Dodds, Zachary


An Image Wherever You Look! Making Vision Just Another Sensor for AI/Robotics Projects

AAAI Conferences

Visual sensing can be difficult to incorporate into undergraduate robotics and AI assignments. Images, after all, do not provide a direct estimate of the geometric conditions within the field of view. Yet vision is increasingly compelling as a part of undergraduate AI and robotics, given the centrality of pixels in our students' interactions with technology and each other. This paper shares a small-footprint framework designed to make visual sensing as easy to incorporate into AI projects and assignments, e.g., as a source of evidence for localization algorithms, as range sensors. The framework leverages (hand-built) circular panoramas and the image-matching capabilities provided by OpenCV's python library. An example localization project highlights its pedagogical accessibility and ease of deployment atop low-cost hardware and alongside other sensors.


The AAAI 2011 Robot Exhibition

AI Magazine

In this article we report on the exhibits and challenges shown at the AAAI 2011 Robotics Program in San Francisco. The event included a broad demonstration of innovative research at the intersection of robotics and artificial intelligence. Through these multi-year challenge events, our goal has been to focus the research community's energy toward common platforms and common problems to work toward the greater goal of embodied AI.


The AAAI 2011 Robot Exhibition

AI Magazine

In this article we report on the exhibits and challenges shown at the AAAI 2011 Robotics Program in San Francisco. The event included a broad demonstration of innovative research at the intersection of robotics and artificial intelligence. Through these multi-year challenge events, our goal has been to focus the research community’s energy toward common platforms and common problems to work toward the greater goal of embodied AI.


Report on the AAAI 2010 Robot Exhibition

AI Magazine

The 19th robotics program at the annual AAAI conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia in July 2010. In this article we give a summary of three components of the exhibition: small scale manipulation challenge: robotic chess; the learning by demonstration challenge, and the education track. We also describe the participating teams, highlight the research questions they tackled and briefly describe the systems they demonstrated.


Report on the AAAI 2010 Robot Exhibition

AI Magazine

The 19th robotics program at the annual AAAI conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia in July 2010. In this article we give a summary of three components of the exhibition: small scale manipulation challenge: robotic chess; the learning by demonstration challenge, and the education track. In each section we detail the challenge task. We also describe the participating teams, highlight the research questions they tackled and briefly describe the systems they demonstrated.


Can Quadrotors Succeed as an Educational Platform?

AAAI Conferences

The flexibility and controllability of quadrotor helicopters have made them a recent focus of interest among robotics and AI research groups. At the same time, their popularity has led to a wide range of commercially available platforms, some at prices accessible for undergraduate educational use. This project evaluates the ARDrone quadrotor helicopter as a basis for use in undergraduate classes such as robotics, computer vision, or embodied AI. We have encountered both successes and frustrations in using the ARDrone to date. Looking forward, the quadrotor’s capabilities do seem a promising basis for future curricular offerings.



Bitwise Biology: Crossdisciplinary Physical Computing Atop the Arduino

AAAI Conferences

We present the design and deployment of a physical computing platform developed for a crossdisciplinary introduction to biology and computer science. Using the accessible Arduino interface as its foundation, students instantiate increasingly nuanced physical interactions with the environment. Biological and computational ideas receive equal attention through three layered projects that span from circuit design through the co-evolution of predator-prey robot behaviors. The low-overhead platform presented here scales to support sophisticated projects at surprisingly modest time-and-money costs


AAAI 2008 Workshop Reports

AI Magazine

AAAI 2008 Workshop Reports


AAAI 2008 Workshop Reports

AI Magazine

AAAI was pleased to present the AAAI-08 Workshop Program, held Sunday and Monday, July 13–14, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The program included the following 15 workshops: Advancements in POMDP Solvers; AI Education Workshop Colloquium; Coordination, Organizations, Institutions, and Norms in Agent Systems, Enhanced Messaging; Human Implications of Human-Robot Interaction; Intelligent Techniques for Web Personalization and Recommender Systems; Metareasoning: Thinking about Thinking; Multidisciplinary Workshop on Advances in Preference Handling; Search in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics; Spatial and Temporal Reasoning; Trading Agent Design and Analysis; Transfer Learning for Complex Tasks; What Went Wrong and Why: Lessons from AI Research and Applications; and Wikipedia and Artificial Intelligence: An Evolving Synergy.