Published June 4, 2019
CSE Assistant Professor Nils Napp’s project, entitled “Abstraction Barriers for Embodied Algorithms,” addresses the problem of modeling physical interactions of robots in real-world environments. For example, a robot action can inadvertently change the state of the world, sometimes directly causing accidents or causing problems in future robot-world interactions. This project addresses this problem in the context of robot construction by developing representations of the world state that robots can reason about and use for planning. These allow programmers to treat robots and embodied algorithms and to make robots that reliably operate when modifying the environment and building structures.
Napp joined UB in 2014. Previously, he was a postdoctoral researcher in bio-inspired engineering at the Wyss Institute, Harvard University. He received his PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Washington in 2011. Napp’s research interests include robotics, algorithms and distributed systems.