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Opportunities in Science at Lewis & Clark


2016 Science Without Limits Speaker

Funded by the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Lewis & Clark College President’s office and the Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement office




Tuesday, October 11, 2016

7:00 pm  in   Olin 301

“Robotics to Reach Out and Change the World”

Robotics is poised to be a groundbreaking and disruptive technology. Robotics will transform society in the next 40 years the way computing has transformed it over the last 40 years. Robotics is the next evolution, taking technology beyond digital information into performing real tasks in the physical world. Through robotics, we can erase the geographic barriers that limit us in our work, play, education, and so much more.

Even with such amazing innovation at hand, we face major challenges in enabling our robots to work with people in common human environments. These challenges center primarily around robots being about perceive their surroundings, including people and relevant objects. Until recently, our robots have mostly been blind with a limited ability to see their world, creating a bottleneck in the ability of robots to operate autonomously.  Building on advances in robot sensing and computation, we are just at the point of enabling perception for autonomous robots that are capable of mobility and dexterous manipulation to perform tasks in the presence of and in collaboration with human users.

In this talk, I will present our work in bringing robots out of research laboratories and into the real world through improved methods of perception and improved accessibility via the World Wide Web.    Towards this goal, I will present our work in probabilistic state estimation for object scene graphs and physically-plausible human motion estimation.  I will additionally discuss our work in robot communications protocols and web technologies to make a wide variety of robots accessible and programmable to researchers, educators, and the physically disabled.