Prof. Ivan Oseledets the leader of the Skoltech Scientific Computing Group and his PhD student Evgeny Frolov have proposed recommender system, which recommendations are sensitive to both positive and negative users feedback. Their work have been accepted to ACM RecSys 2016 conference. This is a prestigious annual international conference on recommender systems. This year it will take place in Boston in September. Preprint can be found in Arxiv.Читать далее →
We are pleased to invite you to the fourth Skolkovo Robotics conference and exhibition. This year it is being held in an open-air format for the first time. Skolkovo Robotics will be held in and around the Technopark at the Skolkovo innovation center on May 20 from 9 am to 9 pm. Attendance is free of charge, and all events are held in both English and Russian. To see the full program and register for the event, click here.
The assembly of robot makers, now in its fourth year, comprises both a conference and an exhibition, and this year is being held in an open-air format for the first time.
“Remember the Boston Dynamics video, where the robot Atlas went outside for a walk? This year, we’re taking our robots outside the exhibition to walk around Skolkovo,” said Albert Yefimov, head of the Skolkovo Foundation’s Robocenter, the event’s organizer.
“Skolkovo was created as an exposition platform for high technology. I see this as an open-air exhibition of the achievements of robotics,” said Yefimov. “We’ll show what city robot technology really looks like.”
The event, which is free of charge to attend, is aimed both at those working in the robotics industry and those simply interested in bionic beings, and is one of the biggest of its kind in Europe.
“We are trying to make the event useful for as wide a circle of people as possible, with a focus on those who make or want to make robots,” said Yefimov.
“Our aim is that people should leave the conference thinking: ‘Why didn’t I get involved in robotics earlier?’ or ‘Why didn’t I know that it could be done like that?’”
Robocenter head Albert Yefimov giving a robot a helping hand at last year’s Robotics event. Photo: Robocenter.
The conference is divided into eight themed sections devoted to the use of robotics in the fields of medicine, industry, agriculture, driverless technology, education, deep learning, design and marketing.
“We want to cover as many aspects as possible of the interaction between man and machine,” said Yefimov.
Robots without borders
About 80 experts from countries including the U.S., Germany, France, Singapore, Denmark, India, Israel and Australia will take part in Skolkovo Robotics 2016, including representatives of leading companies, institutes and foundations working in robot technology and artificial intelligence.
They will take to the main stage of the conference to take part in panel discussions devoted to topics including robot companions for seniors, the Asian robot market, robot-assisted surgery, driverless vehicles, drones and marine robotics.
This year’s speakers include Manohar Paluri from Facebook AI Research, an expert in the field of visual recognition technology, and Nathan Harding, the co-founder of Ekso Bionics, one of the world’s first producers of exoskeletons. He will talk about human exoskeletons, which can augment human abilities and enable disabled people to walk again.
“At Skolkovo Robotics 2016, I am hoping to meet robotics professionals working in parts of the world that are not currently part of my network,” said Harding. “I am hoping to see how they are approaching robotic solutions differently in ways that may be useful for those of us working in the U.S.”
Silicon Valley Robotics head Andra Keay will address the conference. Photo: Andra Keay.
Andra Keay, head of the Silicon Valley Robotics industry group and one of the most influential entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley working with robotics startups, will talk about how the robotics revolution is unfolding and why Silicon Valley is currently winning the robotics race.
Returning to Skolkovo Robotics for the third time is Frank Schneider of the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics, a German research facility. He will talk about real world trials and competitions for unmanned systems in the field of civil defense, emergencies and elimination of consequences of natural disasters. Unmanned aerial, ground and underwater vehicles are now used widely by disaster relief agencies across the world to access areas that are impossible or dangerous for humans to reach.
“We are eager to learn from the Russian robotics community (e.g. the use of robots through EMERCOM [the Emergency Situations Ministry]), meet experts and mingle with innovative start-ups,” said Schneider.
Also speaking at the conference is Catherine Simon, organizer of the Innorobo robotics event in Paris that will be held immediately after Skolkovo Robotics, on May 24-26. Several Skolkovo companies will head straight to Innorobo following Skolkovo Robotics.
