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Research Overview

Current research projects in the ARM lab.  This list is growing!


Improving Robotic Assistant Dexterity

Project Motivation

As robotic assistants operate in complex, unstructured human-centered environments it becomes essential that robots 

  1. Have access to as much useful data as possible as they interact with the environment
  2. Be able to leverage that data using intelligent models of the environment 

Challenges for long term deployable robotic systems are 

  • Being able to handle uncertainty in a known environment
  • Being able to reason about the properties of a new object/element in their environment 
  • Recovering from failure to complete a task/objective

By equiping robots to handle these challenges, we can develop robotic platforms that are capable of sustained, reliable, long-term service deployment.

Human-Robot Cooperative Transport

Project Motivation

As robots become more capable assistants, it is important that they be able to collaborate leveraging implicit communication and situational awareness. This project of human-robot cooperative transport exemplifies a scenario where the robot serves as a valuable teammate but it is untenable for the human to issue constant explicit commands. The robot instead must be able to observe the human as well as the environment and predict where the human is trying to go.  In a centralized system (all robots), a single governing controller would specify how every agent should move to transport the object to the goal location and 'waste' as little energy as possible compressing or stretching the object during transport. This compressing or stretching can be characterized as interaction forces (forces that don't contribute to motion), and minimizing these is often considered a metric for efficient transport. Therefore, the goal is to have the robot leverage its knowledge of the human and environment to transport efficiently. 

First Responder Robotic Assistant

Project Motivation

The goal of this project is to assist first responders by providing capable robotic assistants that can assist in tasks which will reduce the required number of at-risk first responders during an emergency. First responders should be able to direct with as little explicit communication as possible, mobile robots that have situational awareness, exceptional strength and agility.