Eight Innovators to Watch in 2015

From food science and robotics to solar tech and sustainable architecture, these folks are poised to do big things

(Clockwise from top left) Katrin Macmillan, Ashutosh Saxena, Richard Lunt and Horace Luke are hard at work on exciting new projects. (Projects for All; Cornell; G. L. Kohuth; Gogoro)
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Ashutosh Saxena

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(Cornell University)

Ashutosh Saxena envisions a world where robots can heed commands, such as "pour me a coffee" or "load the dishwasher," without step-by-step instructions. But unlike the novelists and screenwriters who have also dreamt this, he is actually making it happen.

The Cornell roboticist and his team are building RoboBrain, a massive online search engine of sorts for robots to use to acquire the knowledge needed to understand and then perform a task. When posed a question, RoboBrain will crawl the Internet and word, image and knowledge databases for relevant information that the robot can digest.

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