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Distinguished Lecture

Cognitive Systems and Mobile Manipulation

Henrik ChristensenProfessor & DirectorRobotics and Intelligent Machines, Georgia Institute of Technology

Abstract – For many years the promise of service robotics has been touted as one of the next areas of growth. Most of the systems considered have been fairly simple. As the complexity of tasks increase so does the need for cognitive competencies in the robot system to enable robust operation and to facilitate interaction with human users of a system. In this presentation we will outline a framework for cognitive robotics. The framework includes components for spatial modeling, manipulation & handling of objects and interaction with human users. Graphical models are used for modeling and reasoning about space. A spatial hierarchy is presented which enable categorical modeling of places, rooms, and structures. In addition, methods for detection, servoing and grasping of objects are presented for the mobile manipulation part of the system. Finally, the use of language for anchoring of human concepts and as an important modality for human robot interaction is discussed. Example results using mobile robots for exploration, basic object handling, and interaction will also be presented. A number of challenges for future research will also be outlined.

Biography – Henrik I Christensen is director of Georgia Tech’s new Robotics Program and a Distinguished Professor of Computing. Christensen has held positions at Oak Ridge National Laboratory(1988), Aalborg University (1991-1996), University of Pennsylvania (1996), and the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (1996-2006). He received his certificate of apprenticeship in mechanical engineering(1981),and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Aalborg University (1987 and 1990).

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