Teresa Escrig

News and oppinion about Cognitive AI & Robotics

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Fiona, a community robotic project to create an artificial mind

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Adele Robotics has launched Fiona, a project for the robotics community to create an artificial mind.

This is another example of Cloud Robotics and reproducing the Apps economy for the robotics industry, the future of robotics.

Congratulations Adele!

Robotic Operating System (ROS), the standard that the robotics field desperately needed

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October 19, 2012 by David Pietrocola at Robohub (Robohub is an online platform that brings together leading communicators in robotics research, start-ups, business, and education from around the world).

Open-source software is making it easier to reuse algorithms and allow engineers and researchers to focus on their problems of interest instead of reinventing the wheel for each project. Not an expert in path planning or don’t have the time (or patience) to implement SLAM? There’s a package for that. Manipulator control? Package for that too. Additionally, falling component prices and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) devices are making robotics hardware more available. This tutorial will teach you how to put together a simple remote teleoperation robot using these principles.

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Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics (R) from Cognitive Robots is created with ROS.

Cognitive Robots’ Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics has been successfully incorporated into Robosoft’s Kompai companion robot

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Last week the results of the ECHORD C-Brain experiment was presented at IROS’12 conference in Portugal.

The overall goal of the project is to enhance the Kompai companion robotic platform from Robosoft (picture on the left) with the Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics ® (CBRAIN) from Cognitive Robots (picture on the right). The existing functionalities of the KOMPAI platform will remain and be enhanced with the cognitive capabilities of the CBRAIN.

The original capabilities of the Kompai at the beginning of the project were:

  1. Autonomous navigation solution based on traditional techniques such as laser-based SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping).
  2. Linear Obstacle detection at the height of the laser.
  3. Advanced dialog: the robot can receive verbal commands and give verbal responses.

The initial limitations that where identify in the Kompai platform and were addressed in this project were:

  • No automatic map building. A technician needs to manually create the map of each new environment (half day of work). Every single time the layout of that home is changed, the technician needs to go back to the home to re-learn the map of the environment for the robot.
  • No 3D obstacle avoidance. The current sensor of the Kompai is a laser, which provide linear distance measurement of the obstacles at the height of the laser. Read the rest of this entry »

Open-source humanoid platform from NimbRo to compete in RoboCup’s TeenSize league

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Once upon a time, when I finished my PhD dissertation, I went to the IJCAI conference in Kyoto, Japan, and the Robocup competition was taken place in the same venue. I absolutely fall in love with the Aibo dog and cat robots from Sony, that were exposed at the competition (before they were widely used at the same competition).

At that event I decided that I wanted to apply the results of my PhD to bring Intelligence to robots. And that is what I did. I started a research group at Jaume I University. My students play with the Aibos for years. And working on one of the challenges of the Robocup competition with my students, I put all the dots together, and after 10 years of research since my PhD was finished, the seed of Cognitive Robots was born. That technology became a patent pending for our company and is still ahead of the rest of the technology that brings Intelligence to the robots, as far as we know.

I have great memories about the Robocup competition. I agree that it is a great play ground to integrate and test technologies in the areas of AI and Robotics. And it is for sure much more that a toy test.

By , October 8, 2012

University of Bonn’s Team NimbRo are commercializing a humanoid platform, NimbRo-OP, for €20,000 (US$26,000) to compete in RoboCup‘s TeenSize league. It sounds rather expensive, but it will save teams the trouble of prototyping their own, and the untold hours of research and development that would normally require.

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The power of self-learning: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles

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This TED video is about empowering the individual by knowledge.

Shimon Schocken and Noam Nisan developed a curriculum for their students to build a computer, piece by piece. When they put the course online — giving away the tools, simulators, chip specifications and other building blocks — they were surprised that thousands jumped at the opportunity to learn, working independently as well as organizing their own classes in the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). A call to forget about grades and tap into the self-motivation to learn.

Shimon Schocken is a computer science professor and dedicated educator.

I completely agree with everything he says in this fantastic video, including his opinion about grades. Brilliant work! Congratulations Shimon, Noam and the rest of collaborators!

 

Written by Teresa Escrig

October 4th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Sasuke and Love, two robot nurses to help caregivers with their job

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ROBOHELPER SASUKE, a robot lifter,  and ROBOHELPER LOVE, a bodily waste removal system, are two devices created to help caregivers in their daily tasks. They were designed with the help of Toshiyuki Kita, who is known for creating the look of Sharp’s AQUOS TVs and Mitsubishi’s failed yellow household robot Wakamaru.

