IRIM Seminar Series

Series Type
Event Series
Associated Organization(s)
Associated Organization(s)

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 100
  • Item
    Toward Dynamic, Tactical, Remote Robotic Ops: Active Perception and Other Key Technologies
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-11-13) Buerger, Stephen
    Dynamic, tactical, remote operations in which unmanned systems must manage multiple, changing objectives in uncertain, evolving and potentially adversarial environments, without the benefit of prior scripting, present an extreme challenge that necessitates high levels of autonomy and physical capability. While robots’ ability to geometrically map and autonomously navigate environments is relatively mature, to achieve higher-level operational goals requires the further technical leap of abstractly, or semantically, understanding surroundings. As biological systems have learned, efficient abstract perception requires not only that observations be intelligently processed over time, but also that sensors be actively controlled to acquire the best knowledge that minimizes uncertainties. The challenges and results of several ongoing projects in “active perception” will be discussed. These include work in which interior environments are rapidly mapped with both geometric and semantic information, as well as work in which threats are detected, localized, distinguished from false alarms, and identified via autonomous sensor control and real-time object classification. The talk will also describe R&D underway at Sandia in other technology areas essential to dynamic, remote operations, including novel robotic mobility systems capable of providing the obstacle traversal and energy efficiency needed for challenging real-world operations, novel robotic manipulation approaches, and real-time control applications for specific effectors including rock-drilling systems.
  • Item
    Robophysics: Physics Meets Robotics
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-10-30) Goldman, Daniel I.
    Robots will soon move from the factory floor and into our lives (e.g., autonomous cars, package delivery drones, and search-and-rescue devices). However, compared to living systems, robot capabilities in complex environments are limited. I believe the mindset and tools of physics can help facilitate the creation of robust self-propelled autonomous systems. This “robophysics” approach – the systematic search for novel dynamics and principles in robotic systems – can aid the computer science and engineering approaches that have proven successful in less complex environments. The rapidly decreasing cost of constructing sophisticated robot models with easy access to significant computational power bodes well for such interactions. Drawing from examples in the work of my group and our collaborators, I will discuss how robophysical studies have inspired new physics questions in low dimensional dynamical systems (e.g., creation of analog quantum mechanics and gravity systems) and soft matter physics (e.g., emergent capabilities in ensembles of active “particles”). These studies have been useful to develop insight for biological locomotion in complex terrain (e.g., control targets via optimizing geometric phase) and have begun to aid engineers in the creation of devices that begin to achieve life-like locomotor abilities on and within complex environments (e.g., semi-soft myriapod robots).
  • Item
    Uniting Robots and Ultrasound for Cardiac Repair
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-10-09) Howe, Robert
    Minimally invasive techniques have revolutionized many areas of surgery, but heart surgery has seen limited progress. We are working to combine ultrasound imaging and robotic manipulation to enable cardiac procedures that minimize patient impacts. One robotic system automatically points ultrasound catheters. This four-DOF robotic system enables panoramic views of internal heart structures and automatically tracks catheters working within the beating heart during minimally invasive procedures. Another robotic system uses real-time 3D ultrasound imaging for dynamic visualization of internal cardiac anatomy through the opaque blood pool. We have developed image processing algorithms that can track tissue structures and surgical instruments in real time, despite poor resolution, acoustic artifacts, and data rates of over 30 million voxels per second. For manipulation of rapidly moving cardiac tissue we have created robotic catheters that can keep pace with fast-moving tissue. This allows the surgeon to interact with the heart as if it was stationary. In vivo validation of this technology in atrial septal defect closure and mitral valve annuloplasty procedures demonstrate the potential for improved patient outcomes.
  • Item
    Merging Humans and Machines to Assist Legged Locomotion
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-09-25) Ferris, Daniel
    Robotic technologies have greatly advanced in recent years, enabling the creation of new wearable sensors and motorized devices. Robotic exoskeletons for human performance augmentation or neurological rehabilitation are in development and testing at many locations around the globe. Bionic lower limb prostheses are becoming practical solutions for amputees. However, one of the fundamental roadblocks for both robotic exoskeletons and bionic prostheses is the control. Better control approaches are needed to make the devices move in smooth coordination with the human users. One possibility to get better control of wearable robotic devices is to obtain feedforward neural commands from the user. Ferris will present on research aimed at merging humans and machines, outlining the major obstacles remaining to produce truly cooperative human-machine systems.
  • Item
    Improving Multi-Fingered Robot Manipulation by Unifying Learning and Planning
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-09-11) Hermans, Tucker
    Multi-fingered hands offer autonomous robots increased dexterity, versatility, and stability over simple two-fingered grippers. Naturally, this increased ability comes with increased complexity in planning and executing manipulation actions. As such, I propose combining model-based planning with learned components to improve over purely data-driven or purely-model based approaches to manipulation. This talk examines multi-fingered autonomous manipulation when the robot has only partial knowledge of the object of interest. I will first present results on planning multi-fingered grasps for novel objects using a learned neural network. I will then present our approach to planning in-hand manipulation tasks when dynamic properties of objects are not known. I will conclude with a discussion of our ongoing and future research to further unify these two approaches.
