Episode 6: Andra Keay

Andra Keay from Silicon Valley Robotics talks about opportunities and challenges for startups in robotics, and what is going on in the robotics community.

In episode 6 of Robots in Depth, Andra Keay talks to our host Per Sjöborg about how her organization Silicon Valley Robotics was formed and what they do. One example of networking events they organize is the annual Robot Block Party.

Andra also shares her views on the areas of robotics where we will see significant developments in the near future. Further, Andra and Per discuss how developments in for example agricultural robotics can feed improvements in other industries, including home robots.

Andra Keay is director at Silicon Valley Robotics and founder of Robot Launchpad.

Episode 5: Michael Rubenstein

Michael Rubenstein describes how he has taken his robotics research from theory into practice by building cheap and small robots, 1024 of them to be exact.

Michael first talks to our host Per Sjöborg about his PhD research in algorithms for modular self-reconfigurable robots, at the University of Southern California for Dr. Wei-Min Shen.

He then shares his work on the Kilobot project and some of the challenges involved with building 1024 robots and how you can learn different things from actually building the robots than from a simulation. This project helped him fine-tune the algorithms from his earlier research.

By working on Kilobot, Michael also learned how to make cheap robots, which fits the educational market well. He talks about this and the robots he has created that can be programmed by school children at robotics summer camps.

The Kilobot work was done in the Self-Organizing Systems Research Group at Harvard University. Michael is now faculty at Northwestern University

Episode 4: Valery Komissarova

Valery Komissarova, Business Development Director at Grishin Robotics, talking about working at an investment company focused on consumer robotics.
In episode 4 of Robots in Depth, Valery describes why the timing for starting Grishin Robotics was just right and shares some of the initial feedback from different parts of the robotics community. She also talks about differences between the companies that get funded and the ones that don’t, what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in robotics and the areas within consumer robotics where we are likely to see strong development in the next few years.

Episode 3 : Tully Foote

Tully Foote from the Open Source Robotics Foundation explains the benefits of open source in robotics and how ROS came to be an open standard.

In episode 3 of Robots in Depth Per Sjöborg interviews Tully Foote from the Open Source Robotics Foundation.

Tully explains the benefits of open source and how it helps make research and development more efficient. Both researchers and start-ups can focus on their added part, rather than starting from scratch. This is an advantage for the whole robotics community, enabling it to move forward much faster.

Tully also describes how developers can contribute directly to further developing the ROS standard, for the benefit of the robotics community.

Tully Foote is ROS Platform Manager at the Open Source Robotics Foundation.

Episode 2 : Melonee Wise

In this second interview of the Robots in Depth series our host Per Sjöborg talks to Melonee Wise, lifelong robot builder and developer.

Melonee shares how she first got into building things at a young age and how that led to studying mechanical engineering and leaving her PhD project behind to become the second employee of Willow Garage. She shares some personal anecdotes from the first few years at Willow Garage, including both successes like the PR2 and some less successful moments.

Melonee also gives her perspective on the development phase robotics is in now and what the remaining challenges are. Related to that, she discusses what is feasible to deliver in the next five years vs. what her dream robot would be.

Melonee Wise is currently CEO of Fetch Robotics.

Our First Video is Released

In this first interview in the Robots in Depth series, the host Per Sjöborg speaks to Professor Gregory Dudek about field robotics. They discuss air, surface and underwater vehicles, reviewing challenges as well as how to best use these vehicles, both individually and as a collaborative team of robots.

Professor Dudek is Research Director of the McGill Mobile Robotics Lab.


Robots in Depth Launches

The interview series Robots in Depth has now been launched! Robots in Depth is an interview show where the host Per Sjöborg talks to everyone in robotics. The interviews are one on one with leading researches, entrepreneurs, investors, users or policy makers within robotics.

The show is recorded at different events around the world using a portable TV studio that has been specifically designed to produce a high quality output, yet be relatively light weight and portable.

If you like the show, you can support us on Patreon. With more support more interviews from new locations can be made.