Cultibotics
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Cultibotics
Cultibotics is about applying robotics to making horticultural best practices scalable and economical.
Curated by John Payne
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Gita Reese Sukthankar: Data-driven Social Informatics | CMU RI Seminar

“Dr. Gita Sukthankar is an Associate Professor and Charles N. Millican Faculty Fellow in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Central Florida, and an affiliate faculty member at UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training.” Her abstract follows: “Data-driven social informatics unites models derived from social science with data-driven approaches in order to model and predict population behavior patterns. It can be used to advance our understanding of human behavior, guide public policy decisions, and improve user experience with both robots and software agents. In this talk, I'll describe work from my lab in which we use a combination of agent-based modeling, machine learning, and crowdsourcing to model human social systems. The benefits of this approach will be illustrated using three case studies: 1) predicting the influence of social norms on smoking cessation behavior, 2) tracking campus parking usage using crowdsourcing and transportation modeling, 3) learning collaboration patterns from co-authorship networks. We believe that the combination of techniques yields a more nuanced view that relying on data alone.”

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Neville Hogan: The paradox of human performance | CMU RI Seminar

"Neville Hogan is Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Director of the Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics and Human Rehabilitation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a co-founder of Interactive Motion Technologies, Inc., and a board member of Advanced Mechanical Technologies, Inc." His abstract follows: "Human dexterity and agility vastly exceed that of contemporary robots. Yet humans have vastly slower ‘hardware’ (e.g. muscles) and ‘wetware’ (e.g. neurons). How can this paradox be resolved? Slow actuators and long communication delays require predictive control based on some form of internal model—but what form? I will argue that a plausible answer is based on dynamic primitives; they enable highly dynamic behavior with minimal high-level supervision and intervention. Controlling physical interaction requires mechanical impedance to be among the classes of dynamic primitives. I will review how pre-computing appropriate mechanical impedance may be cast as an optimization problem, provided the objective function includes both force and motion at an interaction port. To combine both motion and interaction primitives, I propose a nonlinear generalization of the classical equivalent circuit. It reconciles contrasting constraints of information-processing (computation) and energy-processing (physical dynamics). I suggest that nonlinear equivalent networks provide a general basis for the internal models required for high-performance interactive control."

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MicroTugs pull many times their weight | Biomimetics and Dextrous Manipulation Lab, Stanford

MicroTugs pull many times their weight | Biomimetics and Dextrous Manipulation Lab, Stanford | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
“This work demonstrates a new type of small robot that can apply orders of magnitude more force than it weighs. This is in stark contrast to previous small robots that have become progressively better at moving and sensing, but lacked the ability to change the world through the application of human-scale loads.”
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Former Oculus VP of Engineering demonstrates long range VR tracking system | RoadToVR.com

Former Oculus VP of Engineering demonstrates long range VR tracking system | RoadToVR.com | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Tracking is the foundation of great virtual reality. Knowing the position and orientation of the user’s head is essential to being able to move the virtual world convincingly around them as they move through it. Oculus and Valve/HTC have the leading tracking systems (dubbed ‘Constellation’ and ‘Lighthouse’, respectively), but soon a new entrant could join the VR tracking arena.”

John Payne's insight:
While being developed with the VR market in mind, as with Kinect this technology may turn out to be a useful addition to the roboticist's toolkit.
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M. Ani Hsieh: Exploiting the environment to improve autonomy | CMU RI Seminar

“M. Ani Hsieh is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics Department at Drexel University. She received a B.S. in Engineering and B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College in 1999 and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. Her current work focuses on developing a general control and coordination framework for distributed sensing and monitoring of dynamic and uncertain environments by mobile robot teams.” Her abstract follow: “Different from many aerial and ground robots, underwater robots operate in a communication and localization-limited environment where their dynamics are tightly coupled with the environmental dynamics. While the tight-coupling between vehicle and environment dynamics makes control challenging, it provides a unique opportunity for robots to exploit the environmental forces to improve and prolong their autonomy. In this talk, I'll show the limitations of existing air and ground based strategies and present our efforts in improving vehicle autonomy by better understanding the dynamics of the geophysical fluid environment. The talk will describe our efforts in using robot teams to track coherent structures. Coherent structures are of great importance since they give us a way to map and represent the dynamics of the fluid environment. I will then show how this information can then be exploited to develop more efficient control and coordination strategies for networks of AUVs/ASVs operating in these environments”

