Prof. Billard, Distinguished lecture series at King's College

© 2016 EPFL

© 2016 EPFL

The Department of Informatics at King’s College London is delighted to invite you to attend the Distinguished Lecture of Professor Aude Billard (School of Engineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) on Monday 25 April. The lecture will take place in the K6.29 (Anatomy Lecture
Theatre) at our Strand campus from 18:30 to 19:30, followed by refreshments.

Title: Teaching Robots to be Agile


This talk will provide an overview of techniques developed in my group to enable robots to react rapidly in the face of changes in the environment when manipulating objects. Learning is guided by observing humans’ exquisite manipulatory skills. I will stress how important it is to model the various ways with which humans perform the same task. This multiplicity of solutions is the key to generate robust and flexible robotic controllers capable of adapting their strategies in the face of unexpected changes in the environment. I will review methods we have developed to allow instantaneous reactions to perturbation, mimicking humans’ immediate response in the presence of danger. I will present applications of these methods for compliant control during human-robot collaborative tasks and for performing sports, such as when playing golf with moving targets. The talk will conclude with examples in which robots achieve super-human capabilities for catching fast moving objects with a dexterity that exceeds that displayed by human beings.


Professor Aude Billard is head of the Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory (LASA) at the School of Engineering at the EPFL. She received a M.Sc. in Physics from EPFL (1995), a MSc. in Knowledge-based Systems (1996) and a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence (1998) from the University of Edinburgh. She was the recipient of the Intel Corporation Teaching award, the Swiss National Science Foundation career award in 2002, the Outstanding Young Person in Science and Innovation from the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and the IEEE-RAS Best Reviewer Award. Her research on human-robot interaction and robot learning from human demonstration was featured in numerous premier venues (BBC, IEEE Spectrum, Wired) and received numerous best paper awards at major robotics conferences, among which ICRA, IROS and ROMAN, as well as the 2015 King-Sun Fu Memorial Award for the best 2014 IEEE Transaction in Robotics paper.


Monday, 25 April 2016 from 18:30 to 19:30 (BST) - Add to Calendar