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Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute

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Research in the News
Carnegie Mellon Robots Featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes
October 07, 2016. A two-part report on artificial intelligence, featuring such Carnegie Mellon robots as CHIMP and an autonomous boat, will aired Oct. 9, on CBS's 60 Minutes.
Omnidirectional Mobile Robot Has Just Two Moving Parts
October 04, 2016. More than a decade ago, Ralph Hollis invented the ballbot, an elegantly simple robot whose tall, thin body glides atop a sphere slightly smaller than a bowling ball. The latest version, called SIMbot, has an equally elegant motor with just one moving part: the ball. The only other active moving part of the robot is the body itself. Its spherical induction motor (SIM) eliminates the mechanical drive systems used on previous ballbots and is less likely to suffer mechanical failures.
SpeckSensor Air Quality App Tracks Annual “Dirty Days”
September 02, 2016. A new feature for the SpeckSensor app enables users to see the number of “dirty days” when air quality has been unhealthy in a locale over the past year and to compare that number with other cities across the nation.
Computational Design Tool Transforms Flat Materials Into 3-D Shapes
July 18, 2016. A new computational design tool can turn a flat sheet of plastic or metal into a complex 3-D shape, such as a mask, a sculpture or even a lady’s high-heel shoe. Researchers at the Robotics Institute and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland (EPFL), say the tool enables designers to fully and creatively exploit an unusual quality of certain materials — the ability to expand uniformly in two dimensions.
Robot And Mathematical Models Suggest How Animals Moved 360 Million Years Ago
July 07, 2016. Could a tail have allowed ancient vertebrates to make the transition from water to land? Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Clemson University and the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis report in the journal Science this week on the results of a groundbreaking study to answer this question using amphibious fish, robots and mathematical models of movement.
Studying the Role Love Plays in an Engineering Project
June 27, 2016. The development of an electronic Braille writing tutor at a school for the blind in India has been a labor of love over the past decade for M. Bernardine Dias and her Carnegie Mellon University colleagues, students and staff. And for the past year, it has provided a research window into the role love plays in engineering.
RoboTutor Receives ProSEED Grant
May 18, 2016. The RoboTutor project, which is developing educational software for teaching basic literacy and numeracy to children with little access to teachers, has received a ProSEED grant from Carnegie Mellon’s Simon Initiative. Jack Mostow, emeritus research professor in the Robotics Institute, and Amy Ogan and John Stamper, both assistant professors in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, are leading RoboTutor, which is competing for the Global Learning XPrize.
Robots Get Creative To Cut Through The Clutter
May 18, 2016. Clutter is a special challenge for robots, but new Carnegie Mellon University software is helping robots cope, whether they’re beating a path across the Moon or grabbing a milk jug from the back of the refrigerator. The software not only helped a robot deal efficiently with clutter, it surprisingly revealed the robot’s creativity in solving problems.
Robot’s In-Hand Eye Maps Surroundings, Determines Hand’s Location
May 16, 2016. Before a robot arm can reach into a tight space or pick up a delicate object, the robot needs to know precisely where its hand is. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute have shown that a camera attached to the robot’s hand can rapidly create a 3-D model of its environment and also locate the hand within that 3-D world.
NREC Named Semi-Finalist in Blueberry Harvesting Competition
March 28, 2016. A team from CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Center has been named one of four semi-finalists and awarded $10,000 in the Naturipe Blue Challenge, a contest to develop innovative technologies for harvesting blueberries. Blueberries sold as fresh fruit now must be picked by hand. Naturipe will select which of the semi-final teams – or combinations of teams – will be funded to further develop and potentially implement their ideas.
DOE Selects Robotics Institute For Environmental Remediation Training
March 16, 2016. The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management has selected Carnegie Mellon University to provide specialized training for graduate students in robotics to support environmental remediation of nuclear sites.
Eyes on the Road
March 15, 2016. Pavement riddled with cracks, graffiti on stop signs, icy surfaces that need rock salt: Municipalities must respond to road infrastructure problems that are changing constantly. Christoph Mertz, Robotics Institute principal project scientist, is researching how a smartphone could be a solution for all these issues, and more.
NREC Selected For Research Projects Totaling More Than $11 Million
March 08, 2016. Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) has been selected as a prime contractor or subcontractor on four major new federal research projects totaling more than $11 million over the next three years. The projects range from research on a wheel that can transform into a track to automated stress testing for critical software.
CMU, Airviz Will Make Air Quality Monitors Available to Libraries
March 15, 2016. Learning about the quality of the air you breathe should be as easy and inexpensive as borrowing a book from a library, and that’s why Carnegie Mellon University researchers plan to provide free Speck air quality monitors to 100 public libraries nationwide.
Yahoo News With Katie Couric Features HERB
March 11, 2016. As part of a Rising Cities report on Pittsburgh, Katie Couric's crew visited the Personal Robotics Lab to learn about HERB, the home exploring robot butler. Watch the online video.
"Moon Shot" Web Series Profiles GLXP Teams
March 03, 2016. The Robotics Institute’s Red Whittaker and the Andy lunar rover were on hand when Google, in partnership with Bad Robot and Epic Digital, premiered the new documentary series, Moon Shot at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, March 14. The series, including episode one featuring Red and Team Astrobotic, is available online for free.
CMU’s CHIMP Featured on NOVA’s “Rise of the Robots”
February 23, 2016. Carnegie Mellon’s Tartan Rescue Team and its CHIMP robot are featured in “Rise of the Robots,” the Feb. 24 episode of PBS’s NOVA.The episode of the long-running science series looks at the current state of robots with human-like capabilities and considers the enormous challenges that remain before humanoid robots and semi-humanoids such as CHIMP are ready to become part of our everyday lives.
Autonomous Ground Vehicles and Aircraft Demonstrate New Collaborative Capabilities for Keeping Warfighters Safe
January 19, 2016. Carnegie Mellon University and Sikorsky Aircraft researchers have used an autonomous helicopter and an autonomous ground vehicle to demonstrate for the U.S. Army that ground and air robots are capable of performing complex, cooperative missions.
Carnegie Mellon Makes Facial Image Analysis Software Available to Researchers
December 16, 2015. Carnegie Mellon University’s Human Sensing Laboratory will celebrate the new year by making available to fellow researchers its advanced software for tracking facial features and recognizing emotions, filling a gap that has slowed development for real-time facial image analysis applications.
Computer System Will Be an Angel on Your Shoulder, Whispering Advice, Instruction
December 01, 2015. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are building a computer system called Gabriel that, like the angel that is its namesake, will seemingly look over a person’s shoulder and whisper instructions for tasks as varied as repairing industrial equipment, resuscitating a patient or assembling IKEA furniture.