Building Bodies and Brains for Programmable Matter
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab
Mauldin Auditorium (NSH 1305 )
Time: 3:30 to 4:30 pm
We wish to create programmable matter by using smart modules capable of
self-reconfiguration: hundreds of small modules autonomously
organize and reorganize as geometric structures to best fit the
terrain on which the robot has to move, the shape of the object the
robot has to manipulate, or the sensing needs for the given
task. Large collections of small robot modules actively organize
as the most optimal geometric structure to perform useful coordinated work.
A self-reconfiguring robot consists of a set of modules that can dynamically and autonomously reconfigure in a variety of shapes, to best fit the terrain, environment, and task. Self-reconfiguration leads to versatile robots that can support multiple modalities of locomotion, manipulation, and perception.
This talk will discuss the challenges of creating programmable matter, ranging from designing hardware capable of self-reconfiguration, to developing distributed controllers and planners for such systems that are scalable, adaptive, and support real-time behavior. We will discuss a spectrum of mechanical and computational capabilities for such system and detail two recent robots developed for ground and underwater applications of programmable matter.
Daniela Rus is a professor in the EECS Department at MIT and Associate
Director of CSAIL. She is the co-director of the
CSAIL Center for Robotics. Previously, she was a professor in
the computer science department at Dartmouth College.
She holds a PhD degree in computer science form Cornell
University. Her research interests include distributed robotics,
mobile computing, and self-organization. She was the recipient
of an NSF Career award and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship.
She is a class of 2002 MacArthur Fellow.
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