Illah R. Nourbakhsh

Professor of Robotics
The Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Email: illah "at" cs.cmu.edu

Former Robotics Group Lead
Ames Research Center
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

[ Research | Lab | Publications | Courses | Business | CV | Goodies | Contact ]

Research

ANNOUNCING: Robot Futures is now for sale! You can buy it at your local neighborhood Amazon store in hardcover or electronic versions, or you can buy it direct from the publisher, MIT Press. Book reviews by: LA Review of Books, Ars technica, New Scientist, Slate, and many others.

The Robot Futures Blog is now ready for public viewing. This blog tracks news stories relating directly to my book, Robot Futures, which was published this month by MIT Press. You can also watch a speech I gave recently about the future that this book portends at Assemble Pittsburgh.

The Ethics and Robotics open course website is now released. Enjoy reading articles and visiting teacher resources to help instructors incorporate ethics and robotics into single-day or whole-term robotics courses.

The Gigapan website is now released. Explore, share and annotate very high resolution panoramic imagery.

For more than ten years I have been exploring human-robot interaction with the aim of creating rich, effective and satisfying interactions between humans and robots. My research has focused specifically on human-robot collaboration, wherein the robotic and human agents in the system share the same unifying goal or utility function. I further sharpen my scope to human-robot collaboration for learning, in which the measurable outcomes are information gain on the part of the humans in the system. In the context of my focus on collaboration for learning, rich means a cognitively sophisticated interaction in which humans and robots communicate as peers; effective means that formal measures of human learning should yield significant outcomes; satisfying means that humans should find the interaction both useful and pleasurable.

Three key questions govern my inquiry into human-robot collaboration:

  • What enabling competencies in the areas of social perception and control are required for applicability of the resulting models?
  • What principles of robot morphology and robot behavior design have broad applicability to the design of interaction systems?
  • Can a principled interaction evaluation methodology enable us to implement complete, feedback-driven design life cycles for interaction systems?

    One research focus has been to develop embedded solutions to the problem of semantic interpretation of events using visual sensing. Another focus has been robot navigation because it is an important prerequisite to many forms of social interaction when the robot shares the human physical space. For example visual-topological navigation and hybrid metric-topological models aim to provide navigation competency with a minimum of computational and memory demands. Because of the cross-disciplinary nature of the human-robot collaboration problem, integrative research must bring robotics together with other fields that model human cognition and social behavior. I have joined and extended models of interaction and evaluation methodology from Human Factors, HCI and Cognitive Psychology, outstanding complements to robotics since these fields already consider human relationships to physical embodiments and consider human behavioral change over time.

    Most recently we have begun to study the role of a research lab in meaningful design, dissemination and scaling with communities of practice. Our working model is one in which participatory design, design-based thinking and robotic innovation are combined to achieve positive social impact on specific problems throughout societies. For specific information about these projects, all of which are dedicated to make real impact while also establishing models for laboratory-community interaction, see my CREATE Lab website.

    Courses

    Roland Siegwart, Davide Scaramuzza and I are publishing the second edition of our textbook this year Mobile Robots textbook with the MIT Press.

    Websites include the Ethics and Robotics course website, Robotic Autonomy summer course, CMUcam website for low-overhead robotic vision; the Personal Rover website for our future home robot technology, which can climb 8 inch ledges, and of course the Palm Pilot Robot Kit website. For a whole website devoted to the 16x62 final contest in 1999, click here!

    I have been designing and teaching introductory and advanced robotics courses at all secondary and upper levels of education, including middle school, high school, undergrad and graduate levels. For an example of my middle-school curriculum, click here. Former students of mine have developed Legobotics and BugBotics, which is a course taught for C-Mites here at CMU.

