16th Nov 23

Talk Ideas with João Macedo

Speaker: João Macedo

Date: 22nd of November, 2023

Time: 4:00 pm

Place: Room G4.1

Presentation title: “Robotics: evolution and dependability”

Short bio:

João Macedo is a researcher at CISUC and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Informatics Engineering of the University of Coimbra, where he has been responsible for practical classes of Introduction to Programming in both Python and Java, as well as Evolutionary Computation. During his PhD he worked at CISUC and ISR-UC and focused in the field of Evolutionary Robotics. In particular, he developed Genetic Programming algorithms to automatically produce human-readable robotic controllers, applied to locating the sources of pollutants. He has helped with the organization of several conferences, namely EvoStar2016, ICARSC2017, PPSN2018, GECCO2022 and GECCO2023 and is member of the program committee of EvosAPPS.


Nowadays, robots are easily encountered, ranging from autonomous vacuum cleaners at homes to mobile manipulators in factories and autonomous vehicles, carrying people and goods in land, water and sea. As robots are requested to perform more complex tasks, their controllers and bodies become more difficult to design. Researchers have been addressing such problems through Artificial Intelligence methods, namely Evolutionary Algorithms, which draw inspiration from Nature to evolve robots similarly to animals, yielding the field of Evolutionary Robotics. Another way to address the complexity of robots is to reuse software and although such software libraries do exist and are widely applied in robots, they still lack proper dependability and resilience studies. This presentation will go through the basis of Evolutionary Robotics, briefly presenting João Macedos' PhD work and then move to describe the Robot Operating System and its need for dependability studies.

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