FRC Seminar Schedule
The Field Robotics Center Seminar Series provides a weekly forum for presenting and discussing topics relevant to field robotics. We encourage presentations from faculty, students, staff, and visitors on a variety of topics. All are welcome to attend.
If you are interested in giving a seminar or would like more information, please contact the seminar committee. Chair: Stephen Nuske (nuske [AT] cmu.edu)
|May 24, 2013 Florian-Michael Adolf, 1PM–2PM, NSH 1507 [poster] |
"Mission Planning and Execution for the Unmanned Rotorcraft ARTIS"
One focus of unmanned systems research is to further reduce the dependency on human supervision and control during mission execution. On a task-based level and thus similarly to a human pilot, the system on board should be able to accept goal directed tasks from which it automatically formulates executable plan sequences. Task-based navigation for unmanned rotorcraft is an interesting problem, ... [More]
|May 22, 2013 Daniel Loret de Mola Lemus, 1:00-2:00pm, GHC 2109 [poster] |
"Slip Control on Extreme Slopes for a Rover with Plowing Capability"
Recent efforts in planetary robotic exploration aim toward craters, skylights, and other depressions with challenging terrain conditions. The access to such places requires traversing on extreme slopes where high levels of slip greatly hamper rover mobility and control. To successfully reach valuable targets such as water ice and mineral outcrops in these locations, ... [More]
|May 9, 2013 James Lee, 2:30-3:30pm, NSH 1507 [poster] |
"Graphical Methods for Mapping Underground Environments"
Robots are the perfect matches for the dull, dangerous, and dirty job of mining. Recent advances in robotics have enabled machines to operate independently from human operators and venture deeper into mines, map larger spaces, and more accurately relay scene and safety information back to base to remote users. To do this, robots operating in underground spaces must accurately track their location ... [More]
|April 9, 2013 Aaron Morris, 2:30-3:30pm, NSH 1507 [poster] |
"The Ins and Outs of a Technology Startup"
In 2009, I started a company called Allpoint Systems to commercialize promising 3D robotic technologies. In the years to follow, despite a worldwide global recession, Allpoint prospered, developed disruptive solutions for engineering workflows, and was ultimately acquired in late 2012 by Autodesk, a world leader in 3D design software. In this talk, I will recount lessons learned during my ... [More]
|March 26, 2013 C. Fred Higgs, III, 1:30-2:30pm, GHC 2109 [poster] |
"The Tribology of Particles and Particle Flows: Studying their Behavior wherever they Surface"
Particles and particulate flows often emerge as barriers or enablers to the advancement of a wide array of engineering technologies. In biotechnology, they can cause diseases such as osteolysis in artificial hip and knee joints. In extreme environments such as space, particles can bring both good news and bad news. For example, the good news is that powder particles can be employed as solid ... [More]
|Feb 20, 2013 John Christian, 3pm, NSH 1507 [poster] |
"Spacecraft Attitude Estimation: From Fundamentals to New Filtering Techniques"
Attitude estimation is a critical task for most modern spacecraft. Whether it's pointing a telescope, an engine nozzle, or a communications antenna, accurate knowledge of the vehicle's attitude in real-time is often necessary for a spacecraft to accomplish its mission. To obtain the information required to estimate its attitude, a typical spacecraft in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) will contain an ... [More]
|Dec 12, 2012 Mark Desnoyer, 12pm NSH 1507 [poster] |
"Visual Utility to Direct Processing and Speed Up Vision Algorithms"
One of the fundamental problems in computer vision is that most computer vision algorithms are too computationally expensive to use in real-time systems. Though some speed up approaches have been found for specific algorithms (e.g. SURF vs. SIFT), there is a more general class of approaches that keep coming up in the literature and in practice. We’ll call these approaches visual utility ... [More]
|June 19, 2012 Balajee Kannan, 11am GHC 2109 |
|May 9, 2012 Michael Milford, 11am GHC 2109 [poster] |
"RatSLAM: Using Models of Rodent Hippocampus for Robot Navigation"
The brain circuitry involved in encoding space in rodents has been extensively tested over the past thirty years, with an ever increasing body of knowledge about the components and wiring involved in navigation tasks. The learning and recall of spatial features is known to take place in and around the hippocampus of the rodent, where there is clear evidence of cells that encode the rodent's ... [More]
|May 8, 2012 Michael Furlong, 11am GHC 2109 [poster] |
"Simulating global motion detection in Macaque visual cortex and it's application to optical flow."
