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Visits in 2011

Prof. Daniele Nardi
Sapienza Università di Roma

Talk Title: Cognitive Cooperating Robots

The talk aims at providing an overview of the recent research achievements by our group at Sapienza University, Our work is motivated by RoboCup related research problems, as well as by applications in real world domains, such as service robotics and disaster response robotics. Our aim is to address the challenge of making robots intelligent, and our approach tries to combine in various forms a symbolic representation of the robot's knowledge and specialized techniques for processing sensor data and controlling the motion of the robot. In particular, I will present our context-based architectures, an action representation based on Petri Nets and our recent work on Human Robot Interaction aiming at improving the knowledge acquisition capabilities of the robot. [7 Nov 2011]

Prof. Manuela Veloso
Carnegie Mellon University

Talk Title: Symbiotic Robot Autonomy: Autonomous Mobile Robots Coexisting with Humans in Indoor Environments

We envision ubiquitous autonomous mobile robots that can help and coexist with humans. Such robots are still far from common, as our environments offer great challenges to robust robot perception, cognition, and action. We realize the envisioned robot and human coexistance as offering a symbiotic human-robot interaction, such that we view robots and humans with complementary limitations and expertise. I will present CoBot, our visitor's companion robot that can provide guidance to visitors unfamiliar with the building, while it can also identify and overcome its limitations by asking for human help. I will present CoBot's effective mobile robot indoor localization and navigation algorithms that use a WiFi signature perceptual map combined with geometric constraints of the building. I will illustrate CoBot's performance with examples of autonomous hours-long runs of the robot in our buildings. I will then discuss the opportunities and tradeoffs raised by the symbiotic human-robot interaction, and present illustrative studies. I conclude with the presentation of our second CoBot robot and its novel mobile telepresence, and our ongoing work towards having multiple robots and humans engaged in planning and coordination for a variety of tasks. [15 Oct 2011]

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