Keywords: navigation, mobile robotics, robot localization, computer vision, vision, recommender system, web services, recognition
PROFESSOR DUDEK is a James McGill Chaired Professor and the Director of the McGill School of Computer Science and former Director of the McGill Research Center for Intelligent Machines. He is the head of the Mobile Robotics Laboratory, where a dozen enthusiastic graduate students currently work on sensor-based robotics, multi-robot systems, and vision for robots. This involves a substantial body of work on vision for underwater systems, both with respect to vehicle design, control and perception. His group tries to answer questions such as how a robot can describe its world, how to pick actions that lead to a better understanding of the world, and how a human and a robot can communicate effectively. Prof. Dudek’s work and expertise are internationally recognized with more than 200 papers published in top-tier conferences, a great many invited lectures at renowned universities, and three published books, including “Computational Principles for Mobile Robotics”, together with Prof. Michael Jenkin. He is also the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the J.-A. Bombardier Prize from l'Association francophone pour le savoir. He is currently the President of the Canadian Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Society (CIPPRS).
Keywords: computational robotics, binocular vision, perception in virtual environments, immersive visual displays
PROFESSOR JENKIN is an internationally recognized researcher in autonomous systems and the founder of the CFI-funded Canadian Centre for Field Robotics at York University. His study of sensing systems for autonomous robots has numerous applications in the underwater and terrestrial domains. His work in terrestrial robotics includes robotic systems for nuclear power plant surveillance, and more recently work with NCFRN partner MDA Inc. and various police forces in Canada on the development of technologies to support robotic systems that operate within contaminated crime scenes. With Prof. Dudek, he is the co-author of “Computational Principles of Mobile Robotics”, a key text in autonomous systems. His work in multi-sensor cue integration has led to the development of IVY, Canada’s first six-sided immersive projective environment, the Active Desktop, a patented large-scale touch surface technology, and the Canadian Space Agency funded Bodies in the Space Environment project, which recently completed data collection on the International Space Station. He has been co-President of the Canadian Computer Science Accreditation Council and has served on the research committees of both Precarn and the IRIS Network of Centres of Excellence.
Keywords: autonomous robots, artificial intelligence, multi-robot systems, artificial life, distributed systems, animal robots, sensor networks, interdisciplinary research, networks
PROFESSOR VAUGHAN is Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Programs in the School of Computing Science at Simon Fraser University. His primary research group is the Autonomy Laboratory, which investigates the mechanisms of autonomous rational behaviour in machines and animals, with particular emphasis on managing energy and other resources. Vaughan’s “Robot Sheepdog” was the first robot to control the behaviour of a group of animals, and he recently demonstrated the first control of groups of robots by an uninstrumented human, winning the Best Video prize at the 2011 International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. Vaughan founded the Player/Stage Project with Brian Gerkey in 2000, and produced the most widely used and influential robotics development, networking and simulation platform of the last decade, downloaded over 256,000 times. Prof. Vaughan has held grants and contracts from NSERC, DRDC, DARPA, CFI and BCKDF and has served as Program Chair, Associate Editor and committee member for top-tier international conferences. He serves on the editorial board of the journal Autonomous Robots.
PROF. BACHMAYER is an associate professor, Canada Research Chair (Tier II) for Ocean Technology and the director of CFI-funded Autonomous Ocean Systems Laboratory (AOSL) at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is internationally recognized for his research, which focuses on system design, dynamics, navigation and control of marine vehicles. Prof. Bachmayer’s research is driven by the goal to provide other researchers the tools and technologies to help them collect information on, and understand, harsh environments like the Arctic. Prof. Bachmayer is the author or co-author of many peer-reviewed papers, studies and book chapters. He has an impressive track record of successful collaborations with national and international companies and institutions such as the National Research Council Institute for Ocean Technology (NRC-IOT), Marine Robotics (formerly Marport International), Teledyne Webb Research and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA. His work on the development of a hybrid glider has granted him the 2009 Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award.
Keywords: decision-making under uncertainty, dialogue management, Markov decision process, robotics, planning, optimization, human-robot interaction
PROFESSOR PINEAU is an associate professor of Computer Science and co-directs the Reasoning and Learning Laboratory at McGill University. Her research focuses on developing new methodologies in artificial intelligence, statistical machine learning, and robotics. She is a founding member of two multi-disciplinary ventures that led to the development and validation of robotic assistants for elderly and disabled individuals: the Nursebot platform and the SmartWheeler initiative. These projects have involved substantial field work in clinical environments both in Canada and the US. Prof. Pineau has also developed a unique expertise in applying reinforcement learning techniques to the problem of sequential treatment optimization for chronic disorders using clinical data. She has also served on the program committee of many leading international conferences in robotics. Her work has been supported by numerous grants from agencies including CFI, NSERC, CIHR and NIH. She has developed a long-lasting collaboration with Prof. Tsotsos at York University, which will be further strengthened through the NCFRN network.
Keywords: localization, robotic mapping, simultaneous localization and mapping, pose estimation
PROFESSOR BARFOOT, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, is the leader of the Autonomous Space Robotics Laboratory (ASRL), the only university lab in Canada to focus primarily on planetary rover technology. He holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Autonomous Space Robotics and works in the area of guidance, navigation, and control of mobile robots for space and terrestrial applications. His approach is both theoretical and experimental, as demonstrated by recent field-testing campaigns on Devon Island in the Canadian High Arctic. Success of these campaigns led to follow-up funding to hold field trials in Northern Labrador and the Sudbury impact basin. Prof. Barfoot has more than 100 publications under his belt and is very active in the community, as shown by his involvement as chair, committee member, or reviewer for numerous international conferences. He is a Multimedia Editor for the International Journal of Robotics Research and the recipient of the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation Early Researcher Award. He is currently Program Co-chair of the upcoming 2013 Computer and Robot Vision Conference. Prof. Barfoot has been closely collaborating with MDA Space Missions and the Canadian Space Agency, two NCFRN partners, for many years.
