Research Areas

Below, we've broken down our research efforts into categories. There is much collaboration and overlap among these individual specialties, and many of our projects span multiple categories.

What distinguishes a robot from a computing device? A crucial characteristic is its ability to interact with, and directly effect change on its environment. This interaction can take multiple forms, such as acquiring objects (grasping), placing or assembling objects, opening doors, calling an elevator, and much more. Our research aims to enable robots to interact with unstructured environments, starting from basic tasks, and building towards complex applications and true dexterity. For more, click here.

Human-Robot Interaction
When robots interact with people (as opposed to only inanimate objects), there are many new challenges and opportunities to be explored to make those interactions safe, effective, acceptable, and even enjoyable. Our Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) research examines how people make sense of personal robots and interact with them, how people teleoperate robots to interact with others, and how people and robots share control over tasks that would be difficult for either one to do alone. For more, click here.

Motion Planning
To function effectively in noisy, real world environments, a robot must be able to plan and execute collision-free paths in the presence of people and clutter. Our research in motion planning is focused on developing planners, controllers and perception modules for robust manipulation and navigation in cluttered, dynamically-changing environments. For more, click here.

Robot Perception
The quality of a robot's performance is critically dependent on robust, accurate, and timely perception.  Our research concentrates on the integration of cues from cameras and laser range-finders into a coherent world model, from geometric primitives defining the basic structure of the world, to semantic labeling of simple and complex objects. For more, click here.

Task Planning
Given primitives for perceiving the world and manipulating objects, a robot must choose and sequence these basic operations to achieve its goals.  Our research focuses on task-level planning, its integration with motion planning and perception, and robust execution. For more, click here.