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Mobile Robotics Research

I completed my Master of Applied Science (MASc) degree in the Collaborative Autonomous Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory at The University of British Columbia in 2020. My MASc is in Mechanical Engineering, but in practice my research was a mix of software engineering and user interaction design. My thesis was: “Design and Evaluation of Nonverbal Motion Cues for Human-Robot Spatial Interaction”

Below are the main projects to which I contributed during my degree. In each project I used the Robot Operating System (ROS 1) distributed middleware and programmed in either Python 2.7 or C++ 11.

Robotic Motion Legibility Cues

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My thesis research was on robot-to-human “motion legibility cues”. I designed these cues for a mobile robot to communicate its intentions and forthcoming motion to pedestrians.
See my GitHub repository here for details, images, and videos.
One paper is under peer-review for publication.

The “Group Surfing” Method for Mobile Robot Navigation Amongst Pedestrians

The Group Surfing method allows a mobile robot to navigate between sidewalk corners by following groups of pedestrians. We integrated an autonomous navigation system using the Group Surfing algorithm, multi-agent collision avoidance, and sidewalk following. I worked on this research project in a team of 5 during the first summer of my Master’s. We published a peer-reviewed paper at a top-tier IEEE robotics conference (see below).

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Diagram of the robot’s navigation system. I developed the collision avoidance system.

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We tested and demonstrated the system on sidewalks around the university (left).
I created a simulation environment for development and evaluation of the Group Surfing algorithm (right).


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Screenshot of Rviz (ROS data visualization tool) showing the robot’s collision avoidance system, which I created.

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Identity-Specific Person Following by a Mobile Robot

The 3Spheres Robotics Project by JDQ Systems Inc. is developing a social assistance robot, “Aether”, for elder care homes. I worked on this project during a co-op as part of my Master’s. My research lab had various partnerships with JDQ Systems Inc..

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The Aether robot (left). | Rviz screenshot showing Aether’s identity-specific person following system (right).

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Mobile Robotics Projects Under My Supervision

Mobile Robot Yielding Cues

During my Master’s I closely supervised a 4th year Mechatronics student, Ryan Lee, while he was working on this project. We co-designed robot-to-human communication cues for a robot to use when yiedling to a pedestrian at a doorway. Ryan implemented the cues on the robot (ROS/C++) with my help. We conducted a user study to evaluate and compare the cues.

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Images of the five robot-to-human yielding cues.

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