Robot Partners - Collaborative Perceptual Robotic Systems

The Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IRIS) 



The Robot Partners project is part of the Theme of Modelling and Virtual Reality in the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems. The project is headed by James Little, with David Lowe, Alan Mackworth, and Dinesh Pai, all of UBC Computer Science, together with James Clark of McGill. The Robot Partners project is a descendant of the Spinoza project which was aimed at developing autonomous perceptual robots that can navigate and plan
their actions in uncertain environments. 

The project will develop a new approach to the specification, design and implementation of perceptual robotic systems that act in collaboration with other agents. A robotic system consists of a robot and its environment where the environment may consist of physical objects, processes, and other agents, either people or robots. In a collaborative robotic system, a robot works to achieve common goals with at least one other agent. Collaboration requires shared goals, communication about the state of local internal and external environments, and coordinated action. 

The project will develop intelligent tools, including teleoperation based on both specific and generic local models acquired online during teleoperation; synthesis of multi-robot distributed controllers; real-time systems for vision, with multiple coordinated sensors; a programming system for control with event-based interaction with perception; models of collaboration; and means for human visual communication with robots. 

Communication amongst robots and between robots and humans is central to collaboration. Remote teleoperation, which requires transmission of images in one direction, and control commands in the other, is an important component of our research thrust.