Toward a Theory of Automated Design of Minimal Robots

Friday, October 13, 2017 - 2:20pm to 3:10pm
Swearingen room 2A14

I would like to invite you to attend this week's CSCE 791 seminar. These seminars highlight research being performed in our department and across the world. All CSCE 791 seminars are open to anybody who wishes to attend - not just students registered for the course.

Speaker: Dr. Jason O'Kane, University of South Carolina

Abstract: The design of an effective autonomous robot relies upon a complex web of interactions and tradeoffs between various hardware and software components. The problem of designing such a robot becomes even more challenging when the objective is to find robot designs that are minimal, in the sense of utilizing only limited sensing, actuation, or computational resources. The usual approach to navigating these tradeoffs is currently by careful analysis and human cleverness. In contrast, this talk will present some recent research that seeks to automate some parts of this process, by representing models for a robot's interaction with the world as formal, algorithmically-manipulable objects, and posing various kinds of questions on those data structures. The results include both both bad news (i.e., hardness results) and good news (practical algorithms).

Bio: Jason O'Kane is Associate Professor in Computer Science and Engineering and Director of the Center for Computational Robotics at the University of South Carolina. He holds the Ph.D. (2007) and M.S. (2005) degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the B.S. (2001) degree from Taylor University, all in Computer Science. He has won a CAREER Award from NSF, a Breakthrough Star Award from the University of South Carolina, and the Outstanding Graduate in Computer Science Award from Taylor University. He was a member of the DARPA Computer Science Study Group. His research spans algorithmic robotics, planning under uncertainty, and computational geometry.