Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

January 10th, 2014

Robots: Interdisciplinary Teams

In today’s episode Per Sjöborg speaks with Giulio Sandini, director of the Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences department at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), about how he eventually came to study robotics after starting out as a vision scientist in the field of bioengineering. They talk about why interdisciplinary work is important to robotics, and how diverse teams of engineers, biologists, psychologists, mathematicians, physicists, and medical doctors can learn from each other; Sandini follows up with several examples of interdisciplinary success at the IIT including the iCub and COMAN humanoid platforms, the HyQ quadruped, and their work in rehabilitation robotics.

Giulio Sandini
Giulio Sandini is Director of Research at the Italian Institute of Technology and full professor of bioengineering at the University of Genoa. After his graduation in Electronic Engineering (Bioengineering) at the University of Genova in 1976 he was research fellow and assistant professor at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa until 1984. During this period, working at the Laboratorio di Neurofisiologia of the CNR, he investigated aspects of visual processing at the level of single neurons as well as aspects of visual perception in human adults and children. He has been Visiting Research Associate at the Department of Neurology of the Harvard Medical School in Boston. After his return to Genova in 1984 as associate professor he founded the Laboratory for Integrated Advanced Robotics. In 1996 he was Visiting Scientist at the Artificial Intelligence Lab of MIT.

Since 2006 he is Director of Research at the Italian Institute of Technology where he has established and is currently directing the Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences department. RBCS is a multidisciplinary environment composed of researchers with different backgrounds (engineers, biologists, psychologists, mathematicians, physicists, medical doctors) sharing “human centered” Scientific and Technological interests along three streams of research: Humanoid Cognition, Human Behavior and Biomechanics, Brain Machine Interface.

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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.
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April 22nd, 2011

Robots: European Robotics (Part 1)

The European Robotics Forum, jointly organized by the European Robotics Technology Platform (EUROP) and the European Robotics Research Network (EURON), was hosted this year on April 6-8, in Västerås, Sweden by Robotdalen. Thanks to an invitation by EUnited Robotics, we got a chance to be there and talk to some of Europe’s major players in the field, from both industry and research.

Today’s episode is the first of a two part feature on the event, in which we talk to Jessica Karlsson from Robotdalen, Ola Svanström from ABB Robotics and Professor Moshe Shoham, founder of Mazor Robotics.

Jessica Karlsson

Jessica Karlsson is the Communications Manager for Robotdalen, the host of this year’s European Robotics Forum. Robotdalen represents a Swedish initiative aimed at enabling commercial success of new ideas and research in robotics. It is currently focused on three areas: field robotics, industrial robotics and technology for independent life. Jessica explains the vision of the initiative and gives some examples of success stories in each of their target domains.

Ola Svanström

Ola Svanström is the Head of Product Management for ABB Robotics, a leading supplier of industrial robot solutions. He talks to us about ABB‘s activities in the field of robotics, the current state of the robotics market and the importance of human-robot interaction research for future robotic applications.

Moshe Shoham

Professor Moshe Shoham is the head of the Robotics Laboratory at Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology. His main research focus is on medical robots. He talks to us about two medical robotic systems. The first one, SpineAssist, is a robotic guidance system which enables surgeons to perform safer and more accurate spine surgeries. It is commercialized by Mazor Robotics, a company he founded and is currently CTO of. He then talks about ViRob, a micro-robot currently in development, that will be able to crawl into hard to access parts of the human body and deliver pharmaceutical payloads or drag a micro-catheter in a minimally invasive way.

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