Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

March 21st, 2014

Robots: EU Robotics Week

The European Robotics Week 2013 featured 334 robotics related events in 24 countries and attracted more than 55’000 participants spanning all ages. To give us a snapshot of the event, we talk to three organizers of robotics activities including Fiorella Operto in Italy, Roko Tschakarow in Germany, and Douwe Dresscher in the Netherlands.




Fiorella Operto
Fiorealla Operto is National Coordinator of the European Robotics Week in Italy and president of the School of Robotics. As an expert in science dissemination and popularization, she tells us about using robots to get kids excited about engineering, their ability to address questions in roboethics, the impact of creativity and theater, and programs such as “Roberta, Girls Discover Robots”.

Douwe Dresscher
Douwe Dresscher is a graduate student at the University of Twente in Robotics and Mechatronics. He tells us about the “kids corner” he organized during the EU robotics week that involved parking parents in a waiting room while their children were allowed to play and interact with a range of robots from his laboratory, including a Nao, a spider robot and a robot arm. He also tells us what inspires him to communicate about robotics and his research on dike inspection robots.

Roko Tschakarow
Roko Tschakarow is Business Director of Mobile Gripping Systems at SCHUNK, one of the largest manufacturers for automation components, toolholders and workholding equipment. SCHUNK organized a robotics challenge for local high-school students during the EU Robotics week. The goal was to design a LEGO robot that could localize and navigate towards a goal, or pick-up and transport an object. He tells us about the excitement generated, and their hope to inspire future generations of roboticists.

Links:

| More

Related episodes:

June 28th, 2013

Robots: Robotics Business Review

In this episode we meet with Tom Green, editor in chief of the Robotics Business Review, to discuss current trends in robotics. Robotics Business Review is a global robotics news and information resource headquartered in metro Boston (USA).

Green shares his view on how the focus within the robotics community differs in different parts of the world, and what impact public funding has on this. According to him, it is not technology but people that hold development up at the moment. We also hear about some success stories, that show how robotics make a difference in people’s lives.

Tom Green
Tom Green is the Editor in chief of the Robotics Business Review, a global robotics news and information resource headquartered in metro Boston (USA). 

Formerly, Green worked as print/online writer and video producer for the MITRE Corporation, an R&D facility specializing in computer engineering, avionics, robotics, RADAR, marine engineering, satellite communications, systems engineering and deep-space information systems for the U.S. federal government, NATO, World Radiocommunication Conferences and civilian projects worldwide (2000-2009). In 2010, Green published an Amazon best-selling history of the computer revolution: “Bright Boys: The Making of Information Technology 1938-1958″. He was also online editor/writer for Millipore/Merck Corporation; website developer and editor for JAZD Business Publications; and TV program developer for Gostelradio.

He is also an Emmy-nominated, award-winning writer, producer and playwrighter who utilizes online editorial and video content to report on and produce programs on science, technology and engineering. Green wrote and produced the forum-based TV pilot “Lifelines” for a local Boston network. His stage plays have been produced at Boston’s Next Move Theater and then reproduced as radio plays for National Public Radio.

Links:

| More

Related episodes:

February 8th, 2013

Robots: EU Robotics Week

In today’s episode we cover the EU Robotics Week that took place during the last week of November and featured robotics related activities across Europe for the general public, highlighting growing importance of robotics in a wide variety of application areas. More than 130 organizations (companies, universities, research institutes) in 19 European countries organized over 360 robotics related activities. About 80,000 people have been reached across Europe, many of them high school and elementary school students. We talk with Thilo Brodtmann, Director of EUnited Robotics, and Organizer of the event, about his first impressions following the EU Robotics week. Asim Ikram from the Danish Technology Institute tells us about logistic robots in the healthcare sector. Finally, we talk with Barbara Klein, Professor at the Fachhochschule Frankfurt, about emotional robots such as Paro and their therapeutic use for kids or the elderly.

Thilo Brodtmann
Thilo Brodtmann is Director of Robotics and Automation at VDMA and head of EUnited Robotics, the organizer of the EU Robotics Week. He began his career as economics expert in the VDMA Precision Tools Association before moving on to become Managing Director and then General Manager of the International Special Tooling and Machining Association in Frankfurt. More recently he was member of VDMA extended Executive Directorate and since 1999 has been Managing Director of the VDMA Robotics and Automation Association. Since 2000 he has been Managing Director of the VDMA Productronics Association and of the Micro Technology Association, as well as Deputy Executive Director of the German Engineering Federation. His main areas of expertise are Strategic Sales and Marketing, Customer Relationship Management, Innovative Business and International Trade. He studied Business Administration and Economics at the University of Bayreuth.

Asim Ikram
Asim Ikram is Senior Consultant in Robot Technology at the Danish Technology Institute. He tells us about the use of robots to transport material in hospitals and their workshop on “Logistics and automation with hospital robots” at the EU Robotics Week. The DTI organized several other events which you can see here. Ikram holds a B.Sc. in Avionics, a M.Sc. in Computer Systems Engineering (Robotics and Computer Vision) and many years of experience in industry as a Production Test Engineer, Project Chief and Consultant.

Barbara Klein
Barbara Klein is professor for organization and management in social work at the Fachhochschule Frankfurt am Main – University of Applied Sciences in Germany (FH FFM). She organized the workshop on “Emotional robots – PARO, PLEO and GIRAFF in the Healthcare Sector” during the EU Robotics week. Her research focuses on new technologies in the healthcare sector and she developed and implemented an independent living center displaying assistive technologies such as innovative light concepts, sensor-based assistive devices and emotional and social robots.

Barbara studied at universities in Mainz, Frankfurt and London and graduated as Dipl.-Soz. at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt in 1984. Here she completed her doctorate in 1994. For more than 20 years, Barbara worked at the Fraunhofer Society, Europe´s largest applied research institution. From 1994-1995 she had a Marie-Curie scholarship and did research and lecturing on quality assurance in the nursing care sector at the University of Stirling, UK. Coming back to Germany she established a market focus unit “Public Health” at the Fraunhofer IAO. Since 2007 she is professor at the FH FFM and was vice dean from 2009-2012.

Since 2007 she is awarded as international fellow at Northumbria University in Newcastle, England. She participates in the International Collaborative Network on Risk Construction and Management in Aging Populations and is member of the Ethics and Medical Committee of ATEGRIS Regionalholding GmbH.

Currently Barbara establishes a network on emotional and social robotics in order to generate and share knowledge on application fields and effects on well-being and quality of life.
Links:

| More

Related episodes:

May 18th, 2012

Robots: The Future of Robot Companions

In this interview recorded at the Robotdalen Robotics Innovation Challenge, Professor Paolo Dario talks to Per about 3 conceptual waves of innovation, starting with industrial robots, then adding artificial intelligence and finally the third wave, which is coming, where convergence between different fields of science and interdisciplinary teams become increasingly important.

Dario also gives his perspective on ethics and legal issues in robotics, and how robots can evolve based on ambient intelligence. Robots can basically take advantage of being a part of an interconnected system, where not all the intelligence is necessarily part of the robot itself.

Finally, Dario shares some learnings from his time as President of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, before telling us more about the FET project Robot companions for citizens.

Paolo Dario
Paolo Dario received his Dr. Eng. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1977. He is currently a Professor of Biomedical Robotics at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa and teaches at the School of Engineering of the University of Pisa and at the Campus Biomedico University in Rome.

Prof. Dario was the founder of the Advanced Robotics Technologies and Systems Laboratory and is currently the Co-ordinator of the Center for the Research in Microengineering Laboratoryof the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, where he supervises a team of about 70 researchers and Ph.D. students. His main research interests are in the fields of medical robotics, bio-robotics, mechatronics and micro/nanoengineering, and specifically in sensors and actuators for the above applications, and in robotics for rehabilitation.

He is the coordinator of many national and European projects, the editor of two books on the subject of robotics, and the author of more than 200 scientific papers. Prof. Dario has served as President of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society in the years 2002-2003, and he is currently Co-Chair of the Technical Committees on Bio-robotics and of Robo-ethics of the same Society. Prof. Dario is an IEEE Fellow, a Fellow of the European Society on Medical and Biological Engineering, and a recipient of many honors and awards. He is also a member of the Board of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR). Right now Professor Dario works on the FET Flagship initiative Robot Companions for Citizens, with the goal to realize a unique and unforeseen multidisciplinary science and engineering program supporting a radically new approach towards machines and how we deploy them in our society.

Links:

| More

Related episodes:

April 20th, 2012

Robots: Bringing them to Market

Following up on Episode 99, this episode features Steven Cousins and Roland Siegwart, whom we had the pleasure to meet at the SCHUNK Expert Days, organized by SCHUNK GmbH this spring. Our interviews bring to surface the dynamic interplay of academia and industry – we talk about the transition from the research lab to the market. Listen in and find out which robotic applications are bound to make great breakthroughs soon!

Steve Cousins

Steve Cousins is the President and CEO of Willow Garage. He earned his PhD in Computer Science at Stanford University, and has gained experience as a researcher and manager in both academic and industrial research labs. Prior to joining Willow Garage, Steve was the senior manager of the User-Focused Systems Research Group at the IBM Almaden Research Center, one of the top human-computer interaction research groups in the world. Earlier, Steve managed the Advanced Systems Development Laboratory at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Willow Garage is an unusual company set up to make robots help people. Human-scale “personal robots” will perform tasks in natural human environments, ranging from helping around the home to assisting in flexible manufacturing. Willow Garage’s role has been to help accelerate progress in this field. The PR2 robot combined with the open source Robot Operating System (ROS) enables researchers to more quickly explore applications of personal robots.

Roland Siegwart

Roland Siegwart is the Vice President of Research and Corporate Relations at ETH Zurich, and the director of the Autonomous Systems Lab. He received both his Diploma in Mechanical Engineering and his Doctoral Degree in 1989 from ETH Zurich. He then spent one year as postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. Back in Switzerland, he worked part time as R&D director at MECOS Traxler AG and as lecturer and deputy head at the Institute of Robotics, ETH Zürich. In 1996 he was appointed as professor for autonomous microsystems and robots at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) where he served among others as member of the direction of the School of Engineering (2002-06) and funding chairman of the Space Center EPFL.
Roland Siegwart is a member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences, IEEE Fellow and officer of the International Federation of Robotics Research (IFRR). He served as Vice President (2004/05) and AdCom Member (2007/10) of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, and was a member of the final decision body of the German Excellence Initiative. He is co-founder of multiple successful spin-off companies in robotics and related fields and board member of various Swiss institutions and foundations, including CSEM and inspire AG. He is a strong promoter of project based learning as a key asset in engineering education and sustainable industrial alliances for accelerating technology transfer and innovation.

Roland Siegwart’s research interests are in the design and control of robots and systems operating in complex and highly dynamical environments. His major goal is to find new ways to deal with uncertainties and enable the design of highly interactive and adaptive systems. Prominent application examples are walking quadrupeds, personal and service robots, planetary exploration robots, autonomous micro-aircrafts and driver assistant systems.

Links:

| More

Related episodes: