Presenter: Subramanian Ramamoorthy (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday January 23, 2015 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

Autonomous robots that seek to work together with human co-workers must adopt representations that span the hierarchy from the quantitative sensorimotor signals to more qualitative task specifications. Despite significant recent activity around methods for learning hierarchical representations, e.g., in computer vision, the problem of defining and learning action-oriented symbols remains somewhat open.

Presenter's Biography:

Dr. Subramanian Ramamoorthy is a Reader (Associate Professor) in the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, where he has been since 2007. He is Coordinator of the EPSRC Robotarium Research Facility, and Executive Committee Member for the Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems. Previously, he received a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He is a Member of the Young Academy of Scotland at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

His current research is focussed on problems of autonomous learning and decision-making under uncertainty, by long-lived agents and agent teams interacting within dynamic environments. This work is motivated by applications in autonomous robotics, human-robot interaction, intelligent interfaces and other autonomous agents in mixed human-machine environments. These problems are solved using a combination of methods involving layered representations based on geometric/topological abstractions, game theoretic and behavioural models of inter-dependent decision making, and machine learning with emphasis on issues of transfer, online and reinforcement learning.

His work has been recognised by nominations for Best Paper Awards at major international conferences - ICRA 2008, IROS 2010, ICDL 2012 and EACL 2014. He serves in editorial and programme committee roles for conferences and journals in the areas of AI and Robotics. He leads Team Edinferno, the first UK entry in the Standard Platform League at the RoboCup International Competition. This work has received media coverage, including by BBC News and The Telegraph, and has resulted in many public engagement activities, such as at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, Edinburgh International Science festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Before joining the School of Informatics, he was a Staff Engineer with National Instruments Corp., where he contributed to five products in the areas of motion control, computer vision and dynamic simulation. This work resulted in seven US patents and numerous industry awards for product innovation.

Event Date(s):
  Saturday December 13, 2014 at 8:00pm

On Sat Dec. 13, electro-mechanical devices created by students in MEAM516/IPD516 Advanced Mechatronics in Reactive Spaces are putting on
an electro-mechanical opera with performers from the Curtis Institute of Music students.

They will be performing scenes inspired by the Orpheous myth as re-imagined with our technology by Lembit Beecher, Composer-in-Residence, Opera Philadelphia (recently finished).

Event Date(s):
  Thursday December 11, 2014 at 6:00pm

It’s time for the sixth-annual Robockey tournament!

The class of 89 students has been working nonstop for the past four weeks to design and build incredible teams of autonomous hockey-playing robots.  The tournament officially kicks off tomorrow with pool play matches, and ends on Thursday evening when we will pack Wu & Chen auditorium, connect the livestream, turn up the volume, and play some hockey!  Details:

Thursday, December 11th, final rounds start at 6:00 PM

Presenter: Nuno Martins (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Wednesday December 10, 2014 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 307*

This talk will focus on the design of distributed estimation systems that are formed by multiple non-collocated components. A shared network is used to disseminate information among the components.

Presenter's Biography:

Nuno Martins is Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he also holds a joint appointment with the Institute for Systems Research. From 2012 until 2014 he was the Director of the Maryland Robotics Center. Martins holds a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge. His research interests are in distributed control and estimation, team decision, optimization, networked control and communications. He received a National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2007, the 2006 American Automatic Control Council O. Hugo Schuck Award, the 2010 Outstanding Institute for Systems Research Faculty award and the 2008 IEEE CSS Axelby Award for the best paper in the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control. He has served as a member of the editorial board of Systems and Control Letters (Elsevier), Automatica and of the IEEE Control Systems Society Conference Editorial Board. He was a program vice-chair for the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control in 2013 and 2014.

