobot’s move into healthcare robotics and Boston Dynamic’s PETMAN robot.

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March 27th, 2009

Robots: Learning with LEGO

In this episode we focus on engineering education at the elementary school level, and how robotics can play a key role in shaping the engineers of the future. We first speak with Chris Rogers, professor at Tufts University and developer of ROBOLAB, a framework for using LEGO Mindstorms sets to teach robotics in the classroom. We then speak with Liz Herron, the manager of the LEGO Education Center in Texas about her hands-on experience with kids and robots.

Chris Rogers

Chris Rogers is a professor of mechanical engineering at Tufts University in Massachusetts in the US. His research interests are broad, and he’s been seen studying fluid dynamics, the flight of insects and tele-robotics, but it’s his commitment to the engineering education of children that brought him on our show today.

As director of the Center for Engineering Education Outreach, Rogers tours the elementary schools of the world trying to bring engineering and robotics to young children. He has also worked with LEGO to develop ROBOLAB, a robotic approach to learning science and math. Rogers tells us about the importance of science and engineering in the classroom, and how teachers can perhaps help shape the roboticists of tomorrow. He also talks a little about the LEGO NXT, the latest line of robotic kits from the company that can be seen in the video below:



Liz Herron

Liz Herron manages the first, and only, LEGO Education Center in the United States which serves the needs of children ages 3 – 12. The center focuses on math, science, and technology skills and offers several levels of robotics courses for children over the age of seven. With LEGO Mindstorms, they create nano-like robots to explore the human body, robot police dogs to help the community or robotic families. With imagination as a drive, the kids are actually learning about team work and engineering.

Herron has been in education for many years, teaching or supporting all elementary grades from pre-school through grade 6. Nominated for teacher of the year several times, her peers quickly honored her creative, innovative and passionate approach to education. Strong of this background, she’ll be telling us about her hands-on experience with the kids at the LEGO Education Center and the amazing solutions which they can whip-up.

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Latest News:

For more information and discussion on this week’s news, including videos of the first robot super model “walking” the catwalk, research on the biomimetic robotic octopus arm as well as the new type of artificial muscle visit the Robots Forum.

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November 9th, 2007

Talking Robots Podcast LogoTalking Robots: Playware and Edutainment
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In this episode we talk to Henrik Lund who is the director of the AdapTronics Group at the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute at the University of Southern Denmark. He just recently launched the Center for Playware in the same institute which has recently received wide media attention (Wired, NewScientistTech, CNN) for motivating kids and adults to play on his interactive playgrounds and therapy tiles. Henrik also explains how he is inspiring Tanzanian children to become inventors and engineers with the AfroBot project.

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November 10th, 2006

Talking Robots Podcast LogoTalking Robots: Starting a Business in Research Robotics
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In this episode we interview Francesco Mondada on his experience with starting a business in research robotics, on the potential of robots for creating bridges between disciplines and on nature as an inspiration and challenge for roboticists.

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