Research

Broadly speaking, my research is focused on the intersection of Artificial Intelligence with Robotics. Here goes a brief description of my current research interests, presented as the cross product between research areas and application domains:

Research areas

  • Decision making under uncertainty —  Decision theoretic methods provide powerful tools to model, in a rigorous way, the problem of optimal decision making when the effects of an agent actions is uncertain,  as well as when the knowledge of the world state is partial and/or uncertain.
  • Mobile manipulation — Robot manipulators mounted on mobile platforms, being them aerial or terrestrial, poses interesting research challenges, in particular when the objects to be manipulated lie in environments inhabited by humans.
  • Human-aware mobile robot navigation — Humans and mobile robots sharing the same physical space demands novel methods for navigation,  which take into account the human presence.
  • Human-robot interaction — As robots are required to interact with humans, such as in collaborative tasks involving mixed human and robot teams, the problem of designing effective and efficient interfaces between them has to be addressed.
  • Biologically inspired cognitive architectures — These methods address the problem of designing agent cognitive architectures taking biology as an inspiration.

Application domains

  • Collaborative space robotics — The human presence in space, either on orbiting space stations or on future deep space exploration missions is inherently risky and costly. The use of collaborative robots in these environments opens the possibility of offloading work from human astronauts to robots.
  • Social service robots — Robots that perform tasks requested by humans in environments such as offices and domestic spaces, addressing the challenges of human-awareness, as well as the inherent dynamism and  unpredictability of these environments.
  • Urban search and rescue — After a catastrophic event in an urban area, the search and rescue of victims in buildings close to collapse is often hindered by the lack of safety conditions for first responders. Tele-operated robots allow the remote inspection of such buildings, thus providing first responders with critical information concerning the presence of potential victims.