Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Robot Swarms on DC Airwaves

Last November, Jorge Cortes became the PI on an NSF grant entitled “Distributed Ocean Monitoring via Integrated Data Analysis of Coordinated Buoyancy Drogues.”

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is one of the kinds of situations this technlogy would be used in, when it's ready to move from the lab to the ocean.

This technology was recently featured in the weekly radio segment produced by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). You can listen to the very short piece here: WTOP, which is a huge news-only radio station in the Washington DC area.

The first paragraph of the 2009 press release from the Jacobs School of Engineering is below.
To develop control systems for “swarms” of miniature robotic ocean explorers that could one day help predict where ocean currents will carry oil spills, engineers at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering recently won a nearly $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The engineers are leading the development of the control systems for swarms of small, inexpensive, underwater robotic ocean drifters that researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego are designing, building and deploying.

"Wireless Sensors Win" in the News

Yu "Mike" Chi and his winning wireless sensor startup, Cognionics, made their way into Xconomy last week, complete with the photo of Mike trying to hold three oversized checks.

Too Much or Too Little Sun?

"Are San Diegans Getting Too Much Or Too Little Sun?" This KPBS segment covers an issue in San Diego...lots of sun. Even in our "June Gloom" month it's sunny.

Transcript and audio are on the KPBS Web site for this story.

Music Search Researchers in New Scientist

A NewScientist story called "Computerised critics could find the music you'll like," highlights the music annotation and related music-meets-machine-learning research being done here at the Jacobs School.

The reporter, MacGregor Campbell, talks to electrical engineering (ECE) graduate student Luke Barrington about the research described in the From a Queen Song to a Better Music Search Engine story from last year.

From the NewScientist story:
Barrington is building software that can analyse a piece of music and distil information about it that may be useful for software trying to compile a playlist. With this information, the software can assign the music a genre or even give it descriptions which may appear more subjective, such as whether or not a track is "funky", he says.
This work is being done in the Computer Audition Laboratory, which is led by ECE professor Gert Lanckriet.