Nishanth Kumar is an Undergraduate Research Assistant in Brown CS Professor Stefanie Tellex's Humans 2 Robots Lab whose interests include robotics, artificial intelligence, and using hardware and software to create truly useful products. Last semester, he was selected as a Plenary Speaker for the Ivy League Undergraduate Research Symposium (ILURS) 2019 for his research ("Action-Oriented Semantic Maps via Mixed Reality") with alum Eric Rosen, Brown CLPS PhD student Daniel Ullman, alum David Whitney, Professor George Konidaris, and Stefanie. While there, he was recognized as Best Plenary Presentation, the conference's top honor.
Asked about his research, Nishanth explains that if we want robots to operate robustly in human-centered environments, they need to bridge the gab between their internal models and objects, actions, and tasks in the real world. "Semantic maps," he says, "are the prototypical representation for grounded robot knowledge about objects and attributes, but they don't naturally include information about actions. In our work, we present a novel approach to bridging the semantic gap via Action-Oriented Semantic Maps (AOSMs): semantic maps that also model the possible consequences of actions."
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