Visible to the public CPS: Medium: Tightly Integrated Perception and Planning in Intelligent Robotics

Project Details
Lead PI:Mark Campbell
Co-PI(s):Hadas Kress-Gazit
Daniel Huttenlocher
Noah Snavely
Performance Period:09/01/09 - 08/31/13
Institution(s):Cornell University
Sponsor(s):National Science Foundation
Project URL:
Outcomes Report URL:
Award Number:0931686
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Abstract: The objective of this research is to develop truly intelligent, automated driving through a new paradigm that tightly integrates probabilistic perception and deterministic planning in a formal, verifiable framework. The interdisciplinary approach utilizes three interlinked tasks. Representations develops new techniques for constructing and maintaining representations of a dynamic environment to facilitate higher-level planning. Anticipation and Motion Planning develops methods to anticipate changes in the environment and use them as part of the planning process. Verifiable Task Planning develops theory and techniques for providing probabilistic guarantees for high-level behaviors. Ingrained in the approach is the synergy between theory and experiment using an in house, fully equipped vehicle. The recent Urban Challenge showed the current brittleness of autonomous driving, where small perception mistakes would propagate into planners, causing near misses and small accidents; Fundamentally, there is a mismatch between probabilistic perception and deterministic planning, leading to "reactive" rather than "intelligent" behaviors. The proposed research directly addresses this by developing a single, unified theory of perception and planning for intelligent cyber-physical systems. Near term, this research could be used to develop advanced safety systems in cars. The elderly and physically impaired would benefit from inexpensive, advanced automation in cars. Far term, the advanced intelligence could lead to automated vehicles for applications such as cooperative search and rescue. The research program will educate students through interdisciplinary courses in computer science and mechanical engineering, and experiential learning projects. Results will be disseminated to the community including under-represented colleges and universities.