Presenter: Katerina Fragkiadaki (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Wednesday December 3, 2014 from 3:00pm to 4:00pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 307*

In this talk, we look into the problem of segmenting, tracking, and  extracting 3D time varying shape and camera poses for non-rigid objects in monocular videos.  Our method segments and tracks objects and their parts using past segmentation and tracking experience from a training set, and uses the segmented point trajectories of each object to extract 3D shape assuming a low-rank shape prior.  We segment using motion boundaries and learnt saliency detection, and outperform by a margin the previous state-of-the-art in challenging video scenes.  We ``learn to track’’ usin

Presenter's Biography:

Katerina Fragkiadaki is a post doctoral researcher at the Computer Vision laboratory at UC Berkeley, working with Prof. Jitendra Malik. Before that, she completed her Ph.D. in the GRASP Laboratory, at University of Pennsylvania, where she was advised by Prof. Jianbo Shi. Katerina is interested in all aspects of video understanding. In particular, she has been working on estimating human motion and body pose in videos as a means towards inferring what people are doing or want to do next.

Presenter: Matei Ciocarlie (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Thursday December 4, 2014 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 307*

In this talk, I will present a number of methods for increasing the versatility of mobile manipulators, from novel hand designs and grasp planning algorithms to Human-in-the-Loop manipulation and its applications in assistive robotics. I will introduce the concept of eigengrasps as the bases of a linear hand posture subspace, and use it to show that, from a grasp planning perspective, a hand does not have to be complex in order to be versatile.

Presenter's Biography:

Matei Ciocarlie is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University. His main interest is in reliable robotic performance in unstructured, human environments, focusing on areas such as novel robotic hand designs and control, autonomous and Human-in-the-Loop mobile manipulation, shared autonomy, teleoperation, and assistive robotics. Matei completed his Ph.D. at Columbia University; his doctoral dissertation, focused on reducing the computational complexity associated with dexterous robotic grasping, was the winner of the 2010 Robotdalen Scientific Award. Before joining the Mechanical Engineering faculty at Columbia, Matei was a Research Scientist and then Group Manager at Willow Garage, Inc., a privately funded Silicon Valley robotics research lab, and then a Senior Research Scientist at Google, Inc. In these positions, Matei contributed to the development of the open-source Robot Operating System (ROS), and led research projects in areas such as hand design, manipulation under uncertainty, and assistive robotics. In recognition of his work, Matei was awarded the 2013 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award.

Tuesday November 25, 2014


Monday November 3, 2014

Dr. Vijay Kumar on Mint India...Check out the Video!!!

Dr. Vijay Kumar, roboticist and professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania discusses UAVs, swarm robotics and collaboration with some start-ups to apply his advanced robotics technology in various industries in India.​

Saturday September 13, 2014

The GRASP Lab's Multi Robot Systems Lab was featured in the latest episode of Xploration Earth 2050 on biomimicry called "Bio-Mechanimals." Featured in the video is a discussion about quadrotors and research being done on group dynamics based on ants. GRASP Lab members featured..Monroe Kennedy III, Dr. Vijay Kumar, Yash Mulgaonkar and Justin Thomas!

Presenter: Soon-Jo Chung (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Thursday February 13, 2014 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

The rapid and ubiquitous proliferation of reliable rotorcraft platforms such as quadcopters has resulted in a boom in aerial robotics. However, rotorcraft have issues of safety, high noise levels, and low efficiency for forward flight.

Presenter's Biography:

Prof. Soon-Jo Chung received the S.M. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Sc.D. degree in Estimation and Control from MIT in 2002 and 2007, respectively. He received the B.S. degree from KAIST in 2000 (school class rank 1/120). He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also a Beckman Fellow of the U. of Illinois Center for Advanced Study (2014-2015). His research areas include nonlinear control and estimation theory and optimal/robust flight controls with application to aerial robotics, distributed spacecraft systems, and computer vision-based navigation. He is a recipient of the 2014 UIUC Engineering Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, the AFOSR Young Investigator Award, the NSF CAREER Award, and two best conference paper awards from IEEE and AIAA. He also received multiple teaching recognitions including the UIUC List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent and the instructor/advisor for the 1st place winning team of the AIAA Undergraduate Team Space Design Competition. Prof. Chung has been a Member of the Guidance & Control Analysis Group in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a JPL Summer Faculty Fellow/Affiliate working on distributed small satellites during the summers of 2010-2014.