Tuesday, October 21, 2014

These two Jacobs School-related robots were featured in Science special issue on robotics

We were excited to see both WowWee's MiP and Brain Corporation's eyeRover make an appearance in Science magazine's special robotics issue that came out Oct. 10.

MiP, which appears in this infographic, was designed by the UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab, led by  Prof. Thomas Bewley, and by toymaker WowWee.  MiP, short for Mobile Inverted Pendulum, can balance itself and drive around on two wheels. You can interact with the robot using intuitive hand gestures. More on MiP here and here.
Meanwhile, eyeRover is partially the brain child of Jacobs School alum Marius Buibas (Ph.D. 2011). Buibas led the design of the robot's hardware--the electronics, mechanics and 3D-printed body. The difference between eyeRover and other robots is that it can be taught to do a task, rather than programmed.

According to Science:
EyeRover may look like a toy, but it's packed with some of the most advanced robotic technology ever devised, including a prototype computing platform designed to emulate the human brain. Unlike conventional computer chips and software, which execute a linear sequence of tasks, this new approach—called neuromorphic computing—carries out processing and memory tasks simultaneously, just as our brains do for complex tasks such as vision and hearing.
 There is a common thread between the two robots: Nick Morozovsky, a student in Bewley's research group, who just earned his Ph.D. from the Jacobs School. Morozovsky developed a tool combining hardware and software to evaluate various motors to balance MiP. He also worked part-time at Brain Corporation and was the architect behind an earlier version of eyeRover that inspired the robot featured in Science. Industry recruiters, take note: Morozovsky is currently looking for a full time job.

Bonus: the special issue's online version features a video of origami robots, which then postdoctoral student Michael Tolley helped develop. Tolley will join the Jacobs School faculty Nov. 1.

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