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Can data-driven agriculture help feed a hungry world? | Yale Environment 360

Can data-driven agriculture help feed a hungry world? | Yale Environment 360 | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
Agribusinesses are increasingly using computer databases to enable farmers to grow crops more efficiently and with less environmental impact. Experts hope this data, detailing everything from water use to crop yields, can also help the developing world grow more food.
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A robot will likely assist in your future surgery | Computerworld

Robots that can minimize damage to tissue with sub-millimeter accuracy and allow surgeons to operate on patients remotely are expected to be a $6.4 billion industry by 2020.
John Payne's insight:
This reminds me of the surgery scene in Prometheus... http://www.wired.com/2012/06/prometheus-shock-scene/
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Raspberry Pi 3: Four days old and already flying | The Register

Raspberry Pi 3: Four days old and already flying | The Register | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
“The Raspberry Pi 3 is only four days old, but it can already fly, thanks to Spanish outfit Erle Robotics and its PXFmini autopilot shield. The diminutive €69 PXFmini - 31mm by 73mm and weighing just 15g - is specifically designed for use with the Pi Zero (as seen above), in those cases where a seriously compact and light Linux autopilot is the order of the day.”
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Google experiences first at-fault accident involving a self-driving car | The Verge

Google experiences first at-fault accident involving a self-driving car | The Verge | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Google has prided itself on the fact that its self-driving car fleet has never been responsible for any of its crashes — they've always been caused by another (decidedly more human) force — but that may have just changed. According to a California DMV filing first reported by writer Mark Harris, one of Google's self-driving Lexus SUVs drove into the side of a bus at low speed.”

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Mercedes-Benz swaps robots for people on its assembly lines | The Guardian

Mercedes-Benz swaps robots for people on its assembly lines | The Guardian | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Bucking modern manufacturing trends, Mercedes-Benz has been forced to trade in some of its assembly line robots for more capable humans. The robots cannot handle the pace of change and the complexity of the key customisation options available for the company’s S-Class saloon at the 101-year-old Sindelfingen plant, which produces 400, 000 vehicles a year from 1,500 tons of steel a day.”

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Thomas Howard: Learning models for robot decision making | CMU RI Seminar

"Thomas Howard is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science. He is also a member of the Institute for Data Science and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering." His abstract follows: "The efficiency and optimality of robot decision making is often dictated by the fidelity and complexity of models for how a robot can interact with its environment. It is common for researchers to engineer these models a priori to achieve particular levels of performance for specific tasks in a restricted set of environments and initial conditions. As we progress towards more intelligent systems that perform a wider range of objectives in a greater variety of domains, the models for how robots make decisions must adapt to achieve, if not exceed, engineered levels of performance. In this talk I will discuss progress towards model adaptation for robot intelligence, including recent efforts in natural language understanding for human-robot interaction."

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What is engineering? | NSF

Flying cars, Earth-sized atmospheric filters, quick access to clean water, phones with holograms, and more! Who can make these things happen? Engineers! So w...
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This robot could deliver your pizza someday soon | The Verge

“Starship is a self-driving delivery robot made for the suburbs. It can carry food, groceries, or packages up to two miles at a top speed of four miles an hour. It drives on sidewalks, so it uses cameras and computers to avoid obstacles like pedestrians or animals.”

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Liam: Apple's iPhone deconstruction robot | Apple channel on YouTube

“True innovation means considering what happens to a product at every stage of its life cycle. Liam disassembles your iPhone when it’s no longer functioning, so the materials inside can live on.”

