Press Clips from 2016


December 20, 2016

San Diego Strives to Become Robotics Research Hub

Thirty of the world?s top scientists will meet at UC San Diego in February to discuss the toughest challenges in robotics and automation, including making driverless cars safe for a mass audience. The researchers are being brought together by Henrik Christensen, the prominent Georgia Tech engineer who was hired in July to run UC San Diego?s young Contextual Robotics Institute. Full Story


December 20, 2016

How robots will change the American workforce

Thirty of the world's top scientists are scheduled to meet at UC San Diego in February to discuss the toughest challenges in robotics and automation, including how to make driverless cars safe for a mass audience. The experts are being brought together by Henrik Christensen, the prominent Georgia Tech engineer who was hired in July to run UC San Diego's young Contextual Robotics Institute. Christensen said at the time, "I want to build a research institute that, ideally, will be in the top five in the world five years from now. Why not see if we can make San Diego 'Robot Valley.'" Full Story


December 20, 2016

Soon robots could be taking your job interview

Robots have already been put to work across a number of industries. They are manufacturing cars, taking care of the elderly, doing housework, homework, and even entering literary awards. It is not surprising then that new robots have been developed to conduct job interviews. One such robot, Matlda, has been programmed to conduct 25-minute interviews in which she works through a roster of up to 76 questions. She records and analyses the interviewee's responses, monitors facial expressions and compares them to other successful employees within the hiring company. Full Story


November 10, 2016

Experts release new roadmap for US robotics

A consortium of robotics experts published an updated Roadmap for US Robotics -- a document that is designed to help Congress understand the current state of robotics so that policymakers can determine where to allocate resources. The first edition was put together in 2009 by 160 people, with half of the contributors from industry and half from academia. This Roadmap led the Obama administration to create the National Robotics Initiative, which provided up to $70 million in research funding for next-generation robotics. Full Story


November 10, 2016

How the U.S. Can Reign During the Coming Robot Invasion

While robots have the potential to be very intelligent, if there's one thing that books, movies, and even our own experiences have shown, it's that they also can be remarkably dumb. So one sure-fire way for the U.S. to continue leading the robotics world is by investing in education. Not only are these machines getting smarter every day, but so too are other countries, training the kind of workers required to operate robots that can coat cars on assembly lines with paint and produce sneakers faster than ever. Full Story


November 10, 2016

New U.S. 'Roadmap' Lays Out Routes to Accelerate Robotics Technologies

Robotics technology is progressing faster than expected for self-driving cars, and drones are becoming ubiquitous throughout the United States, according to a lead scientist overseeing a robotics technology roadmap released last week. But robotics is moving slower than expected in some key areas, such as the development of dexterous gripper technology, intuitive user interfaces, and in integrating software and hardware through the full chain of systems engineering, according to Henrik Christensen, director of UC San Diego's new Institute for Contextual Robotics. Full Story


November 8, 2016

Experts release new roadmap for US robotics

A consortium of robotics experts published an updated Roadmap for US Robotics -- a document that is designed to help Congress understand the current state of robotics so that policymakers can determine where to allocate resources. The first edition was put together in 2009 by 160 people, with half of the contributors from industry and half from academia. This Roadmap led the Obama administration to create the National Robotics Initiative, which provided up to $70 million in research funding for next-generation robotics. Full Story


October 31, 2016

Will This San Diego Company's Robot Take Jobs From Janitors?

You've heard of self-driving cars. But what about a self-driving mop? San Diego-based Brain Corp is rolling out an automated vehicle that can clean floors without a human driver. Soon, their robot could be mopping floors at grocery stores or office buildings. But according to robotics experts and Brain Corp executives, human janitors probably don't have to worry about this robot taking their jobs. In Brain Corp's Sorrento Valley warehouse, the new floor cleaning bot is guiding itself through the aisles of a fake grocery store. Full Story


October 31, 2016

Swarm of Origami Robots Can Self Assemble Out of a Single Sheet

One of the biggest challenges with swarms of robots is manufacturing and deploying the swarm itself. Even if the robots are relatively small and relatively simple, you're still dealing with a whole bunch of them, and every step in building the robots or letting them loose is multiplied over the entire number of bots in the swarm. If you've got more than a few robots to handle, it starts to get all kinds of tedious. The dream for swarm robotics is to be able to do away with all of that, and just push a button and have your swarm somehow magically appear. Full Story


October 11, 2016

a look at a Danish robotics cluster

There are many robotics clusters around the world successfully providing for the needs of their respective communities and a few not really achieving their desired goals. Odense and the Danish clusters certainly fall into the former category. They do so because they are organized at every level to be offering and have people that are business smart, humble and cooperative in approach, and public-spirited in nature. Full Story


September 16, 2016

UCSD gets $1M to make robots more helpful to workers

The National Science Foundation is giving UC San Diego $1 million to make robots of greater use to workers in the nation's manufacturing plants. The three-year effort will be led by Laurel Riek, a newly-hired roboticist who specializes in getting machines and humans to interact more smoothly and effectively. Riek will focus on getting robots to provide skilled workers with materials exactly when they need them, making the manufacturing process run more efficiently. She will collaborate on the project with Steelcase, a Michigan company that produces made-to-order furniture. Full Story