Pattern cells in area V5/MT represent an intriguing step in the visual hierarchy, whereby neurons become sensitive to global motion, rather than simply to the motion of constituent components, cells in the primary visual cortex (V1). A number of models have been proposed to explain this (Simoncelli and Heeger, 1998), (Nowlan and Sejnowski, 1995), but a recent attempt by Rust et al. ... [More]
|April 24, 2012 Andrew Chambers, 11am GHC 2109 [poster] |
"State Estimation from Visual-Inertial Data in Unstructured Environments"
In an unstructured, GPS-denied environment, vehicle state estimation is difficult and extremely important for operating an autonomous micro aerial vehicle. Inertial data from a low cost IMU and frame-to-frame stereo visual odometry measurements can be combined in a Unscented Kalman filter to provide high frequency, low latency state estimation. Relative measurements from visual odometry and noisy ... [More]
|April 23, 2012 Heather Jones, 11am GHC 2109 [poster] |
"Complementary Flyover and Rover Sensing for Modeling of Planetary Features"
This talk presents complementary flyover and surface exploration for reconnaissance of planetary point destinations, like skylights and polar crater rims, where local 3D detail matters. Recent breakthroughs in precise, safe landing enable spacecraft to touchdown within a few hundred meters of target destinations. These precision trajectories provide unprecedented access to birds-eye views of the ... [More]
|April 23, 2012 Chris Urmson, 4pm NSH 3305 |
"Recent Experiences in Self-driving Cars"
|March 28, 2012 Alberto Speranzon, 2pm NSH 1507 [poster] |
"Distributed Algorithms for Multi-robot Localization"
In this talk we will present UTRC current research initiative in Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (AIS) with particular emphasis on multi-vehicle navigation with imperfect and intermittent sensor in GPS denied/degraded environments. In particular, we will present methods for robust and adaptive filtering and provide some preliminary results on performance analysis of this type of filters when ... [More]
|Feb 14, 2012 Stephen Nuske, 11am GHC2109 [poster] |
"Automated Estimation of Grapevine Yield and Canopy Size for Precision Vineyard Management"
The single-most important practice in vineyard production that impacts economic viability is the balancing of potential yield with vine canopy size. Grape growers, however, suffer from a dearth of information about the state of their vines leading to uninformed manipulation of the vines and inefficiency in their production process. Growers want to measure and control the key indicators of vine ... [More]
|Jan 30, 2012 Geoff Hollinger, 11am NSH3305 [poster] |
"Autonomous Inspection and the Benefit of Adaptivity"
There is growing interest in the use of robotic vehicles for inspection tasks, such as evaluation of aging facilities, surveying of disaster sites (e.g., the Fukushima nuclear plant), and sweeping for maliciously placed mines and explosive devices. Autonomous robots are uniquely suited for such tasks because they are capable of entering areas that may be dangerous or inaccessible to human ... [More]
|Jan 17, 2012 George Kantor |
|Dec 20, 2011 Dennis Strelow [poster] |
"General and Nested Wiberg Minimization"
Wiberg matrix factorization breaks a matrix Y into low-rank factors U and V by solving for V in closed form given U, linearizing V(U) about U, and iteratively minimizing ||Y - UV(U)||_2 with respect to U only. This approach factors the matrix while effectively removing V from the minimization. Recently, Eriksson and van den Hengel won CVPR 2010 Best Paper by extending this approach to L1, ... [More]
|Dec 12, 2011 Greg Davis, 2pm [poster] |
"Exciting Developments in NASA's Robotic Exploration Program"
The recent retirement of the Space Shuttle has prompted reports of the demise of the space program, which to paraphrase Mark Twain "are greatly exaggerated." Today, there are many exciting developments in NASA's unmanned space program, and in non-government commercial space programs as well. 2011 has been one of the busiest years ever for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), ... [More]
|Dec 6, 2011 David Kohanbash, 1pm GHC2109 [poster] |
"Plowing for Rover Control on Extreme Slopes"
Planetary rovers are increasingly challenged to negotiate extreme terrain. Early destinations have been benign to preclude risk, but canyons, funnels, and newly discovered holes present steep slopes that defy tractive descent. Steep craters and holes with unconsolidated material pose a particularly treacherous danger to modern rovers. This talk explores robotic braking by plowing, ... [More]
