Neurdons deny Descartes’ mind-body dualism: biological neural systems cannot be fully understood without their physical instantiation in a real world environment. This section covers initiatives in robotics that represent a step towards bio-inspired robotics.

  • Robots that can think

    By Massimiliano Versace | February 22, 2016

    AI_that_thinks(From BU Today) “That is a ball.” “I do believe that is a cone.” “Seems like a wonderful book.” The voice is mechanical and flat, and anyone offering such banal commentary and sounding so bored would surely bomb in a job interview. But in this case, the observations are impressive. They’re made by what looks like a two-foot-tall stack of hors d’oeuvre trays on wheels, careening around the floor and proclaiming its discoveries as its “eye,” an attached camera, falls on them.
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  • GPU brains for Drones and Cars

    By Massimiliano Versace | February 17, 2016

    Slide1-300x225The U.S. Patent Office issued to Neurala, Inc. a new patent (US 9,189,828) that extends the US patent 8,648,867 (Graphic Processor Based Accelerator System and Method) into the domain of real-time control of autonomous machines, such as self-driving cars and drones.

    While the prior patent covered hardware and software “controllers” that handle most of the primitive operations needed to set up and control Deep Networks and Neural Networks on a GPU, the current patent extends the prior one by providing specific indication on how to this system could control real-time operating machines, such as drones and self-driving cars.

    Why is this important?

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  • When less is more: passive sensors and robotics

    By Massimiliano Versace | February 6, 2016

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAW-AAAAJGJlNDQ2OGZlLWIyYTgtNGYxNS04MTc3LTNlN2ZlMzFlMWUwZgWhen designing robotic platforms, the choice of which sensors to employ is a key area that often determines the Go/No-Go for a final product. This is because the cost of sensors is a huge component of the total cost of robots, and the main challenge in front of effective commercialization of consumer robotic platforms and applications. This is true at all levels: from inexpensive consumer robots, to drones (which had payload issues, among others!), all the way to self-driving cars. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Drones everywhereeeeeeeee!!!

    By Massimiliano Versace | January 25, 2016

    drones_everywhereAccording to ABI Research, a technology market intelligence firm in Oyster Bay, New York, by 2025, sales of drones to the consumer market are expected to exceed 90 million units and generate $4.6 billion in revenue!

    ABI said that in 2014, there were 4.9 million drone sales, but the predicted increase in drone sales will create a compound annual growth rate of 30.4 percent over the next 10 years.

    Full article available in this link!


  • Deep Learning, GPUs, and cheap bodies: three ingredients for ubiquitous intelligent robotics

    By Massimiliano Versace | December 31, 2015

    neural_chipThere are three main ingredients needed for intelligent robots to be ubiquitous, smart, and useful. I like to call these three ingredients Mind, Brain, and Body. Let's look at how these three enabling technology have evolved, and why the time is now for the emergent of intelligent machines. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Afraid about AI? No

    By Massimiliano Versace | November 24, 2015

    A few years ago, Heather’s, Anatoli, and myself started Neurala with one goal: bring the results and insights of our Ph.D. work on brain-inspired computing into everyday technology. We wanted this technology to change the way society uses and benefits from machines: rather than each device needing 1 human brain to work, we wanted it to have "its own brains" at the service of the human owner. Simple goal, not so simple technology, but designed from the ground-up to be a technology that would be helpful to humanity. But sometimes people like to think differently.
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  • How Deep in the past go Deep Networks?

    By Massimiliano Versace | November 17, 2015

    One of the pillars of the recent success (almost viral) of Deep Networks, a subspecies of the bigger class called Neural Networks, is that their execution and training methods are highly conducive to parallelism. The term GPGPU is often use to refer to the backbone of the revolution: General-Purpose computation on Graphics Processing Units. GPUs, chips whose main technological push comes from huge revenues from the gaming market, and more recently are finding their ways into mobile devices, are in reality high-performance many-core processors that can be used to accelerate a wide range of applications, going from physics, to chemistry, to computer vision, to neuroscience. And, of course, Deep Networks.
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  • Superhuman

    By Massimiliano Versace | November 2, 2015

    What if having human, or even superhuman Artificial Intelligence (let’s call it SuperAI) would turn out NOT to be the worst nightmare of humankind? What, after dogs, SuperAI is the biggest friend of Homo Sapiens? We have all seen movies in which AI turns against humans, with robots ranging from the ‘ethereal’ (was it on the cloud?) Hal to embodied metal-made Terminators, to a mix of the two, e.g. Ultron in the latest Avengers. But what if humankind would be doomed without SuperAI? Read the rest of this entry »

  • Learning to Navigate in a Virtual World using Optic Flow and Stereo Disparity Signals

    By Massimiliano Versace | August 24, 2014

    The Neuromorphics Lab is has just published a new article that explains how optic flow and learning can be used to improve navigation in a mobile robot. This is the abstract of the article just appeared in Artificial Life and Robotics:

    "Navigating in a complex world is challenging in that the rich, real environment provides a very large number of sensory states that can immediately precede a collision. Biological organisms such as rodents are able to solve this problem, effortlessly navigating in closed-spaces by encoding in neural representations distance toward walls or obstacles for a given direction."
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  • TEDx Fulbright: Max Versace of Neurala Talks About The Future of Robotics

    By Massimiliano Versace | April 6, 2014

    If an alien watched all the videos on YouTube, he would think that the world was full of robots. But, it's not. Why not? What will it take to get robots out of YouTube and into the real world? Read the rest of this entry »