Robotics Colloquium: Speaker Tucker Hermans

Title: Out of Sight, Still in Mind: Contending with Hidden Objects in Multi-Object Manipulation

Abstract: Our daily lives are filled with crowded and cluttered environments. Whether getting a bowl out of the cabinet, food out of a refrigerator, or a book off a shelf we are surrounded by groups and collections of objects when acting in the built world. For robots to act as caregivers and assistants in human spaces they must contend with more than one object at a time.

In this talk, I will present our recent efforts in the manipulation of multiple objects as groups. I will start with a brief description of what we’ve learned in creating successful learning-based tools for the manipulation of isolated unknown objects. I will then discuss how we’ve extended these approaches to plan interactions with object collections, where multiple objects move at once. Key to these approaches is the use of logical representations to represent and communicate robot tasks. I will then discuss further extensions to our core multi-object manipulation framework including receiving natural language commands and incorporating memory models to handle long-term object occlusion.

Bio: Tucker Hermans is an associate professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah and a senior research scientist at NVIDIA. Hermans is a founding member of the University of Utah Robotics Center. Professor Hermans is a 2021 Sloan Fellow and recipient of the NSF CAREER award and the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award. His research with his students has been nominated for and won multiple conference paper awards including winning the Best Systems Paper at CoRL 2019.

Previously, Professor Hermans was a postdoc at TU Darmstadt working with Jan Peters. He was at Georgia Tech from 2009 to 2014 in the School of Interactive Computing where he earned his Ph.D. in Robotics and his M.Sc. in Computer Science under the supervision of Aaron Bobick and Jim Rehg. He earned his A.B. in German and Computer Science from Bowdoin College in 2009.


Start date
Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, 2:30 p.m.
End date
Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, 4 p.m.

In-person: Drone Lab: 164 Shepherd Lab