Invited talk by Lydia E. Kavraki.

Title: Computation of Robot Motion Plans from Complex High-Level Specifications

Abstract: Over the last decade, the development of fast and reliable motion planning algorithms has deeply influenced many domains in robotics, such as industrial automation and autonomous exploration. However, advances in motion planning have not impacted drastically the programming robots which continues to be low-level, error-prone, and difficult to compose, unless this task is performed by experts. Our research goal is to ameliorate this situation through frameworks that allow the synthesis of low-level motion from high-level specifications. High-level specifications declare what the robot must do, rather than how this task is to be done. The main part of the talk will describe a synergistic approach that can be applied to hybrid systems with general continuous dynamics to satisfy a temporal logic specification consisting of co-safety and safety components. This approach establishes a tight link between formal methods from logic and verification, classical motion planning in robotics, and task planning in artificial intelligence. Several robotic scenarios will be presented, as well as recent efforts to use program sketches and symbolic search methods coupled with motion planners. The talk will conclude by discussing the limitations of our work and the challenges that lie ahead.

Bio: Prof Lydia E. Kavraki is the Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science and Bioengineering at Rice University. She also holds an appointment at the Department of Structural and Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Kavraki received her B.A. in Computer Science from the University of Crete in Greece and her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University. Her research contributions are in physical algorithms and their applications in robotics (robot motion planning, hybrid systems, formal methods in robotics, assembly planning, micromanipulation, and flexible object manipulation), as well as in computational structural biology, translational bioinformatics, and biomedical informatics (modeling of proteins and biomolecular interactions, large-scale functional annotation of proteins, computer-assisted drug design, and systems biology). Kavraki has authored more than 180 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications and a co-author of the popular robotics textbook "Principles of Robot Motion" published by MIT Press. She is heavily involved in the development of The Open Motion Planning Library (OMPL), which is used in industry and in academic research in robotics and biomedicine. Kavraki is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and lectronics Engineers (IEEE), a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a Fellow of the World Technology Network (WTN). Kavraki was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies in 2012. She is also a member of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) since 2012.

Date / Time: 
Tuesday, 29 July, 2014 - 14:00