For Dana Kulić developing algorithms that teach robots how to imitate humans is no longer science fiction – it’s reality.
If the robot has the ability to understand and learn from observing human motion, it can be taught by simply demonstrating the task to be learned, even by users who are not trained in robotics or robot programming. By using Dana’s algorithms, robots would actually improve their performance throughout their lifespan while learning how to adapt to changes in their environment.
The electrical and computer engineering professor says her research has the potential to significantly expand how robots can be used, for example, as service robots in the home or robotic assistants in manufacturing and other industrial environments.
Finding a forward-thinking university to match her vision was important to Dana, who came to Waterloo in 2009 from the University of Tokyo in Japan. “Waterloo is a young university encouraging innovation and increasing its focus on research,” she says.