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Matej Hoffmann - Humanoid robots

17 Sep 2015   10:30

Humanoid robots: platforms for modeling human cognition and versatile test-beds for robotics and machine learning research


The main asset of humanoid robots is their universality. Just like humans, they may lag behind in very particular tasks, but excel in the variety of jobs they can master. In this talk, I will introduce the open-source humanoid robot iCub, focusing on my recent work at the iCub Facility, Italian Institute of Technology, Genoa. The first research strand concerns using the robot to model human cognition, in particular how the brain represents and updates the properties and current state of the body. The iCub with a human-like morphology and a corresponding set of sensory (visual, proprioceptive, tactile – the iCub has recently been equipped with an artificial pressure-sensitive skin covering most body parts) and motor modalities is a perfect modeling tool that makes it possible to move from computational models to embodied ones and significantly contribute to understanding the mechanisms underlying body representations.
Second, I will specifically target two application areas in robotics, where we can profit from the inspiration in biology and where the robot with whole-body tactile array provides a key enabling technology. These areas are: (i) autonomous self-calibration and (ii) safe and intelligent man-machine interaction through whole-body awareness. Tackling these two problems is key in making the transition from traditional industrial robots to robots that work alongside human workers. Finally, I will briefly introduce other research directions that can pursued on the robot and present my intentions regarding a planned return to Prague and the possibility of acquiring the iCub robot for Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Department of Cybernetics, Center for Robotics and Autonomous Systems.

Matej Hoffmann received Mgr. (M.Sc.) degree in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence at Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2006. Between 2006 and 2013 he completed his PhD degree and then served as senior research associate at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, University of Zurich, Switzerland (Prof. Rolf Pfeifer).
From May 2013 he has been working at the iCub Facility of the Italian Institute of Technology with Prof. Giorgio Metta. He has been supported by a Marie Curie Experienced Researcher Fellowship.

Matej is hosted by Tomas Svoboda.

KN:G-205 (Karlovo nám. 13, building G)
doc. Tomáš Svoboda
Contact person
Veronika Šínová, sinova@fel.cvut.cz, 224 35 7667