“It’s very important for us that high-ranking foreign speakers are coming to the event,” said Yefimov. “For the dialogue between innovators and scientists to stay alive, we must give it constant support.”
The event will also feature four master classes, including one by Skolkovo resident company CAPK, which will teach visitors to fly coptors. CyberTech Labs, another Skolkovo resident, will hold master classes on educational robotics for adults and children together with Skolkovo Robocenter partners National Instruments technology center and the League of Robots.
Robots on parade
The exhibition part of the event will showcase more than 40 startups working in robotics from around Russia, said Skolkovo Robotics’ program director Olga Avryasova.
“This year we are seeing a wider spectrum of applications among the projects, as well as growth in the number of exhibitors,” said Avryasova.
“Forty percent of them are already resident companies of the Skolkovo Foundation. But the other 60 percent are completely new companies that are exhibiting at Robotics for the first time, including at least four new exoskeleton projects,” she said.
Avryasova said that all the teams working on civilian drones in Russia, and all the Russian producers of roboticised prosthetic limbs, would present their work at the event.
Some of the participants of last year’s Skolkovo Robotics pose for a group photo. This year’s event will see the robots take to the streets of the innovation center. Photo: Sk.ru.
The aim of the exhibition is not only to show off Russian achievements in the field of robotics. The overall manifesto of the Skolkovo Foundation is to help its resident tech startups commercialize their products, and the Robotics event is no exception. Representatives of major companies and venture capital funds will also be in attendance at the event.
“We invite clients to our events who can tell the innovators which direction to move in, and what needs to be done,” said Yefimov.
“We’d like to see results at least as good as in previous years – that’s new contracts and partnership agreements,” said Avryasova.
“Of course, the results are not always immediately obvious – contracts are not signed at the conference itself or the next day. But talking to the companies reveals that their first contact with future investors and partners was made at Skolkovo Robotics,” she said.
The Robocenter also expects to attract new residents as a result.
One of the conference topics is exoskeletons in neurorehabilitation. Photo: Sk.ru.
“We expect new stars to appear who will be interested in the opportunities presented by the Skolkovo Foundation, and we expect the Robocenter to get new participants,” said Avryasova.
“Robot technology is today one of the leading areas of global tech development, and at Skolkovo we pay particular attention to this field,” said Skolkovo Foundation president Viktor Vekselberg. “This is attested to by the creation two years ago of the Skolkovo Robocenter, which already unites about 60 Russian companies,” he said.
Robot talent show
Skolkovo Robotics is organised in cooperation with the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech). The head of Skoltech’s space robotics lab Dzmitry Tsetserukou will speak at the conference, along with his colleague, Professor Dmitry Vetrov.
“Significant input comes from Skoltech in the form of the robotics startups founded by its students,” said Avryasova, adding that the startups will be represented at the exhibition.
At least half of the Skolkovo resident startups set up by Skoltech students or graduates are robotics projects, according to Yefimov.
Following the conference part of the event, visitors to Skolkovo Robotics can prepare to be wowed by the entertainment program organised by Moscow Technological Institute (MTI) – the event’s general partner – with whom Skolkovo also organizes the popular annual Robonoch (Robonight) event.
In addition to the traditional robot dance shows and a film screening, there will be an exhibition of pictures, more performances by robots and much more, the organizers promise.
One of Skoltech’s main goals is establishing strong and substantial cooperation relations with key industrial players. Airbus and Philips are most certainly such players, and a delegation from both companies visited Skoltech to establish working relationships and identify promising areas of cooperation. The delegation was led by Dr. Jean Boti, chief technical officer at Airbus group, who soon will takes over as Philips director of innovations and strategy.Читать далее →
Representatives of the world’s largest Islamic Azad University of Iran visited Skoltech to learn about the university and its capabilities, and to discuss cooperation. The Iranian delegation was led by President of the Islamic Azad University professor Hamid Mirzadeh.
Alexey Sitnikov, Skoltech’s Vice President for Institutional and Resource Development, and professor Hamid Mirzadeh, President of the Islamic Azad University.