September 16, 2016

University receives $1 million grant to improve collaborative robotics

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have been given $1 million to research how to improve the way robots interact with people in US factories Full Story


September 7, 2016

Todd Hylton Adds Neural Tech Expertise to UCSD Robotics Institute

UC San Diego has named Todd Hylton, a veteran tech industry manager and expert in neural-based processing technology, as executive director of its new Contextual Robotics Institute. Hylton was previously the executive vice president of strategy and research at Brain Corp., a Qualcomm-backed startup founded in 2009 to develop computer systems and software based on algorithms that emulate the "spiking neuron" processes of the human brain. Full Story


September 7, 2016

UCSD recruits a top engineer from Brain Corp.

UC San Diego has made another quick move to expand its new Contextual Robotics Institute, recruiting a highly regarded engineer from the Brain Corp., a Qualcomm venture. Todd Hylton will serve as executive director of CRI, reporting to Henrik Christensen, the Georgia Tech engineer who was recently appointed to lead the institute. Hylton spent the past four years as executive vice president of strategy and research at Brain Corp., a small startup. He previously worked as a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a unit of the Defense Department that cultivates Full Story


September 7, 2016

Well-Known Scientist and Entrepreneur To Head Contextual Robotics Institute

Todd Hylton, a well-known San Diego scientist and entrepreneur, is joining the University of California San Diego to become the executive director of the UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute, which is charged with developing human friendly robotic systems for commercial, industrial and consumer applications. Full Story


July 8, 2016

UC San Diego Will Try to Turn Country into 'Robot Valley'

UC San Diego has recruited a prominent engineer who says he'll try to make the school's young robotics program so good that San Diego will become known as "Robot Valley." Henrik I. Christensen was lured away from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, where he created one of the nation's most respected robotics research centers. Christensen, 53, has been named director of UC San Diego's new Contextual Robotics Institute, which focuses on developing machines that can anticipate and meet people's everyday needs, including caring for the elderly. Full Story


July 8, 2016

UC San Diego Snags Top Research Expert to Lead Robotics Institute

UC San Diego has hired Henrik Christensen, one of the most influential robotics researchers in the world, to direct the UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute and serve as a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering. Christensen is leaving his post as executive director of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at the Georgia Institute of Technology to come to UC San Diego. Full Story


July 8, 2016

UCSD will try to turn county into 'Robot Valley'

UC San Diego has recruited a prominent engineer who says he'll try to make the school's young robotics program so good that San Diego will become known as "Robot Valley." Henrik I. Christensen was lured away from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, where he created one of the nation's most respected robotics research centers. Christensen, 53, has been named director of UC San Diego's new Contextual Robotics Institute, which focuses on developing machines that can anticipate and meet people's everyday needs, including caring for the elderly. Full Story


May 11, 2016

MetroLab: End to 'ivory tower' universities?

Cities, where 80 percent of the world?s population are projected to live in the next 30 years, need lots of help to handle the coming crush of cars, garbage and other urban ills. But colleges and universities have traditionally set themselves apart in ivory tower enclaves of deep thinking -- unsullied by the dirt, grime and daily hassles around them. Faculty typically look for research opportunities halfway around the world, not in their own backyard. The MetroLab Network, formed last fall after a White House conference on smart cities, is holding its first national meeting in San Diego Full Story


March 18, 2016

Super-stretchy robot skin can become brighter when it bends

Don't you wish your skin could do this? A glowing skin for robots can also be stretched to more than six times its original size. It was inspired by octopuses, whose colour-changing organs and flexible bodies allow them to modify their posture and hue for communication and camouflage. The material is made of an array of bendy, light-emitting capacitors sandwiched between thin rubber sheets. The capacitors, which respond to deformations and changes in pressure, can act as sensors. Stretching the artificial skin increases the electric field, causing it to emit more light. Full Story


February 12, 2016

This pedestrian detection system can spot jaywalkers as quickly as you can

A world where everything is automated should be perfectly safe, in theory. In this reality, vehicles travel along predisposed channels and factories run themselves, bringing the potential for collisions, congestion, and other incidents very close to zero. We don't live in that world, however, and so long as people are around, robots will have to act accordingly. A group of researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have devised a new way for machines and humans to coexist Full Story


February 12, 2016

Smart car algorithm sees pedestrians as well as you can

It's one thing for computers to spot people in relatively tame academic situations, but it's another when they're on the road -- you need your car to spot that jaywalker in time to avoid a collision. Thankfully, UC San Diego researchers have made that more realistic than ever. They've crafted a pedestrian detection algorithm that's much quicker and more accurate than existing systems. It can spot people at a rate of 2-4 frames per second, or roughly as well as humans can Full Story


February 12, 2016

Deep Learning Makes Driverless Cars Better at Spotting Pedestrians

Today's car crash-avoidance systems and experimental driverless cars rely on radar and other sensors to detect pedestrians on the road. The next improvement may come from engineers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), who have developed a pedestrian detection system that can perform in close to real-time based on visual cues alone. This video-only detection could make systems for spotting pedestrians both cheaper and more effective. Full Story


