Presenter: GRASP Faculty

Event Dates:
  Friday September 17, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

Sunday September 5, 2010

The 11th European Conference on Computer Vision with Program Chairs (Daniilidis, Maragos, Paragios) starts in Crete on Sep 5 with more than 700 participants. 38 oral presentatations and 287 posters were selected out of 1174 submitted.

Presenter: Robert Wood (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday November 12, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

We seek to elucidate how to apply biological principles to the creation of robust, agile, inexpensive robotic insects.  However, biological inspiration alone is not sufficient to create robots that mimic the agile locomotion of their arthropod analogs.  This is particularly true as the characteristic size of the robot is decreased:  to create high performance robotic insects, we must explore novel manufacturing paradigms, develop a greater understanding of complex fluid-structure interactions for flapping-wings, generate high efficiency power and control electronics,

Presenter's Biography:

Robert Wood is an Associate Professor in Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a core faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Prof. Wood completed his M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2004) degrees in the Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the U. C. Berkeley.  He is founder of the Harvard Microrobotics Lab which contains advanced facilities for rapid development and evaluation of unconventional robots on the micron to centimeter scale.  His current research interests involve the creation of biologically-inspired aerial and ambulatory microrobots, the unsteady aerodynamics of flapping-wing flight, minimal control of under-actuated computation-limited systems, decentralized control of multi-agent systems, artificial muscles, and morphable soft-bodied robots.  He is the winner of a 2007 DARPA Young Faculty Award, a 2008 NSF Career Award, a 2008 ONR Young Investigator Award, a 2009 Air Force Young Investigator Award, multiple best paper and best video awards, is a member of the 2008 class of Technology Review’s top 35 innovators under the age of 35, and in 2010 received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Obama.  Wood has served as PI or co-PI on multiple sponsored research projects including the NSF-sponsored Expeditions in Computing 'RoboBees' project which he is leading.

Presenter: Anil Jayanti Aswani

Event Dates:
  Friday August 13, 2010 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 307 (3330 Walnut Street)*

System identification is the process of sensing the environment and using these measurements to learn the equations which describe a system. Existing approaches are unable to cope with the high-dimensionality, nonlinearity, and structure found in autonomous systems, biology, and other large networks. I will present a new statistical system identification tool which tackles some of the challenging features of these systems.

Presenter's Biography:

Anil is a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley.  He received his PhD and MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from UC Berkeley in 2010 and 2007, respectively.  Also, he earned his BS in Electrical Engineering in 2005 from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.

Presenter: Kilian Pohl (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday October 15, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

In this talk we develop a new curve evolution formulation for estimating the posterior distribution of objects in images. Similar to level sets, we describe the segmentation of images via a conventional likelihood model combined with a curve prior on boundaries. Unlike level sets, the curves are encoded via the logarithm-of-odds representing the posterior distribution on labels in an unconstrained vector space. The posterior distributions are sought via the Mean Field approach.

Presenter's Biography:

Kilian M Pohl received his doctorate from the Department of Computer Science at MIT and is now an Assistant Professor at the Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania. His main research area is computational image analysis with an emphasis on studying statistical models from a Bayesian perspective.

Monday July 26, 2010

"Australia, U.S. name finalists in worldwide robotics competition"

Six high-tech science and technology teams from four continents have been named finalists in the inaugural Multi Autonomous Ground-Robotic International Challenge, or MAGIC......They have been selected by the U.S. and the Australian departments of defense to compete this November in Australia in an effort to develop the next generation of fully-autonomous ground robots.

Presenter: Jean-Philippe Tardif (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday July 30, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 307 (3330 Walnut Street)*

This seminar will consist of two parts.

In the first half, I will present a vision-aided navigation system currently in development at CMU. We combine a stereo visual odometry system with an aided inertial navigation filter to produce a precise and robust system that does not rely on external infrastructure. I will present accurate results from data acquired in rural and urban scenes on a tractor and a passenger car traveling distances of several kilometers.

Presenter's Biography:

Jean-Philippe Tardif is currently a post-doctoral fellow with the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University, under supervision of Prof. Tony Stentz. Previously, he was a post-doctoral fellow at McGill University and at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in computer vision from Université de Montréal in 2007. Over the years, he has also collaborated with researchers from INRIA Rhône-Alpes and CNRS Clermont-Ferrand in France. His areas of research are structure from motion, visual odometry, omnidirectional camera calibration and self-calibration, structured light reconstruction and place recognition.

Thursday July 15, 2010

Five Robots to Watch

Before we know it, robots will be teaching our children in schools, sitting next to us in nursing homes and fighting for us in battle.

Presenter: Stephanie Gil

Event Dates:
  Wednesday July 14, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 307 (3330 Walnut Street)*

This talk concerns the development of a distributed controller that positions a team of aerial vehicles in a configuration to optimize communication-link quality, providing support to a team of ground vehicles performing a collaborative task. We propose a gradient based control approach where agents’ positions locally minimize a physically motivated cost function.

Presenter's Biography:

Stephanie Gil is a PhD candidate with Prof. Daniela Rus in the Distributed Robotics Lab at MIT. Her research interests are in multi-robot control, distributed optimization of ad hoc communication networks, and space robotics. She completed her MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, and her BS in Mechanical Engineering at Cornell, where she also worked on the NASA Mars Exploration Rover team.

Event Date(s):
  Sunday October 24, 2010 at 9:00am

USA Science & Engineering Festival