Dr. Andreagiovanni Reina (Research Fellow in Collective Robotics – University of Sheffield, UK) visited us for a seminar on January 23, 2020. In his lecture on “Collective Decision Making: From Bees to Robots via Multiscale Modelling”, he highlighted how the collective systems are inherently difficult to analyze and how his research is using multiscale modeling, to analyze the systems at various levels of complexity and detail, from macroscopic group-level dynamics to microscopic individual-level behavior, and from noise-free deterministic models to stochastic spatial descriptions. It was a very insightful talk and definitely can be very helpful in group human-robot interaction. More information about him and his research can be found at http://areina.staff.shef.ac.uk.
Prof. Domènec Puig recently visited us from URV, Spain between December 29, 2019 – January 5, 2020. Prof. Puig was my Ph.D. supervisor and is currently Vice-Rector of the URV, Spain for Academic Policy. During his visit, Prof. Puig interacted with our director Prof. Ranjan Bose and Dean (Academics) Prof. Anubha Gupta for exploring research and academic collaboration opportunities at the institute level. He also gave a talk on “Efficient Artificial Intelligent Models and their Applications to Healthcare Informatics”. We also discussed the funding opportunities between Indian and the EU and agreed to create an Indo-EU consortium for seeking funding from the EU on capacity building in robotics and autonomous systems in India. It was a pleasure hosting him and his wife at IIIT-Delhi. His visit reminded me of my beautiful days during my Ph.D. in Spain. Looking forward to a fruitful collaboration again with Prof. Puig, this time in a different role 🙂
IIIT-Allahabad held an inauguration ceremony on January 2, 2020, to mark the launch of the Center of Intelligent Robotics, in which I was also invited as a keynote speaker. I delivered a talk on “Emotion recognition using Physiological Signals and Machine Learning”. The talk was scheduled in a room, where I used to attend classes during my graduation at IIIT-Allahabad and hence I felt honored to stand on the other side of the mic in the same class. Several enthusiastic students attended the talk, from and outside IIIT-Allahabad. I would love to see these students take a career in Robotics in their future.
My colleague Anuj and I recently visited UCT, Cape Town on November 21, 2019, for exploring potential collaboration opportunities between UCT and IIIT-Delhi. We had wonderful interactions with faculty members from the Department of Computer Science and Department of Electrical Engineering, including James Gain, Patrick Marais, Amit Mishra, and Fred Nicolls. We talked about research interests of IIIT-Delhi and realized that UCT and IIIT-Delhi share similar interests in several areas including, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Virtual Reality, HCI, Communications, etc. We also had a meeting with Carol Ojwang, Acting Co-Director (Internationalisation) at UCT. We discussed strong possibility of collaboration in terms of joint Ph.D. and semester abroad programs. Thanks a lot to everyone at UCT for the kind hospitality during our visit and we look forward to a long and enriching relationship between UCT and IIIT-Delhi.
Our two research articles were earlier accepted for publication and oral presentation at the 28th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2019) conference. Our first article titled “Mapping Robotic Affordances with Pre-requisite Learning Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder” was presented by co-author Prarthana Kansal (Student, IIIT-Delhi). The second article titled “Stakeholder’s Acceptance and Expectations of Robot-Assisted Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder” was presented by the first author Joan Oliver (Researcher, IRD, Spain). Both of our presentations received positive comments from the gathered researchers.
It was a very fruitful experience as we gained several important insights from these encounters. It was also delightful to catch up with fellow researchers and friends over dinner 🙂
Last month, we successfully concluded our project Social Robots for Primary Education. In this study, we investigated the use of Cozmo robot with children from primary school at Deepalaya school and the initial findings suggest that child-robot interaction may improve the learning skills of the children. I would like to thanks Ms. Tanushree, Ms. Shalini and Ms. Jaswant for allowing us to conduct robot interactions with the children at their community school!
I also would like to thanks my collaborators, Divyanshu (IIIT-Delhi), Dr. Sumita (Tampere University, Finland) and Dr. Grace (IIIT-Delhi) for making this happen. I and Divyanshu went to Deeapalaya for a thank you visit. We gifted two VR headsets to the children of Deepalaya school. We hope it will be helpful for the children. I was elated to receive one hand-made sketch and a Lord Ganesha idol from the children.
I and my colleague Prof. Anubha Gupta, IIIT-D are looking for a joint Ph.D. student to work on developing a subject independent driver status monitoring system using physiological signals and/or camera systems for different driving scenarios in real life and in simulation. The work involves training data collection in virtual reality and real-life driving settings. This data would be analyzed, and a machine/deep learning model would be built that would adapt itself, improving the user experience and security during driving. Interested candidates can apply with their CV to me [jainendra(at)iiitd(dot)ac(dot)in] and to Prof. Anubha Gupta [anubha(at)iiitd(dot)ac(dot)in] via email titled “Application for a Ph.D.” Only students having UGC/CSIR-NET JRF funding or DST-Inspire funding are encouraged to apply. A B.Tech/M. Tech graduate in CSE/ECE or allied areas having an outstanding academic record with exceptional coding skills may also apply. Interested students may apply latest by 10th October 2019.