IHMC Retreat Day

July 8, 2015 - Topics in Technology

The first Retreat Day was held on Wednesday, July 8th, at the Holiday Inn Resort on Pensacola Beach. Researchers from all projects at IHMC were invited to give an informal talk about their current projects or topic that interests them. The purpose of this outing was to encourage IHMC people to brainstorm new ideas and provide an opportunity for people from different groups to get to know each other and what they are working on or would like to be working on. One of the strengths of IHMC comes from multi-disciplinary collaboration.

Dr. Jerry Pratt

Deep Learning: Fad or the Future? Recent results on Deep Learning for image recognition and video game playing are impressive. What the heck is Deep Learning and how far around the corner are artificial brains? This and other BS will be discussed.

Dr. Anil Raj
Metabolic supplements for improved mitochondrial efficiency Aerobic metabolism generates adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from substrates such as glucose and fatty acids to provide the energy for cellular processes, including protein transcription, reproduction, motility, etc. Ketone bodies, namely Aceto-Acetate (AcAc) and ß-hydroxybutyrate (ßHB) produced in by the liver, provide a more efficient energy source in brain, heart and skeletal muscle tissue that can produce 5% to 10% more ATP per pass through the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle/oxidative phosphorylation process than glucose or fatty acids, respectively, and yield an approximately 30% increase in Gibbs free energy relative to glucose metabolism. We are evaluating effects on human performance of new oral ketone supplements as an alternative to the extreme restriction of glucose availability (i.e., dietary ketosis from starvation or carbohydrate restricted diets) or lack of available insulin (i.e., pathologic diabetic ketosis) needed to stimulate hepatic ketone production.


Duncan Calvert
Make Robots Useful Faster Robots aren't currently that useful as we saw at the DRC. However, there are a few key areas of development that, if given the right time and resources, could bring robot software into the useful category in time for the capable hardware of the near future.

Dr. Matt Johnson
Dynamic Exploration How to leverage robots for understanding complex and uncertain environments.

Adrien Moucheboeuf
Low cost tactile feedback platform for teleoperation and VR sensing The long term objective of this project is to provide a platform for the design of tactile feedback to the maker community or researchers. Their creations could then be used by a broader audience. This platform would make tactile feedback accessible to anyone due to its easy integration to any system (machines such as robots, vehicles, video game, or simulations...) with little to no need for programming skills or hardware design. Possible applications for this system would be to improve situational awareness, facilitate teleoperation and provide sensation of immersion in virtual environments.

Billy Howell
Introduction to media world and what media world can do for you… if you are cool This talk will introduce the inner workings of ihmc’s media department to the robotics group, and hopefully shed some light on the timescale/effort required to produce media. The viewer should walk away with a decent understanding of the capabilities and limitations of ihmc’s media production abilities, which will hopefully foster an extremely productive and awesome working relationship for everyone involved.

Dr. Peter Neuhaus
Wearable Robots: What’s next for us… The exoskeleton team has been working quietly in the corner…and soon we’ll be ready to take over the world. This talk will give a brief update as to what we have been up to for the past year and where we are headed (or at least like to be headed as long as someone pays us to do it).

Dr. Dawn Kernagis
Human Undersea Performance and Resilience Undersea operators are exposed to a unique set of challenges, including inert gas uptake in their tissues, maintaining the appropriate level of oxygen and minimizing carbon dioxide in their life support systems, thermal considerations and underwater locomotion. New approaches that address these environmental stressors are being developed to optimize human undersea performance and resilience.

Dr. Row Rogacki
IHMC Affiliation with the Doolittle Institute I've recently been detailed from IHMC to be the Deputy Director at the Doolittle institute. I'll be describing the mission of the Doolittle Institute and how I can support IHMC researchers.

FastRunner Team
The Hollywood Equation: Resonating with The Funds of The Future We are planning to discuss alternative grants that are smaller in dollar value, but designed for projects such as FastRunner where, with an in-house 3-D printer, we can rapidly prototype new technologies. We are also planning to discuss an increased media presence using youtube and local media.

Davide Faconti
Our Source Code: the good, the bad and the ugly A constructive critical view of our source code and suggestions to make it better in the future.

Nicolas Eyssette
Robot Lab Visibility I think if we use a medium like video games, and more specifically minecraft, we could conquer the heart of a lot of people, from children to adults. I'll try to explain my vision of this, and what possibilities it could open.

Dr. Jeff Bradshaw
From Knowledge Science to Symbiosis Science: A Glance at the Past and a Peek at the Future In the mid-1980s, Brian Gaines first developed a model to predict the trajectory of technology for human-computer relationships from one of merely sharing knowledge to a point where they could act together effectively as a unified system. (This idea should not be confused with Ray Kurzweil’s ill-founded speculations about the near-term coming of the so-called “singularity.”) I will briefly outline the four major steps Gaines outlined for this transformation, describing how they relate to the current state-of-the-art  as well as summarizing their implications for the future of intelligent systems.

Doug Stephen
The Dream of the 90’s is Alive in Pensacola: An introduction to Modern Software Engineering The talk will be a bird’s eye overview of modern software engineering practices. We will touch on topics such as distributed version control, continuous delivery, alternatives to the object-oriented programming paradigm, “DevOps”, and the landscape of open source in the era of a highly social web.

Dr. Sylvain Bertrand
A bit of everything of what we’ve got and what we could get Just a simple messy talk to summarize from my point of view what we’ve got so far: a pretty crazy number of people working as a team for around 3 years without fighting and getting actually something amazing accomplished! And what we could get: An awesome robot doing awesome things in a simple way.

Dr. Tingfan Wu
My Dream of Teachable Robots Introduction of recent advances on robot learning: how robots can learn new skills from demonstrations and improve old skills from experiences. Some ideas how learning could be applied to walking algorithms.

(Tingfan's video will be uploaded later by Billy.)



Please direct any questions or suggestions about Retreat Day to Jerry Pratt (jpratt@ihmc.us).