Monday, January 28, 2013 - 4:00pm to 4:50pm
KEC 1001

Speaker Information

Bill Smart
Associate Professor
School of Mechanical, Industial, and Manufacturing Engineering
Oregon State University


Mobile manipulation robots offer the potential to vastly improve the quality of live for persons with severe motor disabilities, by acting as surrogates though which the person can influence and interact with their physical environment. However, fully autonomous robots are not yet capable for performing this service, and many tele-operation interfaces make implicit assumptions about the users ability to manipulate input devices that cannot be met by persons with severe motor disabilities. We can address both of these problems with a shared autonomy approach, allowing the human to task the robot at a high or low level, as the situation dictates, and using autonomy to "fill in the gaps" in the user's control.

In this talk, I will describe the Robots for Humanity project, a collaboration between the Healthcare Robotics Lab at Georgia Tech, Willow Garage, and the Personal Robotics Lab at Oregon State University. The goal of the project is to design, implement, test, and field shared autonomy systems that will allow a mute quadriplegic subject to use a sophisticated mobile manipulation robot as a body surrogate. The robot performs a variety of tasks, from fetching-and-carrying and personal maintenance, to stand-up comedy. I will give an overview of the current state of the project, with a particular emphasis on embedding context-sensitive interacting interfaces for the robot in the world, allowing the subject to use and task the robot without traditional mediating devices, such as a laptop computer and monitor-mounted eye-tracker.

Speaker Bio

Bill Smart is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering at Oregon State University. Before moving to OSU he spent 12 years on the faculty of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. He holds a PhD and MS in Computer Science from Brown University, and MSc in Intelligent Robotics from Edinburgh, and a BSc (hons) in Computer Science from Dundee University. His research interests cover the areas of human-robot interaction, mobile robotics, machine learning, and brain-computer interfaces.