Title: vSLAM on the Roomba

Speaker: Nandan Banerjee
Robotics Software Engineer at iRobot Corp.

Time: 19 October 17, Thursday, 3:30pm
Place: ISEC 140, 805 Columbus Ave., Boston, MA 02120

Abstract: SLAM has been around since the 1990s – it wasn’t as powerful as it is now and it required a lot of computational power back then. Powerful and cheap processors, advanced vision and mapping algorithms have enabled robots of today with SLAM technologies using computer vision. But all said, is it possible to put SLAM into household consumer robots to map an entire floor of a house or an apartment? The answer is yes. The latest generation of iRobot Roomba products uses vSLAM technology to map an entire floor. In this talk, I will discuss the various challenges that we had to deal with while trying to put SLAM on a low cost consumer robot, a brief overview of the underlying SLAM system that we have, a detailed discussion on the computer vision aspect of the vSLAM system, and the algorithmic challenges that we faced.

Bio: Nandan Banerjee is a Robotics Software Engineer with iRobot Corporation in Bedford, MA. He works in the Technology Organization of iRobot developing new technologies related to mapping & navigation of mobile consumer robots, and manipulation research. Before iRobot, he was a part of the WPI-CMU team that participated in the DARPA Robotics Challenge where he contributed to the vision and planning aspect that went into completing the task of getting the Atlas robot open and walk through a door. He has also worked as a Software Engineer at Samsung R&D Institute, India working on mobile phone platforms. He has a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science from the National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, India and a Master of Science in Robotics Engineering from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA. His research interests are in Robotics (Motion planning, visual servoing, mapping and navigation), AI, and computer vision.