robotics@fer.hr at the University Fair

Together with Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies (LABUST) and Laboratory for Autonomous and Mobile Robotics (LAMOR), we were a part of our Faculty’s display at this years University Fair, which was held in the Student Centre from November 23-25, 2017.

The event was aimed towards high school students which were able to see a small part of our robotics research, including our newly acquired robot Pepper, aPad platform from LABUST and Husky platform from LAMOR, all presented under our robotics@fer.hr brand.

Tomislav Haus defended his doctoral dissertation

On November 23, 2017 LARICS researcher Tomislav Haus successfully defended his doctoral dissertation and received a Doctor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Tomislav’s thesis was entitled “Control of multirotor unmanned aerial vehicle based on moving mass concept”. The original scientific contributions of his thesis include: (i) A method for roll and pitch control of a multirotor unmanned aerial vehicle based on the moving mass concept, (ii) Analysis of dynamical and static characteristics of a multirotor unmanned aerial vehicle with internal combustion engines and moving masses based on the derived mathematical model and parameter identification, (iii) Adaptive control algorithm for a multirotor unmanned aerial vehicle with internal combustion engines and moving masses which compensates for changes of the center of mass and moment of inertia.

MORUS experiments in Udbina

LARICS part of the MORUS team (Stjepan Bogdan, Matko Orsag, Tomislav Haus, Antun Ivanović, Marko Car) spent a week in a military base in Udbina preparing the MORUS aerial vehicle powered by four internal combustion engines for the first take off. We are happy to report that the maiden flight of the vehicle took place on November 17, 2017. In the final experiment, the vehicle was piloted through RC controller, with height, yaw, roll and pitch manually controlled by the pilot. This first flight demonstrated that the concept proposed within the project is feasible. There have been many lessons learned throughout the week spent in the base, which will be used to improve the vehicle design and performance.

Knowledge Thursday at Croatian Telecom

We participated in the lecture on Knowledge Thursday at Croatian Telecom held in their offices in Sky Tower on Thursday, November 16th 2017. Our partners from Croatian Telecom and Bokamobile presented the motivation and rationale for using Pepper robot in promotional activities of Croatian Telecom. Our part of presentation covered the technical aspects of the robot and the project. We also gave a brief overview of our day-to-day robotics activities with emphasis on the ADORE project.

Just before the talk, we finished our Pepper training for Croatian Telecom personnel, marking a successful finish to this phase of our collaboration.

Intellectual property day for children and youth in Varaždin

We were again invited to participate in the Intellectual property day for children and youth, organized by Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia with the support of European Union Intellectual Property Office. This time the event was held in Varaždin City Hall on November 14th, 2017.

As a part of an interactive education about intellectual property and its managing, 80 children children of the 5th to 8th grade from the I., II., IV., and V. primary schools in Varaždin attended our workshop titled “Robotics and licences” in which we demonstrated the function of our NAO robots to explain the role of software licenses in robotics. More information about the event can be found here.

subCULTron at Breaking the Surface 2017

At this year’s Breaking the Surface workshop LARICS and LABUST researchers demonstrated the functionality of the underwater heterogeneous swarm developed within project subCULTron. Demonstration gained a lot of attention, and we got many interesting questions and ideas from attendees.

After the BtS workshop, FER part of the subCULTron consortium stayed in Biograd na Moru to conduct further experiments with the swarm. Experiments included aMussel drifting freely in Biograd aquatorium and monitoring the environment, implementing consensus algorithms for underwater system using scheduled acoustic communication, autonomous docking and formation control. Experiments were successful, we gained a lot of insights into the functioning of the swarm and are looking forward to working on the project goals and challenges in the following year.

Weekend Media Festival with Croatian Telecom

Finishing the development phase of our collaboration with Croatian Telecom and Bokamobile, we deployed Croatian Telecom’s Pepper robot in two scenarios on Weekend Media Festival, held in Rovinj, Croatia on September 21-24, 2017.

In the first scenario, Pepper was the announcer of the panel talk called Stem, je t’aime: The Future is Now. Pepper was joined by Nenad Bakic, Mate Rimac, Boris Drilo, Boris Jokic and others to discuss the importance of STEM in Croatia.

The other task for Pepper was to be a host at the Croatian Telecom booth, where the robot greeted the visitors and offered them the opportunity to dance, take selfies, play a game or learn more about STEM fields.

subCULTron Press Event in Venice

On 15th September 2017 subCULTron consortium jointly publicly presented subCULTron project as “the world largest diving robot test” in the waters in the Venice lagoon, at the Venice Arsenal. This was the first time that journalists and the public had the opportunity to see our project in action. Journalist from whole Europe participated in the event and transmitted the news about the project. Euro news feature on subCULTron can be found here.

 

subCULTron Assembly Workshop

At the end of July 2017 an “Assembly Workshop” for project subCULTron was held at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, with two laboratories from Zagreb participating – LARICS and LABUST. During the assembly workshop the project consortium assembled and tested 20 aMussel platforms and assembled the first aFish robot. This is the first step of the mass production of underwater heterogeneous swarm where the ultimate goal is to develop 150 robot platforms. The workshop was successful and we all enjoyed working on the platforms as well as spending quality time with members of the subCULTron consortium.

