Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

April 10th, 2009

Robots: The Race to the Moon

In this episode, we take-off for the moon with Prof. William “Red” Whittaker who is the director of the Field Robotics Center at Carnegie Mellon University in the US. Strong of his victory at the Darpa Urban Challenge and its autonomous cars, Red is now pursuing an endeavor which seems even more out of reach. His team is currently working on sending a privately funded robot to the moon, and then having the robot travel on its surface and transmit video, images and data back to the Earth. The first team to reach the moon will be awarded a juicy $20 million Google Lunar X Prize.

William “Red” Whittaker

Prof. William “Red” Whittaker, who simply goes by the name “Red”, is the Fredkin Professor of Robotics, Director of the Field Robotics Center, and founder of the National Robotics Engineering Consortium, all at Carnegie Mellon University . He is also the Chief Scientist of RedZone Robotics.

Red has been a driving force in field robotics, bringing robots out of the lab and into natural environments such as mines, volcano interiors, farms, nuclear facilities, hazardous waste sites and now outer space. One of his best known robots is an autonomous car capable of navigating in urban environments and even traffic. The car drove his TARTAN racing team to victory in the 2007 Darpa Urban Challenge.

In this episode he presents his new endeavor: developing a lunar robot named “RED Rover”, capable of reaching the moon, traveling on its surface and transmitting data to Earth. He’ll be competing against many different teams from around the world to be the first to win the $20 million Google Lunar X Prize.



Survey – Google Lunar X Prize

Do you think a privately-funded team will land a robot on the moon and win the Google Lunar X-Prize by 2014?

Yes
No

View results

The Google Lunar X-Prize is the latest competition sponsored by the X Prize foundation who’s aim is to promote private-sector involvement in science that has been traditionally sponsored by large governments. The goal of this contest is to build a robot that can “safely land on the moon, travel 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send images and data back to the Earth.” Sponsored by Google this time around, the first successful privately-funded team will win a prize of $20 million! The challenge is tough however and the deadline short, with the full prize only available until the end of 2012 and a final deadline of 2014 for a reduced prize. What do you think, will the teams be able to accomplish this daunting task? Take a look at the teams and then vote!



Links:


Latest News:

Visit the Robots Forum for more information, discussion and videos on this week’s news, including Adam, the robot scientist, silent UAVs and Honda’s new brain machine interface!

View and post comments on this episode in the forum

| More

Related episodes:

January 2nd, 2009

Robots: 2008 New Year’s Special

For our New Year’s episode, we’ll be giving you an overview of the trends in robotics for 2008 and an insight into next year’s developments with five experts in robotics from different backgrounds and continents. We speak with Dan Kara from Robotics Trends about the robot marketplace, Terry Fong from the NASA Ames Research Center, Dario Floreano from the EPFL, Steve Rainwater from robots.net and Minoru Asada from Osaka University.

Dan Kara

Dan Kara is the president and co-founder of Robotics Trends, a US based company specialized in the burgeoning personal, service and mobile robotics market. His company has been working over the years to compile a business image of robotics and inform through their webportal.

Terry Fong

Terry Fong is the Director of the Intelligent Robotics Group at the NASA Ames Research Center. 2008 was a busy year in space robotics with several missions sending back loads of scientific data from Mars.

Dario Floreano

Dario Floreano is the director of the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the EPFL in Lausanne Switzerland where he focuses on taking inspiration from biology to design swarming, evolving and flying robots as well as researching how biological societies can evolve to communicate and cooperate.

Steven Rainwater

Steven Rainwater is one of the founding editors of robots.net, and was previously featured in a Robots episode on the robot blogosphere. His specialty is hobbyist robotics, and he tells us about the latest products that you can find in your local hobby shop.

Minoru Asada

Minoru Asada is the director of the Asada Lab at Osaka University and the director of the Asada Synergistic Intelligence Project. He is also greatly involved in the Robotcup Federation.

Christmas Contest Winner

In our last episode, we asked you to guess what our WowWee Femisapien did on her first weekend in Switzerland for a chance to win one. Well, you most likely won’t be surprised to learn that she took advantage of the excellent snow in December to go down a few slopes with her newly learned ski moves and her personal coaches here at ROBOTS (video coming soon).

Congratulations to Erin at robotgrrl.com for her excellent animation and correct guess!

Links:


Latest News:

Instead of our traditional news item we made a short year-end review of the biggest news items of 2008 in our forum. Let us know what was your biggest news of 2008!

View and post comments on this episode in the forum

| More

Related episodes:

September 29th, 2006

Talking Robots Podcast LogoTalking Robots: Human-Robot Teams
Go to original website

In this episode we interview Terry Fong about peer-to-peer human-robot interactions in a team including a seam-welding humanoid robot, an inspection space rover, a remote support crew and two astronauts.

Read more...

Related episodes: