Closing the Gap Between Machine Learning and Robotics
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Given a stream of multimodal sensory data, an autonomous robot must continuously refine its understanding of itself and its environment as it makes decisions on how to act to achieve a goal. These are difficult problems that roboticists have attacked using classical tools from mechanics and controls and, more recently, machine learning. However, classical methods and machine learning algorithms are often seen to be at odds, and researchers continue to debate the merits of engineering vs. learning. A recurring theme in this talk will be that prior knowledge and domain insights can make learning and inference easier. I will discuss several fundamental robotics problems including continuous-time motion planning, localization, and mapping from a unified probabilistic inference perspective. I will show how models from statistical machine learning like Gaussian Processes can be tightly integrated with insights from engineering expressed as differential equations to solve these problems efficiently. Finally, I will demonstrate the effectiveness of these algorithms on several existent robotics platforms.
- IRIM Seminar Series