Alexey Sitnikov, Skoltech’s Vice President for Institutional and Resource Development, introduced Skoltech’s areas of expertise to the Iranian delegation and told the guests about the partnership programs with Russian and foreign universities. After the meeting, the guests from the Islamic Republic of Iran were taken on a demonstrative tour in several labs.
The particular interest of Mr. Mirzade was driven by Skoltech’s experience in the field of technology transfer and cooperation with industrial partners. The second most important direction, which could become the basis for cooperation between Skoltech and the University of Azad, was improving the quality of teaching in the Iranian university by directing its undergraduates to study at Skoltech, as well as the participation of Skoltech professors in the curriculum of the Iranian university.
Prof. Dzmitry Tsetserukou shows the Iranian guests the capabilities of his robotics lab.
Founded in 1982 in Tehran, the Islamic Azad University is the largest private institution of higher education in Iran and the Middle East. It has about 1.7 million. students around the world. The faculty of the University consists of more than 44,000 employees. The University has 28 research centers. The University has 400 offices in Iran and abroad. Today, its branches exist in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, UK, Tanzania, Lebanon and Armenia.
Azad University has a number of partners in joint educational and research projects include such universities as the University of Gothenburg and Ottawa, University of Rome La Sapienza, the Moscow Mendeleev Institute of Chemical Technology, University Consortium for Political Studies in Lyon and Grenoble, the Marc Bloch University (Strasbourg), Charles University in Prague, Technical University of Dresden and many others. It is an indispensable participant in scientific Olympiads, including international robotics competition (RoboCup).
Andrii Omelianovych, co-founder and developer of Sharxi, an app which aims to reduce the costs of taxi rides in Moscow. Image courtesy of Sharxi (click to enlarge)
With Uber, Gett and Yandex.Taxi already well-known in Moscow, it may seem that there is little room for yet another taxi app, but two Skoltech graduates hope their taxi-sharing start-up, Sharxi, can find a niche.
The goal of Sharxi, developed by Boris Urman and Andrii Omelianovych (15’), is to significantly reduce the cost of a taxi ride by pairing up strangers headed in the same direction. A potential user opens the app, puts in their current location and where they are headed, submits the order, and waits for the system to find other passengers whose planned routes are similar.
Sharxi, which was launched on May 10 and has been downloaded 200 times so far, makes money by contracting with official taxi companies and taking a commission on every ride booked through the app.
The $1 Billion Market
The goal of Sharxi’s founders is to cut the price of an average cab ride in Moscow from 1,050 rubles ($16) to 500 rubles ($7.50), as well as to reduce the number of cars on Moscow’s crowded roads. Particularly, they focus on travelers looking for rides from the city’s three main airports to the town center.
“The taxi market in Moscow is around $1 billion a year, and economy class makes up 55 percent of it. Our goal is to get at least 1 percent of the economy class — about $5 million a year,” Omelianovych told The Moscow Times newspaper.
Statistics from a report about the taxi market in Moscow shown on Russian TV’s Channel One in 2012 also put its value at about $1 billion, but an April report by the Civic Chamber estimated it far higher, at $16.5 billion.
The start-up faces some serious challenges. The idea of splitting a taxi ride via an app is not particularly new. For example, Uber already has a fare-splitting function called UberPool. Additionally, taxi users surveyed by The Moscow Times said that the price of individual rides was not so great as to encourage them to book a shared ride, citing other taxi apps that have reduced the cost of journeys and the desire to go directly to their destination without any detours as factors that would put them off.
But others said they would welcome the chance to save money by splitting the fare, and many of the users who have tried the app, which is currently in Beta testing, were positive about the cost of the service.
Sharxi – a shared rides app (click to enlarge)
The 500 Ruble Question
“I went from Vnukovo [Airport] to Aminyevskoye Shosse [in western Moscow] for 500 rubles ($7.50) — it was fun and fast!” a user who identified themselves as Vakhe wrote on the app’s website.
“Paid 500 rubles for a trip from Domodedovo [Airport] to Vyazemskaya Ulitsa [in western Moscow]. Great! Will definitely recommend to friends and family,” another test user, Lyuba, wrote.
Reviews of other aspects of the service were not so positive, however.
Among the main issues listed by users was the long wait to find another passenger.
