Press Clips

2016 Press Releases

Franka: A Robot Arm That's Safe, Low Cost, and Can Replicate Itself

Spectrum IEEE | December 29, 2016

Sami Haddadin once attached a knife to a robot manipulator and programmed it to impale his arm. No, it wasn't a daredevil stunt. He was demonstrating how a new force-sensing control scheme he designed was able to detect the contact and instantly stop the robot, as it did. Now Haddadin wants to make that same kind of safety feature, which has long been limited to highly sophisticated and expensive systems, affordable to anyone using robots around people. Sometime in 2017, his Munich-based startup, Franka Emika, will start shipping a rather remarkable robotic arm. Full Story

Control algorithms could keep sensor-laden balloons afloat in hurricanes for a week

Space Daily | December 29, 2016

Controls engineers at UC San Diego have developed practical strategies for building and coordinating scores of sensor-laden balloons within hurricanes. Using onboard GPS and cellphone-grade sensors, each drifting balloon becomes part of a "swarm" of robotic vehicles, which can periodically report, via satellite uplink, their position, the local temperature, pressure, humidity and wind velocity. This new, comparatively low-cost sensing strategy promises to provide much-needed in situ sampling of environmental conditions for a longer range of time and from many vantage points Full Story

Swarms of robots may soon be deployed to the center of hurricanes

Yahoo! Music | December 28, 2016

Swarms of robotic weather balloons are being created by researchers at the University of California, San Diego. Packed with GPS and cellphone-grade technologies, the balloons are designed to report from inside active cyclones, where they float around, coordinate movements, and beam back data about the environmental conditions within. The advantage of these balloons over traditional forecasting methods involves two technological advances. For one, progress in electronics manufacturing has enabled cheaper, smaller, lighter machines to be produced and deployed in large volumes. Full Story

San Diego Strives to Become Robotics Research Hub

Future Structure | December 19, 2016

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

Robotics expert predicts kids born today will never drive a car

Motor Trend | December 16, 2016

Babies born today will likely never drive a car. This prediction comes from Henrik Christensen, head of UC San Diego?s Contextual Robotics Institute, who spoke with The San Diego Union-Tribune ahead of a big robotics forum being held at the university this coming February. Full Story