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  • CS Colloquium: Chad Jenkins (University of Michigan) - Semantic Robot Programming... and Making the World a Better Place Too

    Tue, Nov 27, 2018 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Chad Jenkins, University of Michigan

    Talk Title: Semantic Robot Programming...and Making the World a Better Place Too

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: The visions of interconnected heterogeneous autonomous robots in widespread use are a coming reality that will reshape our world. Similar to "app stores" for modern computing, people at varying levels of technical background will contribute to "robot app stores" as designers and developers. However, current paradigms to program robots beyond simple cases remains inaccessible to all but the most sophisticated of developers and researchers. In order for people to fluently program autonomous robots, a robot must be able to interpret user instructions that accord with that user's model of the world. The challenge is that many aspects of such a model are difficult or impossible for the robot to sense directly. We posit a critical missing component is the grounding of semantic symbols in a manner that addresses both uncertainty in low-level robot perception and intentionality in high-level reasoning. Such a grounding will enable robots to fluidly work with human collaborators to perform tasks that require extended goal-directed autonomy.

    I will present our efforts towards accessible and general methods of robot programming from the demonstrations of human users. Our recent work has focused on Semantic Robot Programming (SRP), a declarative paradigm for robot programming by demonstration that builds on semantic mapping. In contrast to procedural methods for motion imitation in configuration space, SRP is suited to generalize user demonstrations of goal scenes in workspace, such as for manipulation in cluttered environments. SRP extends our efforts to crowdsource robot learning from demonstration at scale through messaging protocols suited to web/cloud robotics. With such scaling or robotics in mind, prospects for cultivating both equal opportunity and technological excellence will be discussed in the context of broadening and strengthening Title IX.

    Biography: Odest Chadwicke Jenkins, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. Prof. Jenkins earned his B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics at Alma College (1996), M.S. in Computer Science at Georgia Tech (1998), and Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Southern California (2003). He previously served on the faculty of Brown University in Computer Science (2004-15). His research addresses problems in interactive robotics and human-robot interaction, primarily focused on mobile manipulation, robot perception, and robot learning from demonstration. He is a founder of the Robot Web Tools open-source robotics organization. Prof. Jenkins' work has been recognized by a Sloan Research Fellow, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and Young Investigator awards from the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the National Science Foundation. Prof. Jenkins is currently serving as the Editor-in-Chief for the ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction

    Host: Maja Mataric

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 105

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Assistant to CS chair


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