Grad Colloquia

Thursday, October 20th from 2:00pm – 3:00pm in EECS 2311

Speaker:  Dale McConachie
Title:  Bandit Based Model Selection for Deformable Object Manipulation

Abstract:  We present a novel approach to deformable object manipulation that does not rely on highly accurate modeling.  Instead we formulate the task as a Non-stationary Multi-Armed Normal Dependent Bandit (MANDB) problem, with each arm representing a model of the deformable object.  To “pull” an arm and evaluate its utility, we use the arm’s model to generate a velocity command and execute it.  As the task evolves and the object deforms, the utility of each model can change.  Our framework estimates these changes and balances exploration of the model set with exploitation of high-tuility models.  We propose an approach based on Kalman Filtering for Non-stationary Multi-armed Normal Bandits (KF-MANB) to leverage the coupling between models to learn more from each arm pull.  We demonstrate that our method outperforms previous methods on synthetic trials, and performs competitively on several manipulation tasks in simulation.


Thursday, November 10th, from 2:00-3:00pm Speaker:  Brian Bittner Title:  Symbolic Computation of Dynamics on Smooth Manifolds

Thursday, November 17th, from 2:00-3:00pm Speaker:  Ross Hartley

Thursday, December 1 from 2:00-3:00pm  Speaker: TBA



Thursday (October 13) from 12pm – 1:30 pm in EECS 1303, Mia Stevens will present her work on Geofence Guidance for Small UAS. Food will be provided.

This is the first of a “Grad Colloquia Series” where students will be presenting our work to each other. This is a great opportunity to get feedback from each other, as well as to learn what other groups/students are working on. This is also an opportunity to practice presentations for conferences, or other similar venues.

Two more presentations are already scheduled; a total of five are planned for this semester. More details will be forthcoming as logistics are sorted out.