 

Summer internship at United Stated Military Academy

LARICS Phd student Tomislav Haus spent four weeks (mid June to mid July 2017) at United States Military Academy at WestPoint, NY, as a part of their summer internship program. He was an intern at Department for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science under supervision of LTC Christopher M. Korpela, Ph.D. Tomislav worked on vision based control and navigation of a small multirotor aerial vehicle. In particular, an algorithm has been developed which tracks QR-like markers and allows the vehicle to localize itself in a space with randomly distributed markers. The video showing the achieved results is available here.

LARICS at IFAC 2017 World Congress

LARICS researcher Tamara Petrović participated in the 20th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC 2017 World Congress), which was held in Toulouse, France from 9 to 14 July 2017. Tamara presented a paper entitled “Decentralized Energy Sharing Protocol using TÆMS Framework and Coalition-based Metaheuristic for Heterogeneous Robotic Systems” that was done within subCULTron project together with B. Arbanas, S. Boljunčić and prof. S. Bogdan.

 

Edin Kočo defended his doctoral dissertation

On July 17, 2017 LARICS researcher Edin Kočo successfully defended his doctoral dissertation and received a Doctor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Edin’s thesis was entitled “Hybrid compliance control and feet trajectory optimization for a bioinspired quadruped robot”. The main results of his work include: (i) design of a variable passive compliance element in a form of a lower leg implant which allows adaptation of robot motion on stiffness-varying terrain, (ii) a dynamical model of hopping of a quadruped robot with variable passive compliance and legs actuation algorithm based on the measurement of contact force amplitudes, (iii) a method of active compliance control of electrically powered quadruped robot based on virtual linear springs which increases the robustness of locomotion on unstructured terrain under external disturbances, (iv) multiobjective evolutionary optimization of quadruped foot trajectories, defined in the Fourier domain, which results in simultaneous increase of energy efficiency and speed of quadruped robot locomotion

Visit to Ford resarch center in Aachen

Ante Zglav visited Ford research center in Aachen to collaborate on project ADELE. The projects goal is to provide an automatic tuning and extension method for a model of a diesel Lean NOx trap (LNT) catalyst using test data. During his stay he engaged in knowledge transfer with the researchers learning about the chemistry of an LNT catalyst, the test setups, and the model structure. He also gave a presentation of the work accomplished thus far, and made plans for the future research direction of the project.

LARICS presented at ICUAS2017 conference

LARICS Phd student Tomislav Haus attended The 2017 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), held in Miami, FL, USA, June 13-16. Tomislav presented the paper titled “A concept of a non-tilting multirotor-UAV based on moving mass control“. The results presented in the paper are part of the research efforts of the MORUS project, within which we aim to build a heavy-lift quadrotor powered by four internal combustion engines.

Intellectual property day for children and youth

We were invited to participate in the Intellectual property day for children and youth, organized by Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia with the support of European Union Intellectual Property Office and held on May 30 in the Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb.

Within the programme for senior primary school grades titled “I Have an Idea”, school children of the 7th grade from the Trnsko and the Kajzerica primary schools and of the 8th grade from the Jure Kaštelan primary school participated in our workshop titled “Robotics and licences” in which Damjan demonstrated the function of our NAO robots to explain the role of software licenses in robotics. More information about the event can be found here.

LARICS @ TEDx Zagreb

Members of LARICS attended TEDx event at Vatroslav Lisinski hall in Zagreb where they presented a collection of wheeled and legged mobile robot platforms developed within the laboratory at the Faculty booth. The goal of the event was to share ideas and experiences mainly in the STEM area and it featured a large number of distinguished presenters.

Lecture “Design of wearable IMU sensors-data fusion for a user friendly mobility assistive device”

IEEE Croatia Section, Robotic and Automation Department and ZCI-ACROSS organized the lecture “Design of wearable IMU sensors-data fusion for a user-friendly mobility assistive device” which was held by Dr. Omar Nour, Post doctor at LARICS. Dr. Nour presented the research done in measuring the posture of a human body during different phases of sit to stand motion using inertial sensors. The developed methods and algorithms fuse the data of inertial sensors and facilitate the design of the mobility assistance technology.

Marko Filipović PhD Thesis defense

LARICS PhD student Marko Filipović who comes from industry (Croatian company HS product) successfully defended his PhD Thesis at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing on April 11th 2017. Marko’s supervisor was prof. Stjepan Bogdan and the PhD thesis is entitled “Robot Workstation Failure Recovery Strategy based on Treatment Quality and Resource Failure Matrices”. Congratulations Marko!

NAO robots at the President’s office

Our NAO robots were a part of our Faculty stand at the office of the president of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. We were honored to be a part of the “Open-doors day for STEM fields popularization”. While we were taking pictures, one of our robots decided to grab a few STEMI minions and take control over the President’s chair.

EUROC and MORUS presented on DRONEfest

LARICS participated in DRONEfest 2017, presenting recent results in collaborative projects EUROC and MORUS. Presentation included both a live demo of wind turbine inspection, the work completed under EUROC project, as well as a display of MORUS UAV. Matko Orsag gave a talk entitled “Heterogeneous robotic systems for inspection and interaction with the environment”.