01/10/11 San Francisco Chronicle — Microsoft's Kinect, a motion-tracking peripheral for the Xbox console that is packed with an irresistible blend of cameras and sensors, is finding popularity among researchers such as UC Berkeley engineering graduate student Patrick Bouffard. Working out of Professor Claire Tomlin's lab, Bouffard built a Kinect-enhanced robotic helicopter that perceives objects in its path. A video of the device has been a viral hit on YouTube.
Robotics & AI
12/07/10 Eng Tips — EECS grad student Patrick Bouffard, working with Professor Claire Tomlin from the Hybrid Systems Lab, has used Microsoft's Kinect controller to create a quadcopter which can maneuver around obstacles autonomously. The developers attached the Kinect hardware to the device which delivers a point cloud to the on-board computer and allows the vehicle to map its surroundings and move about intelligently. A video documenting the project and posted on YouTube is on track for going viral.
10/11/10 TIME Magazine — A robotic exoskeleton called eLEGS enables people who have been paralyzed below the waist to walk again. The technology, the latest in a line of "human augmentation robotics systems" that Berkeley Bionics has created with the Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, is geared toward consumers -- the 6 million or so paraplegics in the U.S. who are bound to wheelchairs.
10/01/10 IEEE Spectrum — An interview with Ken Goldberg, a robotics professor at UC Berkeley, exploring the historical, philosophical and technical aspects of telepresence robots.
08/24/10 Popular Science — A team of UC Berkeley researchers interested in domestic applications for robotics has shown that Willow Garage's PR2 robot can be a handy household companion, namely laundry-folding. Now, they've shown that if you give PR2 a sock it can employ its keen ability for repetitive hand motions to that other regularly recurring chore: pairing socks.
06/03/10 — Who wouldn't want a robot that could make your bed or do the laundry? A team of Berkeley researchers has brought us one important step closer by, for the first time, enabling an autonomous robot to reliably fold piles of previously unseen towels. Robots that can do things like assembling cars have been around for decades. The towel-folding robot, however, is doing something very new, according to the researchers, doctoral student Jeremy Maitin-Shepard and assistant professor Pieter Abbeel, both of UC Berkeley's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.