The MAVERICK Research Group

Overview

The MAVERICK research group conducts research at the absolute cutting edge of artificial intelligence and robotics. We are interested in both mechanisms (algorithms that do one thing well), as well as in architectures (systems that integrate mechanisms, to do many things well).

Broadly speaking, we are interested in how to build artificial social minds. This translates into specific interests and research projects combining planning, execution, and machine learning in areas such as multi-robot coordination and teamwork, robot swarms (including molecular robots (nanobots)), plan recognition, behavior recognition, and goal recognition.

Sometimes, the research takes us further than anticipated, e.g., our work on nanobots has produced the Rivendell meta-search engine for research papers, and our interest in plan recognition has led to investigate models human social cognition. Our work on teamwork in multi-robot systems have led to new algorithms for robot coverage path planning, for multi-robot formation maintenance, robot patrolling and other multi-robot tasks.

Current Members

  • Dr. Chana Weitman is the best lab manager in the world
  • Teddy Lazebnik (PhD) is working on infrastructure for programming molecular robots (The Tolkien Project), including among other things the rivendell science search engine. Co-advised by Chana Weitman.
  • Eyal Weiss (PhD) is working on generalized planning for mixed discrete and continuous environments.
  • Mika Barkan (MSc) is working on predictive plan-execution monitoring for layered plans. Her work shows how robots can detect failures early, so they can re-plan as soon as needed.
  • Idan Arye (Msc) is working on a new approach to multi-robot coverage. The approach combines swarm and non-swarm methods in novel ways.
  • Alon Zanbar (MSc) is working on data science of software engineering in robotics and AI. His work
  • Eden Hartman (MSc) is working on reinforcement-learning in rational swarms of robots and insects.
  • Elad Naor (MSc) is working on adversarial foraging (with Noa Agmon).
  • Nadav Yakar (MSc) is working on mirroring, tying plan recognition and goal recognition.
  • Shify Treger (Msc) is investigating how humans do plan- and goal- recognition.

How to Join MAVERICK?

We are always looking for great students (including undergraduates) and post-docs, and welcome visiting faculty from outside Israel. If you are interested in joining our group, please set a meeting with Prof. Kaminka and send mail describing your interests (if you don’t hear back within two days, re-send and make him feel guilty 😄).

New student? doing research is time-consuming and takes consistent serious effort; it’s worth it because you’ll be answering questions whose answers are not known. To anyone. If this is what you are after, we want to talk.

Post-doc? Visitor? If you are a researcher looking to visit us for a short duration or even a year (e.g., on sabbatical), by all means feel free to contact directly in mail. We have a history of visiting scholars from the USA and Europe, and will be happy to host you.