|Nov 22, 2011 Matt Aasted, 4pm [poster] |
"Design and Preliminary Evaluation of a User Interface for a Roadable Air Vehicle"
Transfomer is a DARPA program to create a roadable air vehicle, also known as a flying car. A major project goal is to make the vehicle usable by a non-pilot. I will present work done at Carnegie Mellon in collaboration with Honeywell on autonomy and interaction design for an autonomous air vehicle with a minimally trained user. I will also discuss the challenges associated with the domain, ... [More]
|Nov 16, 2011 Bradley Hamner [poster] |
"Autonomous Orchard Vehicles"
Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops is a four-year project focused on the development of efficiency-improvement and labor cost-reduction technologies for the apple and nursery tree industries. In this talk we present the Autonomous Prime Movers (APM), a family of vehicles capable of autonomous driving in orchards and nurseries. The APMs carry tools and sensors to automate various farm ... [More]
|Nov 10, 2011 Lars Kuhnert [poster] |
"Current applications in autonomous off-road robotics"
Design and realization of autonomous mobile outdoor robots is a complex undertaking particularly when it comes to master concrete real-world outdoor scenarios. The demanding requirements of tasks like outdoor environment model acquisition, planning in unstructured and often dynamic environments and autonomously detecting and recovering from failure have to be dealt with. ... [More]
|Nov 4, 2011 Cristiano Pontelli, Tiago Goulard, Hannes Fischer [poster] |
"A review of the Brazilian agricultural practices: challenges and opportunities for ag robotics "
Agriculture is an important industry in Brazil, responsible for 30% of the country’s GDP. Major crops include soy, corn and sugar cane. Like other countries around the world, the Brazilian agriculture faces challenges associated with labor availability and introduction of new technologies in the field. In this talk we will present an overview of the agricultural sector in Brazil and ... [More]
|Nov 1, 2011 Andrzej Banaszuk |
"Autonomy Research at the United Technology Research Center"
This talk will discuss current work in the current areas of focus: target detection, visual navigation, object tracking/recognition from image and range data, LIDAR, Range Sensing, and Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). One application area is in the autonomy for rotorcraft operating in near earth environments.
|Oct 24, 2011 Andrew Johnson [poster] |
"Safe and Precise Planetary Landing Technologies"
Landing hazards are surface features that could damage a planetary lander during touch down. Landing hazards include tall rocks, steep slopes, scarps, cliffs and craters. The purpose of Hazard Detection and Avoidance (HDA) is to autonomously detect these hazards near the landing site and then determine a new landing site that is safe. After selection, ... [More]
|Aug 15, 2011 Eric Baumgartner [poster] |
"Mobile Manipulation for the Mars Exploration Rovers"
This talk will describe NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission which successfully landed the Spirit and Opportunity rovers on the Martian surface in January 2004. The talk will focus on the design, development and operation of the MER Instrument Positioning System and the use of this subsystem to carry out in situ science operations on the Martian surface. ... [More]
|Jun 20, 2011 Arman Melkumyan [poster] |
"Large-scale multi-task machine learning via Gaussian processes"
Large-scale and multi-task learning remain difficult yet important problems in machine learning. In large-scale Gaussian processes the difficulty arises by the need to invert a potentially large covariance matrix during inference. For the multi-task learning problems the main challenge is the definition of valid kernels (covariance functions) able to capture ... [More]
|Jun 06, 2011 Jeff Pan - *Monday* at 11am in GHC 2109 |
"Scalable Reasoning in the Semantic Web"
In order to implement the Semantic Web vision, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has a few standards that are related to reasoning, including RDF, OWL and SPARQL. Indeed, tractable reasoning over ontologies is one of the most useful and important services to support Semantic Web applications. The talk will begin with an introduction of the above standards, ... [More]
|May 10, 2011 David Wettergreen - 11am NSH 3305 [poster] |
"Experiments in Robotic Traverse in Antarctica"
