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npapas [at] cs.umn.edu
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Robotics, computer vision, and sensors for transportation applications.
Ph.D. 1992, M.S. 1988, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Diploma of Engineering 1987, Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens
Professor Papanikolopoulos specializes in robotics, computer vision and sensors for transportation uses. He is the Director of the Center for Distributed Robotics and leads the Security in Transportation Technology Research and Applications (SECTTRA) program. He is credited with being the major driving force behind the Scout, a small reconnaissance robot now used by the United States Army. Papanikolopoulos and his robots are often featured in the news and are part of University advertising campaigns.
Papanikolopoulos has more than 200 publications, including journal and conference papers and book chapters, and has graduated more than 30 masters and doctoral students. He’s won numerous best paper awards, a best video award at the 2000 IEEE Robotics and Automation Conference, a Faculty Creativity award in 1999 and the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award in 1995. In addition, he was awarded the McKnight Land-Grant Professorship Award in 1995. Papanikolopoulos was a member of the IEEE Robotics & Animation Society Administrative Committee (RAS ADCOM) for two consecutive terms and is a Senior IEEE member. He has also served on many conference committees.
My work is focused on robotics, computer vision, and sensors for transportation applications. In robotics, my group studies distributed robotics. We have developed a large system of robots based on the "scouts." Scouts are robots roughly the size of a soda can that have multiple mobility modes (jumping, rolling) and carry a variety of sensors (e.g., camera, microphone, etc.). We are also interested in vision-based robot control and eye-in-hand robotic systems.
I am particularly interested in problems such as vision-based robotic grasping, the active derivation of depth maps from controlled motion of a robotic system, the active calibration of the robot-camera system, the problem of automatically detecting moving objects of interest, and the use of deformable models for tracking and manipulation of rigid and non-rigid objects. Our work also emphasizes experimental verification of the theory that can be done in the Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Vision Laboratory that has three Datacube systems, two Matrox Genesis boards and the Minnesota Robotic Visual Tracker (a flexible eye-in-hand robotic system).
In computer vision, I am interested in model-based tracking, moving object segmentation, real-time vision, morphing, on-line and off-line handwriting recognition, and object recognition. In transportation, I am interested in the use of computer vision techniques for pedestrian and vehicle detection and tracking, vision-based vehicle following, bicycle counting, monitoring driver fatigue, and monitoring safety in work zones.