Highlights of Maker Faire in San Mateo, May 2016.


We speak to Steffi Paepcke, Lead Designer and Co-Founder of Open Source Robotics Foundation. Located in Silicon Valley this non-profit organization is focussed on help promote open source software in the field of robotics.

This interview with Paepcke is part of our Women in Science and Technology series. Paepcke is the only non-engineer in her organization. We spoke to her about how she developed an interest in robotics, the role of a mentor and women in science and technology.

This interview was aired in San Francisco Bay area and was sponsored by Zoho Corporation.

South Korean Team Wins DARPA”s Robotics Challenge





A South Korean team won $2 million dollars at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA Robotics Challenge held over the weekend (June 5-6, 2015)  in Pomona, CA. The challenge was launched in response to the 2011 Fukushima crisis. In a disaster situation, where toxins are involved the ability to rescue human life becomes a challenge. That is where robots come in and can navigate through obstacles and help rescue lives.

Robot DRC-Hubo or “Transformer” from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kaist) of Daejeon successfully completed the task course to win the first place. HUBO stands for”HUmanoid roBOt” that was developed since 2002.

Two American teams won the second and third prize at the competition. The second place of $1 million  went to the “Running Robot” from IHMC Robotics of Pensacola, FL.  The third place went to CHIMP from Tartan Rescue of Pittsuburg, PA, who won $500,00.

Take a look at the tasks the robots had to complete. “It was a nail biting event,” writes IEEE’s Spectrum and  adds”DRC-HUBO had modifications, including wheels on its knees, that allowed it to perform tasks faster and, perhaps more importantly, avoid falls.”

There were 8 tasks assigned to the robots. Two of them were surprises. “One of the secret challenges required the robots to take out and put back a large black plug, requiring a high level of dexterity,” reports Wired.

Robotics Challenge Tasks 2015

Robotics Challenge Tasks 2015


23 teams from aroound the world particpated in the DARPA Robotics challenge.


Robotics Challenge Map

Robotics Challenge Map


Photo courtesy: DARPA







Robots are coming. You have probably heard about the coming of robots with increasing frequencey in the past few month and how they may steal our jobs and hearts.  You probably watched the new film “Ex Machina” an easily accessible film that takes you into the world of humans and sentient robots. Now, meet a robot that can heal itself in under 2 minutes. Recently, French roboticist Jean-Baptiste Mouret and his team unveiled their research on how these robots heal themselves in Nature. You can also read about it in Live Science.

Watch this utterly fascinating video that gives you a peek into how Mouret and his team worked on their healing robot project. Fascinating is not the right word. Lower jaw permanently unhinged is a better way to describe when you watch how this robot dynamically learns and adapts by intelligent trial and error process. This includes losing more than one leg and a motor and then learning how to adapt within minutes and in some cases within seconds.This kind of healing has lots of practical applications espeically in a disaster situation.