Born in the imagination of science fiction novelists, robots are now also the focus of scientists and artists alike. swissnex San Francisco brings together all three of these seemingly disparate disciplines to examine robotics from each perspective—and to admire the sweet spot where robotics research and robotic art coincide.
As part of swissnex San Francisco's series on robotics as well as the inaugural Bay Area Science Festival, Marc Atallah, Director of the Maison d'Ailleurs, the Museum of Science Fiction Utopia and Extraordinary Journeys in Yverdon, Switzerland, looks back on the history of robots and other fantastic creatures in literature and asks the question, "Are robots passé?"
Renowned artist Ken Goldberg, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at UC Berkley and Co-Founder of the Berkeley Center for New Media, presents insights on Post-Robotic Robots, including human-centered robots and cloud robotics.
Raffaello d’Andrea, Professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) is a strong believer in creative research. He and Philip Reist show off the Blind Juggler, a robot that keeps multiple balls bouncing on a paddle without any sensory input, and discusses why and what this bot has in comon with his other projects, such as the Flying Machine Arena, Distributed Flight Array, and Robotic Chair.
Marc Atallah is Director of the Maison d'Ailleurs, the Museum of Science Fiction Utopia and Extraordinary Journeys in Yverdon, Switzerland.
Raffaello d'Andrea is Professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich).
Ken Goldberg is a Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations
Research (IEOR), with a joint appointment in Electrical Engineering and
Computer Science (EECS) and in the School of Information at the
University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley). He is also a
Co-Founder of the Berkeley Center for New Media. He is an artist,
writer, inventor, and researcher in the field of robotics and
Alan Rath's path to becoming one of the country's most respected and successful artists working with electronic media and kinetic sculpture did not follow a predictable trajectory. With childhood influences ranging from NASA to Jimi Hendrix and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from MIT, Rath seemed destined for a job in Silicon Valley instead of an artist's studio in Oakland, California. Since the early 1980s, however, Rath has gained increasingly wide recognition for his robotic sculptures that incorporate electronically manipulated images and moving parts within beautifully handcrafted armatures of aluminum, steel, glass, and plastic. His work explores the nexus between art and science in objects with often human-like and humorous characteristics, and has been included in important exhibitions and collections both nationally and internationally.
Philipp Reist grew up in Zurich, Switzerland and obtained a masterâ€™s degree in mechanical engineering from ETH Zurich, where he built the Blind Juggler for his thesis. During his studies, he spent two exchange semesters at MIT, where he worked on his bachelor's thesis and on a randomized control algorithm. He has been pursuing his Ph.D. at ETH Zurich since 2009 in controls engineering at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control under Professor Raffaello Dâ€™Andrea. Among other projects, Reist explores chaos for motion planning and control of nonlinear dynamical systems. In addition to research, he is interested in mechatronic art and teaching mechatronics to high school students.
Ken Goldberg, distinguished professor of new media at UC Berkeley, discusses the success of his early robotic project TeleGarden, a telerobotic community garden. Goldberg explores the metaphysics of reality and introduces "telepistemology," the study of knowledge acquired at a distance.