Florian Shkurti

Robots in the wild: UTM’s Florian Shkurti teaches machines to learn and work with humans

Saturday, October 16, 2021 - 12:05pm
Dan Falk

The technology behind self-driving cars has been progressing swiftly, and so long as the vehicles are on familiar streets with familiar sights they do very well. But when they encounter something unfamiliar, things become much more challenging, explains Florian Shkurti, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at U of T Mississauga. He gives an example: Suppose there’s a truck in front of the self-driving car, “and there’s a wind gust – and now the snow is coming at you, so you can’t see anything. And suppose your LIDAR (light detection and ranging system) misperceives the snow as an array of objects, so it thinks there are a million small objects coming at the car.” Naturally, this will lead to trouble, says Shkurti, who runs UTM’s Robot Vision and Learning (RVL) lab.

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