Nao announcing the Interliber fair.
Rene, the media darling among our Nao robots, was a special guest at the press conference that kicked off this year’s Interliber, the 38th international book and teaching appliances fair. He was invited to announce the opening of the fair by reading a passage from The Little Prince, his favorite book. As an experienced media personality, he did not succumb to stage fright in front of the cameras and delivered a flawless reading performance, as you can see for yourself. The story was covered by Croatia’s most read daily newspaper, Večernji List and by the independent TV channel Mreža TV.
Together with Edith and Leclerc, Rene will entertain and educate the visitors of Interliber on Thursday, November 12 within the Science corner program. Join us for a game of tic-tac-toe and a presentation of some of the skills our Nao robots have acquired within the ADORE project.
As a member of BladeHunters team LARICS entered Stage II of EuRoC Challenge 3: Plant Servicing and Inspection. Project ‘Wind generator remote inspection system’ will start in August 2015. The project proposes an autonomous visual inspection system which will enable inspection experts, untrained in piloting micro aerial vehicles (MAVs), to tele‐operate them as an aid to their mission, while focusing on the inspection task at hand. The inspection task we propose to solve is visual inspection of wind turbines while in operation, a highly complex task which calls for new theoretical and practical paradigms. Existing inspection methods are slow and costly, and the wind turbine must be out of service and stopped while inspected, leading to unavailability and causing significant loss of electricity production and income.
Partners on the project are University of Dubrovnik and DIAGNOSTIQA CONSULTORIA TECNICA S.L.
The 3rd internal training for the ASSISIbf project has been held last week at the Artificial Life Lab in Graz. The LARICS team introduced partners from Graz, Lisboa and Lausanne to the new CASU array that we have been developing during the past months. Currently, the array features 9 CASUs (Combined Actuator-Sensor Units), devices that can produce stimuli relevant for honeybees (heat, vibration, airflow), sense the presence of honeybees (by means of IR sensors) and perform autonomous computation (thanks to BeagleBone Black boards powering each device). The goal of these devices is to exchange information with honeybees, that is “talk” to them. The initial closed-loop interaction experiments were quite successful. For more info, pleas visit the project’s blog.
LARICS researchers held a lecture entitled “Robots: bringers of well-being or job destroyers?” at the “Open class days” of Nova Gradiška Highschool. The lecture drew a lot of attention, with over 100 students attending the two scheduled timeslots. Notwithstanding the students’ interest in the lecture itself, it was the live demonstration by one of our Nao robots that stole the show once again.
The kickoff meeting for ADORE was held today at FER. The project logo has been inaugurated and organizational topics have been discussed. Team members are optimistic and eager to get to work!
Robot RJET 111 developed by Inteco Robotics, Zagreb in collaboration with LARICS has been successfully transported from Zagreb to the thermal power plant (TPP) Plomin and placed on the edges of the channel for supplying sea water for cooling. A 4.5 meters wide robot with a cleaning tool composed of several sections of high pressure water nozzles for hydrodynamic treatment of the bottom and the sides of the channel. Advanced control allows RJET 111 to move along a 2 kilometres long winding channel with a maximum speed of 150 m/h. First tests with a robot on the site indicate that all control functions work as planned. Congratulations to Matko Orsag (LARICS), and Kristijan Brkic (Inteco) who worked in implementation of the control part.
The daily TV show Dobro jutro Hrvatska (Good morning Croatia) invited assist. prof. Maja Cepanec (ERF-Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences), prof. Zdenko Kovacic and Frano Petric to say few words about a new project ADORE – Autism Diagnostic Observation with Robot Evaluator, financed by the Croatian Science Foundation in 2014-2018, in which LARICS’ NAO robots play a central role. This is a multidisciplinary project carried out by top young researchers from ERF and LARICS in order to facilitate the diagnosing and treatment of Autism spectrum disorders by using robots as assistants. The feature can be viewed on the following link.
In June 16-19 2014 LARICS researchers Goran Vasiljević, Edin Kočo and Domagoj Tolić attended the 22nd Mediterranean Conference on Control & Automation MED14 that was held in Palermo, Italy. Edin presented two papers related to the research on control of quadruped robots, while Goran presented the paper about the marker-less SLAM method optimized for use in industrial environments. Domagoj presented a paper about stabilizing transmission intervals and delays for LTV control systems.
Who can be more proud these days than our Lab? Marko Car and Antun Ivanovic, with their work “Augmented User-Interface for Control of Flying Robot Manipulator”, and Anja Babic and Nikola Jagodin, with their work “The NAO humanoid robot in social interaction: system elements demonstrated on a game of hide and seek” received the Rector Awards for the best students’ works in 2013/2014. To continue our old tradition, we present the list of LARICS Rector Award winners: 2001 – Bruno Birgmajer; 2002 – Ivan Ljubic; 2003 – Goran Genter and Ranko Munk; 2005 – Alan Mutka, 2006 – Andrija Ersek and Ivana Palunko; 2007 – Maja Varga, Matko Orsag and Mario Dogan; 2008 – Davor Mihaljevic, Robert Rantes and Petar Mateljak; Zoran Vrhovski, Ivan Jakus and Natasa Kovjanovic; 2009 – Kristian Hengster Movric; 2011 – Grgo Cupic; Frano Petric and Ivan Rajkovic, 2012 – Josip Cesic, Jurica Goricanec, and Tomislav Haus; 2013 – Edin Koco. 2014 – Marko Car and Antun Ivanovic; Anja Babic and Nikola Jagodin. A good old question, who is next?
Three days spent in DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany during the General meeting of the FP7-IP project were productive and very memorable. Being in one the leading European research institutions is exciting by itself. But having a privilege to see the control centre of the Columbia space station, see and talk about new robotic systems designed in DLR, will remain inspiring for our own research work. The evening spent in Munich watching together the Football Worldcup opening match Croatia vs. Brazil will be unfortunately remembered for different reasons.