Mehul Bhatt is professor of computer science. He researches how humans perceive their surroundings – knowledge that is used to develop artificial intelligence (AI) and better technology.
- 1980 Born in India
- 2008 Obtained his PhD in computer science at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, with his thesis Modelling dynamic spatial systems in the situation calculus
- Professor, active in the research group Human-Centred Cognitive Assistance at the University of Bremen, Germany
- 2017 Professor of computer science at Örebro University
In his research, Mehul Bhatt examines human eye movement in various situations. This information, known as spatial cognition, can later be used to develop autonomous systems that can interpret and adjust to humans.
“While people are walking or bicycling, they seek eye contact to confirm that car drivers see them. We interact with each other in such subtle ways. If we can get a better understanding of how these processes work, then we can create better autonomous cars,” says Mehul Bhatt.
Research on people's spatial cognition is in high demand. Film producers want to know where the audience is looking at the screen in order to work more efficiently with special effects. Architects want to avoid people getting lost in large buildings.
While in Germany, Mehul Bhatt worked as a visiting research fellow at the University of Bremen, where he was involved in the construction of a large hospital. Architects and researchers from several different disciplines worked together to design a building where people would feel comfortable.
“It is easy to get stressed in big buildings, like hospitals or airports, and to get lost. There is a great deal that we can do to change this,” says Mehul Bhatt.
As professor at the University of Bremen he was also responsible for an AI laboratory which focuses on the human abilities of thinking and of interpreting sensory impressions.
“Research in artificial intelligence imitates the human ability to reach a conclusion.”
Mehul Bhatt has an undergraduate degree in economics from Mumbai in India, but as his interests in computer science increased, he applied for a Master's programme in information technology.
“I taught myself how to program and became particularly interested in artificial intelligence. After finishing my Master's degree, I received a scholarship to continue as a doctoral student at La Trobe University in Melbourne.”
In his doctoral thesis, he proposed a system for expressing changes in a spatial environment, a fundamental element in several areas of application within the framework for AI.
“This research seeks integration of specialities such as qualitative spatial representations and general frameworks for logic-based reasoning.”
Today, Mehul Bhatt is part of the research environment Centre for Applied Autonomous Sensor Systems, or AASS, at Örebro University. With his academic background, he contributes with a new perspective to research at AASS.