FER 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.
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.
Since 2014 the European Robotics Week has become a major robotics event in many places all over Europe. The coordinator for Croatia is LARICS postdoctorand dr. Matko Orsag. LARICS, together with other two FER robotics laboratories, LAMOR and LABUST, opened widely laboratory doors to visitors and prepared several demonstrations of various robotics equipment for air, ground, and under water operation.
In front of the five-member committee (Prof. Vedran Bilas, Prof. Zdenko Kovacic, Prof. Gordan Sisul, Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, and Prof. Drago Zagar), LARICS PhD student Damir Arbula, M.Sc. (Technical Faculty University of Rijeka) successfully presented and defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation entitled „Distributed algorithm for node localization in anchor free wireless sensor network”. The Committee agreed upon expected scientific contributions and the same approval is expected to come from the Faculty of EE&C Council and the Technical Committee of the University of Zagreb.
As 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.
Maja Varga, LARICS young scientist, currently a Ph.D. student at the EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland held a very interesting lecture about the fixed wing robots being used in numerous outdoor applications, such as providing area coverage, mapping applications, providing communication relay, environmental monitoring. In many of those applications, exact path of the robot is preprogrammed and mission is usually planned in advance. Each flying robot needs dedicated human operator to provide safe flight. The question arises, what is necessary to add to the functionality of fixed wing robots to make them more autonomous, reactive and less dependent on the human intervention. In her talk, she presented control methodologies to overcome unicycle dynamics of the fixed wing flying robots to make the platforms more reactive and control architecture to enable switching between different flying robot behaviors.
On February 04, 2009 two LARICS students, Ivan Hosko (advised by Prof. Bogdan) and Sasa Mesaric (advised by Prof. Kovacic) successfully defended their diploma theses and became diploma engineers. Ivans thesis was entitled “Image processing on Gumstix microprocessor system”, while Sasas thesis was “The use of RFID technology in flexible manufacturing system”. The results they achieved will be very useful for gaining experience with the state-of-the-art control hardware, as well as with the technology which can increase the FMS flexibility.
On December 16, 2008 two LARICS students (both advised by Prof. Kovacic) successfully defended their diploma theses and became diploma engineers. Majas thesis was entitled “Control of planar manipulator with electronically commutated motors”, while Vedrans thesis was “Multi-user interface for access to robotic laboratory via internet”. We beleive that the results they achieved will serve as a basis for building a well structured internet accessible laboratory (IAL).
On November 18, 2008 three LARICS students (first two advised by Prof. Bogdan, and the third by Prof. Kovacic) successfully defended their diploma theses and became diploma engineers. Kreso’s thesis was entitled “Control of assembly line”, Vladimir’s thesis was “Interaction of agents in the flock following the predator-prey principle”, while Kristijan’s thesis was “Modeling and Construction of a self-balancing mobile robot with two parallel wheel drives”. The results they obtained were really excellent.
On October 21, 2008 four LARICS students (all advised by Prof. Bogdan) successfully defended their diploma theses and became diploma engineers. Vinko’s thesis was entitled “Model reference-based adaptive control by using Lyapunov method“, Damir’s thesis was “Adaptive system control with Honeywell PLC”, Dinko’s thesis was “System parameter identification algorithm as a function block for Simatic PLC”, while Tihomir’s thesis was “Control of Mitsubishi robot by using program Leonardo”. They all did excellent jobs and some of the results they obtained are already used in a new set of laboratory exercises.
On September 16, 2008 LARICS student Ivan Pankretic (advised by Prof. Bogdan) successfully defended his diploma thesis and became a diploma engineer. Ivan’s thesis was entitled “Microprocessor system for control of a 2 DOF platform”. The results he obtained will serve for further work on that subject.
On July 10, 2008 seven LARICS students (all advised by Prof. Bogdan) successfully defended their diploma theses and became diploma engineers. Davors thesis was entitled “Mathematical model of a current transformer”, Lana’s thesis was “Grid based formation control”, Luka’s thesis was “Swarm simulation and modeling”, Denis thesis was Fuzzy state controller, Matko’s thesis was “Hybrid control of quadrotor”, Mario’s thesis was “Hovercraft based on asymmetrical condenser”, and finally, Maja’s thesis was “Fuzzy control of quadrotor”. They all did excellent jobs and they picked a perfect timing for graduation before a long hot summer.
