robotics | WABE 90.1 FM


A Wall-E toy reading an e-book
Courtesy of Brian Matis /

For a robot waiting in line to pay for its owner's medication, the fastest and most efficient method of getting the medication might be to steal the pills and leave the store without paying.

But as humans, Mark Riedl says, we've decided that's not the right way. Riedl is an associate professor in the Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing and director of the Entertainment Intelligence Lab.

He's developed a new system to teach robots how to play nice.

Atlanta Hospital First To Use Exoskeleton Built For Children

Jun 16, 2015
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is the first pediatric hospital to utilize the Bionic Exoskeleton designed by Ekso Bionics to assist children and teen patients in rehab.
Ekso Bionics

Science fiction is meeting reality at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where the pediatric hospital has become the first in the country to use a new exoskeleton in a pediatric rehabilitation environment.

In cases of complete paralysis, an exoskeleton can help, at least partly, power an immobile arm or leg. A number adult facilities have been working with exoskeletons for some time, but Children’s Healthcare is the first in Atlanta to get an exo suit by Ekso Bionics.

Mary Claire Kelly / WABE

When girls enter adolescence, they grow out of more than just their old clothes.

They lose interest in things they once loved like toys, old hobbies, and — as trends say — science, technology, engineering and math.

These so-called STEM fields are full of careers that are notoriously dominated by men.

But WABE's Mary Claire Kelly introduces us to some girls who are breaking down those stereotypes, one circuit at a time. 

Roadbot prototype, GDOT
Jonathan Holmes / Courtesy of Georgia Tech Research Institute

Researchers at Georgia Tech and the Georgia Department of Transportation have spent more than 10 years developing a robot, called Roadbot, that can seal cracks on major roads and highways. 

Roadbot has lots of body parts – cameras, computers, a machine that melts asphalt and colorful LED lights. It latches onto the back of a pick-up truck.

Kid Programmers: A Day At A Lego Robotics Summer Camp

Jul 28, 2014
WABE Evan Jang

When most of us think of summer camp, images of afternoons at the lake, picnic tables covered in crafts or late-evening campfires probably come to mind. 

But just north of Atlanta, a group of 5th, 6th and 7th graders participated in a very different kind of summer camp. They spent their vacation building robots out of Legos, as part of a Lego Robotics summer course offered by Kennesaw State University's College of Continuing and Professional Education.

Jaime Lee / WABE

Here's a story of technology helping a musician overcome adversity. When Jason Barnes lost his right arm in 2012, that might have been the end of his drumming career. But Professor Gil Weinberg at Georgia Tech's Center for Musical Technology has built Jason a robotic arm. Now, he can not only play the drums again, but the prosthesis will collaborate with him while he does.