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RoboShow Highlights Artificial Intelligence Research at UAlbany
Monday, May 10, 1 -4 p.m. event features robot demonstrations and seminars

Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 7, 2004) -- The University at Albany Institute for Informatics, Logics and Security Studies (ILS) will present RoboShow, a series of student research demonstrations and seminars on advanced robotics. RoboShow features demonstrations of Sony AIBO robotic dogs, programmed by UAlbany researchers with artificial intelligence code, performing such autonomous tasks as navigating a maze, playing soccer, following directions, and conversing with humans.

The demonstration grew from Computer Science Professor Tomek Strzalkowski's Robotics Seminar. "SONY's AIBO is a mass produced robot that can walk, talk and listen, but while these capabilities are impressive, today's robots still can't effectively communicate with people," he said. "The course offered a tremendous opportunity to embed research on intelligent systems into these autonomous robotic devices. With it, we are beginning a new wave of robotics research at UAlbany."

During the show, a team of AIBO robot dogs will play a soccer game, each AIBO broadcasting information about its location and state to all other AIBOs as the team collaborates to score a goal. The demonstration will also include two or more AIBOs in unopposed charges toward the goal.

Another AIBO will "talk" and answer spoken questions. The AIBO, through a neural network vision system, will try to detect the location of the speaker's face and turn its head to talk face-to-face, and will perform simple tasks assigned by the speaker. The goal of the exercise is to demonstrate how robots might detect human speech and synchronize their own "speech" in conjunction with appropriate motion.

A third demonstration will focus on AIBOs navigating a simulated office building maze environment. On receiving a simple sequence of verbal instructions, the AIBO will move through the maze, avoiding obstacles, recognizing environments (such as hallways to the right and left), and successfully integrating high level movement strategies with sensors and motors.

In addition to the robotic demonstrations, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) instructor Scott Lenser will lecture on the common robotics problem of noisy sensor data, and UAlbany School of Information Science and Policy Professor Huahai Yang will discuss robot navigation and spatial knowledge acquisition.

"This show is the first of what will be many public demonstrations showing the progress UAlbany is making in using state-of-the-art equipment to develop robotic artificial intelligence," said ILS research aide and show organizer Robert Salkin.

RoboShow, Monday, May 10, in Social Sciences Building rooms 259 and 262 on the uptown campus, is free and open to the public. CMU's Scott Lenser will lecture 1-2 p.m.; robot demonstrations will be held 2-3 p.m.; and UAlbany's Huahai Yang will lecture 3-4 p.m.

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