February 20th, 2015

Robots: Sensors for Autonomous Driving - Transcript

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Christoph Stiller from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Stiller speaks about the sensors required for various level of autonomous driving, as well as the ethics of autonomous cars, and his experience in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge.

 

Christoph Stiller

ChristophStillerChristoph Stiller studied Electrical Engineering in Aachen, Germany and Trondheim, Norway, and received the Diploma degree and the Dr.-Ing. degree (Ph.D.) from Aachen University of Technology in 1988 and 1994, respectively. He worked with INRS-Telecommunications in Montreal, Canada for a post-doctoral year as Member of the Scientific Staff in 1994/1995. In 1995 he joined the Corporate Research and Advanced Development of Robert Bosch GmbH, Germany. In 2001 he became chaired professor and director of the Institute for Measurement and Control Systems at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany.

Dr. Stiller serves as immediate Past President of the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society, Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems (2004-ongoing), IEEE Transactions on Image Processing (1999-2003) and for the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Magazine (2012-ongoing). He served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Magazine (2009-2011). He has been program chair of the IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium 2004 in Italy and General Chair of the IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium 2011 in Germany. His automated driving team AnnieWAY has been finalist in the Darpa Urban Challenge 2007 and winner of the Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge in 2011.

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February 6th, 2015

Robots: Mobile Robots and Virtual Worlds

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Professor Riccardo Cassinis from the University of Brescia in Italy about using robotics in education. Cassinis speaks about having children, from primary school through university, access and control robots remotely to learn subjects such as programming, geography, and foreign languages.

Riccardo Cassinis

CassinisRRiccardo Cassinis graduated in 1977 at the Politecnico di Milano  in Electrical Engineering, where he continued to work until 1987  as a Fellow, Assistant Professor, and Research Associate. Currently at the University of Brescia, he is the Director of the Advanced Robotics Laboratory and an Associate Professor of Advanced Computer Programming and of Robotics. His current research interests aim at taking advantage of Internet technologies for building autonomous robots for surveillance and environmental data collection.

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January 23rd, 2015

Robots: Looney the Robot

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Hunter Lloyd, who is a Professor of Robotics at Montana State University and a comedian. Hunter performs a comedy act for all ages with partner Looney, a NAO Humanoid Robot from Aldebaran Robotics. Lloyd discusses making people laugh with his robot partner, why he does it, and how what he’s learned as a comedian relates to robotics.

Hunter Lloyd

Hunter LloydHunter Lloyd is an award winning Professor, business owner, inventor, author, comedian, and family man. While Hunter was an undergraduate student studying accounting, he postponed his college career to start stand-up comedy. For six years Hunter toured the country working with acts such as Jerry Seinfeld and Tim Allen. Hunter headlined his first comedy show at Laffs in Tucson, Arizona; at the age of 23, he appeared on television networks such as MTV, VH1 and The Comedy Channel. After touring for several years, Hunter went back to complete his undergraduate degree and graduate school where he studied engineering and computer science, which eventually led him to the field of robotics. Hunter is now a Professor of Robotics at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. Hunter and his students have excelled in a number of competitions including the NASA Robotics Championship, the Robot Olympic Games, and Robogames.

Hunter is also a robotics entrepreneur: founding a robotics company in 2005 that helped develop the RangeWatcher and WatchKeeper technologies for the Predator Unmanned Aircraft Group. Today, Hunter combines his skills as a robotics engineer and comedian to perform to audiences of students, inspiring them to follow their dreams in the fields of math and science.

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January 10th, 2015

Robots: RoboThespian - Transcript

In today’s podcast, Ron Vanderkley speaks with Will Jackson from Engineered Arts Limited about his team’s work making robot actors.

Engineered Arts was founded in October 2004 by Will Jackson, to produce mixed media installations for UK science centres and museums, many of which involved simple mechanical figures, animated by standard industrial controllers.

In early in 2005, the Company began work on the Mechanical Theatre for the Eden Project. This involved three figures, with storylines focused on genetic modification. Rather than designing another set of figures for this new commission, Engineered Arts decided to develop a generic programmable figure that would be used for the Mechanical Theatre, and the succession of similar commissions that would hopefully follow. The result was RoboThespian Mark 1 (RT1).

From thereon, Engineered Arts took a change of direction and now concentrates entirely on development and sales of an ever expanding range of humanoid and semi-humanoid robots featuring natural human-like movement and advanced social behaviours.

RoboThespian, now in its third version, is a life sized humanoid robot designed for human interaction in a public environment. It is fully interactive, multilingual, and user-friendly. Clients range from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre through to Questacon, The National Science and Technology Centre in Australia. You can watch it in action in the video below.

Will Jackson
Will Jackson and his RoboThespianWill Jackson has a BA in 3D design from University of Brighton, UK and is the Founder of Engineered Arts Ltd.

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December 27th, 2014

Robots: 3D SLAM

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Professor John Leonard from MIT about his research on dense, object-based 3D Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM).

Leonard explains what SLAM is, as well as its practical applications. The explanations include what it means for SLAM to be object-based (versus feature-based) and to have dense (versus sparse) environmental mapping. The interview closes with advice for aspiring roboticists.

John Leonard
jleonard_05_nov2014John J. Leonard is Professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering and Associate Department Head for Research in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is also a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). His research addresses the problems of navigation and mapping for autonomous mobile robots. He holds the degrees of B.S.E.E. in Electrical Engineering and Science from the University of Pennsylvania (1987) and D.Phil. in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford (1994). He studied at Oxford under a Thouron Fellowship and Research Assistantship funded by the ESPRIT program of the European Community. Prof. Leonard joined the MIT faculty in 1996, after five years as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Research Scientist in the MIT Sea Grant Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Laboratory. He has served an associate editor of the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering and of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation. He was team leader for MIT’s DARPA Urban Challenge team, which was one of eleven teams to qualify for the Urban Challenge final event and one of six teams to complete the race. He is the recipient of an NSF Career Award (1998), an E.T.S. Walton Visitor Award from Science Foundation Ireland (2004), the King-Sun Fu Memorial Best Transactions on Robotics Paper Award (2006), and he is an IEEE Fellow (2014).

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