Event Information

Microsoft Future Leaders in Robotics and AI Seminar Series: Chahat Deep Singh
Friday, March 8, 2024
2:00 p.m.
Online Seminar
For More Information:

Minimal Perception: Enabling Autonomy in Palm-Sized Robots

Chahat Deep Singh
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Maryland 

Zoom Link


Perception plays a vital role in living beings and robots alike. These perception frameworks are essential for their autonomous behaviors for environmental understanding and interaction. Although, we have seen the boom of artificial intelligence, autonomy in palm-sized robots is still nascent. These robots face limitations in real-time perception due to computing, power, and sensing constraints. Drawing inspiration from small living beings such and insects and hummingbirds that are known for their sophisticated perception, navigation and survival capabilities, I propose a Minimal Perception framework that aims to provide insights into designing compact and efficient perception systems for resource-constrained autonomy, using only onboard sensing and computation at scales that were never thought possible before. The solution to robot autonomy lies at the intersection of AI, computer vision, computational imaging and robotics -- resulting in minimal robots. This talk explores the challenge of developing a minimal perception framework for tiny robots (<6 inches) used in field operations such as space inspections in confined spaces and robot pollination. Furthermore, we will delve into the realm of selective perception, embodied AI, and the future of robot autonomy in the palm of your hands.



Chahat Deep Singh is a Postdoctoral Associate Researcher at the Maryland Robotics Center and the Perception and Robotics Group (PRG) with Professor Yiannis Aloimonos. He graduated with masters in Robotics at the University of Maryland in 2018. Later, he joined as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science. Singh’s research focuses on developing minimal perception architectures to enable onboard autonomy on robots as small as a credit card. Singh's research is funded by the Army Research Laboratory and Maryland Robotics Center. He was also awarded the Ann G. Wylie Fellowship for outstanding dissertation for 2022-2023, Future Faculty Fellowship 2022-2023, and UMD's Dean Fellowship 2018-2020. Recently, his work was featured on the cover of Science Robotics, BBC, IEEE Spectrum, Voice of America, NVIDIA, Futurism, Maryland Today, Tech Crunch, and much more. He has served as the PRG Seminar Series organizer since 2018 and as the Maryland Robotics Center Student Ambassador from 2021 to 2023. Singh is also a reviewer for T-PAMI, T-CI, RA-L, T-ASE, CVPR, ICRA, IROS, ICCV, and RSS among other top journals and conferences. For more, please visit

About the Seminar Series

The Future Leaders in Robotics and AI: Celebrating Diversity and Innovation Seminar Series is part of the University of Maryland and Microsoft Robotics and Diversity Initiative. This is a nationwide online seminar series for PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, or early-career professionals, especially underrepresented minorities and women. The seminar series highlights the latest research and innovation in the field of robotics and AI. The series is intended to provide exposure and mentorship opportunities to the speakers, build a network of innovators across the country, and support the speakers’ career planning.

The seminars are held once per month during the academic year. There are two speakers per seminar. Each speaker gives a 20-minute research presentation followed by a Q&A segment. Immediately after the second seminar, the speakers participate in a discussion with faculty.

This Event is For: Public


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