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  • Robots Podcast #153: Termite-Inspired Construction

    termite-inspired construction robot

    Termites, in their roles as construction workers, are simple agents, using only local information, yet they can build complex structures such as termite mounds. Taking inspiration from such swarm systems in nature, Justin Werfel and colleagues have created TERMES robots that build three-dimensional structures without the need for any leader or prescribed roles. In Robots Podcast #153, Sabine speaks with Justin Werfel about this work, which is a project of the Self-organizing Systems Research Group, a core component of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired...

  • Robots Podcast #152: EU Robotics Week 2013

    photos of Fiorella Operto, Douwe Dresscher, and Roko Tschakarow

    In episode #152, Robots Podcast does a bit of catching up, combining three interviews relating to last November's EU Robotics Week. In this episode, interviewer Sabine Hauert speaks with Fiorella Operto, the National Coordinator of the EU Robotics Week in Italy and president of the School of Robotics, Douwe Dresscher, a graduate student in robotics and mechatronics at the University of Twente, who was involved in organizing his department's participation in the event, and Roko Tschakarow, Business Director...

  • Robots Podcast #151: Big deals and privacy

    photo of Avner Levin, Ryerson University

    As part of Robohub's focus series on Big Deals, in Robots Podcast #151 interviewer AJung Moon talks with Avner Levin, Chair of the Law and Business Department, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, and Director of the Privacy & Cyber Crime Institute. Their conversation ranges widely, but keeps coming back to recent acquisitions on the part of Google, in particular, and whether they represent something to be concerned about from perspective of customer privacy, or even the potential for cyber...

  • Robots Podcast #150: Dario Floreano

    Dario Floreano, with (then) graduate students Peter Durr, Markus Waibel, and Sabine Hauert

    Before Robohub there was Robots Podcast. Before Robots Podcast there was Talking Robots. Before Talking Robots there was Dario Floreano, a professor at EPFL, with an idea and a handful of graduate students eager to run with it. In episode #150, Robots Podcast goes back to its roots, repeating the combination from the first episode of Talking Robots, of Markus Waibel (now a senior researcher at ETH-Zurich and heavily involved in...

  • Robots Podcast #149: Industry and Society

    photo of Personal Intelligent City Accessible Vehicle (PICAV)

    In Robots Podcast #149 Per Sjöborg speaks with Rezia Molfino from the PMAR group at University of Genova about how all robots are service robots and some of the many interesting projects she is working on, ranging from challenging manufacturing problems in thin sheet machining (SwarmItFIX) and the textile industry (clopema), to assisted-living vehicles for use in an urban environment (PICAV) and do-it-yourself, practical equipment for demining war zones (Locastra).

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  • Robots Podcast #148: Robert Bosch Venture Capital

    photo of Jan Westerhues

    In Robots Podcast #148, Per Sjöborg speaks with Jan Westerhues, Investment Partner with Robert Bosch Venture Capital in Frankfurt, Germany, where he is responsible for robotic investments. Robert Bosch began as an automotive parts firm, but has branched out into other businesses and now has an R&D staff of 15,000 persons. The company's venture capital operation is not an angel investor, and only ever takes a minority position in the companies in which it invests, but, when approached by a company that has...

  • Robots Podcast #147: Giulio Sandini & Interdisciplinarity


    Giulio Sandini with two iCub humanoid robots

    In Robots Podcast #147, Per Sjöborg speaks with Giulio Sandini, director of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences (RBCS) at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), about how, having begun his career as a bioengineer working on how the brain controls the muscles which aim and focus the eye, he eventually came to work in robotics, about why interdisciplinary work is important to robotics, and about how diverse teams of engineers, biologists, psychologists, mathematicians, physicists, and medical doctors can learn from each other. Sandini illustrates the point using...

  • Robots Podcast #146: Lynne Parker, robot teamwork

    robots used in research by Distributed Intelligence Laboratory

    Lynne Parker is Professor and Associate Head in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). At UTK, she is the founder and director of the Distributed Intelligence Laboratory, which performs research in multi-robot systems, sensor networks, machine learning, and human-robot interaction. In this episode, Per Sjöborg speaks with Lynne Parker about her work with robot teams.

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  • Robots Podcast #145: Paul Oh on DRC

    photo of Dr. Paul Oh

    In this episode, Sabine Hauert interviews Paul Oh, Director of the Drexel Autonomous Systems Lab at Drexel University. His team, spanning 10 universities, is competing in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) with the HUBO humanoid made by KAIST in South Korea.

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  • Robots Podcast #144: Working with EOD personnel

    EOD robot operator with robot

    In this episode, AJung Moon talks with Julie Carpenter, who recently received her doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Washington, having written her dissertation on the interaction between military Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) personnel and the robots they use in investigating suspicious objects and rendering explosives harmless – primarily PackBots from iRobot and TALONS from QinetiQ. More generally, Julie is interested in emotional attachment issues in human-robot interaction, and how it affects user decision-making in collaborative, sometimes stressful, situations.

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