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Summer REU Program PDF Print E-mail
A list of the 2008 ARTSI REU students and their labs can be found here
 
ARTSI's Summer REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program is open to ARTSI students who are US citizens or permanent residents, and who will not yet have completed their undergraduate degree at the time they begin their summer internship. There are many research opportunities to choose from.

Monica Anderson's Lab at the University of Alabama

K-Team Koalas
K-Team Koalas
At Monica's Distributed Autonomous Systems Lab you will work on teams of sensor-enabled mobile robots that communicate to efficiently monitor or search a region of interest. Whether operating in indoor or outdoor areas, these mobile platforms can continuously redeploy their wireless network based on static environmental features and dynamic local events, providing better coverage and resource utilization for surveillance and search tasks. Of particular interest is the problem of combining multiple image and other sensor streams to improve position estimates in situations where GPS signals are unavailable. The lab uses K-team Koalas and iRobot Creates.

Carl DiSalvo's Lab at Georgia Tech 

Carl DiSalvo
Carl DiSalvo
Carl DiSalvo directs the Public Design Workshop at Georgia Tech, in the School of Literature, Communication and Culture. His research is concerned with how to provide access to emerging technologies and how these technologies can be used for community building, artistic expression, and activism. Summer 2009 DiSalvo will be working on series of community-centered robotics programs appropriate to REUs. These programs include: developing design and arts-based learning materials for youth and adults to explore robotics in community contexts, conducting interviews with community members to discover new roles for sensing and robotics, and developing a robotic device that responds to environmental data. This is a unique opportunity for students interested in the application of robotics to societal improvement and community engagement.  DiSalvo is interested in students from all backgrounds, including engineering and computer science, and also students from the social sciences and arts who are interested in robotics and society. If interested, please contact Dr. Carl DiSalvo.

Jeff Forbes' Lab at Duke University 

Jeffrey Forbes
Jeffrey Forbes
Jeff's lab is developing low-cost robot architectures for use in research and education. Building on the work of a number of different groups, these extensible low-cost systems enable undergraduates to experiment with sophisticated techniques for reinforcement learning, multi-agent control, and simultaneous localization and mapping. By implementing parameterized high-level actions, users can focus their efforts on developing control algorithms. In Jeff's lab you will develop methods for robust locomotion primitives for use by reinforcement learning algorithms and localization, and techniques for mapping using multiple robots with monocular vision. You will also have the opportunity to work on materials for a project to foster technological fluency and creativity through robot programming in underserved communities locally and in Kenya.

Students who work with Jeff can also choose to work with Carlo Tomasi or Ron Parr. Carlo focuses on computer vision, specifically problems related to the analysis of video or with the recognition of objects or actions. These include the development of representations and algorithms that can be used to recognize complex objects such as people (both generically and for specific individuals) or animals, and in the presence of occlusions (not all of the object is visible) and clutter (more than the object is visible. Examples of activity recognition applications are the interpretation of American Sign Language, or the development of a user interface that uses a 3D laser-based sensor to replace a computer mouse with hand gestures. Medical applications of current interest in Carlo's group include the automated diagnosis of melanoma from full- body photographs taken at different points in time, and the development of an inexpensive stereo vision device that can help track the progression of glaucoma.

iRobot Creates
iRobot Creates
Ron Parr's lab does theoretical work in reinforcement learning and planning under uncertainty. Students with a background in statistics and linear algebra may be interested in contributing to these projects.  Ron's lab also does more applied work in robotic mapping and sensor fusion using laser range finders and cameras.  Students with an interest in robotics, some basic knowledge of probability, and good programming skills may be interested in participating in these projects.

Dieter Fox’s Lab at the University of Washington

Dieter Fox
Dieter Fox
Research in Dieter’s Robotics and State Estimation Lab focuses on probabilistic methods and machine learning for robotics and activity recognition (Thrun et al., 2005).
Robot Blimp
Robot Blimp
You will work on applying techniques such as particle filters or Kalman filters to problems such as mapping of indoor environments and visual tracking of a blimp flying through the atrium of the CSE department building. Potential projects also include the application of machine learning techniques such as Gaussian processes to learn robot sensor and motion models. 



Ayanna Howard's Lab at Georgia Tech

Ayanna Howard
Ayanna Howard
Students working in Ayanna’s HumAnS lab will investigate strategies for human interaction with teleoperated assistive robots in home environments. These robots have the potential to dramatically improve quality of life for older or disabled adults by allowing caregivers or distant family members to conveniently help an individual with activities of daily living, such as meal preparation, administering medications, or performing simple diagnostic procedures. In response to a request for help, a caregiver could remotely take control of the robot to assess the situation and physically lend assistance. Deployment of this technology could extend options for continued living at home by lowering the costs associated with providing personalized help from skilled professionals. You will help Ayanna investigate approaches for encoding task knowledge so that teleoperation can be achieved at higher levels of abstraction, which requires less effort on the part of the operator.
HumAnS Lab
HumAnS Lab

Chad Jenkins' Lab at Brown University 

Chad Jenkins
Chad Jenkins
Chad is developing an online robotic gaming project called “R-Play” (Kostandov et al., 2007). R-Play provides an “XboxLIVE”-style environment for playing and developing physically embodied games with robotic agents, such as the Smurvs. The aims of R-Play center around breaking down the “personal robotics”
SmURV Robots
SmURV Robots
barriers between society and robots through the following three core properties: fun to play, persistently executing (24/7/365), and transparent with respect to its internal workings. In Chad's lab you will work on addressing this core problem: How will typical users of technology program their robots? If learning from demonstration addresses this problem, robot games can provide a familiar medium for humans to train robots.

