Rodrigo Ventura is a (tenured) Assistant Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Electrical and Computer Engineering department, and member of Institute for Systems and Robotics (ISR-Lisboa). He received the Licenciatura (1996), M.Sc. (2000), and PhD degree (2008), in Electrical and Computer Engineering from IST, University of Lisbon, Portugal. He has several publications in international journals and conferences, on various topics intersecting Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. He is founding member of the Biologically-Inspired Cognitive Architecture society.

He participated in several international and national research projects. In particular, he was Principal Investigator of the national project AuReRo (Human-robot interaction with field robots using augmented reality and interactive mapping, 2011-2014), and coordinator of the the IST participation in the EU LdV project USORA (Unified Solution of Remote Access in Practical Vocational Engineering Education, 2013-2015). He is currently Principal Investigator of the national project HARODE (Human-aware service robots for domestic environments).

His current research interests include human-robot interaction, human-aware navigation, decision-making under uncertainty, and cognitive robotics, targeting field, service, and space robots. He is the co-author of two national patents on innovative solutions for robotic systems.

Broadly speaking, my research is focused on the intersection of Artificial Intelligence with Robotics. Here goes a brief description of my current research interests, presented as the cross product between research areas and application domains:

Research areas
  • Decision making under uncertainty —  Decision theoretic methods provide powerful tools to model, in a rigorous way, the problem of optimal decision making when the effects of an agent actions is uncertain,  as well as when the knowledge of the world state is partial and/or uncertain.
  • Mobile manipulation — Robot manipulators mounted on mobile platforms, being them aerial or terrestrial, poses interesting research challenges, in particular when the objects to be manipulated lie in environments inhabited by humans.
  • Human-aware mobile robot navigation — Humans and mobile robots sharing the same physical space demands novel methods for navigation,  which take into account the human presence.
  • Human-robot interaction — As robots are required to interact with humans, such as in collaborative tasks involving mixed human and robot teams, the problem of designing effective and efficient interfaces between them has to be addressed.
  • Biologically inspired cognitive architectures — These methods address the problem of designing agent cognitive architectures taking biology as an inspiration.
Application domains
  • Collaborative space robotics — The human presence in space, either on orbiting space stations or on future deep space exploration missions is inherently risky and costly. The use of collaborative robots in these environments opens the possibility of offloading work from human astronauts to robots.
  • Social service robots — Robots that perform tasks requested by humans in environments such as offices and domestic spaces, addressing the challenges of human-awareness, as well as the inherent dynamism and  unpredictability of these environments.
  • Urban search and rescue — After a catastrophic event in an urban area, the search and rescue of victims in buildings close to collapse is often hindered by the lack of safety conditions for first responders. Tele-operated robots allow the remote inspection of such buildings, thus providing first responders with critical information concerning the presence of potential victims.

Selected publications: