Episode 038 - Madeline Gannon

Madeline Gannon

Brian catches up with Madeline Gannon aka the Robot Whisperer in Boston. 

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Show Notes:

  1. Madeline was given the nickname “robot whisperer” during her Autodesk Pier 9 residency in San Francisco

  2. This episode marks Brian’s shot at going solo with his new podcast “Brian Ringley’s Designalyze Podcast Without Zach Downey”

  3. Autodesk’s BUILD Space is an innovation space for digital fabrication in the building industry with a bunch of robots in South Boston’s Innovation District

  4. Brian and Madeline first met at ACADIA 2014 in Los Angeles where she presented multiple projects:

    1. Reverberating Across The Divide

    2. Seeing Is Doing

    3. Adaptive Pneumatic Frameworks

  5. Madeline is currently doing a PhD at Carnegie Mellon which informs the work she does in industry research

  6. Madeline’s work at Pier 9, “How to Tame Your Robot,” established the basic code structure to allow robots to “see” their human operator’s gestures

    1. Instructable: How to Tame Your Robot

  7. Industrial robots are incredibly adaptable in how they're integrated (from lumberjacking to rides), but not with how they're programmed, and particularly not with their ability to adapt and interact in real-time

  8. Brian is a squishy flesh-bag

  9. Madeline is very close-minded about human-robot sexuality

  10. The democratization of industrial robotics requires a new approach to human-machine interfaces

  11. Cobots, or collaborative robots, use the same kinematic model as industrial robots but are made specifically to operate ”hand-in-hand” humans and are limited in terms of payload

    1. Madeline has been working with a Universal robot at CMU’s Studio for Creative Inquiry

    2. The dual-arm cobot model

      1. ABB YuMi collaborative dual-arm robot

      2. rethink robotics’ Baxter cobot

      3. The dual-arm model is a bit near-sighted (working with humans on tasks that won't need humans in a few years), whereas Madeline is more interested in how humans and robots can improve each other symbiotically

  12. ABB’s RobotStudio is the industry-standard for offline robotic arm programming, but is not always appropriate for interaction with geometry-based/CAD environments

  13. HAL works within parametric geometry-based environments like Grasshopper and allows for real-time interaction with robotic arms

  14. Madeline does not develop for existing robotic programming apps, but uses open source frameworks like openFrameworks and Processing to write software for bespoke, interactive robotic programming


Lightning Round:

  1. What book(s) are you reading?

    1. ACM Digital Library

    2. Siggraph

      1. Disney Research - A Compiler for 3D Machine Knitting

      2. Disney Research on Twitter

  2. What music are you listening to?

    1. Tune Yards

  3. What’s your favorite SciFi movie?

    1. The Fifth Element

      1. That time Ryan Lochte looked like replicant Roy Batty

    2. The Martian

      1. 80/20 modular system

  4. What’s your favorite childhood cartoon

    1. Pinky and the Brain

  5. If you could have a tea party with any three people, who would they be?

    1. Scenario 1

      1. Autodesk Pier 9 Madeline (w/robot)

      2. CMU Studio for Creative Inquiry Madeline (w/robot)

      3. Autodesk BUILD Space Madeline (w/robot)

    2. Scenario 2

      1. Zach

      2. Napoleon

      3. Matt Damon as Dr. Mann in Interstellar
tutorial rating: 
Average: 3.3 (3 votes)


Zach Downey

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