UTCS Colloquia - Gregory Dudek, Professor, McGill School of Computer Science, "Robot Teams to Assist Humans in Scientific Discovery," ACE 2.302

Contact Name: 
Kevin Hendryx
ACE 2.302
Feb 14, 2013 11:00am - 12:00pm

Signup Schedule: http://apps.cs.utexas.edu/talkschedules/cgi/list_events.cgi

Talk Audience: UTCS Faculty, Grads, Undergrads, Other Interested Parties

Host:  Peter Stone

Talk Abstract: I have been working with my students of the development of robots that can operate in outdoor environments, and particularly in shallow water (littoral environments) using the Aqua2 hexapod. Most recently, we have examined the use of a team of robots to survey shallow water coral reefs, and then return selected video footage in near real time to observers who may be located arbitrarily far away.  This work entails coordination between flying and swimming vehicles, as well as interaction with human scuba divers.  Due to the complexity of the environment and inherent communication limitations, the problems of multi-robot rendezvous, human-robot interaction, and dynamic task repartitioning all must be taken into consideration. 

One key aspect of this problem is the automated selection of the most salient and notable features of the environment, to make the best use of the limited available bandwidth.  We are specifically interested in the real-time summarization and detection of the most interesting events in a video sequence, for use by humans who will analyze the data either in real time, or offline.  This selection process is driven by an unsupervised topic learning framework that operates in real time.  The results of this effort to date seem to have potential utility not only in environmental assessment, which has been our primary target application, but to a range of potential robotics applications.

Speaker Bio: Gregory Dudek is a Professor with the School of Computer Science, James McGill Chair, Associate Member of the Department of Electrical Engineering and a member of the McGill Research Centre for Intelligent Machines (CIM). In 2010 he was also awarded the Canadian Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Award for Research Excellence and also for Service to the Research Community.   He currently serves as Director of the McGill School of Computer Science and recently became Scientific Director of the NSERC Canadian Field Robotics Network, a national research network.  He has served previously as Director of the McGill Research Center for Intelligent Machines.  He obtained his PhD in Computer Science (computational vision) from the University of Toronto. He has published over 200 research papers on subjects including visual object description and recognition, marine robotics, robotic navigation and map construction, distributed system design and biological perception. He has chaired, edited and been otherwise involved in numerous national and international conferences, journals, and professional activities concerned with Robotics, Machine Sensing and Computer Vision.