Motion Planning for Physical Systems

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 5:16pm

4:00 – 5:00
Engineering Sciences Building, Room 1001

HOST: Amr El Abbadi

Rice University

Title: Motion Planning for Physical Systems


Over the last decade, robot motion planning algorithms have been
developed to solve complex geometric problems and have contributed to
advances in industrial automation and autonomous exploration, but also
in diverse fields such as graphics animation and computational
structural biology. This talk begins by reviewing the state of the art
in sampling-based motion planning with emphasis on work for systems with
increased physical realism. Then recent advances in planning for hybrid
systems will be described, as well as the challenges of combining formal
logic and planning for creating safe and reliable systems.


Lydia E. Kavraki is the Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science and
Professor of Bioengineering at Rice University. She also holds a joint
appointment at the Department of Structural and Computational Biology
and Molecular Biophysics at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Kavraki received her B.A. in Computer Science from the University of
Crete in Greece and her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford
University working with Jean-Claude Latombe. Her research contributions
are in physical algorithms and their applications in robotics (robot
motion planning, hybrid systems, assembly planning, micromanipulation,
and flexible object manipulation) and computational structural biology
and bioinformatics (modeling of proteins and biomolecular interactions,
computer-assisted drug design and the large-scale functional annotation
of proteins). Kavraki has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed journal
and conference publications and is one of the authors of a new robotics
textbook titled `Principles of Robot Motion’ published by MIT Press. She
is currently a a member of the editorial advisory board of the Springer
Tracts in Advanced Robotics, an associate editor for the IEEE
Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and for the
Computing Surveys. Kavraki is the recipient of the Association for
Computing Machinery (ACM) Grace Murray Hopper Award for her technical
contributions. She has also received an NSF CAREER award, a Sloan
Fellowship, the Early Academic Career Award from the IEEE Society on
Robotics and Automation, a recognition as a top young investigator from
the MIT Technology Review Magazine, and the Duncan Award for excellence
in research and teaching from Rice University. Kavraki is a Fellow of
the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), a
Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
(AIMBE) and a Fellow of the World Technology Network. She currently
serves as a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Robotics and Automation
Society. Current projects at Kavraki’s laboratory are described in More information on Kavraki’s work can be
found in: