subCULTron review meeting

DSC02800First subCULTron review meeting was held in Zagreb on 28th of September. In the meeting participated our Prof. Bogdan and Assoc. Prof. Nikola Mišković from LABUST.

As a part of the meeting, we played a live demo for the reviewers which validated all of the efforts put into the project so far. Demo team consisted of LARICS (Tamara Petrović, Goran Vasiljević, Barbara Arbanas) and LABUST members (Anja Babić, Ivan Lončar), accompanied by Daniel Moser from UNIGRAZ. All of the tasks within the demo  (autonomous docking, inductive charging of aMussels via aPad, environmental monitoring task, SMS communication, tweeting) were a complete success.

subCULTron testing the first ten aMussels

IMG_2948The subCULTron team had yet another successful workshop and general assembly in the first week of September 2016. This workshop was dedicated to reliability testing of first batch of ten aMussels. The workshop was held at the Brodarski Institute, Zagreb. The main focus of this workshop was to prepare for upcoming review and to identify possible weaknesses. Various tests such as autonomous docking, diving, interacting with humans via SMS, twitter etc were tested with very encouraging results.

MORUS internal Workshop

DSC_0049Project MORUS internal workshop was held from 20.06. – 24.06.2016. at FER. The main purpose of the workshop was the knowledge transfer between the project partners as well as integration of developed software modules, particularly, the system state machine, models for Gazebo simulator and communication modules. On Thursday, 23.06.2016. the project partners visited lake Jarun where LABUST team demonstrated unmanned underwater vehicle behavior in the real world conditions.

Stjepan Bogdan attended EUCA meeting and ECC2016

DSC_0058As a member of European Control Association (EUCA) General Assembly, Prof. Stjepan Bogdan attended the meeting that was held during 2016 European Control Conference, that took place in Aalborg, Denmark. As a part of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles session at ECC2016, Prof. Bogdan presented paper “Human-in-the-Loop Control of Multi-Agent Aerial Systems”.

LARICS at MED2016 conference

med2016Three LARICS researchers and PhD students attended the 24th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, that took place on 21-24 June 2016 in Athens, Greece. Goran Vasiljević presented the paper “Model predictive control based torque vectoring algorithm for electric car with independent drives” by G. Vasiljević and S. Bogdan. Edin Kočo gave a presentation of the paper “Multiobjective locomotion optimization of quadruped robot with different 2DOF configurations of actuated spine” by E. Kočo and Z. Kovačić. Finally, Tomislav Haus presented the paper “A novel concept of attitude control for large multirotor-UAVs based on moving mass control” by T. Haus, N. Prkut, K. Borovina, B. Marić, M. Orsag and S. Bogdan.

New book chapter on optimal trajectory planning for multiple unmanned vehicles published by Elsevier Inc.

We are pleased to announce that the book chapter “Trajectory Planning Based on Collocation Methods for Adaptive Motion Control of Multiple Aerial and Ground Autonomous Vehicles” co-authored by S. Vera, F. Petric, G. Heredia, A. Ollero, and Z. Kovacic has been just published in the book Control of Complex Systems, Editor(s): K. G. Vamvoudakis and J. Sarangapani, Elsevier Inc., pp. 575-624, 2016 (available on-line: DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-805246-4.00001-X).

In this chapter we describe a centralized method of optimal trajectory planning for multiple unmanned vehicles based on the recently concluded research and development processes in the European FP7 project named EC-SAFEMOBIL. The method can be used with aerial or ground vehicles, as well as in mixed scenarios with aerial and ground vehicles.

LARICS at the 1st Conference on Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Bjelovar

Prof. Zdenko Kovacic and Frano Petric participated as presenters at the Conference on Education, Innovation and Enterpreneurship organized by the Technical College in Bjelovar, Croatia. Prof. Kovacic held a lecture entitled “Autism and autism diagnostics with a robot evaluator”. Frano conducted a demonstration workshop “A robot as a friend”.

