The overarching goal of the Model-based Embedded and Robotic Systems lab (MERS) is to develop “cognitive robots,” robots that are able to think and act much like humans do. We focus on allowing robots to be programmed by humans by being given high level goals instead of low-level scripts, to team with a human to accomplish some task, and to reason about themselves and the environment to detect unanticipated changes or hazardous situations. We enable these cognitive robotic characteristics using model-based techniques, which include a set of methods to model the robot and its environment and algorithms capable of using these models to provide our desired functionality. See our Research page for more in-depth discussions, photos, and videos about how we are working to elevate robots from mechanical creations controlled by low-level scripts with a considerable amount of human guidance to truly cognitive robots.
The MERS lab is a member of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and has strong ties to both the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.