Collaborating Authors

hod lipson

IEEE RAS Soft Robotics Podcast with Hod Lipson: Can we design self-aware robots?


Can they design other robots and self-repair? Why should we evolve robots to do tasks that animals do so well? Why don't we have useful autonomous robots in the real world yet? Find out Hod's answers to these questions and updates on VoxCAD development for designing and simulation of soft robots in this episode of the IEEE RAS Soft Robotics Podcast. What's more, Hod gave his personal advice to roboticists being interviewed for an assistant professorship and to 1st-year robotics PhD students looking for a thesis topic, and he also commented on his approach to the ethical dilemma of military funding scientific research.

Artificial intelligence in education is changing America's classrooms


Artificial intelligence--the ability of a computer program to perform human tasks such as thinking and learning, sometimes referred to as machine learning--is changing classrooms in both K12 and higher ed. But robotics has some questioning whether AI is just a fad that will eventually fade into obscurity or alter teaching and learning processes as we know it. Experts discussed the topic at a recent conference for future K12 educators held by the Teachers College at Columbia University, "Where Does Artificial Intelligence Fit in the Classroom?" Borhene Chakroun, director of the division for policies and lifelong learning systems at UNESCO, kicked off the event extolling the future of AI technology and its potential to "profoundly alter every aspect of the teaching and learning process." He also acknowledged the implications of AI and how it is altering how machines and humans work together.

Interoceptive robustness through environment-mediated morphological development Artificial Intelligence

Typically, AI researchers and roboticists try to realize intelligent behavior in machines by tuning parameters of a predefined structure (body plan and/or neural network architecture) using evolutionary or learning algorithms. Another but not unrelated longstanding property of these systems is their brittleness to slight aberrations, as highlighted by the growing deep learning literature on adversarial examples. Here we show robustness can be achieved by evolving the geometry of soft robots, their control systems, and how their material properties develop in response to one particular interoceptive stimulus (engineering stress) during their lifetimes. By doing so we realized robots that were equally fit but more robust to extreme material defects (such as might occur during fabrication or by damage thereafter) than robots that did not develop during their lifetimes, or developed in response to a different interoceptive stimulus (pressure). This suggests that the interplay between changes in the containing systems of agents (body plan and/or neural architecture) at different temporal scales (evolutionary and developmental) along different modalities (geometry, material properties, synaptic weights) and in response to different signals (interoceptive and external perception) all dictate those agents' abilities to evolve or learn capable and robust strategies.

Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead (MIT Press): Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman: 9780262035224: Books


Everyone is talking about driverless cars ... After reading this book, you will be knowledgeable enough to make your own informed opinion. Driverless vehicles are poised to usher in a massive disruption of our transportation system, our urban landscapes, our economy -- and quite possibly the very fabric of society. Anyone who wants to understand what's coming must read this fascinating book. Driverless is a great read for anybody interested in technological, societal, and ethical implications of self-driving cars. The book reaches across fields and issues thoughtfully, and presents a comprehensive view of the state of the art.

These Five Exponential Trends Are Accelerating Robotics


Visit Singularity Hub for the latest from the frontiers of manufacturing and technology as we bring you coverage of Singularity University's Exponential Manufacturing conference. If you've been staying on top of artificial intelligence news lately, you may know that the games of chess and Go were two of the grand challenges for AI. But do you know what the equivalent is for robotics? Just think about how the game requires razor sharp perception and movement, a tall order for a machine. As entertaining as human vs. robot games can be, what they actually demonstrate is much more important.