Keywords: Mining systems and automation, Control systems, Robotic vehicles,Field robotics, Cooperative systems, Planetary rovers, State estimation, Mechatronics, Applied dynamics, localization, robotic mapping, simultaneous localization and mapping, pose estimation
PROFESSOR MARSHALL is an assistant professor in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University, where he directs the multidisciplinary Mining Systems Laboratory (MSL). He is cross-appointed to both the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Queen's, and is also an adjunct research professor with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University. Prof. Marshall’s research focuses on mining systems and robotics, and involves the development and application of advanced methods for perception, modelling, and control of mining equipment and associated processes. His objective is to foster inventive yet practical ways for realizing low-cost, high-output, inherently safe, and environmentally responsible mining and exploration operations. Prof. Marshall has worked on equipment automation and robotics-relatedjoint university-industry projects that involved, among others, MDA Inc. and CSA, two NCFRN partners. For instance, he helped to develop systems that give mining vehicles the ability to localize and drive autonomously in underground mines, without the need to install costly infrastructure. He holds two patents related to mining machine automation. He also has a keen interest in extreme mining scenarios, including planetary exploration and mining activities. Prof. Marshall’s work is currently funded by NSERC, CFI, and ORF, as well as several industry partners.
Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicles, legged robotic systems, contact dynamics, parameter identification for robotics, space robotics, mechatronics, dynamics of multibody systems, control of multibody systems
PROFESSOR SHARF is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the co-founder of the Aerospace Mechatronics Laboratory at McGill University. Her research expertise lies in dynamics and control of robotic, mechatronic and autonomous systems, and over her 20-year career in academia, Prof. Sharf has addressed numerous problems associated with the development and control of autonomous systems. Her focus in the last several years has been specifically in the areas of dynamics and control of small highly maneuverable unmanned (i.e. remotely piloted) aerial vehicles. Prof. Sharf has been involved in many collaborative projects with industry, including MDA Inc., Quanser Consulting Inc., CSA, and DRDC, four NCFRN partners, as well as academic partners in the US, Europe and Israel. These collaborations and the work of her research group resulted in numerous publications in leading conferences and journals. Prof. Sharf’s work is currently funded by NSERC and FQRNT.
Keywords: computer vision, artificial intelligence, visually-guided robotics, human perception, vision systems applications, active vision, visual attention
PROFESSOR TSOTSOS is currently the Distinguished Research Professor of Vision Science at York University, where he also holds the NSERC Tier I Canada Research Chair in Computational Vision. He was Director of the highly respected Centre for Vision Research at York University from 2000 to 2006. His research efforts span the areas of computer vision, computational neuroscience, human vision, artificial intelligence and robotics. His research combining active vision with robotics and the close collaboration he established with Prof. Pineau (McGill University) and the NCFRN partner CrossWing Inc. are of particular relevance for the network. He and his team successfully implemented algorithms on an autonomous robotic wheelchair with manipulator for door-finding-and-opening behavior. He is recipient of the 2006 Canadian Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Society Award for Research Excellence and Service, of the 1stPresident’s Research Excellence Award by York University in 2009. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Academy of Sciences, Division of Mathematics and Physical Sciences in 2010.
Keywords: Uninhabited aerial vehicles, Quadrotors, Vehicle Control Systems, Estimation, Multi-agent Control, Mechatronics, Aerospace, Air Traffic Control, Game Theory
PROFESSOR WASLANDER is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo, and is the director of the Waterloo Autonomous Vehicles Laboratory (WAVELab). Prof. Waslander’s research focuses on the autonomous operation of small aerial vehicle through advances in perception, planning and coordination. He was responsible for the development of the Stanford Testbed of Autonomous Rotorcraft for Multi-Agent Control (STARMAC), the world’s first platform for experimentation of multi-vehicle quadrotor capable of indoor and outdoor operation. Prof. Waslander has long-standing relationships with many robotics companies, and in particular has played a pivotal role in fostering robotics in the Waterloo region, through his work with both Aeryon Labs Inc. and Clearpath Robotics, two NCFRN partners. His collaboration with Aeryon Labs Inc. was awarded the 2011 Ontario Centres of Excellence Mind to Market Award for outstanding collaboration between industry and academia.
Keywords: robotics, collective robotics, robot vision, image processing
PROFESSOR ZHANG is a full professor at the University of Alberta and has conducted robotics research for over 25 years. He is director of the Centre for Intelligent Mining Systems (CIMS) and affiliated with the Robotics Research Laboratory. His research interests span robotics, computer vision, and image processing. Prof. Zhang was involved in developing a technology for unmanned underwater inspection; his 10-year partnership with Syncrude Canada Ltd., supported by NSERC and Alberta Innovates, helped developing technologies for monitoring and improving oil sand mining processes. Among other forms of recognition, his collaborative research with Syncrude earned him a prestigious ASTech award in 2008. Prof. Zhang is known for his research in collective robotics, whereby biologically-inspired approaches, e.g., behaviors of social insects, are used as a means to understand the underlying principles that enable multiple robots to work cooperatively in accomplishing joint tasks. His current research focuses on visual navigation in which vision is used by a mobile robot to map and localize itself in its environments. Prof. Zhang has held the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Intelligent Sensing since 2003. He has received the IEEE Millennium Medal and won best paper awards at various international conferences on robotics, computer vision, and mechatronics.