Somchaya Liemhetcharat
Ph.D. Projects

Below are some of the projects that I have been involved with over the course of my Ph.D. Please click on the images for more details of each project (there are videos with the project pages).

Ph.D. Thesis
Synergy Graph My Ph.D. thesis title is "Representation, Planning and Learning of Dynamic Ad Hoc Robot Teams". In a nutshell, my thesis is about modeling the synergy of heterogeneous robots in teams, learning the model from observations, and using the learned model to form an effective team. Please see my thesis page for more details.

Robot Soccer
SPL I have been involved with the Standard Platform League (SPL) of RoboCup from 2009-2012, and the Four-Legged League (4LL) from 2006-2007. The Standard Platform League, as its name suggests, uses a standardized robot platform (the Aldebaran NAO humanoid robot), so the research focus is on maximizing the team performance through software only. The 4LL used the Sony AIBO robots, and transitioned to the SPL in 2008 with the NAOs.

I was the team leader of the CMurfs (Carngie Mellon United Robots for Soccer) SPL team, and served the SPL in the Organizing Committee in RoboCup 2010, and the Technical Committe in RoboCup 2011 and 2012. I have worked on multiple aspects of the CMurfs team, such as designing and implementing the software architecture, developing single-robot behaviors, creating the shared world model, and the multi-robot coordination and role switching among the field players in the team.

FIRE Project
FIRE Project The FIRE project is multi-disciplinary project involving various groups at Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, and other organizations. I worked with Manuela Veloso and Howie Choset to develop a curriculum to teach multi-robot communication concepts for students at the K-12 level. Our work was featured in the January/February 2012 issue of Robot Magazine.

We also conducted a workshop for undergraduate students to learn about multi-robot concepts, and program robots to perform a task together.

LANdroids The LANdroids project explored how to use a multi-robot team to set up and maintain wireless connectivity in an unexplored indoor space. This problem translates to many real-world situations such as search-and-rescue, where the robots move and set up wireless connectivity for rescue personnel as they move in an office building.

We used the iRobot Creates as the robot platform, and contributed a novel algorithm for the robots to explore and set up a connected network without requiring any prior map of the environment, or any map-merging to be done.

I have also done two internships during my Ph.D. years, with Aldebaran Robotics in Summer 2011, and with RobotsLAB in Summer 2012. Below are brief descriptions of my contributions during the internships.

Aldebaran Robotics
Internship with RobotsLAB In Summer 2011, I worked in the Aldebaran Boston office, and developed a curriculum for high school students to learn about Computer Science and Robotics, using the NAO humanoid robot, called "An Introduction to Robotics with NAO - A STEM integrated, project-based approach to learning robotics and computer science". I worked with Brian Coltin, a fellow Ph.D. student at CMU, and Mike Beiter, a high school teacher with over 20 years of experience teaching Computer Science. We developed 10 modules, covering topics such as motion and odometry, computer vision, speech recognition, and human-robot interaction.

Internship with RobotsLAB In Summer 2012, I worked with RobotsLAB to develop curriculum using the NAO humanoid robot for high school students. The focus of this internship was to use the NAO to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Enginnering and Mathematics) topics; the focus of the internship with Aldebaran Robotics was to teach CS and Robotics topics with the NAO.

I worked with Junyun Tay, a fellow Ph.D. student at CMU, Elad Inbar, the CEO of RobotsLAB, and two experienced high school teachers, Kurt Meyer and David Harris. We created 6 modules that covered Mathematics and Physics concepts such as polar coordinates, projectile motion, and electrostatics.