ECR welcomes Professor Michael Beetz from the University of Bremen

The team at Edinburgh Centre for Robotics was delighted to welcome Professor Michael Beetz to Edinburgh last week. Professor Beetz is a professor for Computer Science at the Faculty for Mathematics & Informatics of the University Bremen and Head of the Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IAI). IAI investigates AI-based control methods for robotic agents, with a focus on human-scale everyday manipulation tasks.  

In addition to meetings with the Centre's staff and students, Professor Beetz delivered an inspiring lecture entitled "openEASE --- A Knowledge Processing Service for Robots and Robotics Researchers". This presentation on the open-ease tool, which supports robots in learning about common knowledge and physical laws, gave insights into a variety of state of the art research topics, including that robots shall acquire a memory of things, inspired by  humans' episodic memories. The online tool could serve to acquire knowledge bases for robots, i.e. it could collect the "big data” for robots regarding planning how to perform a common action.

Abstract task descriptions of common human tasks (e.g. food preparation) were refined to practical robot-specific action plans using libraries of plans for the most common actions. The presented work combined perception, action planning and semantic knowledge on common tasks in a closed-loop system joining the perspectives from robotics and systems theory.