    For more detailed information about my educational work, click here. Here are short summaries of three current courses at CMU:

    16899E Ethics and Robotics

    This new experimental course, taught as an open-web course with a strong on-line component, exposes students to both the study of ethics and its application to the domain of robotics, where we can discuss the role ethics has and should have in the practice of robotics research, engineering and the public understanding and policymaking processes surrounding robotics. The link above goes to a teacher resource on ethics and robotics I am now releasing to facilitate incorporation of ethics lessons into any robotics course.

    16867 Principles of Human Robot Interaction

    This is an advanced course on human-robot interaction designed for upperclass students, MS and PhD students.

    16362/16862 Mobile Robot Programming

    NOTE: This course is taught now by Prof. Al Kelly.

    This course covers all aspects of mobile robotics programming, starting at low-level PID control and behavioral control and graduating all the way to robot team communication and interleaving planning and execution.

    The class presents a strong formal approach and will apply those formalisms to real robots that you program in teams. We will use six Noma d Scout robots. This course is for any undergraduate or graduate who has working knowledge of at least one programming language and has strong intellectual enthusiasm. This class, which is limited enrollment, will challenge you.

    For more information on this class, including news articles and animation, click here.

    Publications

    "ChargeCar Community Conversions: Practical, Custom Electric Vehicles Now!," Ben Brown, Chris Bartley, Jennifer Cross, Illah Nourbakhsh. In print, IEVC 2012. Click here for a PDF.

    "Designing POMDP Models of Socially Situated Tasks," Frank Broz, Reid Simmons, Illah Nourbakhsh. RO-MAN 2011.

    "Active Management of a Heterogenous Energy Store for Electric Vehicles," Alex Styler, Gregg Podnar, Paul Dille, Matt Duescher, Christopher Bartley, Illah Nourbakhsh. IEEE FISTS 2011. Vienna, Austria, 2011.

    "Designing the Finch: Creating a Robot Aligned to Computer Science Concepts," Tom Lauwers & Illah Nourbakhsh. Educational Advances in Artificial Intelligence, 2010.

    "Gigapixels for Science," I. Nourbakhsh. In IEEE Robotics and Automation. In print, June 2010. Click here for a PDF.

    "A Strategy for Collaborative Outreach: Lessons from the CSBots Project," T. Lauwers, E. Hamner, I. Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of SIGCSE, 2010. Click here for a PDF.

    "GigaPan Conversations: Diversity and Inclusion in the Community," I. Nourbakhsh, C. Acedo, R. Sargent, C. Strebel, L. Tomokiyo, C. Belalcazar. In Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference on Technology for Development. United Nations, Lausanne, Switzerland 2010. Click here for a PDF.

    "Robot Diaries: Creative Technology Fluency for Middle School Girls," I. Nourbakhsh. In IEEE Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 2009. Click here for a PDF.

    "CSbots: Design and Deployment of a Robot Designed for the CS1 Classroom," T. Lauwers, I. Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of SIGCSE 2009. Click here for a PDF.

    "The Neighborhood Networks Projects: A Case Study of Critical Engagement and Creative Expression Through Participatory Design," C. DiSalvo, I. Nourbakhsh, D. Holstius, A. Akin, M. Louw. Proceedings of the 2008 Participatory Design Conference, Bloomington, Indiana. 2008. Click here for a PDF.

    "Planning for Human-Robot Interaction using Time-State Aggregated POMDPs," F. Broz, I. Nourbakhsh, R. Simmons. Proceedings of the NCAI AAAI 2008. Menlo Park, CA. Click here for a PDF.

    "Robot Diaries interim project report: Development of a technology program for middle school girls," E. Hamner, T. Lauwers, D. Bernstein, K. Stubbs, K. Crowley, I. Nourbakhsh. Carnegie Mellon University Technical Report CMU-RI-TR-08-25. 2008. Click here for a PDF.

    "Using a Robot Proxy to Create Common Ground in Exploration Tasks," K. Stubbs, D. Wettergreen, I. Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of HRI 2008. Click here for a PDF.

