City Science Lab @ Taipei Tech Demonstrates Cutting-edge Robots

The City Science Lab @ Taipei Tech has recently demonstrated a series of experimental robots that show the Lab’s research capabilities. These robots include Boston Dynamics’ dog-like robot named “Spot,” an AI-powered robotic fish, and a delivery robot name “Campus Rover.” The City Science Lab @ Taipei Tech is a cross-disciplinary R&D laboratory jointly established by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Taipei Tech.

Yao Leehter, Taipei Tech Chair Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering, indicated that the Lab has strong support from Taipei Tech alumni. Through collaborating with Kent Larson, director of MIT City Science Lab, the City Science Lab @ Taipei Tech aims to be an international platform for technology and talent exchange. “Through developing advanced AI technologies and big data systems, we are turning Taiwan into a cutting-edge high tech island,” said Yao. The City Science Lab @ Taipei Tech is also adopting MIT's Undergraduate Scientific Research Program (also known as UROP, implemented in 1969 by MIT’s first President William Rogers). The goal is to provide sufficient resources for students in order to cultivate a new generation of scientific researchers.

Spot, the dog-like robot from Boston Dynamics, is integrated into the Lab's education and research because of UROP. Spot can easily adapt to complex terrains and is equipped with lidar, infrared, and a three-dimensional vision sensor, which allows it to map out the surrounding environment in real time and detect and dodge obstacles. Spot has been used in decommissioned nuclear power plants, factories, construction sites, and offshore drilling oil platforms for patrol, troubleshooting, leak detection, and many other kinds of missions.

The City Science Lab at Taipei Tech also demonstrated its research and development results, including an AI-powered robotic fish. The fish was created through a collaboration between Taipei Tech, the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology, and Pioneer Material Precision Tech, and it can swim underwater through the use of machine learning to mimic the motion of a real fish. The robotic fish was used in the recent Pili puppet movie, Demigod: The Legend Begins. The Lab also displayed the Campus Rover, a self-charging robot developed in conjunction with Taipei Tech’s Department of Industrial Design. The Campus Rover is designed for use in express services on campus or in hospitals. It can aide the social distancing effort and improve personnel safety by delivering forms and documents between offices during a pandemic such as Covid.