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Want to learn more about cognitive robotics? This course has it all

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Want to learn more about cognitive robotics? This course has it all article image

Now in its 4th year, MIT’s Cognitive Robotics Summer School is being held for the first time in Australia this year. 

The Cognitive Robotics Summer School features an innovative course on creating capable cognitive robots, by combining mobility and decision layers.

It brings together 50-70 early postgraduate researchers and 15-20 leading faculty from prestigious robotics universities. The Summer School is designed to give these rising stars a chance to interact and learn from the world’s best in the field of cognitive robotics, applying artificial intelligence to robots.

The unique course offers advanced tutorials on major elements of cognitive robotics that are required to develop capable autonomous systems.

Tutorials centre around the daily themes of robust execution, motion planning, activity planner, perception and manipulation, and planning under uncertainty and risk.

This year, organisers have a new, transversal theme, that will impact all the others: learning.

Building bridges between robotics and AI methods

The goal of the course is to help catalyse the next generation of researchers (from both industry and academia) in AI and robotics, to work together to develop robots that are capable at both the task and motion levels.

The five-day school helps students become equally conversant in the methods of cognitive systems and robotics and will help them to build bridges between robotics and AI methods.

To be held at CSIRO in Brisbane from July 6-10, organisers decided to keep the “Summer School” name in keeping with MIT’s tradition – despite a change of seasons.

Participants will have an opportunity to use the industrial-scale testing facilities at CSIRO’s Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies QCAT.

QCAT is an integrated research and development precinct for the resources and advanced technology industries. Its facilities include the recently launched Robotics Innovation Centre, a flight test area, an underground test area as well as a Remote Management Centre.

The Summer School was created by Brian Williams, an MIT Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Professor Williams, who is still closely involved in the format and delivery of the course, selected Australia as the host of this edition of the school. He is planning to deliver a keynote address.

The school covers planning, control, manipulation, deep learning and human-computer interaction.

At the end of the week, students will participate in a Grand Challenge competition that will incorporate aspects of all the labs and allow students to demonstrate what they have learned.

Students are introduced to the Enterprise system, a decision layer architecture which combines various decision-making components for planning and execution.

This system is combined with the Robotics Operating System (ROS) as a mobility layer to combine the perception and mobility components.

Together, Enterprise and ROS will be used by the students during the labs and Grand Challenge.

Students will also have the opportunity to test their software on different robotic hardware, building up to the use of a fleet of robots during the Grand Challenge.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Professor Brian Williams (MIT)

  • Ashkan Jasour (MIT)

  • Sven Koenig (USC)

  • Simon Lucey (CMU)

  • Phil Kilby (CSIRO Data61 & Australian National University)

  • Javier Civera (University of Zaragoza)

Applications are now open

Click here to secure your spot or to learn more.

A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are available. A sponsorship prospectus can be downloaded here.

Important Dates

  • February 6: Applications open

  • April 17: Deadline for early applications

  • April 20: Start of notification of admission

  • April 24: Recommended date of application for Visas to Australia for some countries

  • May 18: Deadline for late applications

  • May 31: Registration deadline

  • July 6-10: Summer School sessions

What:              4th Summer School on Cognitive Robotics

Where:            CSIRO’s Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies (QCAT)

Pullenvale, Brisbane

When:             July 6-10 2020 

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