    "Robot Diaries: Broadening participation in the Computer Science pipeline through social technical exploration," E. Hamner, T. Lauwers, D. Bernstein, I. Nourbakhsh, C. DiSalvo. In AAAI Spring Symposium on Using AI to Motivate Greater Participation in Computer Science, 2008. Click here for a PDF.

    "Iterative Design of a Robot-Centered Curriculum for the Introduction to Computer Science Course," T. Lauwers, I. Nourbakhsh. In AAAI Spring Symposium on Using AI to Motivate Greater Participation in Computer Science, 2008. Click here for a PDF.

    "Working with a robot: Exploration relationship potential in human-robot systems," D. Bernstein, K. Crowley, I. Nourbakhsh. Interaction Studies Special Issue on Psychological Benchmarks of Human-Robot Interaction. pp. 465-482. Vol 8, Issue 3, 2007. Click here for a PDF.

    "TeRK: A Flexible Tool for Science and Technology Education," I. Nourbakhsh, E. Hamner, T. Lauwers, C. DiSalvo, D. Bernstein. Proceedings of AAAI Spring Symposium on Robots and Robot Venues. Click here for a PDF.

    "Informing Curricular Design by Surveying CS1 Educators," T. Lauwers, I. Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of AMIREA 2007. Click here for a PDF.

    "A Roadmap for Technology Literacy and a Vehicle for Getting There: Educational Robotics and the TeRK Project," I. Nourbakhsh, E. Hamner, T. Lauwers, D. Bernstein, C. DiSalvo. In IEEE ROMAN 2006. Click here for a PDF.

    "Cognitive Evaluation of Human-Robot Systems (CEHRS): A Method for Analyzing Cognitive Change in Human-Robot Systems," K. Stubbs, D. Bernstein, K. Crowley, I. Nourbakhsh. IEEE ROMAN 2006. Click here for a PDF.

    "Constraint Optimization Coordination Architecture for Search and Rescue Robotics," M. Koes, I. Nourbakhsh, K. Sycara. In Proceedings of ICRA 2006.

    "A Constraint Optimization Framework for Fractured Robot Teams," M. Koes, K. Sycara, I. Nourbakhsh. In AAMAS 2006.

    "Best Laid Plans of Robots and Men," M. Koes, K. Sycara, I. Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of AAAI Spring Symposium on Distributed Plan and Schedule Management. AAAI Press, March 2006.

    "A Preliminary Study of Peer-to-Peer Human-Robot Interaction," T. Fong et al. In Proceedings of IEEE SMC 2006.

    "On the Study of Human-Robot Collaboration," I. Nourbakhsh, Invited paper at AMC 2006. Istanbul, Turkey.

    "Mobile Robot Programming in Education," J. Lalonde, C. Bartley, I. Nourbakhsh. ICRA 2006. Click here for a PDF.

    "Method and system for concurrent error identification in resource scheduling," C. Hite, T. Morse, O. Matan, T. Boehmer, I. Nourbakhsh, S. Uckun, J. Fama, E. Reusser, G. Fichtenholtz, S. Shvarts. United States Patent #6,959,405.

    "Method and Apparatus for Multi-Contact Scheduling," I. Nourbakhsh, O. Matan, J. Fama, S. Veach, E. Hamilton, A. Fukunaga. United States Patent #6,952,732, 2005.

    "Heterogeneous Multirobot Coordination with Spatial and Temporal Constraints," M. Koes, I. Nourbakhsh, K. Sycara. Accepted at AAAI 2005. This paper will be available after the conference occurs.

    "Long-Term Human-Robot Interaction," K. Stubbs, D. Bernstein, K. Crowley, I. Nourbakhsh. Accepted at AIED 2005. Click here for a PDF of this article.

    "Human-Robot Teaming for Search and Rescue: A facility for integrated testing of an agent-based rescue system in both simulated and real-world environments," I. Nourbakhsh, M. Lewis, K. Sycara, M. Koes, M. Yong and S. Burion. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 2005. Click here for a PDF of this article.

