Princeton Robotics Seminar

The series continues in Fall 2022 with all events fully in-person. It is scheduled on Fridays at 11am-12pm eastern time. The location is Computer Science Building, Room 105.

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Upcoming Seminars

Sep 30, 2022 - Radhika Nagpal - Princeton

Title: Towards Collective A.I.


Abstract: In nature, groups of thousands of individuals cooperate to create complex structure purely through local interactions — from cells that form complex organisms, to social insects like termites and ants that build nests and self-assemble bridges, to the complex and mesmerizing motion of fish schools and bird flocks. What makes these systems so fascinating to scientists and engineers alike, is that even though each individual has limited ability, as a collective they achieve tremendous complexity. What would it take to create our own artificial collectives of the scale and complexity that nature achieves? In this talk I will discuss some ongoing projects that use inspiration from biological self-assembly to create robotic systems, e.g. the Kilobot swarm inspired by cells, the Termes and EcitonR robots inspired by the 3D assembly of termites and army ants, and the BlueSwarm project inspired by fish schools. There are many challenges for both building and programming robot swarms, and we use these systems to explore decentralized algorithms, embodied intelligence, and methods for synthesizing complex global behavior. Our theme is the same: can we create simple robots that cooperate to achieve collective complexity?

Biography: Radhika Nagpal is the Norman R. Augustine '57 *59 Professor in Engineering at Princeton University, joint between MAE and COS, where she heads the Self-organizing Swarms & Robotics Lab (SSR). Nagpal is a leading researcher in swarm robotics and self-organized collective intelligence. Projects from her lab include bio-inspired multi-robot systems such as the Kilobot thousand-robot swarm (Science 2014) as well as models of collective intelligence in biology (Nature Comms. 2022). In 2017 Nagpal co-founded ROOT Robotics, an educational robotics company acquired by iRobot. Nagpal was named by Nature magazine as one of the top ten influential scientists and engineers of the year (Nature10 award, Dec 2014) and she is also known for her Scientific American blog article (“The Awesomest 7 Year Postdoc”, 2013) on academic cultural change.



Oct 14, 2022 - Sarah Tang, Waymo

Oct 28, 2022 - Tomas Lozano-Perez, MIT

Nov 11, 2022 - TBD

Dec 2, 2022 - Nadia Figueroa, UPenn


Past Seminars

Sep 16, 2022 - Katie Skinner - Learning from Limited Data for Robot Vision in the Wild

April 22, 2022 - Mac Schwager - Reimagining Robot Autonomy with Neural Environment Representations

April 8, 2022 - Stephen Tu - Learning from many trajectories

March 25, 2022 - Karen Leung - Towards the Unification of Autonomous Vehicle Safety Concepts: A Reachability Perspective

March 11, 2022 - Reza Moini - Bio-inspired Design and Additive Manufacturing of Architected Cement-based Materials

Feb 25, 2022 - Aimy Wissa - Bio-Inspired Locomotion Strategies across Mediums: From Feather-Inspired Flow Control to Beetle-Inspired Jumping

Feb 11, 2022 - Jordan Taylor - The steep part of the learning curve: how cognitive strategies shape motor skill acquisition

Dec 3, 2021 - Naomi LeonardCollective Intelligence and Multi-Robot System

Nov 19, 2021 - Aaron Ames - Safety-Critical Control of Dynamic Robots

Nov 5, 2021 - Chuchu Fan - Building Dependable Autonomous Systems through Learning Certified Decisions and Control

Oct 8, 2021 - Karthik Narasimhan - Language-guided policy learning for better generalization and safety

Sep 24, 2021 - Daniel Cohen - Living microrobots: controlling cellular swarms and the waterbear as a potential microrobot chassis

Sep 17, 2021 - Michael Posa - Contact-Rich Robotics: Learning, Impact-Invariant Control, and Tactile Feedback

Feb 11, 2021 - Jia Deng - Optimization Inspired Deep Architectures for Multiview 3D

Feb 25, 2021 - Stefana Parascho - Rethinking Architectural Robotics

Mar 11, 2021 - Naveen Verma - AI Meets Large-scale Sensing: preserving and exploiting structure of the real world to enhance machine perception

April 8, 2021 - Jaime Fernandez Fisac - Safe Robots in the Wild: maintaining safety by planning through uncertainty and interaction

April 22, 2021 - Olga RussakovskyZhiwei Deng - Evolving Graphical Planner: Contextual Global Planning for Vision-and-Language Navigation

May 6, 2021 - Bartolomeo Stellato - Data-Driven Embedded Optimization for Control



Allen Ren, Alexandra Bodrova, Nate Simon, Anirudha Majumdar