Simmons, Reid


Plan-Time Multi-Model Switching for Motion Planning

AAAI Conferences

Robot navigation through non-uniform environments requires reliable motion plan generation. The choice of planning model fidelity can significantly impact performance. Prior research has shown that reducing model fidelity saves planning time, but sacrifices execution reliability. While current adaptive hierarchical motion planning techniques are promising, we present a framework that leverages a richer set of robot motion models at plan-time. The framework chooses when to switch models and what model is most applicable within a single trajectory. For instance, more complex environment locales require higher fidelity models, while lower fidelity models are sufficient for simpler parts of the planning space, thus saving plan time. Our algorithm continuously aims to pick the model that best handles the current local environment. This effectively generates a single, mixed-fidelity plan. We present results for a simulated mobile robot with attached trailer in a hospital domain. We compare using a single motion planning model to switching with our framework of multiple models. Our results demonstrate that multi-fidelity model switching increases plan-time efficiency without sacrificing execution reliability.


Online Learning of Robot Soccer Free Kick Plans Using a Bandit Approach

AAAI Conferences

This paper presents an online learning approach for teams of autonomous soccer robots to select free kick plans. In robot soccer, free kicks present an opportunity to execute plans with relatively controllable initial conditions. However, the effectiveness of each plan is highly dependent on the adversary, and there are few free kicks during each game, making it necessary to learn online from sparse observations. To achieve learning, we first greatly reduce the planning space by framing the problem as a contextual multi-armed bandit problem, in which the actions are a set of pre-computed plans, and the state is the position of the free kick on the field. During execution, we model the reward function for different free kicks using Gaussian Processes, and perform online learning using the Upper Confidence Bound algorithm. Results from a physics-based simulation reveal that the robots are capable of adapting to various different realistic opponents to maximize their expected reward during free kicks.


Heuristic Search Value Iteration for POMDPs

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We present a novel POMDP planning algorithm called heuristic search value iteration (HSVI).HSVI is an anytime algorithm that returns a policy and a provable bound on its regret with respect to the optimal policy. HSVI gets its power by combining two well-known techniques: attention-focusing search heuristics and piecewise linear convex representations of the value function. HSVI's soundness and convergence have been proven. On some benchmark problems from the literature, HSVI displays speedups of greater than 100 with respect to other state-of-the-art POMDP value iteration algorithms. We also apply HSVI to a new rover exploration problem 10 times larger than most POMDP problems in the literature.


Believable Robot Characters

AI Magazine

Believability of characters has been an objective in literature, theater, film, and animation. We argue that believable robot characters are important in human-robot interaction, as well. In particular, we contend that believable characters evoke users' social responses that, for some tasks, lead to more natural interactions and are associated with improved task performance. In a dialogue-capable robot, a key to such believability is the integration of a consistent storyline, verbal and nonverbal behaviors, and sociocultural context.


Believable Robot Characters

AI Magazine

Believability of characters has been an objective in literature, theater, film, and animation. We argue that believable robot characters are important in human-robot interaction, as well. In particular, we contend that believable characters evoke users’ social responses that, for some tasks, lead to more natural interactions and are associated with improved task performance. In a dialogue-capable robot, a key to such believability is the integration of a consistent storyline, verbal and nonverbal behaviors, and sociocultural context. We describe our work in this area and present empirical results from three robot receptionist testbeds that operate "in the wild."


GRACE: An Autonomous Robot for the AAAI Robot Challenge

AI Magazine

In an attempt to solve as much of the AAAI Robot Challenge as possible, five research institutions representing academia, industry, and government integrated their research into a single robot named GRACE. This article describes this first-year effort by the GRACE team, including not only the various techniques each participant brought to GRACE but also the difficult integration effort itself.


GRACE: An Autonomous Robot for the AAAI Robot Challenge

AI Magazine

In an attempt to solve as much of the AAAI Robot Challenge as possible, five research institutions representing academia, industry, and government integrated their research into a single robot named GRACE. This article describes this first-year effort by the GRACE team, including not only the various techniques each participant brought to GRACE but also the difficult integration effort itself.


RIACS Workshop on the Verification and Validation of Autonomous and Adaptive Systems

AI Magazine

The long-term future of space exploration at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is dependent on the full exploitation of autonomous and adaptive systems, but mission managers are worried about the reliability of these more intelligent systems. The main focus of the workshop was to address these worries; hence, we invited NASA engineers working on autonomous and adaptive systems and researchers interested in the verification and validation of software systems. The dual purpose of the meeting was to (1) make NASA engineers aware of the verification and validation techniques they could be using and (2) make the verification and validation community aware of the complexity of the systems NASA is developing. The workshop was held 5 to 7 December 2000 at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California.


RIACS Workshop on the Verification and Validation of Autonomous and Adaptive Systems

AI Magazine

The long-term future of space exploration at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is dependent on the full exploitation of autonomous and adaptive systems, but mission managers are worried about the reliability of these more intelligent systems. The main focus of the workshop was to address these worries; hence, we invited NASA engineers working on autonomous and adaptive systems and researchers interested in the verification and validation of software systems. The dual purpose of the meeting was to (1) make NASA engineers aware of the verification and validation techniques they could be using and (2) make the verification and validation community aware of the complexity of the systems NASA is developing. The workshop was held 5 to 7 December 2000 at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California.


The Find-Life-on-Mars Event

AI Magazine

The Find-Life-on-Mars event of the 1997 Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition featured robots trying to find and collect stationary and moving colored objects in an arena littered with real rocks. The 2- day event had 11 entries participating in both single- robot and multirobot categories, both with and without manipulators. During the event, many of the robots successfully demonstrated object recognition, obstacle avoidance, exploration, and the collection and depositing of objects.