    "Interaction Challenges in Human Robot Space Exploration," T. Fong, I. Nourbakhsh. Invited article for ACM Interactions, 2005. Click here for a PDF of this article.

    "Up Close and Personal from Mars," E. Hamner, M. Lotter, I. Nourbakhsh, S. Shelly. Invited article for ACM Interactions, 2005. Click here for a PDF of this article.

    "Parents, Docents and Robots: Examining Mediation at the Personal Exploration Rover Exhibit," D. Bernstein, K. Crowley, I. Nourbakhsh, K. Stubbs. Invited poster at ASTC-2004. Click here for a PDF of the poster.

    "The Design of a Highly Reliable Robot for Unmediated Museum Interaction," I. Nourbakhsh, E. Hamner, E. Porter, B. Dunlavey, E. Ayoob, T. Hsiu, M. Lotter, S. Shelly. Published at ICRA-2005. Click here for a PDF.

    "Educational Results of the Personal Exploration Rover Museum Exhibit," I. Nourbakhsh, E. Hamner, B. Dunlavey, D. Bernstein, K. Crowley. Published at ICRA-2005. Click here for a PDF.

    "The Robot Autonomy Mobile Robotics Course: Robot Design, Curriculum Design and Educational Assessment," I. Nourbakhsh, K. Crowley, A. Bhave, E. Hamner, T. Hsiu, A. Perez-Bergquist, S. Richards, K. Wilkinson. in Autonomous Robotics Journal 18(1), January 2005. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "The Personal Exploration Rover: Educational assessment of a robotic exhibit for informal learning venues," I. Nourbakhsh, E. Hamner, D. Bernstein, K. Crowley, E. Ayoob, M. Lotter, S. Shelly, T. Hsiu, E. Porter, B. Dunlavey, D. Clancy. International Journal of Engineering Education, Special Issue on Trends in Robotics Education. Vol. 22, No. 4, pp 777 - 791, 2006. Click here for a PDF.

    "Techniques for Evaluating Optical Flow for Visual Odometry in Extreme Terrain," J. Campbell, R. Sukthankar, I. Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of IROS 2004, 2004. Click here for a PDF version.

    "Communication Efficiency in Multi-agent Systems," M. Berna-Koes, I. Nourbakhsh, K. Sycara. In Proceedings of ICRA 2004, 2004. A PDF version is available here.

    "Low Overhead Manipulation of Bound Book Pages," J. Young, I. Nourbakhsh, In Proceedings of ICRA 2004, 2004. A PDF version is available here.

    "Formal Measures of Learning in a Secondary School Mobile Robotics Course," I. Nourbakhsh, E. Hamner, K. Crowley, K. Wilkinson, In Proceedings of ICRA 2004, 2004. A PDF version is available here.

    "Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots," R. Siegwart and I. Nourbakhsh. MIT Press, 2004. Click here for MIT Press order information on this mobile robotics textbook.

    "The Smart Wheelchair Component System," R. Simpson, E. LoPresti, S. Hayashi, I. Nourbakhsh, D. Miller. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. May/June 2004. A PDF version is available here.

    "Energy storage device used in locomotion machine," H. Benjamin Brown, Garth Zeglin and Illah Nourbakhsh. United States Patent #6,558,297, 2004.

    "A Survey of Space Robotics," L. Pedersen, D. Kortenkamp, D. Wettergreen, I. Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligent, Robotics and Automation in Space (i-SAIRAS-03), 2003. A PDF version is available here.

    "The educational impact of the Robotic Autonomy mobile robotics course," I. Nourbakhsh, K. Crowley, K. Wilkinson, E. Hamner. CMU Technical Report CMU-RI-TR-03-29, formerly 03-18. August 2003. Click here for a PDF version.

