Title: Embodied intelligence for human-centred robots - Combining model-based optimization with model-free methods
Abstract: My approach to Generalizable Autonomy posits that interactive learning across families of tasks is essential for discovering efficient representation and inference mechanisms. Arguably, a cognitive concept or a dexterous skill should be reusable across task instances to avoid constant relearning. It is insufficient to learn to “open a door”, and then have to re-learn it for a new door, or even windows & cupboards. Thus, I focus on three key questions: (1) Representational biases for embodied reasoning, (2) Causal Inference in abstract sequential domains, and (3) Interactive Policy Learning under uncertainty.
In this talk, I will first through example lay bare the need for structured biases in modern RL algorithms in the context of robotics. This will span state, actions, learning mechanisms, and network architectures. Secondly, we will talk about the discovery of latent causal structures in dynamics for planning. Finally, I will demonstrate how large scale data generation combined with insights from structure learning can enable sample efficient algorithms for practical systems. In this talk, I will focus mainly on manipulation, but my work has been applied to surgical robotics and legged locomotion as well.
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