Ph.D Dissertation Defense: Neil T. Dantam

10:00 AM-12:00 PM on September 29, 2014
Location: Marcus Nanotechnology Building 1117-1118

Title:  A Linguistic Method for Robot Verification, Programming, and Control

Neil T. Dantam
Ph.D. Candidate
Robotics / Interactive Computing
College of Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology

Prof. Henrik I. Christensen, Interactive Computing, Committee Chair
Prof. Magnus Egerstedt, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Prof. Irfan Essa, Interactive Computing
Prof. Andrea L. Thomaz, Interactive Computing
Prof. George J. Pappas, Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

Prof. Mike Stilman, Interactive Computing

There are many competing techniques for specifying robot policies,
each having advantages in different circumstances. To unify these
techniques in a single framework, we use formal language as an
intermediate representation for robot behavior. This links
previously disparate techniques such as temporal logics and learning
from demonstration, and it links data driven approaches such as
semantic mapping with formal discrete event and hybrid systems
models. These formal models enable system verification -- a crucial
point for physical robots. We introduce a set of rewrite rules for
hybrid systems and apply it automatically build a hybrid model for
mobile manipulation from a semantic map.

In the manipulation domain, we develop a new workspace interpolation
methods which provides direct, non-stop motion through multiple
waypoints, and we introduce a filtering technique for online camera
registration to avoid static calibration and handle changing camera
positions. To handle concurrent communication with embedded robot
hardware, we develop a new real-time interprocess communication
system which offers lower latency than Linux sockets.

Finally, we consider how time constraints affect the execution of
systems modeled hierarchically using context-free grammars. Based
on these constraints, we modify the LL(1) parser generation
algorithm to operate in real-time with bounded memory use.