In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Federico Parietti, a PhD candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, about his research on supernumerary robotic limbs that can be used in manufacturing and for rehabilitative purposes, among other uses.
The videos below demonstrate how supernumerary limbs can be used to assist in tasks. This research was done in the same lab that Federico works in.
Federico Parietti is currently a PhD candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his research focuses on the design and control of wearable robots and man-machine interfaces. Previously, Parietti was a Research Associate and Visiting Scholar at Carnegie Mellon University and an International Student at ETH Zurich, in Switzerland.
In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Christina Brester, from the Siberian State Aerospace University, about her research on a method to identify emotional state from speech. This method performs speech analysis with a self-adaptive, multi-objective, genetic algorithm for feature selection and uses a neural network to classify those features. In this interview, we’ll discuss exactly what that means, as well as the implications and future of this research.
Christina Brester completed her bachelor’s (2012) and master’s degree (2014) at the Siberian State Aerospace University (SibSAU) in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Her master’s thesis was on Speech-based Emotion Recognition.
Currently, Brester is a PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering at SibSAU. Her research interests include evolutionary computation, neuro-evolutionary algorithms, machine learning, and speech analysis.
In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Hunter Lloyd, who is a Professor of Robotics at Montana State University and a comedian. Hunter performs a comedy act for all ages with partner Looney, a NAO Humanoid Robot from Aldebaran Robotics. Lloyd discusses making people laugh with his robot partner, why he does it, and how what he’s learned as a comedian relates to robotics.
Hunter Lloyd is an award winning Professor, business owner, inventor, author, comedian, and family man. While Hunter was an undergraduate student studying accounting, he postponed his college career to start stand-up comedy. For six years Hunter toured the country working with acts such as Jerry Seinfeld and Tim Allen. Hunter headlined his first comedy show at Laffs in Tucson, Arizona; at the age of 23, he appeared on television networks such as MTV, VH1 and The Comedy Channel. After touring for several years, Hunter went back to complete his undergraduate degree and graduate school where he studied engineering and computer science, which eventually led him to the field of robotics. Hunter is now a Professor of Robotics at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. Hunter and his students have excelled in a number of competitions including the NASA Robotics Championship, the Robot Olympic Games, and Robogames.
Hunter is also a robotics entrepreneur: founding a robotics company in 2005 that helped develop the RangeWatcher and WatchKeeper technologies for the Predator Unmanned Aircraft Group. Today, Hunter combines his skills as a robotics engineer and comedian to perform to audiences of students, inspiring them to follow their dreams in the fields of math and science.
In today’s podcast, Ron Vanderkley speaks with Will Jackson from Engineered Arts Limited about his team’s work making robot actors.
Engineered Arts was founded in October 2004 by Will Jackson, to produce mixed media installations for UK science centres and museums, many of which involved simple mechanical figures, animated by standard industrial controllers.
In early in 2005, the Company began work on the Mechanical Theatre for the Eden Project. This involved three figures, with storylines focused on genetic modification. Rather than designing another set of figures for this new commission, Engineered Arts decided to develop a generic programmable figure that would be used for the Mechanical Theatre, and the succession of similar commissions that would hopefully follow. The result was RoboThespian Mark 1 (RT1).
From thereon, Engineered Arts took a change of direction and now concentrates entirely on development and sales of an ever expanding range of humanoid and semi-humanoid robots featuring natural human-like movement and advanced social behaviours.
RoboThespian, now in its third version, is a life sized humanoid robot designed for human interaction in a public environment. It is fully interactive, multilingual, and user-friendly. Clients range from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre through to Questacon, The National Science and Technology Centre in Australia. You can watch it in action in the video below.
Human-robot interaction is a fascinating field of research in robotics. It also happens to be the field that is closely related to many of the ethical concerns raised with regards to interactive robots. Should human-robot interaction (HRI) practitioners keep in mind things such as human dignity, psychological harm, and privacy? What about how robot design relates to racism and sexism?
Curious to find out more, AJung spoke with Dr. Riek about what motivated them to draft the code of ethics, what is covered, and where they plan to take it.
Laurel Riek is the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, where she directs the Robotics, Health, and Communication Lab. Her research interests are in human-robot interaction, social signal processing, and health informatics. Riek’s work explores how to build machines that are socially agile – able to sense, respond, and adapt to human behavior. This includes computationally modeling social context and synchrony, as well as building expressive robots, such as next generation patient simulator systems. Riek received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge and BS in Logic and Computation from Carnegie Mellon University. She worked for eight years as a Senior Artificial Intelligence Engineer and Roboticist at MITRE, on projects including search and rescue robotics, unmanned vehicles, and natural language processing. For her research, she has received several high-level awards from MITRE, a Qualcomm Research Award in Computing, and the NSF CAREER Award.