    "Designing a Low-cost, Expressive Educational Robot," T. Hsiu, S. Richards, A. Bhave, A. Perez-Bergquist, I. Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of IROS 2003, Las Vegas (in print). Click here for a PDF version.

    "The Mobot Museum Robot Installations: A Five Year Experiment," I. Nourbakhsh, C. Kunz, T. Willeke. In Proceedings of IROS 2003, Las Vegas (in print). Click here for a PDF version.

    "The Personal Rover Project: The comprehensive design of a domestic personal robot," E. Falcone, R. Gockley, E. Porter, I. Nourbakhsh. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Special Issue on Socially Interactive Robots 42 (3-4), pp 245-258, 2003. Click here for a PDF version.

    "A survey of socially interactive robots," T. Fong, I. Nourbakhsh, K. Dautenhahn. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Special issue on Socially Interactive Robots 42 (3-4), pp 143-166, 2003. Click here for a PDF version.

    "Socially Interactive Autonomous Robot," C. Kunz, T. Willeke, I. Nourbakhsh. United States Patent #6,539,284.

    "A survey of socially interactive robots: Concepts, Design and Applications," T. Fong, I. Nourbakhsh, K. Dautenhahn. Technical Report CMU-RI-TR-02-29, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA USA, December 2002. Click here for a PDF version of this long paper (longer than the journal version above).

    "Staff Scheduling for Inbound Call Centers and Contact Centers," A. Fukunaga, E. Hamilton, D. Andre, O. Matan, J. Fama, I. Nourbakhsh. AI Magazine, 23(4), Winter 2002. Click here for a PDF version of this paper.

    "Hybrid Simultaneous Map-Building: A Natural Integration of Topological and Metric," N. Tomatis, I. Nourbakhsh, R. Siegwart. Robotics and Autonomous Systems Journal. In print. Click here for a PDF version.

    "Evaluation of Sensors for a Smart Wheelchair," E.F. LoPresti, R.C. Simpson, D. Miller, I. Nourbakhsh. Proceedings of the RESNA 2002 Annual Conference. pp 166-168. June 2002. Click here for a PDF of the paper.

    "Learning Probabilistic Models for State Tracking of Mobile Robots," Daniel Nikovski, Illah Nourbakhsh. In print, IROS 2002. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "Learning Probabilistic Models for Optimal Visual Servo Control of Dynamic Manipulation," Daniel Nikovski, Illah Nourbakhsh. In print, IROS 2002. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "A Low Cost Embedded Color Vision System," Anthony Rowe, Charles Rosenberg, Illah Nourbakhsh. In print, IROS 2002. For a PDF version click here.

    "Staff Scheduling for Inbound Call Centers," Alex Fukunaga, Edward Hamilton, David Andre, Ofer Matan, Jason Fama, Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings, IAAI 2002. Click here for a PDF version of this paper.

    "The Role of Expressiveness and Attention in Human-Robot Interaction," Allison Bruce, Illah Nourbakhsh, Reid Simmons. Proceedings of ICRA 2002. Click here for a PDF version.

    "Hybrid simultaneous localization and map building: closing the loop with multi-hypothesis tracking," Nicola Tomatis, Illah Nourbakhsh, Roland Siegwart. In print, ICRA 2002. Click here for a PDF version of this paper.

    "A simple low-cost color vision system," Anthony Rowe, Charles Rosenberg, Illah Nourbakhsh. Tech Sketch at CVPR 2001. Click here for a PDF version of this tech sketch.

    "Agent scheduling system and method having improved post-processing step," Dave Andre and Illah Nourbakhsh. United States Patent #6,278,978. August 2001.

    "Narrative-level visual interpretation of human motion for human-robot interaction," Adrian Hilti, Illah Nourbakhsh, Bjorn Jensen, Roland Siegwart. In Proceedings of IROS 2001. Maui, Hawaii, October 29 - November 3, 2001. Click here for a PDF version of this paper.

