Thursday, December 14, 2023

Huston, we have a solution!

Greetings from the AI, ML and Friends Seminar at the Australian National University in Canberra, where Dr. Zak Kingston from Rice University is speaking on "Scaling Multi-Modal Planning".

That doesn't sound very exciting, but he is speaking from the USA, where he has been planning how to use a robot on the International Space Station. Robots can help with routine housekeeping tasks, on a space station, and presumably on earth, but it is tedious to have to program the robot to make every tiny motion. That works fine for a production line, where every car body will be locked into the same place, with an area reserved for the robot. But Dr. Kingston explained a space station is a confined space cluttered with stuff, which gets moved about. He is describing the use of the Open Motion Planning Library (OMPL) to solve this problem.

Austral autonomous ship
for USN & RAN.
This work has application for the Australian Defence Force. Suppliers to the ADF are working on ships, and submarines designed to be operated without a crew for weeks. These drone submarines and ships will need routine maintenance while at sea, with no one on board. A robot sailor could save the vessel having return to port to have a minor problem fixed.

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