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Assistant Professors Chad Jenkins and Meinolf Sellmann have been selected to receive one of Brown's highly competitive Salomon Awards. The $30,000 grant will support research projects in time-critical decision making and robot learning from demonstration. Their research in this area will be applied to the robot soccer domain through participation in the Robocup competition this summer. This work will increase the accessibility of controlling robots to greater numbers of people through developing methods for learning basic robot skills from human demonstration. These skills are the basis for research into time-critical optimization to allow robots to reason as close to optimal with limited resources and time.

By avoiding explicit user programming, this research aims to provide interfaces for implicitly programming autonomous robots, similar to character control for playing a video game, without explicit knowledge of computer programming. Such interfaces will allow for more accessible control of robots to a wider population as well as spark broader participation between students, educators, and artificial intelligence.