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FDA Approves Robot Developed at Carnegie Mellon for Surgical Procedures

Ken Walters Thursday July 23, 2015
Carnegie Mellon University spinoff company Medrobotics Corp. announced today it has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its Flex® Robotic System, which is based on the research of CMU Robotics Institute Professor Howie Choset.A flexible endoscopic system that enables surgeons to access and visualize hard-to-reach anatomical locations, the system extends the benefits of minimally invasive surgery — shorter hospital stays and recovery times — to a broader population of patients. Medrobotics initially has targeted the system for use in head and neck... 

Neuroscience-Based Algorithms Make for Better Networks

Byron Spice (CMU), Kristina Grifantini (Salk Institute) Thursday July 16, 2015
When it comes to developing efficient, robust networks, the brain may often know best.Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have, for the first time, determined the rate at which the developing brain eliminates unneeded connections between neurons during early childhood.Though engineers use a dramatically different approach to build distributed networks of computers and sensors, the research team of computer scientists discovered that their newfound insights could be used to improve the robustness and efficiency of distributed computational... 

Look, Ma, No Hands: CMU Vehicle Steered Itself Across The Country 20 Years Ago

Byron Spice Thursday July 16, 2015
It’s big news when a car drives itself across the country. Earlier this year, news accounts heralded a car, outfitted by automotive supplier Delphi and using software from a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff, that did 99 percent of its own driving on a 3,400-mile trip from San Francisco to New York.The same feat also made headlines 20 years ago, when Carnegie Mellon’s NavLab 5 minivan, with support from Delphi’s corporate forerunner, Delco, steered itself for 2,800 of the 2,850 miles between Pittsburgh and San Diego.“At the time, we were saying that fully autonomous driving would be 10-20... 

Time Video Highlights CMU's Role in Pittsburgh's Comeback

Byron Spice Friday July 10, 2015
A newly released video from Time magazine, "Pittsburgh The Comeback," highlights the role of technology — particularly the contributions of Carnegie Mellon University — in the revitalization of Pittsburgh. SCS Dean Andrew Moore is among the community leaders interviewed on camera."My most important duty here as dean is to create the computer scientists who are frankly, I believe, going to be running the world in 2040," Moore said.The Robotics Institute's Martial Hebert, Tony Stentz and Clark Haynes also are prominently featured.View the video on Time's website. 

Carnegie Mellon Leads Google Expedition To Create Technology for "Internet of Things"

Byron Spice Wednesday July 08, 2015
Carnegie Mellon University will turn its campus into a living laboratory for a Google-funded, multi-university expedition to create a robust platform that will enable Internet-connected sensors, gadgets and buildings to communicate with each other."The goal of our project will be nothing less than to radically enhance human-to-human and human-to­-computer interaction through a large-scale deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT) that ensures privacy, accommodates new features over time and enables people to readily design applications for their own use," said Anind K. Dey, lead investigator... 

Fewer Women Than Men Are Shown Online Ads Related to High-Paying Jobs

Byron Spice Tuesday July 07, 2015
Experiments by Carnegie Mellon University show that significantly fewer women than men were shown online ads promising them help getting jobs paying more than $200,000, raising questions about the fairness of targeting ads online.The study of Google ads, using a CMU-developed tool called AdFisher that runs experiments with simulated user profiles, established that the gender discrimination was real, said Anupam Datta, associate professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering. Still unknown, he emphasized, is who or what is responsible. Was it the preference of... 

Researchers Developing Ways To Safeguard AI Applications

Byron Spice Wednesday July 01, 2015
Manuela Veloso and Andre Platzer are among the initial researchers funded by the Elon Musk-backed Future of Life Institute to explore ways to keep artificial intelligence beneficial to mankind.Musk, the entrepreneur behind both Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has expressed his concerns that people might lose control of AI. He donated $10 million to the Boston-based institute, which has now awarded $7 million to 37 researchers to explore the risks and opportunities surrounding AI.Veloso, professor of computer science, received $200,000 to develop methods for AI programs to explain their actions,... 

AI Researcher Ariel Procaccia Wins Computers and Thought Award

Byron Spice Monday June 22, 2015
The International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) has named Ariel Procaccia, assistant professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, as the recipient of its prestigious Computers and Thought Award for 2015.The award, presented every other year since 1971, recognizes outstanding young scientists in artificial intelligence. The judges cited Procaccia for his contributions to the fields of computational social choice and computational economics, and for efforts to make advanced fair-division techniques more widely accessible.Procaccia's studies in artificial...