Toward Human Interaction with Swarm Robots

November 1, 2012
2:50 pm - 4:00 pm
Halligan 111


Biological flocks and swarms exhibit collective intelligence even though the individual animals may follow simple behavioral rules. This has inspired roboticists to explore how to create bio-inspired robot swarms and flocks, partly because many robots can only follow simple behavioral rules and partly because many robots are fragile; bio-inspired robot teams can potentially exhibit collective intelligence that exceeds the intelligence of any individual, and do so in a way that is robust to problems with individual robots. In this talk, I will present work on ways to include a human "in the loop" with swarm robots. The goal will be to identify principles and means of human-robot interaction that avoid treating the human as an infallible oracle (at one extreme) or as an undesirable disturbance (at the other). Issues of leadership, predation, stakeholders, and dynamic systems will be addressed.


Mike Goodrich received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1996 from Brigham Young University. Following graduation, he spent two years in the Boston area as a post-doctoral researcher for Nissan Cambridge Basic Research, working with Nissan, MIT, and Harvard faculty on human factors problems related to automobile driving. In 1998, he joined the Computer Science faculty at Brigham Young University where he is currently a full professor. His research emphasizes human-robot interaction, with applications to wilderness search and rescue, autism therapy, planetary exploration, and security. He has published over a hundred peer reviewed papers, has worked in developing the Human-Robot Interaction research community, and is currently the managing editor for the Journal of Human-Robot Interaction. His hobbies including hiking Utah's beautiful canyons with his family and running marathons.