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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October 2nd, 2015

Robots: Micro and Nano Robotics - Transcript

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Brad Nelson, Professor at ETH Zurich, about his research regarding micro and nano robotics. They discuss many of Nelson’s projects: retinal and heart surgery, crystal harvesting, and robots with simulated flagella for mobility.

The video below shows some of the research discussed during the interview.


Brad Nelson 

Brad Nelson has been the Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at ETH Zürich since 2002, where his research focuses on microrobotics and nanorobotics. Fundamentally, he is interested in how to make tiny intelligent machines that are millimeters to nanometers in size.

He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois and the University of Minnesota, worked as a computer vision researcher at Honeywell and a software engineer at Motorola, served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana, Africa, and then obtained a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. He was an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota before moving to ETH.



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June 26th, 2015

Robots: Robotic Rehabilitation and Biomimicry Environmental Monitoring - Transcript

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

Curtin Robotic Fish

AmBot: A Bio-Inspired Amphibious Robot for Monitoring the Swan-Canning Estuary System


Lei Cui


Dr. Lei Cui completed his PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering in July 2010 from the Centre for Robotics Research, King’s College London (UK). He continued his employment as Postdoctoral Research Associate after graduation. In February 2011 he moved to the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University(US) and worked as Postdoctoral Fellow until July 2012. He joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Curtin University (AU) and was appointed Lecturer in Mechatronics, which he currently holds.



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July 25th, 2014

Robots: Ekso Bionics

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks to Russ Angold, co-founder and CTO of Ekso Bionics, about the wearable bionic suit, Ekso. This suit enables individuals with any amount of lower extremity weakness to stand up and walk over ground with a natural, full weight bearing, reciprocal gait. Walking is achieved by the user’s weight shifts to activate sensors in the device which initiate steps. Battery-powered motors drive the legs, replacing deficient neuromuscular function.

Ekso provides functional based rehabilitation, over ground gait training, and upright, weight bearing exercises. It has been designed for the needs of busy therapists treating a wide range of patients in a single day. The suit is strapped over the users´ clothing with easy adjustments to transition between patients in as little as five minutes.

Russ Angold

russ_angoldRuss Angold is co-founder and CTO of Ekso Bionics. He works closely with the Lockheed Martin Corporation, licensing Ekso technology to further develop the HULCTMexoskeleton for military use. Formerly Vice President of Engineering, Russ provided many of the concepts that shape today’s current designs as well as those of the ExoHikerTM, ExoClimberTM and HULCTM.

Before Ekso Bionics, Russ held various engineering positions at Rain Bird Corporation, Berkeley Process Control and the Irrigation Training and Research Center in San Luis Obispo, California.

Russ has a bachelor’s degree in BioResource and Agricultural Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He is a California registered Professional Mechanical Engineer and has two granted patents and another seven pending.


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July 1st, 2011

Robots: The Mind Machine Project

In this episode we speak with Newton Howard, director of the Mind Machine Project and research scientist at MIT.

Newton Howard

Newton Howard is the director of the Mind Machine Project (MMP) started in 2009 to revisit fundamental assumptions about the nature of the brain, cognition, computing, and intelligence. The project focuses on four areas of expertise including Mind, Memory, Body, and Brain/Intent with world renowned experts from a wide range of fields joining forces to create Artificial Intelligence (AI).

In our conversation, we look at mistakes made in the field of AI up to date, smart materials, the importance of understanding the brain to recreate intelligence, and hopes that this understanding will lead to breakthroughs in the medical field.

Over the years, Newton has studied the “physics of cognition”, the “theory of intention awareness” and Psychiatry at universities around the world including the University of Paris 1 – La Sorbonne, Oxford and George Washington University. He currently holds a position at the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms where his research interests include wet computers, brain language and brain interfaces.


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