If you are interested in graduate school we encourage you to apply to the Brown CS Ph.D. program. Come drop by the lab in Providence or meet up with us at a robotics conference.
If you are an undergraduate or graduate student already at Brown, there are several paths to joining the lab. We encourage anyone who is interested to drop by the lab meetings, which currently take place on Fridays at 11:30am in CIT 115 during the fall and spring semester. You can also drop by lab any time, and if someone is around they can show you the robots.
More concretely, we ask people who are interested in joining the lab (for undergraduate research or the like) to begin by investing their time to learn the basics. There are two primary paths for this: first you can learn Simple RL, a library for reinforcement learning and planning. Follow the tutorial and define an MDP for a new domain of your choice.
Alternatively, you can follow the Ein tutorial to use one of our Baxter robots to pick something up. You will need to come to the lab to do this, and you can use your computer (if you install Ubuntu 14.04 and ROS Indigo) or borrow one of ours (ask someone for help to get started.)
Feel free to email our mailing list, h2r at cs.brown.edu if you need help with any of these tasks. We encourage you to drop by the lab (knock on the door) and introduce yourself, and work from lab. Most people who are around are friendly, willing, and able to help!
There may be other projects available on a case-by-case basis. For example, we recently obtained one of MIT’s Ducketown robots, so a good entry project would be to get it to run by following the tutorials and report back to one of us.
We have had people from high school and freshman all the way up to postdocs and faculty members complete these steps. We especially encourage freshman to get involved, because if you start early, you can contribute to and learn from the lab during your entire undergraduate career.