February 25, 2013

The Form of a Robotic Mind - Matanya Horowitz


 
Robtics
Inspired as a child by the robot tales of Isaac Asimov, Horowitz has long been interested in how society might be affected by robots.  In a brief but informative TEDx talk, Horowitz talks about how he is now working on the DARPA Humanoid Robot competition.  
Matanya Horowitz is a roboticist whose interests span the subjects of mathematics, economics, computer science, and control theory. His work in subjects ranging from artificial intelligence to distributed control seeks to answer the question of why robots appear inept at particular tasks when compared to their human counterparts.

Inspired as a child by the robot tales of Isaac Asimov, Horowitz has long been interested in how society might be affected by robots.

"As I began programming just on my own, I saw how easy it was to create something that at least seemed to act with intelligence," he says. "It was interesting to me that we were so close to humanoid robots and that doing these things was so easy. But we also have all these implications we need to think about."

"Recently, there has been such a monumental shift from what robots were capable of even just five years ago, and people should be really excited about this," says Horowitz. "We've been hearing about robots for 30, 40 years—they've always been 'right around the corner.' But now we can finally point to one and say, 'Here it is, literally coming around a corner.'"

NASA-JPL RoboSimian


Horowitz is currently working on the DARPA robotics competition as part of a NASA-JPL team where he confronts this problem directly.

NASA-JPL is building RoboSimian, a simian-inspired robot that will use deliberate and stable operations to complete challenging tasks under supervised teleoperation. The team will employ design methods, system elements and software algorithms that have already been successfully demonstrated in JPL’s existing robots.

RoboSimian will use its four general-purpose limbs and hands, capable of both mobility and manipulation, to achieve passively stable stances, create multi-point anchored connections to supports such as ladders, railings and stair treads, and brace itself during forceful manipulation operations.

Horowitz is also currently pursuing his doctorate in the control and dynamical systems department at Caltech where he works with professors Joel Burdick and John Doyle.

SOURCE  TEDx Talks

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