Networked Robots

 Ken Goldberg, UC Berkeley

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University February 25, 2005

This talk presents new results on robots collaboratively controlled by humans via networks such as the Internet. The Tele-Actor is a system that combines a human agent with distributed audience control for applications ranging from distance learning to journalism to entertainment and gaming. I'll describe our experience with a series of field tests, architectures, technologies, and applications, including an unsupervised scoring algorithm that automatically computes and rewards "leadership" behavior among players.

In the second half of the talk, I'll discussed networked robotic cameras. Newly available robotic cameras offer pan, tilt, and extreme zoom capabilities with built-in network servers at low cost. I'll describe a recent project where we installed such a camera at Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley to raise questions about privacy in public spaces. Such camera motivate the Single Frame Selection (SFS) problem, where n users share control of a single robotic camera.

I'll present several algorithms, O(n^2 m) for a set of m zoom levels, and O((n + 1/\epsilon^3) log^2 n) for an infinite set of zoom levels. The algorithms can be distributed to run in O(n m) time at each client and in O(n \log n) time at the server.

Dez Song, Judith Donath, Sariel Har-Peled, Vladlen Koltun, and Frank van der Stappen have contributed to this work.

Ken Goldberg is Professor of IEOR and EECS at UC Berkeley. His research addresses robot manipulation, geometric algorithms for automation, and networked robots. More information and online projects are linked from


View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine

Titles and abstracts for previous years are available by year and by speaker.