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Transformations and Frontiers in Robotics

Speaker: Dr. Dmitry Berenson
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

November 1, 2012 - 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Refreshments at 3:30pm
Location: SAGE 5101
Hosted By: Prof. Jeff Trinkle (x2510)


Robotics is undergoing three transformations, which are changing not only our research focus but also the way we do research. A new focus on human-robot collaborative systems and the availability of parallel and cloud computing is transforming the topics we study, while new open-source communities and common research platforms are transforming the way we work in the lab and collaborate with others. I will present my contributions to these transformations in the areas of robotic home assistants and medical robotics, where I have developed motion planning algorithms that enable new robotic manipulation capabilities. These include algorithms that plan motion with multiple simultaneous constraints, manage sensor uncertainty in the planning process, and use previous experience to plan faster. I will discuss the theory behind these approaches and show practical applications on real-world robots. I will end by discussing three frontiers that are emerging as a result of these transformations as well as prospects for their exploration.


Dmitry Berenson received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and received his Ph.D. degree from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in 2011. He recently completed a post-doc at UC Berkeley in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and started as an Assistant Professor in Robotics Engineering and Computer Science at WPI. He founded and directs the Autonomous Robotic Collaboration (ARC) Lab at WPI, which focuses on motion planning, manipulation, and human-robot collaboration.

Last updated: October 23, 2012