CS Seminar: “The Notion of Affordance: Focusing on the Interface of the Agent with the World,” Dr. Erol Şahin (Middle East Technical University), Mithat Çoruh Auditorium, 1:30PM July 11 (EN)

The Notion of Affordance: Focusing on the Interface of the Agent with the World

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Erol Şahin
Middle East Technical University

The concept of affordances influenced studies in fields ranging from human–computer interaction to autonomous robotics. In the first part of this talk, I first introduce the notion of affordances as conceived by J. J. Gibson and review the use of the term in different fields, with particular emphasis on its use in autonomous robotics. Then, I will point out that there are three, not one, perspectives from which to view affordances and that much of the confusion regarding discussions on the concept has arisen from this. I will describe a new affordances formalism for affordances and discuss its implications for autonomous robot control. In the second part of this talk, I will briefly report the experimental results obtained with mobile and manipulator robots within a framework where this affordance formalization is realized in different levels of robot control.

Bio: Dr. Sahin received his PhD in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University in 2000, after getting his BS and MS in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bilkent University, and Computer Engineering from METU in 1991 and 1995 respectively. Dr. Sahin worked as a post-doctoral researcher at IRIDIA of Universite Libre de Bruxelles, before assuming his faculty position at the Dept. of Computer Engineering of METU in 2002. He founded the KOVAN Research Lab., which hosts 4 faculty members and 12 graduate students at the moment. The Lab. has received more than 2,000,000€ of funding from EU, TUBITAK and industry. Dr. Sahin’s has focused on swarm robotics, robotic learning and manipulation during the last decade. Besides publishing in major conferences and journals, Dr. Sahin has edited three journal special issues, three conference proceedings, two books (one published as the State-of-the-Art series of Springer as the “first book on swarm robotics”). In 2007, he was awarded a free iCub humanoid platform from the RobotCub consortium for his research in robotic learning. Between 2013 and 2015, Dr. Sahin visited the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, USA through a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship project about learning in robotic manipulation. Dr. Sahin is serving as an Associate Editor for the Adaptive Behavior journal since 2008 and as Editorial Board member of the Swarm Intelligence journal since 2007.

DATE: 11 July 2019, Thursday / 13:30
PLACE: Mithat Çoruh Auditorium