February 12, 2016

New Algorithm Helps Autonomous Cars Detect Pedestrians More Accurately: UC Research

Autonomous cars are here to stay, so why not make them as responsive as humans when it comes to detecting obstacles on the road such as pedestrians? UC San Diego researchers have devised a pedestrian detection algorithm that performs in near real-time with higher accuracy than existing systems. The algorithm developed by Nuno Vasconcelos, electrical engineering professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and his team Full Story


February 12, 2016

This smart car algorithm will maintain safety on the streets

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a pedestrian detection system for smart vehicles and self-driving cars that spots pedestrians in real-time with an impressive accuracy. Using deep-learning models and computer vision technology means the system can detect pedestrians at a rate of 2 to 4 frames per second ? or roughly as well as the human eye can. To achieve reliable accuracy at this rate and in real-time, the algorithm filters out areas where human Full Story


February 12, 2016

Improved detection in cars could make roads safer for pedestrians

As smart and self-driving vehicles gain more momentum, the technologies around detection systems improve and become more reliable. And as humans who occasionally cross streets, who wouldn't want improved pedestrian detection? First picked up by Phys.org, engineers at the University of California, San Diego have been working on the CompACT detection system for vehicles, which specifically looks for pedestrians. Full Story


February 12, 2016

New algorithm to improve pedestrian recognition accuracy of driverless cars

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have developed a pedestrian detection system they claim performs in near real-time at higher accuracy than existing systems. The researchers believe that the algorithm and technology could be used in self-driving vehicles, robotics, and in image and video search systems. The system was developed by electrical engineering professor Nuno Vasconcelos in the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering. Full Story


February 12, 2016

This Smart Car Algorithm Sees Pedestrians as Well as Humans Can

This new technology can help self driving cars determine if there are people crossing the road, and it operates as fast as we can. The University of California- San Diego has developed a pedestrian detection algorithm for driving cars. This new algorithm is quicker and more accurate than the existing systems that we have in place now. In fact, it can spot people on the street as fast as we can; however, there are a few drawbacks. Full Story


February 12, 2016

UC San Diego Pedestrian Detection System - Video

They've crafted a pedestrian detection algorithm that's much quicker and more accurate than existing systems. It can spot people at a rate of 2-4 frames per second, or roughly as well as humans can, while making half as many mistakes as existing systems. That could make the difference between a graceful stop and sudden, scary braking. Full Story


February 12, 2016

Pedestrian Detection Algorithms

A group of engineers and researchers working out of the University of California, San Diego have invented a high-tech pedestrian detection system that is capable of performing pedestrian recognition in a more accurate manner than existing systems. Most pedestrian recognition technologies divide images into smaller sections that are processed in order to determine whether the image represents a human form. This makes things challenging because humans obviously come in different shapes and sizes Full Story


February 12, 2016

Smart car algorithm will detect pedestrians in real-time

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a pedestrian detection system for smart vehicles which can detect pedestrians in near real-time to help ensure the streets remain safe in the era of semi-autonomous and driverless cars. The system makes use of deep-learning models and "computer vision" systems to help the vehicle to better understand what's happening around them - not just other vehicles. Full Story


January 15, 2016

Yahoo makes its largest-ever machine learning dataset available for researchers

Yahoo has just announced the release of its largest-ever machine learning dataset that weighs 13.5TB. The dataset is completely anonymised and consists of millions of users who visit its news website. The interaction data, collected during February-May 2015 of about 20 million users, includes the Yahoo homepage, news, sports, finance, movies and real estate. In addition to the interaction data, the dataset contains demographic information such as age, gender and geographic data. Full Story


January 15, 2016

Yahoo Releases Its Biggest-Ever Machine Learning Dataset To The Research Community

Yahoo announced this morning that it's making the largest-ever machine learning dataset available to the academic research community through its ongoing program, Yahoo Labs Webscope. The new dataset measures a whopping 13.5 TB (uncompressed) in size, and consists of anonymized user interaction data. Specifically, it contains interactions from about 20 million users from February 2015 through May 2015, including those that took place on the Yahoo homepage, Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance Full Story


January 15, 2016

Yahoo opens up 13.5TB machine learning dataset for academic research

Yahoo is publishing the dataset with the goal of encouraging innovation -- but especially in regards to how data from machine learning technologies can be turned around and used for new purposes. Full Story


January 15, 2016

Yahoo Releases Largest Cache of Internet Data

In the race among tech companies to attract top talent in artificial intelligence, Yahoo Inc. is making a dramatic move: giving away a huge amount of data about how users interact with its services. On Thursday, the embattled Internet company said it would release the largest cache of Internet behavior data--the clicks, hovers and scrolls of some 20 million anonymous users on Yahoo's sports, finance, news, real estate and other pages. Full Story


January 5, 2016

Spherical Robot

In a Star Wars robotics story, mechanical engineering professor Tom Bewley describes IceCube, a small, self-propelled spherical robot developed in his UC San Diego labs that is meant to aid first responders and the military. Full Story