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GRASP Seminar: Howie Choset, Carnegie Mellon University, “Toward Path Planning, Control, and Filtering for Novel Robot Systems”

April 17, 2009 @ 11:00 am

Abstract: I’ve always loved building robots, even as a child. I was pretty good at it, too. Throughout my career, I have sought to design a research program that straddles the border between computational theory and mechatronic implementation: rigorous mathematical results enable engineering advancements while the practical aspects of implementation drive theoretical derivation. This research program has two foci: snake robots and coverage tasks. Snake robots are highly articulated mechanisms that can thread through tightly packed volumes and access locations that people and machinery cannot. This makes them particularly useful for search and rescue and minimally invasive surgery. Coverage has applications for demining, surveillance and car-painting. Both of these foci touch upon a number of key problems in robotics including: path planning, locomotion gait generation, SLAM, and hybrid controls. In this talk, I will discuss some key fundamentals in designing mechanisms with many degrees of freedom, using topology to bound complexity in path planning and SLAM, applying the connection to design controllers and describe maneuverability, and developing hybrid techniques for combined path planning, locomotion and estimation. I will also discuss my educational activities, especially at the undergraduate level, with a course using LEGO robots and the role of entrepreneurism in University education.


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Howie Choset is an Associate Professor of Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University where he conducts research in path planning, motion planning, estimation, mechanism design, and hybrid controls. Much of this work has two foci: snake robots for search and rescue, manufacturing and medical robotics, and coverage for de-mining and autobody painting. Choset directs the Undergraduate Robotics Minor at Carnegie Mellon and teaches an overview course on Robotics which uses series of custom developed Lego Labs to complement the course work. Professor Choset’s students have won best paper awards at the RIA in 1999 and ICRA in 2003, he has been nominated for best papers at ICRA in 1997 and IROS in 2003 and 2007, and won best paper at IEEE Bio Rob in 2006. In 2002 the MIT Technology Review elected Choset as one of its top 100 innovators in the world under 35. In 2005, MIT Press published a textbook, lead authored by Choset, entitled “Principles of Robot Motion.”


April 17, 2009
11:00 am
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