Monday, February 18, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Rogers 226

Speaker Information

Corina Barbalata
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Department
University of Michigan


The new generations of mobile robots have practical configurations and are designed to perform tasks in cluttered and dynamic environments (e.g smart factories, household environments or disaster areas) demanding robust and safe behavior. Unfortunately due to their complex mechanical design, nonlinear characteristics, and limited actuation capabilities, the mobile robots have difficulties performing complex tasks in these scenarios. Their abilities are even more limited in underwater environments, where the hydrodynamic effects and the floating-base configuration of the mobile manipulators restrain their autonomy. From a research perspective of both terrestrial mobile manipulator systems and floating-base underwater manipulators, there are important challenges to solve in topics such as coordinated whole body control, safe interaction with the environment, disturbance rejection and energy efficiency. Dr. Corina Barbalata has done extensive research in the area of mathematical modelling, control and planning architectures, addressing the previously mentioned challenges. She has focused on model-based adaptive control structures for improving the autonomy of lightweight underwater vehicle-manipulator systems, and optimal planning strategies for increasing the safety in mobile manipulation applications. Most recently, her research has explored the importance of designing robust architectures that bridge the low-level control architectures with high-level planning strategies, integrating in a systematic manner the available sensor information. In this seminar talk, Dr. Barbalata will discuss her research, its applications, and the future direction and possibilities of this work.

Speaker Bio

Corina Barbalata is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the Deep Robot Optical Perception (DROP) Laboratory from the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Department at University of Michigan, USA. In 2017 she received a PhD in Robotics from Heriot-Watt University, UK and in 2013 she obtained a double MSc degree in Computer Vision and Robotics from University of Burgundy in France and Heriot-Watt University, UK. She graduated with a BSc in Automations in 2011 from Transilvania University in Romania. Between 2013-2017 she was part of the research and development department of SeeByte Ltd., UK and she held a guest investigator position in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution between 2017-2018. Her research interests include mathematical modelling, low-level control structures, planning algorithms and perception systems, focusing on underwater robotic systems and mobile manipulation. She is interested in developing efficient and safe solutions for real-world robotic applications with social and environmental merits.