Alexander L. Burka
aburka (at) seas (dot) upenn (dot) edu
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Lee Group Research: Kinematic Trees


Modern robots are equipped with advanced vision hardware, often 3D (using a stereo camera or a Kinect-like device). However, perception in unstructured environments is still very hard. In particular,1 even if object recognition is a solved problem2 there is still the issue of making sense of objects, especially objects with multiple moving parts (articulated objects). This is a part of perception for manipulation.

My research views articulated objects as graphs of nodes, where the edges specify the type of joint (revolute, prismatic, etc). Actually, most objects are trees or can be approximated by trees, which makes the analysis tractable. The project focuses on decomposing observations of an object and learning this tree automatically from data.

Here are the major software components:



1. Not "in particular" as in "this is the biggest problem," not even close, just that I am currently myopically focusing here.
2. It isn't...