    "Simultaneous localization and map-building: a global topological model with local metric maps," Nicola Tomatis, Illah Nourbakhsh and Roland Siegwart. In Proceedings of IROS 2001. Maui, Hawaii, October 29 - November 3, 2001. Click here for a PDF version of this paper.

    "The Role of Expressiveness and Attention in Human-Robot Interaction," Allison Bruce, Illah Nourbakhsh, Reid Simmons. In Proceedings, AAAI Fall Symposium. 2001. A PDF version is available here.

    "Combining Topological and Metric: A Natural Integration for Simultaneous Localization and Map Building," Nicola Tomatis, Illah Nourbakhsh and Roland Siegwart. In Proceedings of the Fourth European Workshop on Advanced Mobile Robots (Eurobot 2001). Lund, Sweden, September 19-21, 2001. Click here for a PDF version of this paper.

    "The history of the Mobot museum robot series: An Evolutionary Study," Thomas Willeke, Clay Kunz and Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of FLAIRS 2001. Florida. May 2001. Click here for a Postscript version of this paper.

    "A hybrid approach for robust and precise mobile robot navigation with compact environment modeling," Nicola Tomatis, Illah Nourbakhsh, Kai Arras and Roland Siegwart. In Proceedings of ICRA 2001. Seoul, Korea. May 2001. Click here for a PDF version of this paper.

    "Deriving and matching image fingerprint sequences for mobile robot localization," Pierre Lamon, Illah Nourbakhsh, Bjorn Jensen and Roland Siegwart. In Proceedings of ICRA 2001. Seoul, Korea. May 2001. Click here for a PDF version of this paper.

    "Learning State Grounding for Optimal Visual Servocontrol of Dynamic Manipulation," Daniel Nikovski and Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of the AAAI Spring Symposium on State Grounding and Abstraction. Stanford, CA. March, 2001. Click here for a postscript version of this paper.

    "Insect Telepresence: Using robotic tele-embodiment to bring insects face-to-face with humans," Stacy All and Illah Nourbakhsh. Autonomous Robots, special issue on Personal Robotics, (10):149-161, 2001 . Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "Material Classification by Drilling," Diana LaBelle, John Bares and Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of the 17th International Symposium on Robotics and Automation in Construction. Taipei, Taiwan. September 2000. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "Path Planning for the Cye Robot," Parag Batavia and Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of IROS 2000. 2000. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "Property Mapping: A simple technique for mobile robot programming," Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of AAAI 2000. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "Appearance-Based Obstacle Detection with Monocular Color Vision," Iwan Ulrich and Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of AAAI 2000. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "When students meet robots," Illah Nourbakhsh. IEEE Intelligent Systems and Their Applications, Vol. 15, No. 6, p. 15. 2000. You can view an on-line version here.

    "Learning Probabilistic Models for Decision-Theoretic Navigation of Mobile Robots," Daniel Nikovski and Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Machine Learning 2000. Click here for a postscript of this paper.

    "Robotics and education in the classroom and in the museum: On the study of robots, and robots for study," Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings, Workshop for Personal Robotics for Education. IEEE ICRA 2000. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "Robot Improv: Using drama to create believable agents," Allison Bruce, Jonathan Knight, Sam Listopad, Brian Magerko and Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of ICRA 2000. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "Appearance-Based Place Recognition for Topological Localization," Iwan Ulrich and Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of ICRA 2000. Click here for a PDF of this paper. Also, here is a web page Iwan made describing this work very nicely.

    "Firewire Untethered: High-quality images for notebook computers," Iwan Ulrich and Illah Nourbakhsh. Advanced Imaging. January, 2000. Available here is a website on this work. And here is a pdf of the article.

