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Senior Research Scientist, Amazon Go

Email: kevinlai "at" the UW CSE web domain (cs dot washington dot edu)

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Biography

I am currently Senior Research Scientist at Amazon Go. I joined the team as a Research Scientist in March 2014. Using computer vision and machine learning, we created a store where customers can simply take what they want and go! No lines, no checkout. 

I completed my Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Washington in Seattle with Professor Dieter Fox in Dec 2013. Before that, I obtained my B.Sc. in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.

My research interests are in computer vision, machine learning, and robotics. During my Ph.D., I investigated the detection and recognition of objects in indoor household environments. We worked with data collected using Microsoft Kinect style RGB-D cameras, which can simultaneously collect aligned RGB and depth images at high framerates. During my Ph.D., I collaborated closely with the Intel Science and Technology Center for Pervasive Computing.

News

  • April 5, 2014 - The RGB-D Scenes Dataset v.2 is now available here. It contains 14 new scenes reconstructed from RGB-D videos with furniture and tabletop objects, as well as Trimble 3D Warehouse objects used to learn HMP3D features and classifiers in our ICRA'14 paper!
  • March 1, 2014 - I joined Amazon as a Research Scientist.
  • Nov 22, 2013 - I successfully defended my PhD thesis: Object Recognition and Semantic Scene Labeling using RGB-D Data!
  • July 14, 2013 - Code for HMP features now available here. It achieves state-of-the-art results on the RGB-D Object Dataset!
  • December 13, 2012 - Software and data for detection-based object labeling in Kinect videos now available here.
  • October 3, 2012 - The RGB-D Object Dataset is now available for download directly from the website! No more sending emails necessary (questions and suggestions are, of course, still welcomed!).
  • May 12, 2011 - We won the ICRA 2011 Best Vision Paper Award! Sparse Distance Learning for Object Recognition Combining RGB and Depth Information
  • Feb 22, 2011 - The RGB-D Object Dataset is now available! This is a large dataset of 300 objects recorded using a Kinect style 3D camera.

Publications

Unsupervised Feature Learning for 3D Scene Labeling
Kevin Lai, Liefeng Bo, and Dieter Fox
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2014. [PDF] [bibtex] [video]
Finalist for Best Vision Paper Award. 

RGB-D Object Recognition: Features, Algorithms, and a Large Scale Benchmark.
Kevin Lai, Liefeng Bo, Xiaofeng Ren, and Dieter Fox.
Consumer Depth Cameras for Computer Vision: Research Topics and Applications, 2013. [LINK] [bibtex]

Detection-based Object Labeling in 3D Scenes
Kevin Lai, Liefeng Bo, Xiaofeng Ren, and Dieter Fox
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2012. [PDF] [bibtex] [video] [code]

A Scalable Tree-based Approach for Joint Object and Pose Recognition
Kevin Lai, Liefeng Bo, Xiaofeng Ren, and Dieter Fox
Twenty-Fifth Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), August 2011. [PDF] [bibtex] [slides]

Object Recognition with Hierarchical Kernel Descriptors
Liefeng Bo, Kevin Lai, Xiaofeng Ren, and Dieter Fox
IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), June 2011. [PDF] [bibtex]

Sparse Distance Learning for Object Recognition Combining RGB and Depth Information
Kevin Lai, Liefeng Bo, Xiaofeng Ren, and Dieter Fox
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2011. [PDF] [bibtex] [slides]
Best Vision Paper Award.

A Large-Scale Hierarchical Multi-View RGB-D Object Dataset
Kevin Lai, Liefeng Bo, Xiaofeng Ren, and Dieter Fox
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2011. [PDF] [bibtex] [poster] [dataset]

Object Recognition in 3D Point Clouds Using Web Data and Domain Adaptation
Kevin Lai and Dieter Fox
International Journal of Robotics Research 29(8), Jul 2010. [PDF] [bibtex]

3D Laser Scan Classification Using Web Data and Domain Adaptation
Kevin Lai and Dieter Fox
Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS), Jul 2009. [PDF] [bibtex] [poster]

Curious George: An Attentive Semantic Robot
David Meger, Per-Erik Forssén, Kevin Lai, Scott Helmer, Sancho McCann, Tristram Southey, Matthew Baumann, James J. Little, and David G. Lowe
Robotics and Autonomous Systems Journal 56(6), Jun 2008. [PDF] [bibtex]

Informed Visual Search: Combining Attention and Object Recognition
Per-Erik Forssén, David Meger, Kevin Lai, Scott Helmer, James J. Little, and David G. Lowe
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2008, May 2008. [PDF] [bibtex]

Curious George: An Attentive Semantic Robot
David Meger, Per-Erik Forssén, Kevin Lai, Scott Helmer, Sancho McCann,Tristram Southey, Matthew Baumann, James J. Little, David G. Lowe, and Bruce Dow
IROS 2007 Workshop: From Sensors to Human Spatial Concepts, Nov 2007. [PDF] [bibtex]

Curious George: The UBC Semantic Robot Vision System
Scott Helmer, David Meger, Per-Erik Forssén, Sancho McCann, Tristram Southey, Matthew Baumann, Kevin Lai, Bruce Dow, James J. Little, and David G. Lowe
AAAI-07 Mobile Robot Workshop Technical Report, AAAI-WS-07-15, Oct 2007. [PDF] [bibtex]

PhD Thesis

Object Recognition and Semantic Scene Labeling for RGB-D Data
Kevin Kar Wai Lai
Ph.D. Dissertation, Dec 2013. [PDF] [bibtex]


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