I am currently working in Pr. Dr. Stefan Schaal's research group called the Autonomous Motion Department (AMD) at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tuebingen, Germany. I am generally interested in motion generation; either when addressing complex robot motion planning problems or when studying human motion generation. The primary purpose of my research is enabling the seamless integration of high degree-of-freedom robots in the human environment. Predicting and mimicking human behavior is key to this integration, as our behavior encodes fundamental properties about social space sharing. Hence I currently investigate software components able to learn probabilistic models of human motion, and use these models to generate safer, more efficient and more comfortable robot behavior.
Prior I worked two years under the supervision of Pr. Dmitry Berenson in the Arc-Lab at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) based in Massachusetts, USA. I investigated motion planning in the context of human-robot collaboration and participated in the valve turning task of the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC).
At WPI I investigated how to account for a prediction of "human workspace occupancy" when planning robot manipulation motion in close proximity to a human. I have then investigated Inverse Optimal Control (IOC) to balance the elementary terms of the cost function used by the motion planner in collaborative scenarios. This was made possible by gathering a library of human collaboration motions using a motion capture system. This work was published in IEEE Transaction on Robotics.
I received my PhD in robotics at LAAS-CNRS (Laboratoire d'Analyse et d'Architecture des Systèmes), in the RIS team lead by Dr. Rachid Alami. My advisor was Dr. Thierry Siméon. I studied engineering problems that arise when autonomous robots move in a home or public environment. These environments are typically unstructured and require a high-degree of autonomy from the robot. My research was focused on motion planning for dexterous manipulation as part of Dexmart (a UE-FP7 project) but more precisely I was researching motion planning algorithms that would take the human presence explicitly into account in order to increase safety and comfort in human-robot interactions.