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Nakul Gopalan, Eric Rosen, Daniel Ullman, And David Whitney Win The Hyundai Visionary Challenge

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The Hyundai Visionary Challenge is a competition to ignite learning, exploration, and development in the realm of smart mobility. It’s meant to accelerate research innovations in smart mobility that drive the creation of sustainable cities across the globe, and awards teams across a broad spectrum of categories. Encompassing biology-inspired mobility, digital phenotyping, and man-machine partnership, these categories all aim to inspire new ways of thinking to impact the world. This year, Brown CS PhD students Nakul Gopalan, Eric Rosen, and David Whitney along with Brown CLPS PhD student Daniel Ullman (whose team was advised by Stefanie Tellex) have won the annual award for their proposal, “Improving Man-Machine Partnership using Mixed Reality Social Feedback from Robots.”

“I really enjoyed being able to talk about and explore the applications of our work in the business world,” explains David as he describes the group’s project, “and I saw the potential for VR to be truly transformative for society.”

In essence, the team’s goal was to increase the efficiency of communication between robots and human workers in the workplace. As it stands, robots are very unsafe to human coworkers. Humans can’t predict the future actions of automated robots, which vastly reduces robot effectiveness on the job. The idea to solve this issue is to have workers in warehouses wear augmented reality headsets to see the future actions of moving robots in real time, minimizing collisions and significantly improving workplace output. This tool would foster interaction between humans and machines, making for a much safer work environment. It may sound futuristic, but the team has set high goals for this project, and plans to continue working and refining this man-machine partnership idea in the upcoming years.


For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communications Outreach Specialist Jesse Polhemus.