There are substantial environmental and economic advantages to using tractors to haul cargo to Antarctic field camps and even to the South Pole, more than 1000 miles from the coast, rather than transporting supplies by aircraft. However it is slow going and very difficult for people to maintain day after day in all conditions. The impact of automating Antarctic traverse will be to increase the ... [More]
|May 03, 2011 Felix Duvallet - noon [poster] |
"Imitation Learning for Task Allocation"
At the heart of multi-robot task allocation lies the ability to compare multiple options in order to select the best, a process grounded in the concept of utility. In some domains however, computing utility is not straightforward, for example due to complex underlying dynamics, heterogeneous agents, or an unmodeled adversary. Explicitly modeling these extrinsic influences well enough so that ... [More]
|Apr 26, 2011 Nisarg Kothari [poster] |
"Robust Indoor Localization on a Cell Phone" [slides]
GPS capabilities have revolutionized outdoor navigation in the last decade, but similar systems for indoor environments have yet to see mass consumer adoption. Potential applications for such a system include giving people directions in airports and malls and providing the visually impaired with more freedom and autonomy. To be truly useful to people in everyday life, ... [More]
|Apr 15, 2011 Hatem Al Ismail - 2pm NSH 1507 [poster] |
"Stereo Visual Odometry for Pipe Inspection" [slides]
Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) processing facilities contain large complex networks of pipes of varying diameter and orientation intermixed with control valves, processes and sensors. Regular inspection of these pipes for corrosion is critical for safety. Popular existing non-destructive technologies that used for corrosion inspection in LNG pipes include Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL), ... [More]
|Apr 12, 2011 Jacqueline Libby [poster] |
"Acoustic Self-Awareness for Outdoor Robotic Vehicles"
Outdoor mobile robots are increasingly maturing in their ability to handle complex environments; however, a robot is only as good as its perception system, and often these perception systems fail. This calls for the use of more sensors to be integrated into such systems that can complement the sensors already on board. Far range sensors such as vision and lidar are powerful tools for ... [More]
|Mar 22, 2011 [rescheduled from Feb 22] Gustavo Freitas [poster] |
"Environmental Hybrid Robot - a mobile amphibious system developed to operate in the Amazon Rain Forest" [slides]
The Environmental Hybrid Robot is being designed by the Brazilian Oil Company Petrobras S.A. for monitoring missions in the Amazon rain forest region close to the Coari-Manaus pipeline. An innovative locomotion system was developed according to the conditions encountered in the Amazon. The wheel-legged architecture is adopted. Aiming to enable the robot to float in the water, ... [More]
|Mar 01, 2011 Marcel Bergerman - special location: GHC 6115 [poster] |
"My Recipe for Leadership" [slides]
Leadership is one of those concepts that is easier to define than to fully explain. For a definition all one has to do is turn to the dictionary. The problem is that these definitions do not tell me how one becomes a leader. Since I do not believe in natural born leaders, I set out to define a recipe that I could use to measure one's leadership level, including my own. ... [More]
|Feb 08, 2011 Gokhan Bayar [poster] |
"Design of a Mobile Robot"
An autonomous mobile robot and/or unmanned ground vehicle is a special vehicle which has the capability of navigating on its own. Since the vehicle should be self behaving and self tuning, it has to run and response to its workspace in which it operates without any interaction from outside. It should be able to sense and model its work space to a sufficient degree, position itself, ... [More]
|Jan 25, 2011 Red Whittaker - 11am in NSH 3305 [poster] |
"Landing the Lunar X-Prize"
Robots are transforming the future of the moon. Robot prospectors will find water, methane and metals. Robotic explorations will survey skylights, visit poles and map caves unseen from orbit. New enterprises are stretching beyond traditional government missions to deliver this future. We are embarked to privately land and rove on the moon. The agendas of the first mission are exploration, ... [More]
|Nov 30, 2010 Forrest Rogers-Marcovitz [poster] |
"On-line Mobile Robot Model Identification using Integrated Perturbative Dynamics"
