Thursday, 13 August 2015

Webcast with 2014 ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award Recipient Robin R. Murphy: "Disasters: Robots, Computing, and Informatics"

Register TODAY for the next free ACM Learning Webinar, "Disasters: Robots, Computing, and Informatics," presented on Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 12pm ET (11am CT/10 am MT/9 am PT/4 pm GMT) by Robin R. Murphy, Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University and recipient of 2014 ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award. The talk will be followed by a live question and answer session.

(If you'd like to attend but can't make it to the virtual event, you still need to register to receive a recording of the webinar when it becomes available.)

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Unmanned ground, aerial, and marine vehicles have been used at over 46 disasters since 2001 and offer the potential to transform emergency response, recovery, and prevention. However, disaster robotics is not really about robots but more about the data that they provide. This webinar will introduce participants to the phases of disaster response and summarize the missions where unmanned systems have been used. The remainder of the webinar will be divided into two parts. One part will discuss computing challenges for increased intelligent control of the platforms, describing the missions for which autonomous capabilities appear the most useful. Intelligent control also involves advances in human-robot interaction as human error was responsible for 50% of the mission-terminating failures reported between 2001 and 2013.

The second part of the webinar will discuss the emergency informatics challenges of extracting, delivering, displaying, and supporting analytics of relevant information. For example, the 2015 Memorial Day weekend floods in Texas illustrate the extreme scales associated with even “small” disasters. The flooding in the Blanco River region, one of four major regions impacted, spanned four counties and 412 miles2 Over 20 local and state agencies were involved, plus an equal number of search teams with small UAVs. A single 20-minute UAV flight produced roughly over 800 images totaling 1.7GB. There were over a dozen platforms flying daily for two weeks as well as Civil Air Patrol and satellite imagery. The primary data source for situation awareness and for searching was imagery, highlighting the need for computer vision. By the end of the webinar, participants should have a high level understanding of what really goes on at a disaster, how robots and computing are being used, and the open research questions for unmanned systems and computer science in general.

Duration: 60 minutes (including audience Q&A)

Presenter: Robin R. Murphy, Texas A&M University; Recipient of 2014 ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award
Robin R. Murphy is Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University and directs the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR). She received a B.M.E. in mechanical engineering, a M.S. and Ph.D in computer science in 1980, 1989, and 1992, respectively, from Georgia Institute of Technology. She has over 150 publications on artificial intelligence, human-robot interaction, and robotics including the Introduction to AI Robotics and Disaster Robotics, which won the 2014 PROSE honorable mention for engineering and science writing at the American Publishers Awards. An IEEE Fellow and a founder of Roboticists Without Borders, she has worked in disaster robotics research and deployment since 1995. She has inserted ground, air, and marine robots at 19 disasters world-wide including the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster, Hurricane Katrina, and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Her numerous professional awards include the Motohiro Kisoi award (Japan), the AUVSI Foundation Al Aube award, and the 2014 ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions Within Computer Science and Informatics She has been declared an “Innovator in AI” by TIME, an “Alpha Geek” by WIRED Magazine, one of the “Most Influential Women in Technology” by Fast Company, and one of the Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers for 2015 by Government Technology Magazine.

Moderator: Ani Hsieh, Drexel University
M. Ani Hsieh is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics Department. She received a B.S. in Engineering and B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College in 1999 and her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. Her current work in the Scalable Autonomous System Laboratory at Drexel University focuses on bridging the gap between geophysical fluid dynamics, nonlinear dynamics and control, and distributed multi-agent robotic systems. She is the recipient of a 2012 Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award and a 2013 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award.

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