A robotics researcher has been announced as one of the recipients of the 2009 Leibniz Prize - the most prestigious German research prize awarding up to €2.5 million per award. Wolfram Burgard, Associate Professor of Computer Science and head of the research lab for Autonomous Intelligent Systems at the University of Freiburg, was awarded the prize based on his work on probabilistic robotics, which focuses on robot perception and control in the face of uncertainty.
Co-author of a book by the same name ("Probabilistic Robotics" from The MIT Press), Burgard has shown from his research that it is possible to estimate the position and orientation of a mobile robot efficiently, even without knowing its starting position. Previously this had not been thought to be practically possible.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.