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Interviews

Robots Podcast #172: Object-based 3D SLAM

Posted 29 Dec 2014 at 02:04 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

imagery from 3D SLAM

In episode #172, interviewer 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 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.)

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #171: Grant Imahara & Creature Tech.

Posted 14 Dec 2014 at 23:52 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

Grant Imahara with Ron Vanderkley

In episode #171, interviewer Ron Vanderkley speaks both with Grant Imahara, of MythBusters, and previously of LucasFilm and Industrial Light & Magic, and with Richard McKenna of The Creature Technology Company, on the theme of Robotics in theater, film and television.

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #170: Edwin Olson on autonomous cars

Posted 30 Nov 2014 at 03:18 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

photo of Edwin Olson

In Robots Podcast #170, interviewer Audrow Nash speaks with Edwin Olson, an Associate Professor and Director of the APRIL Robotics Laboratory at the University of Michigan, about self-driving cars and the University’s 32-acre Mobility Transformation Facility, a testing environment for autonomous cars and the future of driverless vehicles.

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #169: Travis Deyle

Posted 17 Nov 2014 at 00:07 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

photo of Travis Deyle

In episode #169, Sabine Hauert speaks with Travis Deyle, about his IROS-nominated work on RFID tags, his blog Hizook, and the career path that brought him from academia, to founding his own start-up, and finally working for Google[x].

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #168: Geoffrey Spinks on artificial muscles

Posted 2 Nov 2014 at 17:22 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

photo of Geoffrey M. Spinks

In Robots Podcast episode 168 interviewer Ron Vanderkley speaks with Professor Geoffrey Spinks, a Professional Fellow of the Australian Research Council, who is situated within the Materials Research Group, School of Mechanical, Materials & Mechatronic Engineering, University of Wollongong, which is affiliated with the Australian Research Network for Advanced Materials, and ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science. The subject of their conversation is artificial muscles made from simple materials, including nylon fishing line. If fibers of various polymers are twisted into a coil and then baked to set them in that shape, later reheating causes a change in the length of the coil, much as natural muscle fibers contract when activated.

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Robots Podcast #167: Engaging girls in robotics

Posted 19 Oct 2014 at 14:38 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

Hannah & Rachel Tipperman with Robot Springboard banner

In episode #167 AJung Moon brings together three interviews relating to promoting the involvement of girls and women in robotics, and STEM generally. In the first interview, Hannah and Rachel Tipperman, a pair of seventeen year olds who are cofounders of Robot Springboard and its offshoot BrightStart Robotics, tell how they became involved in robotics and how they've gone on to make similar experiences available to others. Then, Ross Mead, a Ph.D student in computer science at USC shares his enthusiasm for engaging underrepresented populations in robotics, and how he became involved in this effort. Finally, Prof. Elizabeth Croft, founder of Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WWEST) shares from her abundant experience as an engineer, an educator, and a professional leader.

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #166: Robotic Vision

Posted 4 Oct 2014 at 19:14 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

Peter Corke

In episode #166, Audrow Nash interviews Peter Corke, Professor of Robotic Vision at Queensland University of Technology, and Director of the ARC funded Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision. Peter is known for his research in vision-based robot control, field robotics and wireless sensor networks. He begins with a brief history of biological vision before discussing some early and more modern implementations of computer vision. Corke also talks about resources for those interested in learning computer vision, including his book, Robotic Vision & Control, and a massively open online course (MOOC) that he plans to release in 2015.

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #165: AirDog

Posted 22 Sep 2014 at 16:51 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

photo of AirDog from Kickstarter campaign page

In Robots Podcast #165, Audrow Nash interviews Edgars Rozentals, the CEO and Founder of Helico Aerospace Industries. They talk about the company's upcoming product AirDog, which is an autonomous quadrocopter designed to record video for action sports. Airdog is controlled by means of ‘AirLeash’ (a wearable) to track the user as they move and provide the user with simple control of AirDog. Additionally, for advanced control, there is a smart phone application that allows the user to control the flight-path, following angle and height, and mark obstacles. AirDog recently completed a successful KickStarter campaign, raising nearly seven times their original funding goal, and plans to begin delivery in December 2014.

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Robots Podcast #164: M-Blocks

Posted 8 Sep 2014 at 15:57 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

two M-Blocks with face plates removed to reveal components

In episode #164, Audrow Nash interviews John Romanishin, a graduate student studying mechanical engineering and researching self-reconfigurable modular robots at MIT's Distributed Robotics Laboratory, led by Daniela Rus. His modular robotics project is the development of M-Blocks, small cubes (5 cm on a side) with no external actuators, which nevertheless manage to move and even jump.

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Robots Podcast #163: Birdly

Posted 25 Aug 2014 at 03:12 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

photo of Birdly simulator hardware

In Robots Podcast #163, Audrow Nash interviews Max Rheiner from Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK) about his project Birdly. Birdly is a flight simulator with a difference. Unlike a common flight simulator, the user embodies a bird. To evoke this embodiment, Birdly mainly relies on sensory-motor coupling. The participant can control the simulator with their hands and arms, movement of which map directly to movement of a bird's wings and primary feathers.

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