The SCIoI & ISAB Summer School is organized by the Excellence Cluster Science of Intelligence in collaboration with the International Society for Adaptive Behavior. The Summer School’s program is put together by the three Session Chairs, who compile a unique set of lectures integrating aspects of perception and learning in nature and robotics, while the Poster Session is organized by junior researchers at SCIoI. We would like to thank our Steering Committee for their advice and guidance throughout the summer school organization.
Oliver Brock works at TU Berlin and is the SCIoI Spokesperson. He represents the synthetic discipline robotics. He has extensive experience in building real-world robotic systems, contributing also to related disciplines, including perception and machine learning. Within the fields of robotics, he is a leader in leveraging collaborations with analytical disciplines, in particular psychology and behavioral biology, to work towards an understanding of embodied intelligence.
Naomi Ehrich Leonard is the Edwin S. Wilsey Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and associated faculty in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University. She is Founding Editor of the Annual Review of Control, Robotics, and Autonomous Systems. Her current research focuses on collective intelligence and dynamics and control of multi-agent systems on networks, with application to distributed decision-making, spreading processes, collective behavior, and multi-robot teams. Her research emphasizes the development of analytically tractable mathematical models of collective dynamics that provide the principled and systematic means to examine the role of feedback response, communication network structure, and individual differences, in the behavior, learning, and resilience of groups in uncertain and changing environments.
Jens Krause works at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries and at HU Berlin. Jens Krause’s research is part of the behavioral biology component of SCIoI. He and his group have developed an interactive robotic fish which is recognised by live fish as a conspecific. This robot is used to investigate basic principles of collective behavior and collective cognition. In particular they are interested in the way in which group-living organisms process information to deal with environmental challenges and how they come to collective decisions that are adaptive. Their interactive robot can embody the algorithms that they identified in biological agents and thereby allows them to test their validity. In order to give their robots realistic behavior (as fish) they address the issues of dimensionality reduction and cursive interaction which are central to SCIoI.
Individual Robot Perception and Learning
Pia Bideau is a postdoctoral researcher at TU-Berlin and part of the Cluster Science of Intelligence as of January 2020. Her research aims to address the topic of how one can teach a computer to see and understand the world as we humans do, the strengths and weaknesses of a computer vision system compared to a human vision system, and how the two systems can learn from each other. We move, we discover new interesting stuff that raises our curiosity if a perceived situation doesn’t match certain expectations, and we learn. Pia’s research focuses on motion – our motion as well as our motion perception. Motion is a key ability that we as living beings have to explore our environment. Our motion for example helps us to perceive depth, and the motion of objects helps us to recognize these objects even if those are unknown to us. Motion in the visual world helps us understanding an unstructured environment we are living in. Before she joined the Cluster of Intelligence, Pia received her PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (USA) working with Prof. Erik Learned-Miller and worked together with Cordelia Schmid and Karteek Alahari as part of an internship at Inria in Grenoble (France).
Multi Robot Coordination
Wolfgang Hönig is an independent junior research group leader at TU Berlin heading the Intelligent Multi-Robot Coordination Lab. Previously, he was a postdoctoral scholar at the Department of Aerospace, California Institute of Technology, advised by Soon-Jo Chung. He holdd a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the the University of Southern California, where he was advised by Nora Ayanian. His research focuses on enabling large teams of physical robots to collaboratively solve real-world tasks, using tools from informed search, optimization, and machine learning.
Perception and Learning in Nature
David Bierbach works at the HU Berlin. He is a biologist working on topics that range from individual differences to large-scale collective behaviors. He integrates field-based studies with analytical and experimental approaches in the laboratory. Through his highly interdisciplinary work, he has developed several experimental techniques to study animal behavior in the most standardized ways, from video playbacks and computer animations to the use of bio-mimetic robots. His main research objectives are tropical freshwater fish like clonal mollies (Poecilia formosa), guppies (P. reticulata) or sulfur mollies (P. sulphuraria). At SCIoI, he is investigating how fish use anticipation in their social interactions.
Student Poster Session
Aravind Battaje is a PhD student with SCIoI and a member of the Robotics and Biology Laboratory. His research interest is in the intersection of robotics, computer vision, machine learning/optimization, and neuroscience. At SCIoI, he works on robotic interactive perception, and plans to develop perceptual information processing systems that can inform and get informed by visual processing principles in humans.
Aravind received his MS from Georgia Tech, Atlanta, where he worked with Byron Boots on developing part of perception stack for AutoRally – a platform for experimenting with aggressive autonomous driving. Before that, he worked as a Computer Vision engineer for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems at Robert Bosch.
Vito Mengers is a doctoral researcher within SCIoI and works as part of Prof. Oliver Brock’s Robotics and Biology Laboratory. He received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from TU Berlin, where he worked on robotic perception employing the structure of interconnected recursive estimators. Now, Vito is continuing to work with interconnected recursive estimators, investigating their differentiable version as a candidate principle of intelligence in SCIoI.
Mohsen Raoufi received his Master’s degree in Dynamics and Control from Sharif University of Technology with a study on state estimation of nonlinear systems using a swarm-based optimization algorithm. His research interest is mainly focused on swarm robotics, heuristic optimization algorithms, as well as system dynamics.