|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.