Stjepan Bogdan and Domagoj Tolic attended the European Control Conference ECC 2015 that was held in Linz, Austria, July 15-17, 2015. Domagoj presented the paper entitled “Multi-Agent Control in Degraded Communication Environment”. During the conference Stjepan participated in the European Control Association General Assembly as the representative of Croatia.
Zdenko Kovacic and Stjepan Bogdan attended the American Control Conference ACC 2015 that was held on July 1–3, 2015, in the downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA. On June 30th, Zdenko and Stjepan took part in the Workshop on Recent Advances and Future Directions on Adaptation and Control dedicated to celebration of Frank Lewis’ birthday. They presented recent LARICS research results in the areas of multi-agent systems with unreliable communication and decentralized control of autonomous forklifts in industrial warehouse systems.
Zdenko Kovacic and Goran Vasiljevic attended the EC-SAFEMOBIL 7th Consortium Meeting that was held on June 17–18, 2015, in Seville, Spain. They gave the report on the latest results on precise localisation and distributed control of multiple LGVs, two main goals of the Scenario 4: Autonomous Distributed Warehousing. On their way home, they stopped shortly in Lisbon, Portugal and enjoyed sightseeing in this beautiful European metropole.
This year LARICS students Luka Fucek, Antun Vukicevic and Josip Vukicevic mentored by Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, with their work “Development of hexapod for research and education”, and Damir Mirkovic mentored by Prof. Zdenko Kovacic with his work “Development and Implementation of a Multi-robot System for a New Robot Laboratory” received the Rector Awards for the best students’ works in 2014/15. In the last 15 years 32 LARICS students received Rector Awards which is a remarkable achievement worth to be proud of.
This is an ever growing list of LARICS Rector Award winners: Continue reading
In front of the assessment committee (Prof. Zdenko Kovacic, Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, and Prof. Hrvoje Haramina), LARICS doctoral student Vedran Sesar mentored by Prof. Bogdan successfully presented and defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation entitled „Railway traffic control based on variable structure Petri nets“. The Committee agreed upon expected scientific contributions and thereafter, the Faculty Council and the Technical Committee of the University of Zagreb approved the given topic proposal.
LARICS PhD student Goran Vasiljevic and LARICS industry collaborator Marko Cukon were attending the international exhibition SEA FAIR that was held in Tehran, Iran. Goran presented the exploration robot for fire fighting units that was developed within a two-year project financed by the Croatian Science Foundation. A short report about attendance of Croatian exhibitors on the Iran Sea Fair was published in the Croatian daily newspapers Vecernji list.
CANape is an all-round tool for Electronic Control Unit (ECU) calibration. With CANape, one can solve all necessary tasks in this field – from functional development of the software to rapid prototyping solutions and the production-ready ECU. This tool can be useful at the work desk, on the test bench or on test drives. It can be also used in data logging, parameter calibration, ECU and vehicle diagnostics or verification and visualization of object recognition algorithms for driver assistance systems. As a result of the presentation about CANape held on FER on May 21, Vector Informatik, the distributor of CANape SW, decided to donate one CANape user license to researchers on FER. CANape is installed and maintained in LARICS (interested parties should contact Goran Vasiljevic).
Zdenko Kovacic, Stjepan Bogdan and Ivica Draganjac (LARICS PhD student) attended IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation ICRA 2015. The conference was held on May 26-30, 2015 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington, USA.
Zdenko Kovacic and Ivica Draganjac presented paper ‘Decentralized Control of Free Ranging UGVs in Warehouse Environments’, that is the result of work of LARICS research team as a part of EC-SAFEMOBIL project, supported by EU under the FP7 program. Stjepan Bogdan was a speaker at the Workshop on Aerial Manipulation and Load Transportation, presenting UAV as a Service Platform for an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle. Zdenko Kovacic was a speaker at the Workshop on Autonomous Industrial Vehicles: From the Laboratory to the Factory presenting recent advances in localization and decentralized control of multi-AGV systems.
Kick-off meeting of the subCULTron project, which is a part of the H2020-FET-PROACTIVE initiative, was held on 26th and 27th of May in Pontedera, Italy. Project partners from Italy, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, and France gathered to share knowledge and ideas, and decide on the next actions.
The project aims for achieving long-term autonomy in a learning, self-regulating, self-sustaining underwater society/culture of robots in a high-impact application area of Venice Lagoon, Italy. Partners aim to build a heterogeneous system that consists of 3 different agent types:
- artificial mussels (on the sea-ground) with minimal movement capabilities, which act as the collective long-term memory of the system and monitor the natural habitat, including biological agents like algae, bacterial incrustation and fish
- artificial lily pads (on the water surface), which interface with the human society, delivering energy and information influx from ship traffic or satellite data
- artificial fish (Between the two layers), which move/monitor/explore the environment and exchange info with the mussels and lily pads.
The project aims to push forward the edge of knowledge with novel sensors (electric sense/electro-communication), novel bio-inspired algorithms (underwater hives) and novel energy harvesting in underwater scenarios.
IEEE Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress was held in Zagreb from May 8 to 10, 2015, and was attended by 80 participants – student members and Young Professionals, as well as speakers, sections’ and Region 8 representatives from twelve IEEE Sections including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, and Ukraine.
Invited by the Croatian IEEE section, Damjan and Frano prepared a workshop entitled Nao robots play tic-tac-toe with several hand-on excercises to introduce young IEEE members to programming of Nao robots, computer vision and artificial intelligence. While Damjan was busy giving statements to Croatian RTL television which aired on their main informative programme, Frano also got a chance to introduce our efforts on the ADORE project to the attendees of the workshop.
