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
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.
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.
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.
LARICS PhD student Karlo Griparić mentored by Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, in front of the assessment committee (Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Prof. Zdenko Kovačić and Prof. Mladen Crneković), successfully defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation entitled “Decentralized multi-agent system for interaction with a honeybee society based on a consensus algorithm”. The committee agreed upon expected contributions and thereafter, the Faculty Council and the Technical Committee of the University of Zagreb approved the given topic proposal.
LARICS researcher Edin Koco spent one month in Armenia with Croatian company HRID d.o.o. He was involved in inspection tasks of reactor pressure vessel (VVER-440) in Metsamor nuclear power plant located near capital city Yerevan. During his visit to Armenia Edin provided software support during the inspection process for any unexpected problems that arose during the inspection.
Prof. Stjepan Bogdan attended on the 7th ASSISI general assembly meeting in Lisabon, held on October 26th 2016. Prof. Bogdan presented the work done by LARICS team which include the developed interactive arena, visual bee tracking software, bee density estimation by neutral network and results obtained in the successful cooperation between honeybee society and multi-agent system based on consensus algorithm.
In front of the assessment committee (Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Prof. Zdenko Kovacic, and Prof. Mladen Crnekovic), LARICS PhD student Edin Kočo mentored by Prof. Kovacic successfully presented and defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation entitled „Control of four legged robots based on biologically inspired mechanical and control characteristics and evolutionary learning“. The Committee agreed upon expected scientific contributions and thereafter, the Faculty Council and the Technical Committee of the University of Zagreb should still approve the given topic proposal.
The local news portal Zg-Magazin published a story about our ADORE project. You can read the full story <a href=”http://zg-magazin.com.hr/robot-s-fer-a-mogao-bi-dijagnosticirati-autizam-kod-djece.
One of the key components in the interaction of NAO robots and children is a vocal communication. In the protocol for diagnostics of autism adapted for NAO robots, the tasks like Call by name require vocal communication in Croatian language. NAO robots speak French and English very fine, but they do not speak Croatian. Here comes the reason why Prof. Kovacic, Dr. Damjan Miklic and Frano Petric gladly accepted an invitation to visit the laboratories of the Technical Faculty in Novi Sad and the company Alfanum, a regional leader in speech communication technologies. Thanks to the agreement to start the collaboration between two parties, our NAO robots now speak Croatian very well and we are going to teach them to understand some Croatian vocabulary that is most often used by small children. We would like to thank Prof. Vlado Delic and Darko Pekar from Alfanum for their full openness and warm welcome.
Paper “New Variable Passive-compliant Element Design for Quadruped Adaptation to Stiffness-varying Terrain”, written by Edin Koco, Alan Mutka and Prof. Zdenko Kovacic is now published online in the International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems. The paper presents the design of a novel variable passive-compliant (VPC) element utilized as a lower-leg implant of a fully electrically driven quadruped robot. It is designed as a slider-piston mechanism which ensures that the force produced during a foot-ground contact is directly perpendicular to the contact surface of an actuated revolute spring. In this way, by altering the stiffness of quadruped legs in a closed-loop manner, the VPC element enables the quadruped robot to adapt to varying terrain characteristics, ensuring a constant hopping frequency over a wide range of terrain-stiffness variations.
Prof. Zdenko Kovacic, Goran Vasiljevic and Edin Koco participated in the kick-off meeting of the new LARICS project ADELE organized in the Ford Research Centre in Aaachen. This was the opportunity to introduce our side better and to discuss with our partners from Ford first steps to be taken in the project. Being primarily focused on the LNT (Lean NOx Trap) models, the task of the project is to establish methods and algorithms for optimal transfer of the measured data into the existing models using the evolutionary learning methods. Aachen is a very attractive place to be with the famous Aachen cathedral (Dom), built by Charlemagne in the 8th century, being for centuries the coronation church of more than 30 German kings.
