Victor Ng-Thow-Hing received the MSc and PhD degrees in computer science in 1994 and 2001, respectively, from the University of Toronto, where he was a member of the Dynamics Graphics Project Lab. He is currently a research scientist at the Honda Research Institute in Mountain View, California. Previous research includes work in 3-D muscle modeling, digital human modeling, and computational paleontology. In robotics, Victor’s robotics research focuses on developing autonomous high-level tasks for Honda's ASIMO humanoid robot, multi-modal communication interfaces and designing software architectures for robots specializing in human-robot interaction. In automobile human machine interaction, Victor is working on next generation car interfaces like augmented windshields.
The presentation will first introduce the challenges of building systems capable of human-robot and human-machine interaction and motivate the need for modular, parallel systems that can communicate and interact with each other. I will describe my journey designing the MOVE-IT system and how this design evolved from earlier system frameworks I worked on to become increasingly decentralized in architecture. Not only does this allow rapid prototyping of ideas, but computational performance is very close to the final production systems required. We will show the main innovative features of our architecture by going through how they come into play with various use cases. The system is interesting to Qt users because we leverage off the power of the signal and slot mechanism to create multi-modal interaction, as well as the ability to interconnect modules dynamically at runtime with scripting. We also use of the model-view-control design pattern to create seamless dashboard interfaces which remove much of the clutter associated with window elements in a traditional GUI. OpenGL is used to create 3-D interfaces mixed in with 2-D elements to create novel applications such as a robot capable of interacting with kids and interactive head-up displays for augmented reality.