Mobile robots capable of providing physical assistance (mobile manipulators) have the potential to revolutionize healthcare by providing high-quality, economical help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In this talk, I will give an overview of opportunities in this area and present research from my lab, the Healthcare Robotics Lab at Georgia Tech. Three key questions drive our research: what tasks would be valuable for robots to perform; how can users effectively interact with robots to perform these tasks; and how can robots reliably perform these tasks in the real world? To help answer these questions, we have taken inspiration from helper monkeys, service dogs, and human assistants. We have also conducted studies with motor-impaired people, nurses, older adults, and other potential end users. Our results suggest that mobile manipulators can play a valued role in healthcare. Reliable operation in real healthcare settings, however, remains a challenge, which we are actively confronting through several approaches, including attaching RFID tags to objects, and giving robots common sense about the physical world. 



Charlie Kemp is an Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Interactive Computing and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received a doctorate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2005, and his BS and MEng from MIT. He founded the Healthcare Robotics Lab in 2007 (http://healthcare-robotics.com). His research focuses on mobile manipulation and human-robot interaction with an emphasis on robots for healthcare. He has received the 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award, the Georgia Tech Research Corporation Robotics Award, and the NSF CAREER award. His research has been covered extensively by the popular media, including the New York Times, Technology Review, ABC, and CNN


Faculty Host: Ashutosh Saxena


B17 Upson Hall

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Refreshments at 3:45pm in the Upson 4th Floor Atrium


Computer Science



Mobile Manipulation for Healthcare

Charlie Kemp

(GA Tech)