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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 farfrom common, as our environments offer great challenges to robust robot perception, cognition, and action. We realizethe envisioned robot and human coexistance as offering a symbiotic human-robot interaction, such that we viewrobots and humans with complementary limitations and expertise. I will present CoBot, our visitor's companionrobot that can provide guidance to visitors unfamiliar with the building, while it can also identify and overcomeits limitations by asking for human help. I will present CoBot's effective mobile robot indoor localization andnavigation algorithms that use a WiFi signature perceptual map combined with geometric constraints of the building. Iwill 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 presentillustrative 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 BioManuela M. Veloso is Herbert A. Simon Professor ofComputer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.  Shedirects the CORAL research laboratory, for the study ofagents that Collaborate, Observe, Reason, Act, and Learn,www.cs.cmu.edu/~coral. Professor Veloso is a Fellow of theAssociation for the Advancement of ArtificialIntelligence, the President of the RoboCup Federation, andthe President-Elect for AAAI, the Association for theAdvancement of Artificial Intelligence. She is also therecipient of the 2009 ACM/SIGART Autonomous AgentsResearch Award for her contributions to agents inuncertain and dynamic environments, including distributedrobot localization and world modeling, strategy selectionin multiagent systems in the presence of adversaries, androbot learning from demonstration. Professor Veloso is theauthor of one book on "Planning by Analogical Reasoning"and editor of several other books. She is also an authorin over 200 journal articles and conference papers.

Dr. Manuela Veloso