Job Fair is the event organized by FER seen in the eyes of students as a unique opportunity for them to meet potential future employers. This year FER was present also as an employer offering a number of vacant positions, from doctoral to postdoctoral. Ever since our postdoctorand Domagoj Tolic left to Dubrovnik, LARICS is offering a free postdoctoral position at the project ADORE. Therefore, Prof. Zdenko Kovacic and Dr. Damjan Miklić took part in the FER Job Fair and at the FER’s stand presented the ADORE project to the interested parties and distributed leaflets hoping to attract the right person for the project.
LARICS also co-organized an open door event during Job Fair alongside Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies (LABUST) and the Laboratory for Autonomous Systems and Mobile Robots (LAMOR) as part of the firstname.lastname@example.org brand.
Matko Orsag, LARICS postdoctoral researcher, gave an Inaugural lecture at UNIZG-FER titled “Description of Object Images using the Moments Method” as a part of the undergraduate course Robotics practicum. The lecture was held successfully in front of an assessment committee, professors, researchers and undergraduate students.
Under the cap ROBOTICS@FER.HR, LARICS participated together with LABUST and LAMOR as the exhibitor at the European Robotics Forum ERF 2016 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. ERF 2016 is the largest gathering of roboticists in Europe with more than 600 participants and more than 20 exhibitors showing their robots and robotic solutions. Three FER robotics laboratories presented at their stand several exhibits including a heavy load carrying quadrocopter, an autonomous surface vehicle for marine operations and a robot for exploration in hazardous environments. Many new contacts and presentations held during the numerous Forum sessions are valuable stocks for future projects.
Prof. Zdenko Kovacic and Tomislav Haus participated as presenters at the Conference on Innovation-driven Defense Enterprising organized by the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Croatia. The titles of their lectures were “Design and Control of Professional Service Robots for Exploration and Inspection in Hazardous Environments” and “Aerial Robots – Mobile Manipulation using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles”. It was a unique opportunity for LARICS to present some of research results that might have potential for innovation-driven defense enterprising.
In front of the assessment committee (Prof. Zdenko Kovacic, Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, and Prof. Bojan Jerbic), LARICS doctoral student Marko Filipovic mentored by Prof. Bogdan successfully presented and defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation entitled „Robot Workstation Failure Recovery Strategy“. The Committee agreed upon expected scientific contributions and thereafter, the Faculty Council and the Technical Committee of the University of Zagreb should still approve the given topic proposal.
LARICS researcher Edin Koco spent one month in India with Croatian company HRID d.o.o. He was involved in inspection tasks of reactor pressure vessel (RPV) in Kudankulam nuclear power plant located in south India. Collaboration between LARICS and HRID resulted in development of software package FIONA for controlling the reactor inspection system. The software visualizes the RPV and inspection system in 3D and allows remote control for secure navigation of the inspection system and ensures collision free scan trajectory generation. During his visit to India Edin provided software support during the inspection process for any unexpected problems that arose during the inspection.
Our ex-LARICS research staff member Dr. Ivana Palunko became an assistant professor at the University of Dubrovnik, Dr. Domagoj Tolic became a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Dubrovnik, and Dr. Alan Mutka became a lecturer at the High Technical School in Bjelovar, Croatia. Congratulations to all of them!
On the other hand, rejuvenation of LARICS continues through employment of two 2014 Rector Award winners, Marko Car and Antun Ivanovic, and one of the most talented computer engineering students, Barbara Arbanas. They will be engaged on several on-going projects including MORUS, EuRoC and SubCULTron. Welcome on board!
Tamara Petrović presented a paper at ICINCO conference (12th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics) that was held from 21th until 23rd of July 2015 in Colmar, the third-largest commune of the Alsace region in north-eastern France. The presented paper, entitled Can UAV and UGV Be Best Buddies? Towards Heterogeneous Aerial-ground Cooperative Robot System for Complex Aerial Manipulation Tasks is the result of joint work of LARICS researchers Tomislav Haus, Matko Orsag, Barbara Arbanas, Stjepan Bogdan and Tamara Petrović.