The Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines presents “Toward Dynamic, Tactical, Remote Robotic Ops: Active Perception and Other Key Technologies” by Stephen Buerger of Sandia National Laboratories. The event will be held in the Marcus Nanotechnology Building, Rooms 1116-1118, from 12:15-1:15 p.m. and is open to the public.
Dynamic, tactical, remote operations in which unmanned systems must manage multiple, changing objectives in uncertain, evolving and potentially adversarial environments, without the benefit of prior scripting, present an extreme challenge that necessitates high levels of autonomy and physical capability. While robots’ ability to geometrically map and autonomously navigate environments is relatively mature, to achieve higher-level operational goals requires the further technical leap of abstractly, or semantically, understanding surroundings. As biological systems have learned, efficient abstract perception requires not only that observations be intelligently processed over time, but also that sensors be actively controlled to acquire the best knowledge that minimizes uncertainties. The challenges and results of several ongoing projects in “active perception” will be discussed. These include work in which interior environments are rapidly mapped with both geometric and semantic information, as well as work in which threats are detected, localized, distinguished from false alarms, and identified via autonomous sensor control and real-time object classification. The talk will also describe R&D underway at Sandia in other technology areas essential to dynamic, remote operations, including novel robotic mobility systems capable of providing the obstacle traversal and energy efficiency needed for challenging real-world operations, novel robotic manipulation approaches, and real-time control applications for specific effectors including rock-drilling systems.
Stephen Buerger of Sandia's High Consequence Automation and Robotics group conducts research and development in physically interactive manipulation, energy-efficient and high-performance actuator technologies, autonomy and advanced controls for unmanned systems, advanced mobility, specialized small-scale electromechanical systems and sensors, and biomedical and human-interactive technologies.