Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

November 14th, 2015

Robots: ICRA 2015 Company Showcase - Transcript

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews several companies from the International Conferences on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) showcase. The companies span the following applications: mobile robots for military and commercial uses, warehouse solutions, robotic arms and manipulators, and robotic systems to assist surgery.

Companies are listed in the order of their interview with a picture of their booth at ICRA 2015. All photos were taken by Robohub and can be found here.


American Robot Company (AMBOT) specializes in advanced electronics, unmanned systems, autonomous vehicle solutions and intelligent platforms for research, commercial and military robotic applications.

GRP 4400 wheeled platform - American Robot Company


Fetch Robotics provides warehouse solutions.

Fetch Robotics


Intuitive Surgical designs and builds the da Vinci Surgical System for robotically assisted minimally invasive surgery.

da Vinci Xi - Intuitive Surgical


Kinova designs and manufactures robotics platforms and components that are simple and safe under two business units: Assistive Robotics for  people with disabilities and Service Robotics for humans and robots working in the same environments.

Adept Mobile Robots


Applied Dexterity seeks to advance the field of robotically assisted surgery by creating a research surgical robot that can serve as a standard platform allowing researchers to share their software and improvements.

Raven II - Applied Dexterity inc.



Jens Hurley is a Senior Roboticist at the American Robot Company.

Michael Ferguson is a Co-Founder and the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Fetch Robotics. Previously, Ferguson was the founder and CTO of Vanadium lab, developing low-cost education and hobby robot controllers, and a Software Engineer at Willow Garage.

Simon DiMaio is a Senior Manager of Research and Advanced Systems Development at Intuitive Surgical. Previously, DiMaio was an Instructor of Radiology and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School.

François Boucher is the Vice President of Business Development at Kinova Inc. in Boisbriand, Canada. He received his MBA and a Bachelor degree in Physics Engineering from Laval University. After his graduation, he worked as the General Manager of a technology transfer and investment company before joining Kinova in its early days to develop the service robotics market. In 2014 and 2015, Kinova was listed as one of the 50 most influential public & private companies in the global robotics industry by the Robotics Business Review and one of the fastest-growing company by Profit 500 in Canada.

Andrew Lewis is a Roboticist at Applied Dexterity. Previously, Lewis was a mechanical engineering graduate student in the BioRobotics lab at the University of Washington. His work in the BioRobotics Lab focused on the development of surgical robots, dynamically evaluated gravity compensation, and electromyography controlled iRobot Roombas. Lewis earned his BS in Robotics Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2011. His interests include mechanical design, systems development, and ethics in robotics engineering.



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July 24th, 2015

Robots: Cheetah 2 - Transcript

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Sangbae Kim, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), at the International Conference of Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2015. They speak about an electrically powered quadruped called the Cheetah 2.


Sangbae Kim

sangbaeProf. Sangbae Kim is the director of the Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory and an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. His research focuses on the bio-inspired robotic platform design by extracting principles from complex biological systems. Kim’s achievements on bio-inspired robot development include the world‘s first directional adhesive inspired from gecko lizards, and a climbing robot, Stickybot, that utilizes the directional adhesives to climb smooth surfaces featured in TIME’s best inventions in 2006. The MIT Cheetah achieves stable outdoor running at an efficiency of animals, employing biomechanical principles from studies of best runners in nature. This achievement was covered by more than 200 articles. He is a recipient of King-Sun Fu Memorial Best Transactions on Robotics Paper Award (2008), DARPA YFA(2013), and NSF CAREER (2014) award.



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February 20th, 2015

Robots: Sensors for Autonomous Driving - Transcript

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Christoph Stiller from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Stiller speaks about the sensors required for various level of autonomous driving, as well as the ethics of autonomous cars, and his experience in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge.


