Talk 2

“Building Human-robot Symbiosis with Game-theoretic Intent Inference and Motion Planning” by Dr. Wenlong Zhang

Abstract: human-robot interaction has become ubiquitous in workplace and daily life. Besides safety guarantee, human-friendly robots need to estimate the human intents in real time and dynamically adjust their actions to collaborate with humans. This would require innovation in smart hardware and intelligent algorithms, and this talk will introduce my lab’s efforts in both directions. The first part of the talk will introduce our work on wearable robotics for gait assistance and rehabilitation, with a focus on soft robotic knee exosuits designed using fabric-based inflatable actuators. Test results with healthy individuals and stroke patients will be presented. In the second part of the talk, I will discuss our game-theoretic framework for intent estimate and motion planning for an autonomous vehicle to interact with a human-driven vehicle in a safe and socially-adept manner. Simulation results will be presented to demonstrate the human-like driving behaviors enabled by the developed algorithms. This talk will conclude with some open problems and possible directions to integrate hardware and algorithm designs for building human-robot symbiosis.

Bio: Dr. Wenlong Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Systems Engineering in the Polytechnic School at Arizona State University (ASU). He received his M.S. in mechanical engineering, M.A. in statistics, and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, all from the University of California, Berkeley. He is directing the ASU Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory (RISE Lab). His research interests include designing compliant robots and dynamics-aware planning algorithms for robots to interact safely and efficiently with humans and complex environments. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award and Bisgrove Junior Faculty Award from Science Foundation Arizona.