Monday 16 August 2010 00:00 Age: 4 yrs
Doctoral Thesis Defense: Robotics Lab Member Mark Micire
UMass Lowell Robotics Lab member Mark Micire will be defending his doctoral thesis, "Multi-Touch Interaction for Robot Command and Control," on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm in Olsen 311.
"The response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 exposed several technological gaps. In a day where satellite photography and multi-touch devices are becoming ubiquitous in our digital lives, it was surprising to find that many response groups were still using hand-drawn paper maps. Additionally, advanced technology such as hand held digital photography and robot cameras were limited to sending video only to the operators at the site and not immediately to the command staff. Little has improved technologically in the time since Katrina, and this gap in communication is still a significant problem for emergency response despite advances in commercial technology. Our work focuses on closing the gap between the personnel in the field and the command hierarchy supporting those teams. Using large commercially available tabletop multi-touch devices, we have designed and tested software for controlling individual robots as well as groups of robots for emergency response in a natural and easy to learn interface. Ease of learning was achieved through a detailed investigation of the natural gestures expressed by users while instructing robots to perform navigation and tasks. We also developed a virtual joystick interface that abandons traditional visual affordances uses human bio-mechanics to increase performance and provide ergonomic benefits over traditional physical joystick controllers. The research provides lessons learned and recommendations for future multi-touch command and control and proposes a significant shift in the way that interfaces should be designed for this class of multi-touch hardware."
The defense will also be broadcast at http://tinychat.com/mmiciredefense.
Thesis Advisor: Prof. Holly Yanco