Stanford Robots Load a Hovering Drone, Solve a Marble Maze, and More

Students in Stanford's Experimental Robotics class gather around professor Oussama Khatib
Photo: Tekla Perry

Robots that sketch, play ping pong, solve mazes, and attempt to juggle strutted their stuff at the annual demo day for Stanford’s Experimental Robotics class. Each year, Professor Oussama Khatib’s students aim to teach a selection of industrial robots some new skills. The toughest project: teaching a Kuka robot to juggle. (It struggled, with balls getting stuck or flying wild… but as anyone who has tried to juggle objects can tell you, the learning curve is very steep.) The other projects included two robots that had been taught to draw (a Sawyer and a Puma), a Ping Pong–playing robot (the Kuka again) that scored a few points against its human opponents, a cowboy hat–wearing Sawyer robot that shot at a moving target, a Puma 500 robot that manipulated a maze to send a ball along the correct path, and a drone-loading Sawyer robot that tracked a less-than-stable hovering drone. Check them all out in the video below.


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Stanford Offers Introduction to Robotics Course Free Online

stanford-introduction-to-robotics.png Stanford's "Introduction to Robotics" (CS223A) -- and other popular computer science and engineering courses -- are now available free online. The robotics intro course, taught by Professor Oussama Khatib, includes over 16 hours of lecture videos, as well as notes, handouts, assignments, and solutions. It's essentially the same content the Stanford engineering students have access to. Well ... you can't ask questions or get feedback on the problem sets, but still, it's an amazing resource. (The site says there will be communities where users will be able to discuss coursework.)…