Crazy Hard Robots
Crazy Hard Robots
Aug 11, 2022
Howie Choset - Robotics Professor, Entrepreneur and Inventor
Play • 34 min

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is known all over the world for great research in robotics. Howie Choset is one of the most well-known robotics professors at CMU. For decades he and his students have taken on some of the most interesting and challenging research projects in robotics. They are well known for their many attempts to and iterations of building snake robots, and they are now working on robots for automating recycling tasks and more. Howie is even working on how to put snake robots on the moons of Saturn!  

In addition to that, Howie and many of his students have founded robotics companies all over the world. From robotic surgery with snake robots, to navigation software, to modular robotic components, the companies Howie has helped found are solving super interesting problems. Tune in to Crazy Hard Robots to hear Howie and Tom talk about some of the hardest problems in the world of robots.  

In this episode: The technical challenges of snake robots Starting a robotic surgery company Howie gives a live demonstration to compare how people think vs. robots Landing snake robots on the moons of Saturn   About Howie Choset  Howie Choset is a Professor of Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University where he serves as the co-director of the Biorobotics Lab and as director of the Robotics Major. He received his undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Business from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990. Choset received his Masters and PhD from Caltech in 1991 and 1996. Choset's research group reduces complicated high-dimensional problems found in robotics to low-dimensional simpler ones for design, analysis, and planning. Motivated by applications in confined spaces, Choset has created a comprehensive program in modular, high DOF, and multi- robot systems, which has led to basic research in mechanism design, path planning, motion planning, and estimation. 

This work has been supported by both industry and government; DOD support includes two MURIs, one of which Choset received the CO-PI, a young investigator award, and multi-PI awards for modular systems. Choset.s group has produced over 60 journal papers (including 2 in Science and one in Proceedings of the National Academies of Science), 180 conference papers and 15 patents. Choset.s work has also been recognized by several best paper awards and nominations at ICRA, IROS and other robotics meetings. Choset's research program has made contributions to challenging and strategically significant problems in diverse areas such as surgery, manufacturing, infrastructure inspection, and search and rescue. 

In addition to publications, this work has led to Choset, along with his students, to form several companies including Medrobotics, for surgical systems, Hebi Robotics, for modular robots, and Bito Robotics for autonomous guided vehicles. Recently, Choset.s surgical snake robot cleared the FDA and has been in use in the US and Europe since. Choset also leads multi-PI projects centered on manufacturing: (1) automating the programming of robots for auto-body painting; (2) the development of mobile manipulators for agile and flexible fixture-free manufacturing of large structures in aerospace, and (3) the creation of a data-robot ecosystem for rapid manufacturing in the commercial electronics industry. This year, Choset co-lead the formation of the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute, which is a $250MM national institute advancing both technology development and education for robotics in manufacturing. Finally, Choset is a founding Editor of the journal Science Robotics.

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