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

Dr. Manuela Veloso

Tuesday, October 05, 2010, 01:00pm - 02:00pm

Herbert A. Simon Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

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We envision ubiquitous autonomous mobile robots that can help and coexist with humans. Such robots re 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 varietyof tasks.
Short Bio Manuela M. Veloso is Herbert A. Simon Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.  She directs the CORAL research laboratory, for the study of agents that Collaborate, Observe, Reason, Act, and Learn, Professor Veloso is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the President of the RoboCup Federation, and the President-Elect for AAAI, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. She is also the recipient of the 2009 ACM/SIGART Autonomous Agents Research Award for her contributions to agents in uncertain and dynamic environments, including distributed robot localization and world modeling, strategy selection in multiagent systems in the presence of adversaries, and robot learning from demonstration. Professor Veloso is the author of one book on "Planning by Analogical Reasoning" and editor of several other books. She is also an author in over 200 journal articles and conference papers.

Dr. Manuela Veloso