Carnegie Mellon Robotics Student Receives Honorable Mention for Inaugural Robotdalen Scientific Award
Michael Stilman, a PhD. student in the Robotics Institute’s humanoid group, received an honorable mention and was one of three finalists for the first Robotdalen Scientific Award, an international award established by a Swedish research initiative to recognize and encourage young, innovative people in the field of robotics and automation.
Mel Siegel, RI professor, was one of four jury members to select the winners.
Eric Demeester of Katholieke Universiteit in Belgium received the Robotdalen Award and its 20,000-euro prize during a ceremony in Sweden Sept. 5. Stilman and the other honorable mention, Bram Vanderborght from Virje Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, also were honored at the ceremony and received 1,000 euro (about $1,375) prizes.
“The main point of my research is that robots would be much more useful if they could move obstacles out of the way,” Stilman said. “Traditional planning for robots focuses on avoiding obstacles when going from a start to a goal. However in the real world, search and rescue, construction, home and nursing home assistance domains contain debris, materials clutter, doors and objects that have to be moved by the robot.” His advisors are James Kuffner and Chris Atkeson.
Here’s what the Robotdalen judges had to say about Stilman’s work: #_##A very hard problem, navigation in scenarios where the robot is permitted purposefully to move obstacles, never before addressed systematically in the robotics literature. The jury was impressed by the difficulty of the practical problem, breaking down as it does the usually presumed sharp delineation of robot and environment, and the thoroughness of the candidate's approach.#_##
Robotdalen (Robot Valley) is a regional economic development initiative focused on Mälardalen, a region just east of Stockholm that is an important European cluster for robotics and industrial automation.
About Carnegie Mellon:
Carnegie Mellon is a private research university with a
distinctive mix of programs in engineering, computer science, robotics, business,
public policy, fine arts and the humanities. More than 10,000 undergraduate and
graduate students receive an education characterized by its focus on creating
and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration,
and innovation. A small student-to-faculty ratio provides an opportunity for
close interaction between students and professors. While technology is pervasive
on its 144-acre Pittsburgh campus, Carnegie Mellon is also distinctive among
leading research universities for the world-renowned programs in its College of
Fine Arts. A global university, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in Silicon Valley, Calif.,
and Qatar, and programs in Asia, Australia and Europe.
For more, see www.cmu.edu