Roboticists explore fundamental issues of perception, actuation, control, and intelligence, and the couplings among them. Research in the area of perception focuses on generating internal estimates of the relevant aspects of the world (for example, how fast am I (the robot) moving, and how close am I to a human?). The area of actuation is centered on mechanisms for the optimal conversion of stored energy into motion, where "optimal" could refer to safety or energy efficiency. Control is about design of efficient couplings between perception and actuation optimized on certain task based criteria (for example, the robot should not push too hard while palpating a patient's abdomen). Intelligence is the ability to design efficient strategies for interaction with the the external world and agents therein, and moreover, to be able to learn from direct experience and observation.
The research agenda of the our lab includes several of the basic scientific issues stated above with application to current focal points: contact tasks (e.g., grasping and assembly) and human-robot interaction (e.g., nonverbal communication). Because of the breadth of the field of robotics, the Lab needs students of many backgrounds including computer science, engineering, mathematics, science, social science, and cognitive science. To get involved, click on "Join the Lab" below.
-- JeffTrinkle - 19 Sep 2009