Microsoft Future Leaders in Robotics and AI Seminar Series: Catie Cuan

Friday, April 26, 2024
2:00 p.m.
Online Seminar

Choreorobotics: Teaching Robots How to Dance with Humans

Catie Cuan 
Postdoctoral Fellow
Standford University

Zoom Link

As robots transition from industrial and research settings into everyday environments, robots must be able to (1) learn from humans while benefiting from the full range of the humans' knowledge and (2) learn to interact with humans in safe, intuitive, and social ways. I will present a series of compelling robot behaviors, where human perception and interaction are foregrounded in a variety of tasks. Supervised learning is incorporated in three projects to improve robots’ capabilities in dynamic, changing environments. In the first project, robots learned a door opening task from human teleoperators. In the second project, robots learned to navigate in response to human gestures by using imitation learning paired with model predictive control. In the third project, robots learned to move in groups based on a choreographer's preferences while generating music in real time. This work on compelling robot behaviors elucidates how teaching interfaces and interactions with robots in everyday settings can be appealing, efficient, and delightful.


A researcher, entrepreneur, and artist, Dr. Catie Cuan is a pioneer in the nascent field of ‘choreorobotics’ and works at the intersection of artificial intelligence, human-robot interaction, and art. She is currently a Postdoc in Computer Science at Stanford University. Catie recently defended her PhD in robotics and AI via the Mechanical Engineering department at Stanford, where she also completed a Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Her PhD was funded by the National Institutes of Health, Google, and Stanford University. During her PhD, she led the first multi-robot machine learning project at Everyday Robots (Google X) and Robotics at Google (now a part of Google Deepmind). She has held artistic residencies at the Smithsonian, the Exploratorium, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Everyday Robots (Google X), TED, and ThoughtWorks Arts.

Audience: Public 

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