  • Item
    Considerations on Productivity, Performance and Ergonomics of Human-Centered Robots
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-08-28) Sentis, Luis
    Human centered robots provide embodiments whose purpose is to increase human productivity and comfort in complex non-structured environments. On one hand, operating in such environments demands new embodiments that enhance mobility and dexterous manipulation. On the other hand, productivity is an ill-defined term that often ignores key cognitive factors such as mental comfort or perceived workload. We posit that new embodiments consisting of legged manipulators endowed with high performance control and models of human workload behavior could ultimately result in new areas of enhanced productivity compared to simpler set ups. To make this point we need to demonstrate that teams made out of collaborating humans and human-centered robots will ultimately be more effective than teams with humans alone. In order to demonstrate these capabilities in an academic setup, my laboratory has spun-out a company to build some of the most advanced yet easy-to-use, human centered robots that exist today. I will delve in robot control theory and models of workload behavior as well as showcase videos of our new adult-size bipedal robots and full-body iron-man-like suit for heavy-duty logistic operations to emphasize our commitment towards experimental long-term studies.
  • Item
    Deception, ExoNets, SmushWare, and Organic Data: New Frontiers In Neuro-Rehabilitation
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-04-24) Patton, James L.
    Making use of visual display technology and human-robotic interfaces, many researchers have illustrated various opportunities to distort visual and physical realities. We have had success with interventions such as error augmentation, sensory crossover, and negative viscosity. Judicial application of these techniques leads to training situations that enhance the learning process and can restore movement ability after neural injury. I will trace out clinical studies that have employed such technologies to improve the health and function, as well as share some leading-edge insights that include deceiving the patient, moving the “smarts” of software into the hardware, and examining clinical effectiveness.
  • Item
    Safety of Autonomous Systems: Challenges in Coordination, Consistency, and Integration
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-04-10) Fleming, Cody
    Recent issues with the Boeing 737-MAX point to challenges in software engineering and the algorithms that the software must implement. However, the 737-MAX is a microcosm of several other problems that continue to arise in many applications of intelligent machines. There is a deep coupling between the underlying physics of a system, its various modes of actuation, and the many nested or parallel control systems that compose any complex robotic system. Many accidents – the speaker will claim all accidents – arise due to an inability to understand and then manage this coupling in a way that scales to complex systems. These issues become even more challenging with the rise and ubiquity of intelligent machines. This talk will begin by exploring these problems, with several relevant examples to the robotics community, including aviation, launch vehicle control systems, remotely operated spacecraft, and automated/autonomous vehicles. The talk will then present a general analytical framework for addressing these problems. Finally, the talk will conclude with several new directions in coordinated control of intelligent machines, with aeronautical, maritime, and ground transportation applications.
  • Item
    Doing for Our Robots What Nature Did for Us
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-03-27) Kaelbling, Leslie
    We, as robot engineers, have to think hard about our role in the design of robots and how it interacts with learning, both in “the factory” (that is, at engineering time) and in “the wild” (that is, when the robot is delivered to a customer). I will share some general thoughts about the strategies for robot design and then talk in detail about some work I have been involved in, both in the design of an overall architecture for an intelligent robot and in strategies for learning to integrate new skills into the repertoire of an already competent robot.
  • Item
    Mobile Data Collection in an Aquatic Environment: Cyber Maritime Cycles for Distributed Autonomy
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-03-06) Zhang, Fumin
    There is a perceivable trend for robots to serve as networked mobile sensing platforms that are able to collect data in aquatic environments in unprecedented ways. We argue that the effective transformation between Eulerian and Lagrangian data streams represents a fundamental principle underlying many ongoing research efforts. Timely transformation of data streams is the major challenge to construct cyber cycles that are needed by marine autonomy. Data-driven machine learning methods have great potential but are constrained by special difficulties for underwater communication. A distributed autonomy structure that is able to cope with the limited information sharing is envisioned as the future. This challenge can only be addressed by interdisciplinary efforts from researchers in underwater acoustics, underwater networking, and marine robotics. This talk will discuss recent advancements towards integrating marine robotic platforms with underwater communication and networking technology. In particular, we will address the influences from both environmental motions (caused by ocean flow) and controllable platform motion on the transformation of the data streams. Even though such motions have been known to degrade the performance of acoustic communication and networking, the quantitative relationships have yet to be established, calling for tremendous efforts for theoretical analysis, simulations, and experimental study. One of our approaches, named motion tomography (MT), develop generic environmental models (GEMs) to combine computational ocean models with real-time data streams collected by mobile sensing platforms to provide high-resolution predictions of ocean current in a small spatial area around the mobile platforms. With better known environmental motion, the performance of acoustic networking can be better analyzed as demonstrated through lab-based experiments leveraging micro autonomous vehicles equipped with acoustic modems. Our efforts also indicate that future research requires an open and cost-effective experimental infrastructure that integrates marine robotic platforms, an underwater acoustic device, and underwater networking equipment.