Chad Jenkins named Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction (THRI)

We are thrilled to become part of the ACM family of journals,” explained THRI Co-Editor-in-Chief Odest Chadwicke Jenkins of the University of Michigan. “ACM’s reputation as a publisher of computing research is unparalleled. At the same time, the broad representation of computing disciplines in the ACM, the organization’s global reach, and platforms such as the Digital Library, are a perfect complement to our own goals for THRI.

Jenkins, along with Co-Editor-in-Chief Selma Šabanović of Indiana University, have set three primary goals for the journal in the coming years, including: 1) Sustaining the intellectual growth of HRI as a field of study (both quantitatively and qualitatively), 2) Enabling timely and productive feedback from readers, and 3) Cultivating new and leading-edge ideas in both robotics and the human-centered sciences

The inaugural issue of the rebranded ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction (THRI) is planned for March 2018. Those seeking to submit for the publication, or who have questions for the editors, are encouraged to visit the current HRI Journal website.

The full article.

Yuxiao Chen’s Formal Design Process: Achieving Ever-Greater Balance Between Safety and Performance

The concept of “formal methods”, also know as “correct by construction” is applied to the trajectory planning for mobile robots/small autonomous vehicles. The main challenges are (i) the presence of multiple moving objects (pedestrians, other robots/vehicles), and (ii) plant uncertainties. We aim to address both in our research.

The example publications show a formal design process to deal with multiple moving objects (without considering plant uncertainties). Our method achieves better balance between safety (zero collision!) and performance (the robot does not keep stopping to avoid collisions) compared with other methods from the literature.

Mr. Yuxiao Chen is a U-M graduate student co-advised by Professors Huei Peng and Jessy Grizzle.

U-M CSE Graduate Students present papers at ICAPS 2017

CSE graduate students Qi Zhang and Shun Zhang will present exciting research papers at ICAPS 2017, the 27th International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, taking place this June at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh PA.

Here are the papers:

Minimizing Maximum Regret in Commitment Constrained Sequential Decision Making

Approximately-Optimal Queries for Planning in Reward-Uncertain Markov Decision Processes


Robots beware: we will detect your anomalies!


Professor Necmiye Ozay has been awarded the NASA Early CAREER Faculty award, which enables Professor Ozay and her team to develop “Run-time anomaly detection and mitigation in information-rich cyber-physical systems.” The crowning application will be an exploration problem involving humans and robots.

More information here.


A ‘vast improvement’ in MARLO’s mobility on uncertain terrain

Two novel feedback control algorithms developed for the bipedal robot MARLO are vastly improving her ability to move over uncertain terrain.  The work was done by PhD students Dennis Da and Brent Griffin, in collaboration with PhD students Omar Harib and Ross Hartley, all of whom work with Professor Jessy Grizzle.


Researchers from the U-M Robotics and Motion Laboratory win competition in soft robotics!

Wyatt Felt, Khai Yi Chin, Kevin Green, and Prof. C. David Remy from the Robotics and Motion Laboratory received a $5000 award for their work on Smart Braids (  Smart Braids are conductive reinforcing fibers that provide a way of sensing the deformation and force output of fiber-reinforced actuators without any external transducers. They are able to do this by sensing a change in resistance and inductance which corresponds to movement of the braids. The technology, which was recently patented by the team, was selected as the best Research Contribution out of  82 submissions from over 20 countries around the world.

The 2015 Soft Robotics Competition, was held by the “soft robotics toolkit website”, which was developed as part of educational research being undertaken in the Biodesign Lab at Harvard University. The ultimate aim of the toolkit is to advance the field of soft robotics by allowing designers and researchers to build upon each other’s work. The toolkit includes detailed documentation describing a wide range of soft robotic components (such as controllers, actuators, or sensors), and enables soft robotic systems to be produced easily and affordably (