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  • CS Colloquium: Joydeep Biswas (University of Texas at Austin) - Deploying Autonomous Service Mobile Robots, And Keeping Them Autonomous

    Thu, Apr 14, 2022 @ 04:10 PM - 05:20 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Joydeep Biswas, University of Texas at Austin

    Talk Title: Deploying Autonomous Service Mobile Robots, And Keeping Them Autonomous

    Series: Computer Science Colloquium

    Abstract: *New start time: 4:10 PM PT*

    Why is it so hard to deploy autonomous service mobile robots in unstructured human environments, and to keep them autonomous? In this talk, I will explain three key challenges, and our recent research in overcoming them: 1) ensuring robustness to environmental changes; 2) anticipating and overcoming failures; and 3) efficiently adapting to user needs.
    To remain robust to environmental changes, we build probabilistic perception models to explicitly reason about object permanence and distributions of semantically meaningful movable objects. By anticipating and accounting for changes in the environment, we are able to robustly deploy robots in challenging frequently changing environments.
    To anticipate and overcome failures, we introduce introspective perception to learn to predict and overcome perception errors. Introspective perception allows a robot to autonomously learn to identify causes of perception failure, how to avoid them, and how to learn context-aware noise models to overcome such failures.
    To adapt and correct behaviors of robots based on user preferences, or to handle unforeseen circumstances, we leverage representation learning and program synthesis. We introduce visual representation learning for preference-aware planning to identify and reason about novel terrain types from unlabelled human demonstrations. We further introduce physics-informed program synthesis to synthesize and repair programmatic action selection policies (ASPs) in a human-interpretable domain-specific language with several orders of magnitude fewer demonstrations than necessary for neural network ASPs of comparable performance.
    The combination of these research advances allows us to deploy a varied fleet of wheeled and legged autonomous mobile robots on the campus scale at UT Austin, performing tasks that require robust mobility both indoors and outdoors.

    ***Dr. Joydeep Biswas will give the talk in person at SGM 124 and we will also host the talk over Zoom.***

    Register in advance for this webinar at:


    After registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.

    Biography: Joydeep Biswas is an assistant professor in the department of computer science at the University of Texas at Austin. He earned his B.Tech in Engineering Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2008, and M.S. and PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2010 and 2014 respectively. From 2015 to 2019, he was assistant professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research spans perception and planning for long-term autonomy, with the ultimate goal of having service mobile robots deployed in human environments for years at a time, without the need for expert corrections or supervision. Prof. Biswas received the NSF CAREER award in 2021, an Amazon Research Award in 2018, and a JP Morgan Faculty Research Award in 2018.

    Host: Stefanos Nikolaidis

    Webcast: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lWf_mXH3Qr2qtbHg1kbOYQ

    Location: Seeley G. Mudd Building (SGM) - 124

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lWf_mXH3Qr2qtbHg1kbOYQ

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Computer Science Department


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