Sara Kiesler's Lab at Carnegie Mellon

Sara Keisler
Sara Keisler
The People and Robots Lab at Carnegie Mellon is headed by Sara Kiesler , a behavioral scientist, and Jodi Forlizzi, a design researcher. They are working with Paul Rybski,
Jodi & Paul with SnackBot
Jodi & Paul with SnackBot
in the Robotics Institute, in research on human-robot interaction when a robot delivers services to people. Last year, they built a robot, called Snackbot, that will deliver snacks to people at CMU. ARTIS students Jessica Jones and Alvin Barton helped design the robot during the summer. Students working in the People and Robots lab this summer will participate in the project by helping to improve and evaluate the Snackbot robot. There are lots of interesting research problems to tackle such as how to detect what people are taking from the tray, appropriate robot dialogue and sounds, and how the robot can customize or personalize its services.

Illah Nourbakhsh's Lab at Carnegie Mellon

Illah Nourbakhsh
Illah Nourbakhsh
The CREATE (Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment) lab is developing arts-based toolkits designed to engage K-12 students and community members in robotics. These toolkits build upon existing work by Illah and Carl DiSalvo that strives to broaden the common understanding of what robots are and how they might function in our everyday lives.

Using these toolkits middle-school students can explore and employ a variety of basic environmental sensors to monitor pollution levels and create interactive artifacts, such as the robot flower, which express and respond to these conditions. A central tenet of the outreach effort and of the toolkits is to apply robotics in the context of student and community members’ existing issues and interests, such as “telepresence”. The
Qwekbot+
Qwekbot+
Center’s Qwekbot+ kit robot has a wireless interface that provides for remote operation from any web browser right out of the box, allowing users to experiment with telepresence experiences.

This summer the CREATE lab at Carnegie Mellon University and the Public Design Workshop from Georgia Tech will be working together in Pittsburgh to present a unique forum for community-centered robotics. The CREATE lab will be hosting Robot 250, a series of city-wide public programs featuring robots made by children and adults. The focus of Robot 250 is the creative application of robotics to personal and community expression and activism. The Robot 250 summer program includes numerous museum exhibits, educational workshops and public art installations and performances.

Robot Flower
Robot Flower
This is a unique opportunity for students interested in the application of robotics to societal improvement and community engagement. We are interested in students from all backgrounds, including engineering and computer science, and also students from the social sciences and arts who are interested in robotics and society. REU students will have the opportunity to engage in field research, documentation and event support activities throughout the summer.  If interested, please contact Dr. Illah Nourbakhsh or Dr. Carl DiSalvo.

 

Dave Touretzky's Lab at Carnegie Mellon 

Dave Touretzky
Dave Touretzky and Chiara
Working in Dave's lab you will add to the development of the Tekkotsu programming framework — free software — for mobile robots. Tekkotsu supports an approach to programming called “cognitive robotics” in which students work with with high-level primitives for robot perception and manipulation that draw inspiration from ideas in cognitive science.

Potential projects include extending Tekkotsu to support new robot designs based on Lynx Motion, Create, or Qwerk platforms, and other designs  such as  the Regis prototype and a new hexapod robot currently under development; creating  demo programs to illustrate key features of Tekkotsu which can then be incorporated into instructional materials or used in outreach activities; and extending Tekkotsu’s repertoire of primitives.

 

The Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) Center at the University of Pittsburgh & Carnegie Mellon

The Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) Center is a jointly operated National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center (ERC), whose mission is to transform lives in a large and growing segment of the population - people with reduced functional capabilities due to aging or disability. More information about the center is available at QoLT.org. Center Co-Director Rory Cooper and Education Co-Director Dan Ding, both of the University of Pittsburgh, have agreed to partner with us.

QoLT operates its own QoLT REU program  and a second REU program in Rehabilitation Engineering and is very interested in attracting qualified students from underrepresented groups to work on robotics projects. The application deadline was March 1, 2008. Brochures on the two programs are here.

The two universities also have a joint NSF IGERT graduate training program in Assistive Technologies , headed by Cooper (Pitt) and Chris Atkeson (CMU), which is seeking students from underrepresented groups. Our partnership with QoLT will provide you access to a large pool of potential mentors in Pittsburgh, and potentially, a route to graduate training in health-related robotics. In addition, QoLT partners with the Florida-Georgia LSAMP , another ARTSI Alliance Partner through which we hope to recruit additional HBCU students and faculty to Alliance activities and eventually Alliance membership.

The QoLT Center
The Quality of Life Technology Center