Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

April 5th, 2013

Robots: Software Marketplace

In this episode we hear how the Spanish robotic startup Adele is creating a marketplace for robotics software. Through their platform, robot developers can buy software components for their robots, and software developers can sell their code, in a practical way. Examples of the software components, Adele calls them sparks, are speech recognition, synthetic speech, vision systems and user interface components. Their flagship project FIONA (Framework for Interactive-services Over Natural-conversational Agents) allows users to create intelligent and interactive virtual avatars.

Celestino Alvarez Martinez
Celestino Alvarez Martinez is an Industrial Engineer, specialized in Electronics and Automation from the University of Oviedo and with a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence from Polytechnic University of Madrid. In 2002 he began his PhD in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, under the supervision of Professor Antonio Barrientos (DISAM, UPM) in the field of human-robot interaction.



Lucia Fernandez Cossio
Lucia Fernandez Cossio is a Computer Science Engineer from the University of Oviedo. She is specialized in artificial intelligence and social robotics and currently holds the position of Project Manager at Adele Robots. She has experience in management and direction of R & D related to different topics within the field of Information Technology and Communication.




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December 3rd, 2010

Robots: Personal Helpers

In today’s episode we take a look at the status and progress of the personal robotics domain — a research field which is about to change our lives! We talk to Steve Cousins, CEO of Willow Garage and a major player in the field. We then talk to Moritz Tenorth to get a fascinating insight into the technological details which the work in this domain entails.

Steve Cousins

Steve Cousins is the President and CEO of Willow Garage.  He earned his PhD in Computer Science at Stanford University.  He has experience as a researcher and manager in both academic and industrial research labs, from the Washington University medical school and Stanford University, to Interval Research Corporation, Xerox PARC, and IBM Almaden.

Willow Garage is an unusual company set up to make robots help people. Human-scale “personal robots” will perform tasks in natural human environments, ranging from helping around the home to assisting in flexible manufacturing.  Willow Garage’s role has been to help accelerate progress in this field.  The PR2 robot combined with the open source Robot Operating System (ROS) enables researchers to more quickly explore applications of personal robots.

In this interview, Steve Cousins talks about the past and future of personal robotics, where the major challenges lie and what his personal picture of the future is!

Moritz Tenorth

Moritz Tenorth is currently finishing his PhD at the Intelligent Autonomous Systems Group at the TU Munich where he works on making robots understand human environments, such as kitchens. In the memorable demonstration shown in the video below, three robots, including the Willow Garage’s PR2 work together to whip up a batch of pancakes.

To achieve this impressive result robots needed to have a high-level understanding of their world so that they can recognize useful objects and figure out what to do with them in order to follow recipes. For this purpose, Tenorth created KnowRob which is now implemented for ROS and can be used for a variety of different robots. He also explains how the Web can be a huge source of information for robots.

Finally, Tenorth tells us about the importance of unified operating system for robots and his experience in working with the PR2 and ROS.

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For pictures and videos of Shelley racing up Peak Hill and the WheeMe Massage Robot, have a look at the Robots Forum.

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April 9th, 2010

Robots: URBI Software Platform

In this episode we look at robotics software platforms with Jean-Christophe Baillie who is the CEO of Gostai, a robotics software company out of Paris.

He tells us about the software URBI that he created to help developers program and control robots and his motivation to go open source at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in a couple of weeks.

Jean-Christophe Baillie

Jean-Christophe Baillie received a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from University of Paris 6 and Sony Computer Science Lab and then founded the Cognitive Robotics Lab in ENSTA/ParisTech.

He tells us about his past work on developmental robotics and more specifically on the Talking Heads experiments covered in part in an interview with Talking Robots. During this research, he designed URBI to control complex robotics systems like the AIBO. In 2006 Baillie founded Gostai to further develop the URBI technology which has now been extended to many robotic platforms such as the Nao humanoid used for the RoboCup robotics competition. He also tells us about his plans to make URBI open source and what that entails in terms of business model.

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Latest News:

For videos of the current autonomous Audi TTS rally car prototype, details on NASA’s new autonomous exploration system AEGIS, and videos of Ishiguro’s new android, Geminoid F, have a look at the Robots Forum.

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December 7th, 2007

Talking Robots Podcast LogoTalking Robots: Microsoft and Robotics
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In today’s episode we talk to Tandy Trower, a 26-year Microsoft veteran who is now the General Manager of the Microsoft Robotics Group. In this year’s January edition of Scientific American, Bill Gates predicted a “Robot in Every Home” after having told Tandy Trower “to go on an extended fact-finding mission and to speak with people across the robotics community”. As a result, Microsoft launched their “Robotics Studio” in 2006 without losing a split second. Tandy Trower tells what it’s all about, why Microsoft is interested in robotics, if we’ll ever see anything close to open source and if we are we really going towards a robot in every home.

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January 5th, 2007

Talking Robots Podcast LogoTalking Robots: Robot Simulation as a Business Opportunity
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In this interview we talk to Olivier Michel, the founder of Cyberbotics Ltd., about his business experience with robot simulation, his current and future customers, software patents and on how robotics can help us to keep factories in Europe.

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