Manuela M. Veloso, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, has been named a fellow of the Institute for Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) for her contributions to the development of cognition, perception and action in autonomous robot teams.
IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership conferred by the organization’s board of directors and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.
Veloso, who holds the Herbert A. Simon Chair in Computer Science, is known for her research in artificial intelligence and robotics, and for her pioneering work on robot soccer, which has emerged as an important research tool for studying how autonomous agents can work cooperatively in complex, uncertain environments. She is president of the International RoboCup Federation, which sponsors annual world championships in robot soccer. She and her students have fielded RoboCup teams since 1997, and have been international champions several times. CMU’s team finished second this year in RoboCup’s small-size league.
Veloso’s current project consists of investigating and developing groups of service robots, which perform tasks for humans in indoor environments. Aware of their limitations, these service robots called CoBots for Companion Robots, ask for help from humans when they decide that they need help. They navigate using multi-modal sensory information, including WiFi vision and laser data. One version of the highly maneuverable omnidirectional robots is designed to serve as a guide for visitors and another is designed to provide mobile telepresence.
Veloso this year became president-elect of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). She has been a fellow of AAAI since 2004. Last year, she received the 2009 Autonomous Agents Research Award from the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence. She is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Career Award and the university’s Allen Newell Medal for Excellence in Research. She received her doctor’s degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon in 1992.