    "An Affective Mobile Educator with a Full-time Job," Illah Nourbakhsh, Judith Bobenage, Sebastien Grange, Ron Lutz, Roland Meyer and Alvaro Soto. Artificial Intelligence, 114 (1-2), pp. 95-124. October 1999. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "Learning Discrete Bayesian Models for Autonomous Agent Navigation," Daniel Nikovski and Illah Nourbakhsh. IEEE International Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Robotics & Automation (CIRA '99). Monterey, CA. 1999. Click here for a PDF of the paper.

    "Topological Localization by Training a Vision-based Transition Detector," Dandapani Radhakrishnan and Illah Nourbakhsh. IROS 1999. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "Big Decisions for the Small Call Center," Illah Nourbakhsh and Shannon Hughes. Call Center Solutions. TMC, Inc. 17(4), October 1998.

    "Depth categorization for depth recovery of dynamic scenes," Illah Nourbakhsh and David Andre. United States Patent #5,793,900. October 1998.

    "Automatic Mapping of Dynamic Office Environments," Clayton Kunz, Thomas Willeke and Illah Nourbakhsh. Autonomous Robots Journal. 7(2) 1999. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "Using Abstraction to Interleave Planning and Execution," Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings, Third Biannual World Automation Congress. WAC 1998. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "NaviGates: A Benchmark for Indoor Navigation," Ryan Knotts, Illah Nourbakhsh and Robert Morris. In Proceedings, Third International Conference and Exposition on Robotics for Challenging Environments. ASCE. Reston, VA, 1998. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "Playing the Numbers: Using ACD Statistics for Workforce Management," Ofer Matan and Illah Nourbakhsh. Telemarketing and Call Center Solutions, March 1998. A PDF version is available.

    "Dervish," Illah Nourbakhsh. Artificial Intelligence and Mobile Robots, Chapter 3. Editors: D. Kortenkamp, R.P. Bonasso and R. Murphy. The MIT Press, 1998.

    "Deformable and Elastic Tensile-Integrity Structure," Ofer Matan and Illah Nourbakhsh. United States Patent 5,688,604. November, 1997.

    "A Hybrid Human-Computer Autonomous Vehicle Architecture," Michelle Bayouth, Illah Nourbakhsh and Charles Thorpe. In Proceedings, Third ECPD International Conference on Advanced Robotics, Intelligent Automation and Control, 1997. Click here for a PDF of this paper.

    "Mobile Robot Obstacle Avoidance via Depth from Focus," Illah Nourbakhsh, David Andre, Carlo Tomasi and Michael Genesereth. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 22 (1997) 151-158. Click here for a zipped PDF of this paper.

    "The 1996 AAAI Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition," David Kortenkamp, Illah Nourbakhsh and David Hinkle. AI Magazine, 18(2), 1997.

    "Automatic Mapping of Dynamic Office Environments," Clayton Kunz, Thomas Willeke and Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings, IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation, 1997.

    Interleaving Planning and Execution for Autonomous Robots, Illah Nourbakhsh. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997.

    "A Sighted Robot," Illah Nourbakhsh. The Robot Practitioner, 2(1), 1996.

    "Assumptive Planning and Execution: a Simple, Working Robot Architecture," Illah Nourbakhsh and Michael Genesereth. Autonomous Robots Journal, 3(1), pp. 49-67, 1996. A text version is available.

    "The Sonars of Dervish," Illah Nourbakhsh. The Robot Practitioner, 1(4), 1995.

    "Dervish: An Office-Navigating Robot," Illah Nourbakhsh, Rob Powers and Stan Birchfield. AI Magazine, 16(2), 1995.

    "The Real-World Navigator," Marko Balabanovic, Craig Becker, Sarah Morse and Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings, Conference on Intelligent Robots for Factory, Field, Service, and Space, 1994.

    "The Winning Robots from the 1993 Robot Competition," Illah Nourbakhsh, Sarah Morse, Craig Becker, Marko Balabanovic, Erann Gat, Reid Simmons, Steven Goodridge, Harsh Potlapalli, David Hinkle, Ken Jung and David Van Vactor. AI Magazine, 14(4), 1993.

