Odest Chadwicke Jenkins

Odest Chadwicke JenkinsI am an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Brown University. My research group, Robotics, Learning and Autonomy at Brown (RLAB), explores topics related to human-robot interaction and robot learning, with a specific focus on robot learning from human demonstration and robot software systems.  My work strives towards realizing robots and autonomous systems as effective collaborators for humans in real-world tasks.  Reproducibility and interoperability is a critical facet of my research and development work, such as from my group’s ROS repository.

My research into robot learning from demonstration, or robot LfD, centers on the automated discovery of processes underlying human movement and decision making. In recent years, robot LfD has emerged as a compelling alternative, where robots are programmed implicitly from a user’s demonstration rather than explicitly coding through a computer programming language.  Robot LfD allows users and developers focus on usage and applications of robots without the burden of acquiring task-unrelated technical skills.  My research focuses on developing algorithms and software capable of estimating and autonomously executing a human user’s intended robot behavior from demonstrated examples.

My group’s recent work has explored web-scale robot learning, where simple algorithms are used with large collections of demonstration data.  To permit large-scale data collection, my group has developed rosbridge to enable robots to be accessed and programmed purely from common web browsers using JavaScript.  Data at this scale poses new computational problems, including estimation of controllers from multivalued demonstrations.  More generally, my group aims to cast robots as web services to broaden public accessibility to state-of-the-art robots, such as for the PR2 Remote Lab.

Earlier work from my dissertation work studied robot LfD from the perspective of imitation learning for humanoid robots, with an emphasis on manifold learning from time-series data for estimating dynamical motion primitives.  My work has also ventured into computer vision for projects involving physics-based motion tracking using motion primitives and volumetric markerless motion capture., and computer animation for real-time control of physically simulated humanoids.


Recent Awards

NSF CAREER Award, 2009-14
Sloan Research Fellowship, 2009
AFOSR Young Investigator Award, 2008-11
PECASE (Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers), 2007
ONR Young Investigator funding, 2007-10


Contact information

Odest Chadwicke Jenkins, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Department of Computer Science
Brown University, Box 1910
115 Waterman St., 4th Floor
Providence, RI, USA 02912-1910

Phone: 401.863.7600
Fax: 401.863.7657
cjenkins _atsign_ cs _dot_ brown _dot_ edu

Note: Email is the best way to contact me, as my voice mail is often flooded with messages.