Computer science professor Susan Fox and her students research Artificial Intelligence for mobile robots.
Her ultimate goal is to create a mobile robot that can act as a messenger on campus, "and maybe bring a note or pizza to someone." Robot technology says Fox can make our lives easier. Indeed, the projects she's working on with students might one day help program wheelchairs or cars.
Telling a robot to find a certain building or navigate a street doesn't sound like it would be particularly difficult but the technology isn't quite there yet - today's most successful robots are fairly simple and rely heavily on GPS.
Students are an integral part of Fox's research, helping to write and test every component of her robot control system. In the summer of 2011 two students worked with her. Many of her students go on to use their research experience to inform their honors theses. "But many," she says, "are doing simply to learn."
Fox teaches courses across the computer science curriculum, including
- Core Concepts in Computer Science,
- Algorithm Design,
- Theory of Computation, and
- Artificial Intelligence.