ROBOHELPER SASUKE helps lift a person into and out of bed using servo motors. The device has two rods connected by a sling that slides under the body. The sling is made of a special material and can accommodate a weight of 264 lbs (120 kg). Furthermore the arms can rotate up to 60 degrees, which allows the patient to comfortably transfer from a prone position to a sitting position.

ROBOHELPER LOVE – is an an automatic bodily waste disposal unit aimed at making bedpans a thing of the past. A cup wraps around the patient’s waist, fitted with sensors that automatically detect the presence of fluid and/or stool. The waste is quickly suctioned away into a holding tank, followed by a cleansing wash using room temperature water. The cup itself can be washed and sterilized automatically at the station. It can operate for up to 12 hours without supervision, making it ideal for overnight use.

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Written by Teresa Escrig

October 2nd, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Shoal, the robo-fish that monitors oxygen levels and salinity of waters north of Spain

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By , October 1, 2012

A five foot long (1.5 meter) robo-fish prototype that monitors oxygen levels and salinity is currently being tested in waters north of Spain as part of the EU-funded Shoal Consortium project.

The idea is to have real-time monitoring of pollution, so that if someone is dumping chemicals or something is leaking, it can be detected straight away, find out what is causing the problem and put a stop to it.

Traditional robots use propellers or thrusters for propulsion, however Shoal robot-fish uses the fin of a fish to propel itself through the water.

The Shoal robot-fish costs US$32,000, and it operates for just eight hours before needing to be charged. However, there’s no doubt that if this problem can be overcome (with, perhaps, some sort of underwater charging station) the robo-fish will find homes in coastal waters around the world.

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FURO – the new service robot from Future Robot who mimics human expressions

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FUROs, the new service robot from Korean robotics startup Future Robot can be defined as a hybrid between a smartphone and a smart machine.

According to Korea IT Times, the FURO interactive robot can provide a variety of services “by reading users’ intentions in different situations” by observing users’ movement, face and voice, and then conveying the “matched dialogue, facial expression, movement and necessary information.”

One buyer from Brazil, who ordered over 100 FUROs, came up with new business model – mobile (moving) advertisements. As FURO moves around in airports or exhibitions, they said, the back screens which are remotely operated can be utilized for advertisements while the front screen performs ordinary information services.

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Written by Teresa Escrig

September 28th, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Robohub -news, views & everything robotic- launches its beta version

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Robohub launches its beta version and will start publicizing it September 26 at 9am EDT.

Robohub main focus is to provide high-quality information about robotics to the general public.

I am proud to announce that I am contributing to this organization with this blog.

Written by Teresa Escrig

September 27th, 2012 at 6:58 pm

AISOY1 II, a programmable inexpensive robot with emotions

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By , September 19, 2012

Spanish start-up Aisoy Robotics is marketing a new robot that, while it may look similar to the famous Furby, is actually a fully programmable research and development platform.

The Aisoy1 II robot comes with a variety of sensors (touch, light, position, temperature, and camera), microphone and speaker, RGB LEDs in its body, and a 70 mini-LED matrix display (for animated lips). Four servos control the robot’s neck rotation, eyelids, and eyebrows. The platform doesn’t move.

The package includes a dialogue system for speech recognition and synthesis, as well as computer vision software for stuff like face and object recognition, all running on the Linux operating system. The company claims even complete novices can take advantage of these functions without having to learn how to code thanks to DIA, its visual programming tool. The program runs in HTML5 compatible browsers, allowing you to select nodes that control the robot’s various sensors and behaviors.

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Aisoy 1 II includes a dialogue system for speech recognition and synthesis, as well as com...As the Thymio II, a specific non-standard programming language is against the robotic community efforts for standardization. However, the fact that is HTML5 compatible contributes to the creation of the Robotics App Economy.

The most important feature of Aisoy1 II, which is not mentioned in the previous article, is its emotional motor, a very interesting AI feature at the service of developers for a very low price. As their creators said: ” humans would not take decisions without emotions”. This emotional motor can be a key factor for development of the robotic industry.

Very cute little and inexpensive robots that can help to promote robotics education at schools and colleges.