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Robots Podcast #241: Tensegrity Control, with Kostas Bekris

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In this episode, Jack Rasiel speaks with Kostas Bekris, who introduces us to tensegrity robotics: a striking robotic design which straddles the boundary between hard and soft robotics. Bekris, an Associate Professor of Computer Science, draws from a diverse set of problems to find innovative new ways to control tensegrity robots. Kostas Bekris is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He is working in the area of algorithmic robotics, especially on problems related to robot motion planning and coordination.


Digital symbiosis lets robot co-workers predict human behaviour

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Robots across the world help out in factories by taking on heavy lifting or repetitive jobs, but the walking, talking kind may soon collaborate with people, thanks to European robotics researchers building prototypes that anticipate human actions. 'Today, robots just react – half a second of anticipation might be enough,' said Nori, who works at the Italian Institute of Technology which is renowned for its humanoid robot called iCub, that will be educated in human behaviour from data collected during the An.Dy project. A different project will see a human-like prototype robot reach out a helping hand to support technicians, under an EU-funded project called SecondHands led by Ocado Technology in the UK. Duncan Russell, research coordinator at Ocado Technology explained: 'Parts need to be cleaned and parts need replacing.


Robotics and AI celebrated in this year's MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35 list

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Anca Dragan UC Berkeley Ensuring that robots and humans work and play well together. Angela Schoellig University of Toronto Her algorithms are helping self-driving and self-flying vehicles get around more safely. Jianxiong Xiao AutoX His company AutoX aims to make self-driving cars more accessible. Volodymyr Mnih DeepMind The first system to play Atari games as well as a human can.


Those amazing flying machines

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Verity's drone is part of a larger performance system called "Stage Flyers." One of the most successful showings was Chicago-based Corvus Robotics, a software company that uses indoor aerial drones to scan inventory (similar to the Walmart example above). According to Dynamo's managing directors, Corvus is building enabling tools that allow operators to fly drones autonomously, scan & sync barcodes, and enter the SKU data into the existing warehouse management system. Corvus may be the latest indoor drone startup to enter an already crowded warehouse market, which includes established players like the Hardis Group, Smartx, and DJI.


US Army and Navy ordered to halt use of DJI drones

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The Army's move appears to follow studies conducted by the Army Research Laboratory and the Navy which said there were risks and vulnerabilities in DJI products. The directive cites a classified Army Research Laboratory report and a Navy memo, as references for the order to cease use of DJI drones and related equipment. Some recent news stories have claimed DJI routinely shares customer information and drone video with authorities in China, where DJI is headquartered. We want to emphasize that DJI does not routinely share customer information or drone video with Chinese authorities -- or any authorities Any claims to the contrary are false.


Top 6 robotic applications in food manufacturing

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As we discussed in our previous article on the food industry, food manufacturing can be separated into two stages: primary food processing and secondary food processing. Primary processing involves handling raw food products, which are cleaned, sorted, chopped, packaged, etc. For more advanced cutting and slicing, however, the food industry has relied on human workers but robotics is starting to make its way into the industry. Secondary processing involves handling products which have already undergone primary processing.



Researchers fool self driving cars with stickers on street signs The Drive

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University of Washington researchers have found a very simple way to trick self-driving cars into misidentifying road signs.


New UK guidelines protect smart cars and their drivers from hackers Digital Trends

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Our cars are smarter than ever, but that also means they're more susceptible to hacking. Governments are looking for ways to prevent that.


Robohub Digest 07/17: World record breaking drones, bio-inspired 'bots and roadblocks ahead for self-driving cars in Asia

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And check this out: a pair of new computational methods developed by a team of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Toronto and Adobe Research has taken steps towards automating the design of the dynamic mechanisms behind jumping movements in robots. These methods are both fast and accurate enough to be used to automate the design process used to create dynamic mechanisms for controlled jumping. Spearheaded by Daniela Rus and Erna Viterbi (professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory), this autonomous wheelchair is an extension of the self-driving scooter that launched at MIT last year. Meanwhile, Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) has acquired Pittsburgh, PA-based robotics firm Aethon Inc through Vision Technologies Land Systems, Inc. (VTLS), and its wholly-owned subsidiary, VT Robotics, Inc, for $36 million.