LARICS featured on Croatian national television

treci_elementLARICS was featured in Treći element, a popular science talk show on March 2nd. In a 45-minute show, hosts of the show were joined by our professors Stjepan Bogdan and Zdenko Kovačić in the studio where they gave insights on some of the most burning questions general population might have about robotics. The show also incorporated the footage from the robotics laboratories at FER (LARICS, LABUST, LAMOR) where researchers demonstrated and elaborated on their work.

FER day at MIOC

fer_miocFER day was held at XV. gymnasium (MIOC) in Zagreb on March 2nd to introduce school’s students to activities and laboratories at FER. LARICS was represented with a booth where we had a Nao robot performing its usual dance routine and wowing the audience, and a Pioneer demonstrating its SLAM abilities to the students. Our colleagues from LABUST represented subCULTron project with an aPad and two aMussels, bringing attention to another aspect of robotics.

LARICS at Night of Museums

LARICS was represented in this year’s Night of Museumsnight of museums in Zagreb, larics lab as a part of the program in the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (HAZU) library. Our dancing Nao robots demonstrated their capabilities to the audience, some of them were even reading texts from HAZU’s digital collection.

The Night of Museums is a cultural event held across Croatia in which entry to museums and cultural institutions is free, and they stay open to the early hours of the morning introduce themselves to new potential patrons.

The first Long Night of Museums took place in Berlin in 1997. The concept has been very well received, and since then the number of participating institutions and exhibitions has risen dramatically, spreading to over 120 other cities throughout Europe, as well as elsewhere, in Argentina and the Philippines.

It started in Zagreb in 2005 as a pilot project with 6 museums. In 2011, there were more than 300,000 visitors. In 2015, 260,000 people turned up to visit over 200 museums and other cultural institutions in 100 cities and towns.

FIRST LEGO League at FER

15940758_1830404410547092_3171236138417000760_nFor the first time FIRST LEGO League was held in Croatia, at FER on January 14th 2017. The league runs for 18 years and is held in 80 countries around the world, and thanks to organization of Croatian Robotic Association, Croatia is one of them. During the opening ceremony NAO robot performed one of his distinctive dances and wowed the audience.

Competition consists of multiple parts (core values, scientific project, robot game, mechanical design) and our Prof. Zdenko Kovačić and Barbara Arbanas were the judges of the technical part. This year 11 teams of children aged 9-16 applied and we expect even more in the upcoming years!

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.

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.

 

Rene opens the Interliber fair

Nao at Interliber.

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.

European Researchers’ Night in Zagreb

We are happy to have been a part of European Researchers’ Night, a manifestation that takes place every year on last Friday of September across Europe, with more than 30 countries and 300 cities involved. This year we were present with our NAO robots, showcasing our research on the ADORE project. Additionally, our ex-students presented the hexapod robot they developed while working on the graduate thesis and used this opportunity to promote their company and learning platform STEMI.

Croatian weekly magazine “Globus” published article about ADORE project

Globus naslovnica 07 May 2015 smallOn 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.

ADORE project started

ADORE: Autism Diagnostic Observation with Robot Evaluator project funded by Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ-93743-2014) started today, with the signing of the contract between LARICS and HRZZ. The main goal of the project is to help clinicians from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences diagnose autism spectrum disorders more quickly and efficiently by using robots from Aldebaran Robotics. Through this project LARICS team will be working on developing a new set of motoric and cognitive skills for our humanoid robots.

ADORE project presented on Croatian national television

dobrojutrohrvatska_adoreThe 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.

Two Rector Awards go this year to LARICS students

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?

NAO robots featured on Croatian national television

Theadore_tv1 daily TV show Hrvatska uživo (Croatia live) aired a feature about a new project in the making in which LARICS’ Nao robots play a central role. The proposed project is based on interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences and LARICS laboratory and aims to facilitate the diagnosing and treatment of Autism spectrum disorders by using robots as assistants. The feature can be viewed through the Croatian television VOD channel (airdate 27.11.2013., feature starts at 00:33:28).

NAO robots hosted aspiring young mathematicians

raddarAs part of the RADDAR festival, organized by the XV high school of Zagreb and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (Prof. Vesna Zupanovic), LARICS people (Prof. Zdenko Kovacic, Dr. Damjan Miklic, Frano Petric, Anja Babic, and Kruno Hrvatinic) prepared three performances with a pair of NAO robots, who showed off their dancing moves and perception skills to almost 90 primary school kids interested in maths. The kids were also challenged to a series of exciting robot-human tic-tac-toe duels. The final score was in favor of humans, but the robots are catching up fast! As expected, many cell-phone videos were taken and immediately shared with friends on popular social networks.

COST workshop on social robotics

LARICS was present at the COST workshop on social robotics held in Brussels, June 10-13, 2013. Frano Petric presented our efforts with NAO robots through talk entitled “Application of Humanoid Robots in Diagnostics of Autism”. Through this networking event we learnt a lot about the research in the field of social robotics and established contacts which could result in future collaborations. We would like to thank organising committee for the invitation. Short video about this workshop is available here.

LARICS Workshop at the Science Festival

LARICS team of 7 people and 5 NAO robots held a workshop at the Technical Museum as a part of Science Festival. Workshop named „Humanoid robots – partners in work and play“ was organized by Professor Zdenko Kovacic, Damjan Miklic and Frano Petric, with help from Anja Babic, Tamara Petrovic, Kruno Hrvatinic and Mihael Mercvajler. While Anja, Tamara and Kruno demonstrated some of the built-in functionalities of NAO robots, Damjan and Frano assisted two festivalznanosti2013of our NAOs to display their skills in playing the tic-tac-toe game, which attracted a lot of attention from mainly young visitors. Mihael was also very busy successfully demonstrating his interesting work on teaching a NAO robot to read. We had a lot of fun and hope that our visitors enjoyed the workshop too. We will be back next year, see you again at the Science Festival 2014.

Album with photos from the workshop can be seen on the Facebook page of Science Festival.

5th CSR Workshop “Robotic Systems 2012”

CSRWorkshop2012Croatian Society for Robotics (CSR) with support of the Croatian Association of Technological Culture (CROTEC) organized the 5th CSR Workshop “Robotic Systems 2012”. About thirty people gathered in the Great Hall of the CROTEC headquarters in Zagreb to listen to the presentations about contemporary humanoid robots, including more detailed presentations of two humanoid robots, Robotis Bioloid and Aldebaran Robotics NAO H25 ATOM, which were demonstrated at the Workshop. Larics team (Zdenko Kovacic, Damjan Miklic, Tamara Petrovic, Frano Petric, Edin Koco, Anja Babic, Kruno Hrvatinic) worked hard to prepare the practical presentations enjoyed by the workshop participants as the most interesting part of this event.
More information about the Workshop can be found at CSR Workshop 2012.

Employing NAO robots in autism diagnosis

LARICS received a description of research protocol to study the possible use of humanoid robots in autism diagnosis. As a part of this research, our NAO robots will work with children aged 2-6, and should be able to detect some basic forms of communication, such as gaze, gests and vocalization. Research protocol is based on ADOS – Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, and was written by Maja Cepanec, Sanja Šimleša and Jasmina Stošić, researchers from Faculty of Education and Rehabillitation Sciences, University of Zagreb. To formulate this protocol several meetings were held, where LARICS was represented by Damjan Miklić, Frano Petric and our NAO robot Herr Flick.We are looking forward to extend our NAOs functionality and are hoping to achieve results which will help both the autistic children and people working with them.