UTCS AI Colloquia - Joshua Bongard, Assoc. Professor, University of Vermont, "How Embodied Cognition Could Shape the Way Roboticists Think"

Contact Name: 
Karl Pichotta
PAI 3.14
Feb 8, 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: Risto Miikkulainen

Talk Abstract: Embodied cognition dictates that intelligent behavior is something that emerges out of interactions between an animal's (or robot's) body, brain and environment. In this talk I will give three examples of how embodied cognition can change the way we approach robotics. First, I will show how robots that `grow legs' can master legged locomotion faster than robots with fixed legs. Second, I will show how environmental complexity leads to the evolution of complexly-shaped robots. And finally I will demonstrate some first simulations of a physical soft robot developed by the Whitesides group at Harvard.

Speaker Bio: Josh Bongard is an associate professor in Computer Science at the University of Vermont. He was named a Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellow in 2006 and a member of the TR35: MIT Technology Review?s top 35 innovators under the age of 35 in the same year. In 2011 he was awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) by U. S. President Barack Obama. He currently serves as a vice chair of the UVM Complex Systems Spire, and is the co-author of the popular science book entitled "How the Body Shapes the Way We Think: A New View of Intelligence" (MIT Press).