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Are safe and reliable autonomous robots just utopia?

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Apr 29

Date and time: 29 April 2021, 12:00 – 13:00 CEST (UTC +2)
Speaker: Christian Pek, Postdoctoral researcher at Division of Robotics, KTH
Title: Are safe and reliable autonomous robots just utopia?

Meeting ID: 695 6088 7455
Password: 755440

Picture of Christian PekAbstract: It is unquestionable that autonomous robots will play major roles in our life in the next decades: Autonomous vehicles will transport us to our destination, drones will deliver parcels, and collaborative robots will support medical procedures. Yet, failures of autonomous robots can lead to damages of goods, financial losses or even harm humans. How can we make sure that these systems operate as intended in all situations? Chris Pek’s research aims at developing algorithmic foundations to ensure that autonomous robots operate as intended even in complex and uncertain environments. To this end, we enable robots to assess the properties of their own actions during their operation. In this way, robots can be constrained to only execute actions if they are able to prove that the execution does not lead to undesired outcomes. In his talk, Chris Pek will present an overview of previous research and provide insights on how we can use online verification approaches to increase the safety of robots with machine learning components.

Bio: Christian Pek is a Postdoctoral researcher in the division of Robotics, Perception and Learning (RPL) at KTH since 2020. Together with Jana Tumová and Danica Kragic, Chris is working on developing algorithms to design safe and robust robotic systems with a high degree of autonomy. Before joining KTH, Chris acquired his PhD at the Technical University of Munich. He was working as a researcher in the autonomous driving department of BMW in Munich and was a visiting researcher at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.