Waterloo.ai Seminar: Prof. Katja Mombaur on Embodied intelligence for human-centred robots - Combining model-based optimization with model-free methods

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT

Title: Embodied intelligence for human-centred robots - Combining model-based optimization with model-free methods

Abstract: In contrast to many other fields of AI which are focussing on software and analysis of given data, robotics is concerned with engineering systems that move in and interact with the real world. Robots have to connect perception and action to generate intelligent behavior, i.e. they have to develop embodied intelligence or motion intelligence. Creating robots with embodied intelligence is a particularly challenging task for human-centred robots that interact closely with humans and have very complex dynamics with many degrees of freedom. Human-centred robots have the potential to support and facilitate people’s lives, ranging from improved well-being and increased independence to reduced risk or harm and a removal of monotonous jobs. This involves very different types of robotic systems that enter in physical interaction with humans or support them physically, including humanoid robots, wearable robots (i.e. exoskeletons, orthoses and protheses) and other types of assistive or rehabilitation devices. In this talk, I will present some of the research on human-centred robots performed at my chair in Waterloo as well as my previous research group in Heidelberg within many international collaborations. A core component of this research is the development of efficient algorithms for motion generation, control and learning, combining advanced model-based optimization with model-free approaches.

Speaker Bio: 

Katja Mombaur is full professor and Canada Excellence Research Chair in Human-Centred Robotics and Machine Intelligence at the University of Waterloo. Until early 2020 she was a full professor at Heidelberg University, and head of the Optimization in Robotics & Biomechanics (ORB) group. She holds a diploma degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Stuttgart and a Ph.D. degree in Mathematics from Heidelberg University. She was a postdoctoral researcher in the Robotics Lab at Seoul National University, South Korea. She also spent two years as a visiting researcher in the Robotics department of LAAS-CNRS in Toulouse. She has coordinated the European project KoroiBot, has been PI of several other European projects such as Spexor, MOBOT, Agilis and ECHORD, and still is PI in the ongoing European project Eurobench, and one of the directors of the HeiAge project in Heidelberg. She has been nominated to serve as Secretary of the IEEE RAS Executive Committee for the President Elect with the term starting in 2022.

Prof. Katja Mombaur
Canada Excellence Research Chair in Human-Centred Robotics & Machine Intelligence

Systems Design Engineering & Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
Cross-appointed in Applied Mathematics

University of Waterloo

Date and Time:

Tuesday, May 18, 2021
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Platform: Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 944 7958 3189
Passcode: 284258