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Seminar: Building Caregiving Robots that can touch, sense, and feed people

Tapomayukh "Tapo" Bhattacharjee: Postdoc Research Associate in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington

Event Details

Monday, January 27, 2020
4-5 p.m.

Abstract: How do we build robots that can assist people with mobility limitations with activities of daily living? To successfully perform these activities, a robot needs to be able to physically interact with humans and objects in unstructured human environments. In the first part of my talk, I will show how a robot can use multimodal sense of touch such as force and thermal sensing to infer properties of these physical interactions using data-driven methods and physics-based models. In the second part of the talk, I will show how a robot can leverage these properties to feed people with mobility limitations.

Successful robot-assisted feeding depends on reliable bite acquisition of hard-to-model deformable food items and easy bite transfer. Using insights from human studies, I will showcase algorithms and technologies that leverage multiple sensing modalities to perceive varied food item properties and determine successful strategies for bite acquisition and transfer. Using feedback from all the stakeholders, I will show how we built an autonomous robot-assisted feeding system that uses these algorithms and technologies and deployed it in the real world that fed real users with mobility limitations.

Bio: Tapomayukh "Tapo" Bhattacharjee is an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA postdoctoral research associate in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington working with Professor Siddhartha Srinivasa in the Personal Robotics Lab. He completed his Ph.D. in Robotics from Georgia Institute of Technology under the supervision of Professor Charlie Kemp, received his M.S. from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon, South Korea, and B.Tech. from National Institute of Technology, Calicut, India. He also worked as an R&D Lab Associate at Disney Research, Los Angeles and as a Visiting Scientist at the Interaction and Robotics Research Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Seoul, South Korea. His primary research interests are in the fields of human-robot interaction, haptic perception, and robot manipulation. His research revolves around the theme of leveraging physical interactions with objects and humans in unstructured environments to enable assistive care for people with mobility limitations. His work has won Best Technical Advances Paper Award at HRI and Best Demonstration Award at NeurIPS.