Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

June 28th, 2013

Robots: Robotics Business Review

In this episode we meet with Tom Green, editor in chief of the Robotics Business Review, to discuss current trends in robotics. Robotics Business Review is a global robotics news and information resource headquartered in metro Boston (USA).

Green shares his view on how the focus within the robotics community differs in different parts of the world, and what impact public funding has on this. According to him, it is not technology but people that hold development up at the moment. We also hear about some success stories, that show how robotics make a difference in people’s lives.

Tom Green
Tom Green is the Editor in chief of the Robotics Business Review, a global robotics news and information resource headquartered in metro Boston (USA). 

Formerly, Green worked as print/online writer and video producer for the MITRE Corporation, an R&D facility specializing in computer engineering, avionics, robotics, RADAR, marine engineering, satellite communications, systems engineering and deep-space information systems for the U.S. federal government, NATO, World Radiocommunication Conferences and civilian projects worldwide (2000-2009). In 2010, Green published an Amazon best-selling history of the computer revolution: “Bright Boys: The Making of Information Technology 1938-1958″. He was also online editor/writer for Millipore/Merck Corporation; website developer and editor for JAZD Business Publications; and TV program developer for Gostelradio.

He is also an Emmy-nominated, award-winning writer, producer and playwrighter who utilizes online editorial and video content to report on and produce programs on science, technology and engineering. Green wrote and produced the forum-based TV pilot “Lifelines” for a local Boston network. His stage plays have been produced at Boston’s Next Move Theater and then reproduced as radio plays for National Public Radio.

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April 6th, 2012

Robots: History and Outlook

In today’s episode we speak with two authorities in robotics, George Bekey and Rodney Brooks about the last 50 years of robotics, the ongoing robot revolution and future prospects.

George Bekey

George Bekey is one of the father of robotics. In the 1960s, he designed and built the first four-legged robot in North America. He later founded the Biomedical Engineering Department and the Robotics Research Laboratory at the University of Southern California.

His laboratory designed and built several five-fingered robot hands and developed grasping theory. Their work included a knowledge-based approach to grasping and the use of robot hands as models for prosthetic hands. He also worked with his students to develop an autonomous helicopter, study gait control in legged robots and create a walking machine governed by genetic algorithms. His experience led him to write a book on Autonomous Robots published in 2005.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Bekey was chosen by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to lead a 2005-2006 assessment of the state of robotics in the United States, Western Europe and the Pacific Rim. The team’s findings culminated in a report to its federal sponsors on American competitive advantages and weaknesses on the international stage.

He retired after 40 years as a full-time faculty member at USC and continues to be active in his community and in his profession. He currently serves on the advisory boards of several robotics and high-tech companies.

In this interview, we discuss the history of robotics and his vision of the future with emphasis on bio-inspiration, learning, human robot interactions and ethics.

Rodney Brooks

Rodney Brooks has been one of the main actors in the field of robotics over the past 30 years. He received degrees in pure mathematics from the Flinders University of South Australia and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1981. He held research positions at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT, and a faculty position at Stanford before joining the faculty of MIT in 1984 where his work focused on computer vision, artificial intelligence, robotics, and artificial life.

Brooks was the director of the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (C-SAIL) Laboratory until 2007 and one of the founders of iRobot. He is currently the founder, chairman and CTO of Heartland Robotics that aims to revolutionize manufacturing and increase productivity of industries using robots that are teachable, safe and affordable.

Per was able to briefly meet with Brooks at the RobotDalen conference in Sweden. A video of Brooks’ keynote can be found below.

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December 2nd, 2011

Robots: Robotics Roadmaps – USA

In today’s episode we discuss the national funding strategies of the USA, as a part of our special series on Robotics Roadmaps worldwide. Our first episode on the subject looked at funding in Japan with Tomomasa Sato. Today we’ll be focussing on the Robotics Roadmap in the USA with one of its main creators, Henrik Christensen.

Henrik Christensen

Henrik Christensen is the KUKA Chair of Robotics at the College of Computing Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also the director of the Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines. His research focuses on systems integration, human-robot interaction, mapping and robot vision.

Christensen has been a major actor in building the Robotics Roadmap for the USA which was sponsored by the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) and led by 12 world class researchers from the leading robotics academic institutions in the United States.

The results of the workgroup were presented to congress in May 2009, and have led to a shift in robotics priorities in the US. The roadmap emphasizes three application oriented directions, namely manufacturing, healthcare/medical, and services robotics markets; plus a research core that addresses a number of enabling technologies that must be the focus of R&D in order for the US to remain a leader in robotics and commercial development.

In this interview, Christensen summarizes the current state of robotics in the US and worldwide, funding sources, and the balance between research, industry and the military. The interview was recorded at the International Conference on Human-Robot Interactions in Switzerland this spring. For latest updates about robotics roadmaps in the US, people can follow Christensen’s blog.

Holiday Robots

Like last year, we will be asking our listeners to submit videos or audio related to robotics and the holidays! Content can be fictional, scientific or business oriented. We’ll be posting the material on our dedicated YouTube channel and select segments will be featured in the episodes until the end of the year. To submit material, simply go to www.robotspodcast.com/christmas or send us your material by email to christmas@robotspodcast.com. To get in the spirit, check out the videos from last year, some of which gathered millions of views!

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