Christoph Stiller

ChristophStillerChristoph Stiller studied Electrical Engineering in Aachen, Germany and Trondheim, Norway, and received the Diploma degree and the Dr.-Ing. degree (Ph.D.) from Aachen University of Technology in 1988 and 1994, respectively. He worked with INRS-Telecommunications in Montreal, Canada for a post-doctoral year as Member of the Scientific Staff in 1994/1995. In 1995 he joined the Corporate Research and Advanced Development of Robert Bosch GmbH, Germany. In 2001 he became chaired professor and director of the Institute for Measurement and Control Systems at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany.

Dr. Stiller serves as immediate Past President of the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society, Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems (2004-ongoing), IEEE Transactions on Image Processing (1999-2003) and for the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Magazine (2012-ongoing). He served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Magazine (2009-2011). He has been program chair of the IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium 2004 in Italy and General Chair of the IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium 2011 in Germany. His automated driving team AnnieWAY has been finalist in the Darpa Urban Challenge 2007 and winner of the Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge in 2011.


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November 29th, 2014

Robots: Mobility Transformation Facility

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Edwin Olson, an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, about the University’s 32-acre testing environment for autonomous cars and the future of driverless vehicles.

The testing environment, called the “Mobility Transformation Facility,” has been designed to provide a simulation of circumstances that an autonomous car would experience driving on real-world streets. The Transformation Facility features “one of everything,” says Edwin Olson, including a four-lane highway, road signs, stoplights, intersections, roundabouts, a railroad crossing, building facades, and even, mechanical cyclists and pedestrians.

Edwin Olson
Edwin OlsonEdwin Olson is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and the University of Michigan. He is the director of the APRIL robotics lab, which studies Autonomy, Perception, Robotics, Interfaces, and Learning. His active research projects include applications to explosive ordinance disposal, search and rescue, multi-robot communication, railway safety, and automobile autonomy and safety.

In 2010, he led the winning team in the MAGIC 2010 competition by developing a collective of 14 robots that semi-autonomously explored and mapped a large-scale urban environment. For winning, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded him $750,000. He was named one of Popular Science’s “Brilliant Ten” in September, 2012. In 2013, he was awarded a DARPA Young Faculty Award.

He received a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008 for his work in robust robot mapping. During his time as a PhD student, he was a core member of their DARPA Urban Challenge Team which finished the race in 4th place. His work on autonomous cars continues in cooperation with Ford Motor Company on the Next Generation Vehicle project.



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July 26th, 2013

Robots: Outdoor Autonomous Systems

In this episode, we speak with Jonathan Roberts, research director of the Autonomous Systems Lab at the CSIRO ICT Centre in Brisbane Australia. Roberts leads a team of more than 45 scientists and engineers in wide variety of robotics and automation projects that feature flying, ground and underwater robots.

Jonathan Roberts
Jonathan Roberts is research director of Autonomous Systems Lab at CSIRO ICT Centre in Brisbane Outside CSIRO. His laboratory is developing automation technologies for applications in environmental monitoring, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and for the energy sector. With research in field robotics and wireless sensor networks, his laboratory has produced new techniques for the autonomous control of machines, 3D perception and localisation, and for the setup and operation of large scale outdoor wireless sensor networks. These techniques are combined to produce novel solutions for industry.

In today’s episode we will touch on the following topics:

  • UAV Outback Challenge – an Australian UAV competition that features delivery and search and rescue missions.
  • Telepresence Robot – to help connect school kids and visitors in regional areas to the National Museum of Australia.
  • The Stealth Robot – for observing animals in their natural habitat.
  • StarBug AUV – an inexpensive, miniature autonomous underwater vehicle ideal for data collection and ecosystem surveys.
  • Robot Helicopter – an unmanned automatic helicopter designed to remotely inspect dangerous or hard to get to infrastructure such as powerlines, buildings and bridges.
  • Hexapod Robot – a multi-legged robot that can be used for monitoring and mapping uneven and unstructured terrain which can be difficult to navigate with wheeled robots.
  • Redirecting Manufacturing – a discussion on the future of manufacturing.

Jonathan Roberts is also Deputy Director of the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA), Video Editor for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine and a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Field Robotics.


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