The evolution of robotics and our work at McGill

Gregory L. Dudek - McGill Computer Science

Feb. 2, 2024, 2:30 p.m. - Feb. 2, 2024, 3:30 p.m.


Hosted by: David Meger

I'll talk about robotics and its intersection with large language models. I'll get there by starting with a retrosospective look at the work we've been doing at McGill in the robotic lab over the last 30 years.  I'll try to impart a sense of the very broad scope encompassed by robotics.  

In particular I've been lucky enough to work with a great constellation of researchers on various aspects of how to build robotic systems that can automatically act on our behalf and document or observe the natural world.
I'll conclude by showing some of the systems we've deployed for underwater data gathering, and for indoor photographic image collection.

Gregory Dudek is a Professor with the School of Computer Science and a member of the McGill Research Centre for Intelligent Machines (CIM) and an Associate member of the Dept. of Electrical Engineering at McGill University. In 9/2008 he became the Director of the McGill School of Computer Science. Since 2012 he has been the Scientific Director of the NSERC Canadian Field Robotics Network (NCFRN): He is the former Director of McGill's Research Center for Intelligent Machines, a 25 year old inter-faculty research facility. In 2002 he was named a William Dawson Scholar. In 2008 he was made James McGill Chair. In 2010 he was awarded the Fessenden Professorship in Science Innovation. In 2010 he was also awarded the Canadian Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Award for Research Excellence and also for Service to the Research Community. In 2017 he was awarded an IEEE Gold Medal. He directs the McGill Mobile Robotics Laboratory.

Greg is on the Advisory Committee of IEEE's Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE RAS AdCOM). He has been on the organizing and/or program committees of Robotics: Systems and Science, the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robotics and Systems (IROS), the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), Computer and Robot Vision, IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics and International Conference on Hands-on Intelligent Mechatronics and Automation among other bodies. He has been president of CIPPRS, the Canadian Information Processing and Pattern Recognition Society, an ICPR national affiliate.


He was on leave in 2000-2001 as Visiting Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University and at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). During his sabbatical in 2007-2008 he visited the Massachusetts Institute of technology and co-founded the company Independent Robotics Inc. He obtained his PhD in computer science (computational vision) from the University of Toronto, his MSc in computer science (systems) at the University of Toronto and his BSc in computer science and physics at Queen's University.

He has authored and co-authored over 300 research publications on subjects including visual object description, recognition, RF localization, robotic navigation and mapping, distributed system design, 5G telecommunications, and biological perception. This includes a book entitled "Computational Principles of Mobile Robotics" co-authored with Michael Jenkin and published by Cambridge University Press. He has chaired and been otherwise involved in numerous national and international conferences and professional activities concerned with Robotics, Machine Sensing and Computer Vision. He research interests include perception for mobile robotics, navigation and position estimation, environment and shape modelling, computational vision and collaborative filtering.

He grew up in Montreal and favors light food. With his children he is re-discovering model rocketry, rollerblading, and has discovered he's not good at surfing but loves it.