Title: Long-Term Autonomy in Everyday Environments: A Challenge for AI and Robotics
The performance of autonomous robots, i.e. robots that can make their own decisions and choose their own actions, is becoming increasingly impressive, but most of them are still constrained to labs, or controlled environments. In addition to this, these robots are typically only able to do intelligent things for a short period of time, before either crashing (physically or digitally) or running out of things to do. In order to go beyond these limitations, and to deliver the kind of autonomous service robots required by society, we must conquer the challenge of combining artificial intelligence and robotics to develop systems capable of long-term autonomy in everyday environments. This talk will present recent progress in this direction, focussing on the mobile robots for security and care domains developed by the EU-funded STRANDS project (http://strands-project.eu) which completed over a year of autonomy in real service environments.
Nick Hawes is an Associate Professor of Engineering Science in the Oxford Robotics Institute at the University of Oxford, and a Tutorial Fellow at Pembroke College. His research is focussed on applying techniques from artificial intelligence to allow robots to perform useful tasks in everyday environments, with a particular interest in long-term autonomy, mobile service robots, and logistics. He researches how robots can understand the world around them (e.g. where objects usually appear, how people move through buildings etc.), and how they can exploit this knowledge to perform tasks more efficiently and intelligently.