On May 07, 2015, one of the best-selling Croatian weekly magazines Globus published an article about the use of NAO H25 humanoid robots for autism diagnostics in the LARICS project ADORE funded by the Croatian Science Foundation. The article was entitled “My doctor is robot”. We would like to thank Tomislav Novak, a Globus journalist, for his enthusiasm to present our work and thus popularize robotics among the readers of the Globus magazine.
To the big surprise of all LARICS people, and to the biggest surprise of himself, Prof. Kovacic joined the Croatian team of basketball veterans VKK Zagreb and played on the FIMBA World League Maxibasketball tournament in the category M55+ and became a bronze medallist. Within 10 teams from Brazil, Chile (2 teams), Slovenia, Austria, Argentina, Japan, Russia, Moldavia and Croatia, VKK Zagreb won first against Japan and Argentina and became the winner in the group B. In the semifinals against Brazil the Brasilian team dominated, but in the match with the Russian team for the bronze medal, the Croatian team returned to the winning path.
LARICS had two papers presented at the 2015 IEEE Sensor Applications Symposium that was held from April 13-15 in Zadar, Croatia. A LARICS PhD student Karlo Griparic presented the paper entitled “Combined Actuator Sensor Unit for Interaction with Honeybees”, describing the newest results of the on-going FP7 project ASSISI. Dr. Damir Arbula presented the paper entitled “Microimmune Algorithm for Sensor Network Localization” describing the key results of his doctoral dissertation. Prof. Zdenko Kovacic, being the coauthor of the second paper together with a LARICS PhD student Slaven Glumac, also participated in this very well organized event in the beautiful city of Zadar.
On April 09, 2015 a LARICS Ph.D. student Ranko Munk (advised by Prof. Zdenko Kovacic) successfully passed his doctoral qualification exam presenting his gained knowledge about the intended topic of research – control of humanoid robots. Ranko’s presentation was entitled “Advanced control of biped robot motion” focusing on the intelligent control of robot balance while a robot is moving on uneven terrains and is affected by different robot balance disturbances.
NATO Science for Peace project “MORUS – Unmanned systems for maritime security and environmental monitoring” starts in 2015. Project duration is 36 months. Partners are UNIZG-FER (LARICS and LABUST), University of Limerick (Marine Robotics Research Centre), University of Sarajevo (Faculty of Electrical Engineering) and University of Dubrovnik. The main goal of the MORUS project is to design and produce a prototype of a fully operational robotic system comprised of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV). The system, equipped with various sensors and cameras, will be able to operate in the marine environment where it will obtain simultaneous data and images of surface and underwater areas in coastal and off-shore zones that are of particular security interest to relevant civil and military authories. MORUS will be the world’s first robotic system that allows the autonomous transport, deployment, operation and recovery of a UUV combined with a UAV. This capability will significantly enlarge theater of operation for UUVs, compared with today capabilities.
New H2020 project “Submarine cultures perform long-term robotic exploration of unconventional environmental niches” (SubCULTron) was awarded in the H2020-FETPROACT-2014 call (project ID 640967). subCULTron aims for achieving long-term autonomy in a learning, self-regulating, self-sustaining underwater society/culture of robots in a high-impact application area: Venice, Italy. Partners are:
- University of Graz – Coordinator (Assoc. Prof. Thomas Schmickl)
- University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing
- Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant’Anna
- Universite Libre de Bruxelles
- Association pour la Recherche et le Developpement des Methodes et Processus Industriels
- Corila – Consorcio per il Coordinamento delle Ricerche Inerenti al Sistema Lagunare di Venezia
- Cybertronica UG (Haftungsbecshrankt) GmBH
On March 20, 2015 LARICS researcher Alan Mutka successfully defended his doctoral dissertation and received a Doctor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Alan’s thesis was entitled “Adaptive control of quadruped robot locomotion through variable compliance of revolute spiral feet”. The main results of his work include: (i) a control model of a quadruped robot based on the use of inverse kinematics, state machine and controllable transitions between trajectories associated with versatile cyclic and acyclic motion sequences, (ii) tripartite cyclic trajectory for feet motion which enables improved execution of dynamically more demanding motions, (iii) spiral feet of a robot leg with the ability to adapt passive compliance by rotating and adjusting robot motion to the ground stiffness variations, (iv) experimental validation of the control model of a quadruped robot having the ability of adapting to the variable stiffness of the ground. Alan has decided to continue his professional career in his own company Cognitus.
Domagoj held a lecture at the Electrical Engineering Department, University of Osijek, on March 16th 2015. The lecture was titled Networked Control Systems: Intermittent and Delayed Information and focused on the recent results related to the EOARD project. More info about the lecture can be found here (croatian only).
Project ‘Human-in-the-loop Control of Multi-agent Aerial Systems Under Intermittent Communication’ was successfully completed on 28.02.2015. The project, funded by Air Force Office of Scientific Research, achieved all planned goals – results of 2 years of research have been published in more than 20 conference and journal papers.
From 19th until 21st of January Italian company Euroimpianti hosted the 6th EC-SAFEMOBIL consortium meeting in the town of Schio. Using two autonomous forklifts produced by Euroimpianti, LARICS team held two successful demonstrations of decentralized control and markerless localization developed within the EC-SAFEMOBIL project. First demonstration was held for members of the consortium, while the second one was reserved for project reviewers who attended the last day of the meeting. Meeting and especially demonstration were covered by reporters from local newspapers and television.