The Robotics Institute

RI | Seminar | April 30

Robotics Institute Seminar, April 30
Time and Place | Seminar Abstract | Speaker Biography | Speaker Appointments

The Roboceptionist Project

Reid Simmons

Robotics Institute

Carnegie Mellon University



Time and Place

Mauldin Auditorium (NSH 1305)
Refreshments 3:15 pm
Talk 3:30 pm



In November 2003, Valerie the roboceptionist began her "job" at Carnegie Mellon.  The objective of the project was to create an autonomous robotic character that could interact in a socially natural manner and that would be engaging enough to maintain interest for extended periods of time.  Over the past six months, Valerie has proven to be a popular attraction for visitors and regulars alike, and some people have even gotten hooked on her life stories.  This talk will describe the genesis of the project, the technical issues that were faced in developing a robot that must operate unattended for 40 hours a week, and the nature of the collaboration with Drama.  Some of the ongoing developments in personalization and natural language understanding will be presented.  In addition, I will discuss some of the more sociological observations that have been made about the robot's interactions with people and how we expect to change the style of interaction, based on those observations, to make it more natural and compelling.



Speaker Biography

Reid Simmons is a Research Professor in the School of Computer at Carnegie Mellon University.  He earned his B.A. degree in 1979 in Computer Science from SUNY at Buffalo, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from MIT in 1983 and 1988, respectively, in the field of Artificial Intelligence.  Since coming to Carnegie Mellon in 1988, his research has focused on developing self-reliant robots that can autonomously operate over extended periods of time in unknown, unstructured environments.  This work involves issues of robot control architectures that combine deliberative and reactive control, probabilistic planning and reasoning, monitoring and fault detection, and robust indoor and outdoor navigation.  More recently, Dr. Simmons has focused on the areas of coordination of multiple heterogeneous robots, human-robot social interaction, and formal verification of autonomous systems.  Over the years, he has been involved in the development of over a dozen autonomous robots.



Speaker Appointments

For appointments, please contact Reid Simmons.

The Robotics Institute is part of the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.