Monica Nicolescu: Human-robot interaction and collaboration | Undergraduate research



Human-robot interaction and collaboration


Monica Nicolescu, Ph.D.


IT and Engineering

Organic sketch

Monica Nicolescu is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Nevada at Reno and Director of the University’s Robotics Research Lab. Nicolescu obtained his doctorate. Computer Science degree from the University of Southern California (2003) at the Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems. She obtained her Masters in Computer Science from the University of Southern California (1999) and a BS in Computer Science from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest (Romania, 1995). His research interests focus on the areas of human-robot interaction, robot control, learning and multi-robot systems. Nicolescu’s research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Army Research Laboratory, the Department of Energy, and Nevada Nanotech Systems. In 2006, she received the NSF Early Career Development Award (CAREER) for her work on learning robots by demonstration.

Project overview

For this project, we will study the development of robot capacities necessary for an efficient and natural human-robot interaction (HRI). In HRI fields, in addition to being able to perform a wide range of tasks, a successful robot teammate must take actions that support and enhance collaborations. Two areas are of paramount importance: communication and coordination. On the one hand, robots should have the appropriate communication skills to understand human verbal or implicit cues (such as gestures) as well as to express their own goals / intentions / failures in a way that can be understood by a teammate. human. On the other hand, joint work in a heterogeneous human-robot group requires careful coordination and synchronization of team actions in order to ensure proper execution of tasks. The objective of this project is to identify the communication and / or coordination capacities that would improve the quality of human-robot interaction, towards the design of robots with advanced social skills. Students will start by studying relevant related work and then continue by selecting a relevant aspect of human-robot interaction. This will be followed by the implementation of new HRI capabilities and testing / validation on physical robots (Pioneer, Baxter, PR2).

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