“I was waiting for a co-passenger from Sheremetyevo [Airport] to Filyovsky Park [a district in western Moscow] and there was no one, so I had to take a single ride. Luckily I wasn’t in a hurry,” wrote user Ivan.
Another frequent issue mentioned in the reviews was passenger compatibility.
“We are thinking about adding a psychological survey for users, so passengers can be selected by temperament,” Omelianovych told The Moscow Times.
Sharxi is one of about 120 start-ups being developed at Skoltech and Skolkovo, a graduate research university that focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation and is located in west of Moscow.
One of the perks of being residents of Skolkovo, which was founded by former president and current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as Russia’s ‘Silicon Valley’, is easy access to investors and officials.
Although Urman and Omelianovych’s app has been downloaded only 200 times, they have already presented the app to City Hall’s transport department.
“The state officials said our idea is good but haven’t offered us any deal yet,” Urman told The Moscow Times. “We will keep in touch with them.”
The stiff competition on the Moscow market has Sharxi’s creators looking to Asia to develop the app further.
“The Asian market is huge and dynamic in comparison with the European one, which is overloaded with services,” Omelianovych told The Moscow Times, adding that he had lived in Seoul, South Korea for six years and is comfortable with the Asian environment.
“Potentially we can boom in Asia, but for that we need internal partners.”
This summer, guests from 15 countries gathered in Moscow to celebrate a once-in-a-lifetime event – Skoltech’s first Commencement Ceremony.
All eyes were on a group of excited students: our first batch of graduates, who celebrated their time exploring and creating with the innovation university. Watch the highlights in the video, join the celebration and hear the students’ stories. Class of 2015: Throw your caps up in the air!
• Six students collected “Outstanding Thesis Awards” for scientific excellence.
• Announcement of the establishment of an Alumni Association tasked with administering a student Startup Project Challenge and a million ruble award. A third of the sum was collected by the graduates.
• Commencement speeches by graduates Anna Dubovik (MSc IT), Andrii Omeliyanovich (MSc Energy), and Dmitry Smirnov (MSc Energy).
• Skoltech leadership raised four million rubles for a student grant scheme.
• Closing the ceremony, Skoltech president Edward Crawley announced the establishment of a ‘best teacher award’ in honor and memory of his father.
Key Figures and Facts
• Fifty two master’s students in IT, Energy, Space, and Advanced Manufacturing are expected to graduate from Skoltech by the end of 2015.
• The inaugural group of students, some of whom joined the innovation-focused university as early as 2012, hails from 15 countries.
• Thirty five percent of all graduates are women, and almost half of the graduating students were actively involved in startup projects or established their own companies during their time with Skoltech.
• A majority of students studied and worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), honing their skills as researchers and entrepreneurs – and their English.
Language technologies have been around for a long time, but have gone through a revolution in recent years. Photo: The Royal broadcast, Christmas 1934, courtesy of Wikipedia
Skoltech is proud to announce a unique opportunity for students with a background in Information Technology to join a newly developed graduate level 8-week Language Technologies courses offered, alongside with Skoltech students.
The courses on offer (see below) are available this upcoming Term 3 of the spring semester.
Please note that course participation will be offered free of charge and participants will be selected on a competitive basis and that language of instruction will be English only.
INTRODUCTION TO LANGUAGE TECHNOLOGIES
Term 3 Spring semester 2015
Study period: February 2, 2015 – March 27, 2015
Where: Skolkovo Innovation Center, Hypercube
Contact and info: Yana Kraskovskaya
Tel. +7 (495) 280 14 81 ext.34-04
The course will give students a practical sense of current capabilities of Language Technologies, their underlying principles and business applications. It will cover 6 major components of Language Technologies: Information Retrieval, Information Extraction, Machine Translation, Speech Recognition, Text and Speech Generation, and Communication with Devices. Each area will be covered with an overview lecture, practical exercises and a discussion of trends and applications. Last 2 weeks will be dedicated to short projects by groups of students. Utilization of the state-of-the-art Open Source and commercial tools will be emphasized.
Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
Articulate the key principles and methods underlying Language Technologies
Assess applicability of Language Technologies for solving business problems