In this episode, Ron Vanderkley speaks with Mark Pivoc from FastBrick about Hadrian the bricklaying robot. Fastbrick is an Australian robotics firm aiming to disrupt the local bricklaying market with a machine it says will be able to build a four-bedroom house in two days, without any human interaction.
A builder or architect will supply a 3D model, which is then converted into machine code that uses proprietary software to calculate the location of every brick in the building. Laser-scanning technology surveys the foundation once a concrete slab has been laid, and then loads and lays bricks using a 28m articulated telescopic boom. Adhesive is pumped and applied to the brick via the robotic laying head, and a laser alignment system ensures an laying accuracy of within half a millimetre.
Mark Pivac is the primary inventor of Fastbrick’s automated bricklaying technology. He is an aeronautical and mechanical engineer with over 25 years’ experience working on the development of high technology equipment ranging from lightweight aircraft to heavy off road equipment. Mark has 20 years’ experience of pro/engineer 3D CAD Software. He also has high level mathematical experience including matrix mathematics, robot transformations and vector mathematics for machine motion. In addition, he has extensive design, commissioning and fault finding experience on servo controlled motion systems achieving very high dynamic performance.
In this episode, Ron Vanderkley speaks with Dr. Lei Cui from Curtin University about his team’s work on 3D printable hand orthosis for rehabilitation, a task-oriented 4-DOF robotic device for upper-limb rehabilitation and a 3-DOF platform providing multi-directional perturbations for research into balance rehabilitation. They also discuss the fastest untethered robotic fish for river monitoring and an amphibious robot for monitoring the Swan-Canning River System.
A 3D Printable Parametric Hand Exoskeleton for Finger Rehabilitation
ComBot: a Compact Robot for Upper-Limb Rehabilitation
A 3-DOF Robotic Platform for Research into Multi-Directional Stance Perturbations
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 today’s episode we speak with Rodney Brooks at the offices of Rethink Robotics about their first product Baxter, his ambition to revolutionize manufacturing and latest tips for young entrepreneurs.
Rodney Brooks Rodney Brooks built his career as Professor in robotics and former Director (1997 – 2007) of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and then the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). In the 1980s, he revolutionized the field of robotics by introducing the idea that the world is its own best model, and that to be robust, robots should react to their environment (behavior-based robotics) rather than rely on complex models of the world. From this research in behavior-based robotics, Brooks then studied human-robot interactions with former graduate students, now well known researchers, such as Cynthia Breazeal and Maja Mataric. He is also a Founder, former Board Member (1990 – 2011) and former CTO (1990 – 2008) of iRobot.
In 2008, Brooks founded Rethink Robotics, a Boston-based company aimed at revolutionizing manufacturing and reducing offshoring by making low-cost robots that can easily be taught to help with different tasks on the work-floor by everyday employees. Their first product “Baxter” has five cameras and two arms, each with 7 degrees of freedom, a payload of 5 kg and equipped with interchangeable manipulators.
In this interview, Brooks tells us about his vision for manufacturing and the design decisions that were taken to address challenges such as vision, manipulation, and human-robot interactions. Businesses will need to “rethink” their idea of automation before embracing adaptable, compliant and human-like robots rather than typical assembly-line super-performers.