news from the lab 2011

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Microtechnics - 21.12.2011
Harmony on the homefront?
Harmony on the homefront?
Are robots welcome in our homes? A qualitative study has revealed some interesting possibilities. Only one out of three households thinks automatic vacuum cleaners are worth the investment. The opinions of the others will be used to develop the appliances of the future. Will there be lots of gadgets under the family Christmas tree this year? By the back door, robotic vacuums are bringing cyberstuff into daily life; they're among the first autonomous devices that can be easily used by ordinary households.

Microtechnics - 14.11.2011
Packaging smarties and watches
Packaging smarties and watches
It's the story of a long dynasty of industrial robots. Delta's three arms began by packaging chocolates, before being used in watchmaking, tele-surgery and the processing of materials....

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 26.05.2011
When robots learn from our mistakes
When robots learn from our mistakes
Robots typically acquire new capacities by imitation. Now, EPFL scientists are doing the inverse - developing machines that can learn more rapidly and outperform humans by starting from failed or inaccurate demonstrations. A robot, unblinking, impassive, observes. Its instructor wants it to learn how to put a balloon in a basket 20 meters away.