Dan on the field

UT Austin Villa

RoboCup@Home SPL Team

Professors Peter Stone, Andrea Thomaz, and Scott Niekum

The University of Texas at Austin

Description of the approach and information on scientific achievements

Profs. Stone, Thomaz, and Niekum aim to combine their expertise in reinforcement learning, human-robot interaction, and learning from demonstration towards a full solution to the RoboCup@Home challenge. We propose to bring together postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate students from each of our groups to enable the HSR robot to interact seemlessly with people in the environment, learn behaviors ranging from object manipulation to robust environmental perception, to high-level task sequencing. Our development efforts will be situated within our ongoing Building-Wide Intelligence project, which already includes several human-interactive robots, and which has the long-term objective of enabling a team of robots to achieve long-term autonomy within the rich socially interactive environment of the UT Austin Computer Science building. The HSR robot will thus be embedded within a multi-robot system of heterogeneous robots while its novel software is under development at UT Austin (though of course during the competition it will act fully independently).

Profs. Thomaz and Niekum have performed much of their past research in home-like environments and have an existing shared lab space set up as an apartment with a living room, dining room, and kitchen. This lab space is in the same building as the Building-Wide Intelligence, and will therefore allow us to easily develop and test the robot in both an open, fully interactive setting and a more controlled home-like setting.

UT Poli collage
Profs. Thomaz' and Niekum's lab

We expect the HSR robot to enhance our overall system's breach of capabilities and thus quickly play an important role in novel research on topics ranging from activity recognition, to robust perception, to learned planning and navigation, to general human-robot interaction. Throughout our development, we will continue our strong tradition of releasing well-documented, self-contained behavior modules for components of autonomous robots that can be used by other research groups to enhance their own research.

The team leaders' past scientific achievements are chronicled on their respective websites:

Relevant publications

Relevant photos/videos


During our participation in the RoboCup@Home SPL, we are fully committed to continuing our strong tradition of contributing open source code to the community.

Team Roster

Additionally, we will be recruiting students from the Freshman Research Initiative Autonomous Intelligent Robotics stream. We expect to add five additional students for the summer in this way.

Previous participation in RoboCup

Segway at Robocup @Home 2007
Segway in Robocup @Home 2007 Final
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