The Robotics Institute

RI | Seminar | April 7, 2006

Robotics Institute Seminar, April 7, 2006
Time and Place | Seminar Abstract | Speaker Biography | Speaker Appointments

The V-unit as an Opportunity to Build a Vision:
Case Studies from the Last Two Years

Manuela M. Veloso
School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University

M. Bernardine Dias
School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University

Time and Place

Mauldin Auditorium (NSH 1305)
Refreshments 3:15 pm
Talk 3:30 pm


Since the Fall of 2004, several of our students and faculty have participated in V-Unit projects that provided opportunities to build a Vision of what computer technology can contribute to non-traditional areas relevant to society.  The V-Unit earns program credit for graduate students and allows them to investigate some aspect of societal and technology problems with a broad mind. In this talk, we first introduce the V-unit and set it within the context of our larger TechBridgeWorld effort at Carnegie Mellon. We then describe in detail the V-Unit implementation in the different departments of the School of Computer Science (SCS) and in the Robotics Institute in particular. We will present the summaries of the different concrete V-Unit projects already accomplished, including efforts extended to other departments beyond SCS. We conclude our talk with our thoughts about future directions for the V Unit program, and a sampled description of the projects proposed to be carried out in the near future.

Speaker Biography

Manuela M. Veloso is a Professor in the Computer Science Department. She researches in Artificial Intelligence and robotics with focus on planning, control learning, and execution for single and multirobot teams. With her students, Professor Veloso has developed teams of soccer robots to investigate robot autonomy and teamwork in dynamic adversarial environments. Professor Veloso is a Fellow of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence. She is the Program Chair of the 2007 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence.  Professor Veloso strongly endorses the Technology Bridge World effort within which she created the "V-unit" to provide an opportunity for SCS graduate students to build a vision of how computer science and technology can address non-traditional problems dealing with society.

M. Bernardine Dias is a Research Scientist in the Robotics Institute where she earned her Ph.D. in Robotics in 2004.  Bernardine has research experience in autonomous team coordination, planning and navigation, and field robotics in general.  She also has teaching experience at Carnegie Mellon University's Pittsburgh and Doha campuses. Bernardine founded and directs TechBridgeWorld ( to enable and enhance research and education in technology relevant to developing communities.  She also encourages women in computing as a founding member and graduate faculty advisor of Women@SCS (

Speaker Appointments

For appointments, please contact Manuela Veloso ( or M. Bernardine Dias (

The Robotics Institute is part of the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.