We present an approach to the problem of real-time identification of vehicle motion models based on fitting, on a continuous basis, parametrized slip models to observed behavior. Our approach is unique in that we generate parametric models capturing the dynamics of systematic error (i.e. slip) and then predict trajectories for arbitrary inputs on arbitrary terrain. ... [More]
|Nov 09, 2010 Sanjiv Singh [poster] |
"A process for conducting (doctoral) research in robotics" [slides]
Conducting cutting edge research, especially at the doctoral level can be a confusing task. At once one must get familiar with the state of the art, identify interesting problems that have a hope of being solved and then connect them with appropriate approaches, hopefully ending with a significant contribution with compelling examples. Tall order! At first blush the process seems to defy any ... [More]
|Oct 19, 2010 Somchaya Liemhetcharat [poster] |
"Map-Merging-Free Connectivity Positioning for Distributed Robot Teams"
We consider a set of static towers with communication capabilities, but not within range of each other due to distance and obstacles. The goal is to achieve connectivity among the towers through a set of robots positioned in a way to act as gateways among the towers. The autonomous mobile robots are initially randomly deployed without necessarily being within range of each other, ... [More]
|Sep 28, 2010 Danilo Bassi [poster] |
"Mission control of autonomous vehicles based on time logic framework" [slides]
This talk presents recent research of mission control of autonomous vehicle based on time logic framework. First an introduction to the topic of autonomous vehicles, the different control levels and the problem of mission control, is given. Then a logic control paradigm is proposed to deal with the mission control specification and solution. This approach is based on the use of linear temporal ... [More]
|Sep 21, 2010 Lyle Chamberlain [poster] |
"Self-Aware Helicopters: A New Era for Vertical Flight"
Helicopters are useful but dangerous. A helicopter flies close to things in routine execution of its varied missions. Sometimes things go wrong and a helicopter comes into contact with an object, usually with catastrophic results. Recently our group at CMU has demonstrated technology that gives the helicopter the gift of common sense: it knows about its environment and how to act ... [More]
|Sep 14, 2010 Abhinav Valada [poster] |
"Design and Development of a Multi-Hop Routing Protocol for Distributed Sensing Applications" [slides]
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN's) is a field that has attracted the attention of many researchers these past few years. The potential applications of wireless sensor networks are immense. They are used for various applications such as habitat monitoring, agriculture, nuclear reactor control, security, etc. In this talk, I will describe the new multi-hop routing protocol that I designed for ... [More]
|Aug 31, 2010 Peter Ian Hansen [poster] |
"Towards a visual perception system for LNG pipe inspection" [slides]
Regular inspection for corrosion of the pipes used in Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) processing facilities is critical for safety. We argue that a visual perception system equipped on a pipe crawling robot can improve on existing non-destructive techniques (Magnetic Flux Leakage, radiography, ultrasound) by producing high resolution registered appearance maps of the internal surface. ... [More]
|Aug 24, 2010 Hatem Al Ismail - special dual presentation, 11:30am [poster] |
"Evaluating Pose Estimation Methods for Stereo Visual Odometry on Robots" [slides]
In this talk we present a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of several pose estimation algorithms used in real-time visual odometry for mobile robots. Pose estimation plays a critical role in the stereo Structure-from-Motion visual odometry framework. Feature points are extracted at every frame and used to triangulate 3D structure. Correspondence between feature points at every frame allows ... [More]
|Aug 24, 2010 Ayorkor Korsah - special dual presentation, 11am [poster] |
"Improving Market-Based Task Allocation with Optimal Seed Schedules" [slides]
Task allocation impacts the performance efficiency of agent teams in significant ways. Due to their efficient and proven performance, Market-based task allocation approaches have grown in popularity for many such multi-agent domains. In addition, market-based approaches are very well suited to dynamic domains such as emergency response, in which the set of the tasks or the environment changes in ... [More]