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Rodney Brooks in conversation with Nick Thompson | SXSW Interactive 2016

“Rodney Brooks, the chairman of Rethink Robotics and the former director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, and Nicholas Thompson, editor of newyorker.com, examine the current state of robotics and A.I.”

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Gneural Network: A programmable neural network released under GPL | Free Software Foundation

Gneural Network: A programmable neural network released under GPL | Free Software Foundation | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
“Gneural Network is the GNU package which implements a programmable neural network. In the current release, version 0.0.1, it is a very simple feedforward network which can learn very simple tasks such as curve fitting, but we plan to deliver more advanced features very soon. In particular, we are already spending efforts to implement a network of LSTM (long short term memory) neurons for recurrent networks and deep learning. We also plan to implement learning reinforcement techniques.”
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Scaling up tissue engineering | Wyss Institute

Scaling up tissue engineering | Wyss Institute | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“A team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Harvard John A. Paulson School for Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has invented a method for 3D bioprinting thick vascularized tissue constructs composed of human stem cells, extracellular matrix, and circulatory channels lined with endothelial blood vessel cells. The resulting network of vasculature contained within these deep tissues enables fluids, nutrients and cell growth factors to be controllably perfused uniformly throughout the tissue.”

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Shape-shifting tech will change work as we know it | Sean Follmer | TED

“What will the world look like when we move beyond the keyboard and mouse? Interaction designer Sean Follmer is building a future with machines that bring information to life under your fingers as you work with it. In this talk, check out prototypes for a 3D shape-shifting table, a phone that turns into a wristband, a deformable game controller and more that may change the way we live and work.”

John Payne's insight:
These active surfaces are made possible through the use of linear actuators.
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Daredevil drone flies through the trees like an ace | MIT Technology Review

Daredevil drone flies through the trees like an ace | MIT Technology Review | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
Startup Skydio has developed a more sophisticated autopilot for drones. Beyond obstacle avoidance, it lets an aircraft orient itself and navigate through busy areas.
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DJI’s Phantom 4 is the drone we’ve been waiting for | The Verge

It’s the first consumer drone that can see the world, dodge obstacles, and track humans. Check out this YouTube playlist for more Drone videos from The Verge...
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Watts per gram: Solar cells as light as a soap bubble | MIT News

Watts per gram: Solar cells as light as a soap bubble | MIT News | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
MIT researchers have demonstrated the thinnest, lightest solar cells ever produced. Their new approach to making solar cells could help power the next generation of portable electronic devices.
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Report cites dangers of autonomous weapons | NYTimes

Report cites dangers of autonomous weapons | NYTimes | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“A new report written by a former Pentagon official who helped establish United States policy on autonomous weapons argues that such weapons could be uncontrollable in real-world environments where they are subject to design failure as well as hacking, spoofing and manipulation by adversaries.”

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Raspberry Pi 3: 64-bit, quad-core, 802.11n, BLE, still $35 | RaspberryPi.org

Raspberry Pi 3: 64-bit, quad-core, 802.11n, BLE, still $35 | RaspberryPi.org | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
Exactly four years ago, on 29 February 2012, we unleashed the original 256MB Raspberry Pi Model B on a largely unsuspecting world. Since then, we’ve shipped over eight million units, including three million units of Raspberry Pi 2, making us the UK’s all-time best-selling computer. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has grown from a handful of …
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Infrared Sentry drone stays hot on the trail of missing hikers

Infrared Sentry drone stays hot on the trail of missing hikers | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
A Canada-based startup is tuning drone technology to the rugged Canadian wilderness, launching a portable drone that can be quickly unpacked and unleashed to stream thermal images of woodlands to sniff out hikers that have wandered off course.
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Adam Bry: Algorithms and challenges in scaling up autonomous flight | CMU RI Seminar

Adam Bry CEO, Skydio February 19, 2016 Abstract Drones hold enormous potential for consumer video, inspection, mapping, monitoring, and perhaps even delivery...
John Payne's insight:

As originally posted, this video had several serious glitches.  Apparently these have been repaired.

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