Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

July 18th, 2008

Robots: Modular and Reconfigurable Robotics

In today’s episode we focus on modular robotics, or robots assembled out of many smaller modules. Whether all the modules are the same (‘homogeneous’) or of different types (‘heterogeneous’), modular robots can accomplish many different tasks simply by adjusting their configuration. We speak with two experts in the field, Kasper Støy from Denmark and Robert Fitch from Australia.

Kasper Støy

Kasper Støy is an associate professor at the University of Southern Denmark, famous for his pioneering work with self-reconfiguring modular robots such as the CONRO. Much of Kasper’s work involves the design of algorithms to control the locomotion or self-reconfiguration of modular robots into useful shapes, such as the simulated 747 seen below.



Støy shares his recent experience at the ICRA Contingency Challenge, a competition in which teams have only a few hours to solve an unexpected problem in a planetary environment using only the material they have at hand. To achieve this goal Støy’s team integrated several different types of modular robots, including the ATRON (seen below) homogeneous robot and his latest creation, the Odin heterogeneous robot. Along with some LEGO and a bit of duct tape, Støy’s team managed to put together a system that could potentially be used to complete tasks on Mars. Check out all their videos on the team’s YouTube channel.



Robert Fitch

Our second interview is with Robert Fitch who is a research fellow with the Australian Centre for Field Robotics in Sydney, Australia. Fitch received his PhD in computer science with Daniela Rus from Dartmouth College in 2004 and then held a research position at the National ICT Australia in Sydney. He presents his latest self-reconfiguring robot whose millions of simulated modules can make a large cube robot locomote in any type of environment. By changing its shape on the go, the large cube can ooze around and over obstacles without splitting. To render a system which is scalable in the number of modules, he has been looking at how to control the reconfiguration of his robots in a decentralized manner, possibly using learning techniques to automatically determine the interesting moves to make. Finally Fitch presents the envisioned applications and hardware implementations for his self-reconfigurable modular robots.

Links:


Latest News:

Visit the Robots Forum for links and discussions about
Japanese worker-chasing surveillance robots, shopping from the comfort of your home with your robotic best friend and the Care-O-bot 3 advanced household robot presented in the podcast.

View and post comments on this episode in the forum

| More

Related episodes:

July 4th, 2008

Robots: Robot Soccer

To close this year’s soccer season after Spain’s victory in the EUROCUP we went to the robotic kingdom to see who was driving the game. With Prof. Manuela Veloso from Carnegie Mellon University and President-Elect of
the International RoboCup Federation, we’ll be looking behind the scene of the best known competition in robot soccer. Finally, we’ll be discussing the future of artificial dribblers and their odds against the human 2050 world champions with a poll and discussion on our forum.

Manuela Veloso

Robot SoccerManuela Veloso is Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, President-Elect of
the International RoboCup Federation and leader of the Coral Research Group (Cooperate, Observe, Reason, Act, and Learn). Since the first official Robocup soccer games in 1997, she’s been active in presenting teams to the Sony AIBO 4-legged league, the smallsize league, simulation league and Segway league with a great success at adding stars to the shirts of her robotic players with numerous first places in world and US championships.

In this episode we’ll be focusing on CMDragons’ cookie-box-like omni-wheeled robots from the small size league and their off-board perception.



We’ll also be looking at how the CMDash team has tamed the AIBO robot dogs to perceive their world and cooperate in a decentralized manner. Veloso gives us some insight on the challenges related to competing against different opponents and the need for teams to adapt during the games.



Finally, since the AIBOs are no longer produced, the RoboCup Federation is now making way for the Nao humanoid as the next challenging platform in robot soccer along with other research driving leagues such as the Nanogram league previously featured in Talking Robots (see Brad Nelson‘s interview).

Poll

Do you think robots will be able to beat humans at soccer by 2050?

Yes
No


View results

More discussions on this topic on our forum.

Links:


Latest News:

Visit the Robots Forum for links and discussions about
Pixar Animation’s Wall-E Robot Movie, the cutest robots as selected by TIME magazine and the 2008 European Robot Football Cup mentioned in the podcast.

View and post comments in the forum

| More

Related episodes:

February 1st, 2008

Talking Robots Podcast LogoTalking Robots: Search and Rescue Robots
Go to original website

In this podcast we interview Robin Murphy who is a founder and international leader in both rescue robotics and human-robot interaction, and was recognized by TIME Magazine in 2004 as an innovator in artificial intelligence. As the Director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR) at the University of South Florida she was the first to introduce ground, air, and sea robots to disaster response, participating in the World Trade Center disaster (2001), La Conchita, CA, mudslides (2005), Hurricanes Charley (2004), Dennis (2005), Katrina (2005), and Wilma (2005), and the Newmont Midas (2007) and Crandall Canyon (2007) mine disasters.

Read more...

Related episodes:

January 18th, 2008

Talking Robots Podcast LogoTalking Robots: Autonomous Robots
Go to original website

In this interview we talk to Roland Siegwart who is Full Professor at the Autonomous Systems Lab at the ETH Zurich. Based on his experience with the 18 robots he’s created, he shares his know-how on autonomous robotics and the research which is being done on robot navigation/localization and mapping.

Read more...

Related episodes:

September 14th, 2007

Talking Robots Podcast LogoTalking Robots: Probabilistic Robotics and the DARPA challenges
Go to original website

In this episode we interview Sebastian Thrun who is the director of the Stanford AI Lab (SAIL) in California. He tells us how he won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge along with the Stanford Racing Team and Stanley the robot car using his secret ingredient, probabilistic robotics. He prepares us for a future where autonomous cars zigzag through traffic, bringing children, the elderly and workers to their destination in a safe and efficient manner.

Read more...

Related episodes: