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CS Colloquium: Chris Heckman (University of Colorado at Boulder) - Failure is Not an Option: Our Techniques at the DARPA Subterranean Challenge, Lessons Learned, and Next Steps
When we in the robotics research community think of what we'd like autonomous agents to tackle in the future, we often target "dull, dirty, and dangerous" tasks. However, despite a sustained boom in robotics research over the last decade, the number of places we've seen robotics in use for these tasks has been uninspiring. Successful commercialization of autonomous robots have required significant human scaffolding through teleoperation, and incredible amounts of capital, to achieve, and despite this are still limited by brittle systems and hand-engineered components. The reality seems to be that these tasks are not nearly as dull as they might seem on the surface, and instead require ingenuity for success some small but critical fraction of the time. In this talk, I focus on my recent investigation into where the limits of autonomy are for the highly sought-after application to subterranean emergency response operations. This application was motivated by the DARPA Subterranean Challenge, which just last year concluded with the CU Boulder team "MARBLE" taking third place and winning a $500,000 prize. In this talk, I will give an overview into the genesis of our solution over three years of effort, especially with respect to mobility, autonomy, perception, and communications. I'll also discuss the implications for present-day robotic autonomy and where we go from here.

This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.

Sep 13, 2022 03:30 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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