On October 15, members of Generation Robots went at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland for mutual presentation.
EPFL is well known in the world of robotics as one of the most advanced schools in Europe on service robotics. The visiting team was very excited about this presentation.
The day began with a presentation of the collaborative robot Baxter to members of LASA (Laboratory of Algorithms and Learning Systems), headed by Professor Aude Billard. Yassine Serhrouchni in charge of education and research in Generation Robots and I have made a presentation using the education and research version of the Baxter robot to a team of teachers and researchers. They enjoyed the ease of use of the robot. The fact that the robot is safe (it does not require a protective cage as conventional industrial robots), that the robot is easy to program with its ROS SDK but also its functional and technical specifications that are as very rich compared to its price have attracted attendees. Indeed, Baxter has two arms with 7 degrees of freedom with torque sensors in each motor, sonar sensors, three cameras, distance sensors, an open gripper model…
Using a manipulator robot with two arms that is safe and efficient indeed opens many opportunities for researchers (as evidenced by the interest shown by French researchers at JNRR 2013) but also teachers who can prepare students to the factory of the future with the advent of collaborative robotics which Baxter is one of the best-known representative.
The day continued with a visit to EPFL laboratories. We discovered the work that is made using a Kuka LWR arm. This compliant arm is also a collaborative robots.
We also had the chance to see Icub, the humanoid robot used for research in human-robot interaction.
Finally, the day ended with a visit to the LSRO laboratory (Robotic Systems Laboratory) where MICHAEL BONANI, the father of robots Thymio 2, works. We were able to talk with him about his vision of educational robotics and on future developments of the Thymio 2 robot which is very successful at high school level.
We cannot end this post without sharing with you this advice that we found on the walls of one of the laboratories of the EPFL. Is that message addressed to a human or a robot?