Could robots make a documentary about a 5K race? | 10/31/2018 | Staff
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A 5K race can offer both victory and heartbreak, but capturing those moments on video requires both planning ahead and making on-the-spot decisions about where the camera operators should be.

A project led by Aaron T. Becker, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Houston, will study how to direct a team of mobile robots to document a race, predicting likely events and changing plans based on real-time action.

Robots - Footage - Difficulty - Moments - Race

Getting robots to capture video footage is easy. The difficulty lies in directing them to act on their own to capture the most pertinent moments of the race, required for weaving an engaging and complete narrative from the footage.

The camera-equipped robots will be programed to gather information as they go, without knowing in advance what will happen, including who will win the race. "Unlike the highlight reel in MarioKart, real robots won't know ahead of time where the interesting parts will be," Becker explained, "but they will know a lot of probability theory and will be able to calculate the odds of good video footage as a function of race status and robot position."

Dylan - Shell - Associate - Professor - Computer

He will collaborate with Dylan Shell, associate professor of computer science and engineering at Texas A&M University, and Jason O'Kane, professor of engineering and computing at the University of South Carolina, on the project, which is funded...
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