Stephen Smith

Canada Research Chair in Autonomous Systems

Tier 2 - 2017-11-01
Renewed: 2022-05-01
University of Waterloo
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

Research summary

Robots have long worked in factory environments, separated from humans and left to perform repetitive tasks in highly controlled workplaces. But these days, robots are moving beyond the factory floor to work in less predictable workplaces next to humans. This shift means they must be able to act autonomously and intelligently, and perform tasks safely. Dr. Stephen L. Smith, Canada Research Chair in Autonomous Systems, is developing intelligence and planning algorithms that will power this next generation of robots.

He and his research team are developing algorithms that enable robots to learn how to perform tasks by interacting with users, to plan safe and efficient motions in real-world environments, and to proactively identify unsafe situations and seamlessly hand off autonomy to human supervisors. Ultimately, their aim is to create robots that can be integrated directly into existing workplaces without requiring modifications or custom-built facilities.