Close this search box.

João Cartucho, CMU Portugal UIP student, talks about his award for “best Master dissertation video”

João Cartucho, a ISR-Lisboa from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) student, won the “best Master dissertation video award” from the IST Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. João was supervised by Professor Manuela Veloso and Professor Rodrigo Ventura, on a thesis entitled “Robust Object Recognition through Symbiotic Deep Learning in Mobile Robots”, partially carried out during his internship at Carnegie Mellon University supported by the Undergrad Internship Program (UIP) of the CMU Portugal Program 

Click here to watch the video

  1. You recently won a prize from the IST Electrical and Computer Engineering Department for the “best master’s thesis video award”. Can you tell us the story behind the video?

The video illustrates my master’s thesis work. Nowadays, robots are being increasingly deployed in human scenarios (such as hospitals, schools, offices…) and in many tasks they need to be able to detect the objects that they see. Hence, there needs to be a mechanism to ensure that these robots are able to correctly classify the objects. In this work, we tackled this issue with a symbiotic approach, where robots and humans help each other out, and we verified that the more the robot and the humans collaborate together, the better the robot gets at classifying the objects.

  1. The video was partially developed during your Undergraduate Internship Program (UIP) where you had the chance to work with Professor Manuela Veloso. How would you describe this experience?

What a wonderful experience! Professor Manuela Veloso taught me many valuable concepts such as, solving real-world problems with a human-robot symbiotic approach and presenting my work in an impactful way. It was very inspiring to be part of her research group (CORAL lab) and work with her exceptional team.

  1. Briefly, what benefits do you see in having participated in this Program?

What makes this Program so valuable is that it gives us the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most brilliant researchers. Additionally, CMU’s community is very active, and you will get to participate in hackathons, seminars, and other events that will further expand your knowledge. Hence, you will get to do impactful research while networking, improving your skills, and enhancing your curriculum.

  1. We are soon launching another Student’s Program, what advice do you have to offer to students that are considering applying?

You ought to apply! It is my view that participating in this program is the right step for you, independent of the career path you have chosen for your future (industry vs academia). Please, do not underestimate the benefits that come with this experience.