Robotics and Learning Reading Group

Meeting Time and Location

The reading group meets on Thursdays from 3:00-4:00 in Olsen 210A, unless otherwise noted.


TALK ANNOUNCEMENT: Thursday, 25 September 2003, 3:00-4:00pm, Olsen 311

Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue at the WTC
Mark Micire, American Standard Robotics

On September 11th, professor Robin Murphy and three graduate students from the Perceptual Robotics Lab at the University of South Florida responded to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. They drove to the World Trade Center with their search-and-rescue robots, which can navigate through rubble to "look" for trapped victims in places where rescuers can't go. Mark Micire was one of those students and spent 11 days in New York providing robotic search and rescue services to FEMA and FDNY, using shape-shifting robots that could venture into spaces too small or dangerous for people or dogs.

This talk will review the lessons learned from the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue's response to the World Trade Center Disaster. This is the first known robot-assisted search and rescue response and the culmination of 6 years of research and training.

The talk will describe how the robots were used to search for victims, helped rescue teams select voids for further searching, and conducted building clearing. Video of the robots, their interfaces, and views from their sensors will be used to illustrate key findings on mobility, sensing, control, and human-robot interactions.

Speaker Biography:

After completing his masters thesis analyzing the robot problems and failures at the WTC disaster, Mark co-founded a company to manufacture and sell robots specifically designed for the search and rescue community. His company, American Standard Robotics, has been working for the past year to make this technology a reality by working with industry, academia, corporate, and government agencies. They are currently evaluating their first prototypes and moving forward in this new and exciting field.

About the Robotics and Learning Reading Group

In this reading group, we explore the intersection of issues around robotics and learning. Learning has multiple meanings; we look at two types -- 1. machine learning in the AI sense, and 2. how people learn, e.g. how do people learn by building and programming robots and other manipulatives (which become the foundations for learning environments)?

Both machine learning and human learning research share vocabulary like "knowledge," "process," and "learning," but the domains give different meanings to these words. We're interested in building a community of people who are curious about these relationships and whether deeper understandings can be attained by reading the literature from both fields concurrently.

The reading group is led by Profs. Fred Martin and Holly Yanco.

Readings for Fall 2003

The bold link is the current reading.

Readings from Spring 2003

Readings from Fall 2002