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 🙂
I delivered an expert talk in the short term training program organized by the Department of Information Technology, Delhi Technological University (DTU) on Recent Trends in AI and Machine learning on July 30, 2019. The title of my talk was “Emotion Recognition from Physiological Signals” where I highlighted how physiological signals such as electro-dermal activity (EDA) and electroencephalogram (EEG) can be used for recognizing the emotional state of an individual. The talk witnessed an enthusiastic audience of young researchers from varying backgrounds, undergraduate students to faculties. I would like to thanks Dr. Dinesh K. Vishwakarma for giving me an opportunity to interact with the curious minds at the DTU campus.
I am happy to announce that Pramil Panjawani has joined my research group as a Ph.D. candidate from Fall 2019. He is a recent graduate from the Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore with a B.Tech. in Electronics and Communication Engineering. Pramil has worked on projects related to Patient Assistance and Monitoring and will work with me on the Development of Robot-Assisted Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
I am glad to share that my two articles have been accepted for publication and oral presentation at the 28th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2019) conference which will take place in New Delhi, India from 14 – 18 Oct 2019. The first article is “Mapping Robotic Affordances with Pre-requisite Learning Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder” in collaboration with Venkata Ratnadeep Suri (Assistant Professor, IIIT-Delhi), Jatin Garg (Student, IIIT-Delhi), Krit Verma (Student, IIIT-Delhi) and Prarthana Kansal (Student, IIIT-Delhi). The second article is “Stakeholder’s Acceptance and Expectations of Robot-Assisted Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder” in collaboration with Joan Oliver (Researcher, IRD, Spain), Rebeca Oliván (Researcher, IRD, Spain), Annabel Folch (Researcher, UNIVIDD, Spain), Rafael Martínez-Leal (Researcher, UNIVIDD, Spain), Mireia Castellà (Researcher, UNIVIDD, Spain), Domenec Puig (Professor, URV, Spain). Thanks to all the collaborators along with the heartiest congratulations. If you are planning to visit RO-MAN conference, please feel free to drop me an email to discuss potential collaboration opportunities or just to share a cup of tea 🙂
I conducted a session with the teachers of The Indian School on Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Thursday 16th May. I would like to thank Dr. Anu Singh, the Vice Principal and HOD Science at The Indian School for giving me an opportunity of wonderful interaction with the teachers. It was fun to be back in the school in a different role. I had planned an activity of the Wumpus World to learn about reasoning in AI and the teachers enjoyed it. I was glad to know that CBSE is planning to launch a course in AI for high school students. I strongly believe that India needs to have an aggressive plan on AI similar to China.
I am offering a 2 credit course on Social Robotics during the current semester for senior undergraduate and graduate students. Today I had my first class in IIIT-Delhi and due to some confusion in the schedule, I almost miss it! Thanks to our Academics Manager Ms. Sheetu for reminding me. Fortunately, I had some introduction slides ready and the students did not leave even after 10 minutes of delay 🙂