Robotics and Autonomous Systems Center

Context-Based Intent Understanding for Autonomous Systems in Naval and Collaborative Robotics Applications

Monica Nicolescu



Understanding intent is a critical aspect of communication among people and for many biological systems. While people are very good at recognizing others' intentions, endowing an autonomous system (robot or simulated agent) with similar skills is a complex problem. The issue of intent recognition is particularly important in situations that involve collaboration among multiple agents or assessment of potential threats. In the former case collaboration can be greatly enhanced, while in the latter case dangerous situations can be detected before any harmful actions can be finalized. This talk describes the main challenges of designing an intent recognition system, and the details of our framework based on insight from psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience. The talk also presents experiments showcasing intent understanding, with specific focus on autonomous systems for naval and collaborative robotics applications.



Monica Nicolescu is an Associate Professor of Computer Science with the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Nevada, Reno and is the Director of the UNR Robotics Research Lab. Prof. Nicolescu earned her Ph.D. degree in Computer Science at the University of Southern California (2003) at the Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems. She obtained her M.S. in Computer Science at the University of Southern California (1999) and B.S. in Computer Science at the Polytechnic University Bucharest (Romania, 1995). She is a recipient of the NSF Early Development Career Award and a USC Academic Achievements Award and she is a co-chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Human-Robot Interaction. Her research has been supported by the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, and NASA. Prof. Nicolescu's research interests are in the areas of human-robot interaction, robot control and learning, and multi-robot systems.


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