In two hot July days we have got first 16 LARICS Bachelors of Science who successfully defended their Bachelor Theses and thus finished the three-year studying program according to the “Bologna agreement”. Their names are as follows: Ivan Dijan, Ivan Jakus, Davor Jerbic, Luka Kalinovcic, Ante Kapuralic, Tomislav Kavur, Natasa Kovjanovic, Petar Mateljak, Lovro Milankovic, Sime Mrsa, Dijana Namlic, Isak Nuhić, Marijo Radman, Robert Rantes, Marko Rudman, Zoran Vrhovski. We hope to see them all advancing towards the M.Sc. degree.
LARICS student Nikola Rosic succesfully defended his diploma thesis entitled “Control system for a 2 DOF platform”. The task Nikola successfully solved was to develop a nonlinear dynamic model of a 2 DOF platform using Matlab. Then he developed a linear control program for positioning of a ball on the real laboratory platform. The positioning was accomplished by controlling two servo motors using the information from a mounted video camera.
LARICS student Miroslav Kovac succesfully defended his diploma thesis entitled “Modeling, simulation and control of city traffic”. It is well known that traffic jams are part of our everyday life in big cities. Miroslav attempted to create a nonlinear model of city traffic regulated by traffic lights, taking into account the number of vehicles and their speed. The whole work was done using Matlab and the simulation results showed very useful and interesting relations between the frequency of vehicles and the duration of traffic lights` turn on-turn off intervals.
It is our great pleasure to inform you about great success of the Zagreb University Informatics teams at the CERC 2007 – The 2007 ACM Central European Regional Contest that was held in Prague, November 09-12, as a part of the International Collegiate Programming Contest. Among 67 teams from 34 Central-European universities, the first Zagreb team led by third-year LARICS student Luka Kalinovcic won the second place and thus, qualified for the world competition of 80 world best teams, that is going to be held at the Banff Springs University, Alberta, Canada. The second Zagreb team, whose member was LARICS student Davor Jerbic, won the fifth place, which is also an excellent result.
It is a great pleasure to announce that three LARICS students, Ivana Palunko, Mario Dogan, and Danijel Milisic successfully defended their diploma works. Ivana worked on modeling, simulation and control of a helicopter. Mario used genetic algorithms to generate control sequences for a straight and circular motion of a hexapod robot. Just to give you a flavour of what has been done, you can see a short movie (13 MB) showing the straight-forward motion of the hexapod robot with the blocked front right-hand leg. Danijel developed an application for face recognition using a low cost web camera.
It was a day to remember! Nine LARICS students (eight of them advised by Stjepan Bogdan) successfully defended their diploma works: Robert Pavlovic, Vedran Bobanac, Borna Buntic, Andrija Ersek, Matko Medenjak, Sasa Oreskovic, Tamara Petrovic, Domagoj Tolic, and Tomislav Vlah. There is no need to mention that all of them did excellent jobs. Tamara graduated with highest honors – her score through all five years of studying is unbeatable – 5.0 ! Others were not far from that. It will be interesting to see whether we will have such extraordinary graduation day again. We wish all of them have great professional careers!
Three LARICS students, Tatjana Djebro, Ivana Fazinic and Vedran Sesar, successfully defended their diploma works. Tatjana built a mathematical model of a Zeppelin type of a blimp and designed an LQ controller for navigation control. Ivana designed a fuzzy controller for control of a 2 DOF laboratory aeroplane by using fuzzy Lyapunov stability criteria and fuzzy numbers. Vedran added a client application to Leonardo program which enabled control of SCARA robot Kiwi via TCP/IP. Now it is possible to plan trajectories by using Leonardo, send references to Kiwi and execute the trajectories.
A LARICS student Sinisa Dujmovic successfully defended his diploma work entitled “Control of SCARA robot Kiwi from Matlab via TCP/IP”. In his work the Matlab Real Time Workshop (RTW) is used as a backbone of the Internet accessible robot control laboratory. For this purpose server and client function blocks for Simulink were built as a connection to the Internet and target robot control hardware, respectively. The paper describing the implementation of the system has been submitted for possible presentation at the International Conference on Remote Engineering and Virtual Instrumentation.