We are working to elevate robots from mechanical creations controlled by low-level scripts with a considerable amount of human guidance to truly cognitive robots.

There are three main thrusts to the research in the Model-Based Embedded and Robotics Systems (MERS) group: goal-driven interaction with robots, natural human/robot teaming, and robotic reasoning about the environment.

When combined, these research topics allow us to create cognitive robots that can be talked to like another human, can work with a team member to finish a task, can recover from many failures without assistance, and can collaborate with a human to recover from a failure that the robot cannot solve alone.

We enable these cognitive robot abilities by using model-based techniques. At the heart of these techniques are engineering models of how the robot works and models of how the robot’s environment behaves.

On top of these models, we have developed algorithms that enable the robot to reason over how it believes the world works, much like humans do.

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