    "Time-Saving Tips for Problem-Solving with Incomplete Information," Michael Genesereth and Illah Nourbakhsh. In Proceedings of the Eleventh National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 1993. Text version available.

    "Vagabond: A Demonstration of Autonomous, Robust Outdoor Navigation," Benjamin Dugan and Illah Nourbakhsh. In IEEE Robotics and Automation Video Proceedings, 1993.

    "Methods and Algorithms for Statistical Analysis of Protein Sequences," Volker Brendel, Philip Bucher, Illah Nourbakhsh, Edwin Blaisdell and Samuel Karlin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 89(6), 1992.



    Business Projects

    In addition to Blue Pumpkin and Witness described below, I serve from time to time as an expert witness and a consultant in the fields of computer software and consumer robotics. My clients have included Hyperbot, Mobot, Probotics, MGA Entertainment, Proctor & Gamble, AT Sciences, Axonn Robotics and Intel Research.

    Blue Pumpkin Software, Inc.
    I am one of the founders of Blue Pumpkin Software, where we design and implement end-to-end forecasting and scheduling solutions for telephony call centers. The AI disciplines of scheduling, search and optimization play crucial roles in this work, as does the OR discipline of queuing theory. All this must be wrapped up in highly intuitive graphical user interfaces. Note that in 2006 Witness Systems acquired Blue Pumpkin Software. Visit Blue Pumpkin's website for more information.


    Biographical Sketch

    Illah R. Nourbakhsh is Professor of Robotics, director of the Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment (CREATE) lab (http://www.cmucreatelab.org) and head of the Robotics Masters Program in The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. His current research projects explore community-based robotics, including educational and social robotics and ways to use robotic technology to empower individuals and communities, as described in this CREATE Lab white paper. The CREATE Lab's researchers lead diverse projects, from the application of GigaPan technology to scientific, citizen science and educational endeavours internationally to ChargeCar, a community-based effort to convert gasoline cars into locally customized electric vehicles; Hear Me, a project that uses technology to empower students to become leads in advocating for meaningful social change; Arts and Bots, a program for creative art and robotics fusion in middle school; Message from Me, a new system of communication between pre-K children and their parents to improve home-school consistency; and BodyTrack, an empowerment program that enables citizens to capture behavior, health factors and find ways to improve their well-being, to many other programs. The CREATE Lab's programs have already engaged more than 23,000 people globally, and the CREATE Satellite program is forging additional CREATE lab partners in new geographic zones. Illah's past research has included protein structure prediction under the GENOME project, software reuse, interleaving planning and execution and planning and scheduling algorithms, as well as mobile robot navigation. While on leave from Carnegie Mellon in 2004, he served as Robotics Group lead at NASA/Ames Research Center. He was a founder and chief scientist of Blue Pumpkin Software, Inc., which was acquired by Witness Systems, Inc. Illah earned his bachelor's, master's and PhD in computer science at Stanford University and has been a faculty member of Carnegie Mellon since 1997. In 2009, the National Academy of Sciences named him a Kavli Fellow. In 2013 he was inducted into the June Harless West Virginia Hall of Fame. He is co-author of the second edition MIT Press textbook, Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots. He is author of the newly published MIT Press book for general readership, Robot Futures.

    You can download my formal CV in PDF.

    Contact Information

    Office: 3115 Newell-Simon Hall
    (412) 268-2007 (voice)
    (412) 268-7350 (fax)
    Lab: Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment Lab
    Collaborative Innovation Center, CMU Campus
    (412) 268-6723
    Mail: Illah R. Nourbakhsh
    Robotics Institute, NSH 3115
    Carnegie Mellon University
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
    E-mail: illah "at" cs.cmu.edu

    [ The Robotics Institute | Carnegie Mellon University ]

    Illah R. Nourbakhsh ( illah "at" cs.cmu.edu)