New book chapter on automated warehousing systems published by ASTM International

We are pleased to announce that the book chapter “Harmonization of Research and Development Activities Toward Standardization in the Automated Warehousing Systems” co-authored by Z. Kovačić, M. Butler, P. Lista, G. Vasiljević, I. Draganjac, D. Miklić, T. Petrović, and F. Petric has been just published in the book Autonomous Industrial Vehicles: From the Laboratory to the Factory Floor, Editor(s): R. Bostelman (NIST); E. Messina, ASTM International, pp. 106-128, April 2016 (available on-line: DOI:10.1520/STP159420150050).

In this chapter, we describe some ideas of robotic system standardization based on the recently concluded research and development processes in the FP7 project EC-SAFEMOBIL, which was focused on estimation and control technologies for safe, wireless, high-mobility cooperative systems. In the given analysis of possible standardization of automated warehousing systems, we elaborate on ideas on how to overcome evident gaps between academic achievements and viable industry practice. Paying particular attention to process and development standards, as well as function-specific standards, we describe our view of reaching new standards in automated warehousing systems, particularly with a number of deployed automated guided vehicles (AGVs).

Nao robots at the 11th Croatian Exporters ceremony

LARICS hrvatski izvnznici 2016 zlatni ključLARICS participated in the the annual 11th Croatian Exporters ceremony with two Nao robots opening the program as presenters. Our friends from LAMOR joined us with their Kinova Jaco arm, which revealed the Golden Key awards for the best exporters and handed the envelopes with awardee names. The ceremony took place in the Crystal Ballroom of the Westin hotel in Zagreb.

Goran Vasiljevic defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation

In front of the assessment committee (Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Prof. Zdenko Kovacic, and Prof. Ivana Palunko), LARICS PhD student Goran vasiljevic mentored by Prof. Kovacic successfully presented and defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation entitled „High precision markerless localization of mobile robots in indoor industrial environments“. 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 featured in Jutarnji list

On May 23rd, Jutarnji list, one of the most prominent Croatian newspapers published an article about the subCULTron project. Featured on the front page, it encompasses an 242extensive interview with our own Prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Asst. Prof. Nikola Mišković from the Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies, LABUST. The article provided a great visibility to the project and yielded many positive reactions. Other LARICS members working on the subCULTron project are Tamara Petrović, Goran Vasiljević and Barbara Arbanas.

LARICS at ICRA16 conference

Matko Orsag, Tamara Petrović, Edin Kočo, Tomislav Haus, Karlo Griparić, Antun Ivanović, Marko Car and Barbara Arbanas attended IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation ICRA 2016. The conference was held on May 16-21, 2016 at the Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre in Stockholm, Sweden. Barbara Arbanas presented paper “Aerial-ground robotic system for autonomous delivery tasks” by Barbara Arbanas, Antun Ivanović, Marko Car, Tomislav Haus, Matko Orsag, Tamara Petrović and Stjepan Bogdan.

LARICS visited the Technical faculty and Alfanum in Novi Sad

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.

LARICS paper is published on-line in International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems

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.

Limited time open access to LARICS paper to be published in Robotics and Computer-integrated Manufacturing journal

Paper “High-accuracy vehicle localization for autonomous warehousing”, written by Goran Vasiljevic, Damjan Miklic, Ivica Draganjac and prof. Zdenko Kovacic will be published in the Robotics and Computer-integrated Manufacturing journal. The paper presents the algorithm stack for high-precision autonomous vehicle localization, developed within FP7 EC-SAFEMOBIL project. The proposed methodology satisfies the industrial requirements for localization accuracy and has been verified by extensive experiments in realistic industrial conditions. Full paper can be accessed via the following link, which will be available until July 3, 2016.

ADELE project kick-off meeting in Ford Research Centre in Aachen

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.

LARICS at the FER Job Fair

job fair fer larics laboratoryJob 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 robotics@fer.hr brand.

 

LARICS at the Night of the Book event in the FER library

LARICS had a unique opportunity to participate in the “Night of the Book” event organized by the FER library dedicated to the 400th anniversary of W. Shakespeare’s birth. LARICS third-year undergraduate students (Brigita Vrbanec, Marko Kovacevic, Zvonimir Kunstek and Dominik Petrovic) played a scene from Karel Capek’s play R.U.R. together with NAO robots. Also, one of NAO robots demonstrated its ability to read Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” projected on the projection screen.

Inaugural lecture by Matko Orsag

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.