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

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