Edinburgh Centre for Robotics has signed a contract with Honda Research Institute Europe to fund a PhD studentship in learning control and manipulation using tactile information
On Friday 22 January 2016, Professor Bernhard Sendhoff, President, Honda Research Institute Europe and his colleague Dr Michael Giegner, a senior scientist met Professor Sethu Vijayakumar, Director of the Centre and holder of a Personal Chair in Robotics here in the School of Informatics, together with Professor Johanna Moore, the Head of School and John McAleese, David Richardson and Colin Adams from the Commercialisation team, to complete the deal.
Edinburgh Centre for Robotics is a joint venture between the Schools of Informatics and Engineering, University of Edinburgh and the Schools of Engineering and Physical Sciences, and Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Heriot-Watt University.
Professor Vijayakumar believes the contract marks the beginning of a fruitful collaboration in the domain of interactive robotics between Edinburgh Centre for Robotics and Honda Research Institute Europe, which is the home of the ASIMO humanoid robot.
Professor Vijayakumar said:
“It was a pleasure to renew our decade-long association with Honda through concrete inward investments to the Centre in the form of PhD studentships.
“The president of Honda RI, Professor Bernhard Sendhoff, hinted that there may be opportunities for a much broader and closer engagement since the underlying research themes of shared interactive autonomy pursued in the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics resonate nicely with the core aim of intelligent systems development at Honda RI.
“I am extremely supportive of this initiative and look forward to even closer ties.”
The Edinburgh Centre for Robotics and Honda Research Institutes are already recruiting students for the studentship, ‘Learning control and manipulation using tactile information, as part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems.
After the contract signing event, Dr Gienger gave a presentation at one of the Centre’s fortnightly Gateway Events.
His topic was ‘Movement Learning and Control for Robots in Interaction.’
Dr Gienger talked about imitation learning research at the Honda Research Institute Europe. Starting from their perspective on robot movement representation and control, he introduced a probabilistic approach towards learning and imitating elementary object movement skills based on kinematic (camera) data.
He then presented the concepts that permit representing forces and thus enable the interaction with the environment. The last part of the talk covered recent research on learning sequential movement skills.