The second edition of AeroSTREAM Summer School was hel from 4th to 6th of July, and here's a glimpse into the action-packed days in Prague!
The core focus? Exploring various robotic realms such as motion planning for decision-making agents, aerial swarm dynamics, and the fusion of multi-sensors for precise localization and navigation.
But that's not all! We had dedicated time for AeroSTREAM activities, including brainstorming sessions on Aerostream research initiatives and seminars about real-world applications tackled within the AeroSTREAM project.
On 12th of July LARICS researcher Marko Car successfully defended his doctoral dissertation and received a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering. Marko’s thesis is entitled "Control system for an unmanned aerial manipulator interacting with the environment based on a generalized model". Congratulations Marko!
We are delighted to share that on Monday, June 26, the students from the inaugural batch of the IFROS Master’s program (2021-2023) presented their master’s thesis projects. The members of the evaluation committee were highly impressed by the projects showcased by our talented students. Their presentations truly highlighted their dedication, effort, and outstanding quality of work. We wholeheartedly congratulate all the students on their remarkable achievements and wish them a future filled with boundless opportunities.
Students Marko Kozlik and Viktor Horvat from LARICS, under the guidance of Prof. Bogdan and Orsag, have been honored with the University's prestigious rector's award on 29th of June, 2023 for their outstanding individual scientific work. Their project, titled "FERbarium - self-sustainable wireless sensor node controlled by mobile application," has garnered attention for its innovative approach.
This project, aimed at developing a wireless sensor node for environmental monitoring in greenhouses and urban environments, is closely linked to the Specularia and WatchPlant initiatives. The groundbreaking work of Kozlik and Horvat not only contributes to scientific advancements but also aligns with real-world applications, emphasizing the importance of their research.
Stay tuned for more updates on their inspiring work and its impact on environmental monitoring.
On 28th of June 2023, WatchPlant meeting was held in Warszawa. LARICS members prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Marko Krizmančić presented the achievements from FER. The plan for the next goals was presented.
LARICS PhD student Marko Križmančić participated at the 2023 International Conference on Information, Communication and Automation Technologies (ICAT) in Sarajevo, where his paper "Decentralized Multi-Robot Formation Control Using Reinforcement Learning. Obradovic, J.; Krizmancic, M.; and Bogdan, S." was presented. In addition to this, Marko gave a talk at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Sarajevo, about UNIZ-FER experience in MBZIRC competitions. The talk was very well received by the University of Sarajevo master students and researchers.
Goran Vasiljevic participated in the 10th Aerial Core Consortium Partner Meeting in Prague, Czech Republic on June 21-22, 2023. At the meeting, the current state of the project was presented and further experiments and final demonstrations of the project were agreed upon.
On 14th of June LARICS researcher Antun Ivanović successfully defended his doctoral dissertation and received a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering. Antun’s thesis is entitled "Model based motion planning for manipulation with heterogeneous robotic systems under constraints". Congratulations Antun!
Marko Križmančić, a scientist from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing at the University of Zagreb, visited Sarajevo and delivered a presentation about LARICS' participation in the International Robotics Challenge in Abu Dhabi (MBZIRC). The presentation was part of the AeroStream project and was intended for his partners from AeroStream1 company and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Sarajevo, and it was attended by professors, doctoral candidates, and master's students.
Prof. Dr. Stjepan Bogdan and Marko Križmančić, collaborated on an article presented at the 29th International Conference on Information, Communication, and Automation Technologies (ICAT), held in Sarajevo from June 11 to June 14. The article was presented by Juraj Obradović, a scientist from the Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies (LABUST) at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb. Find more details about the programme.
For the second year in a row, we have organized the UAV Competition at the ICUAS conference. The finals of the competition that was student focused, and offered unique opportunities for students to test and compare their skills with those of their peers worldwide, was held in Warsaw, Poland. With the theme of infrastructure inspection, and involvement of two EU projects (AeroSTREAM through University of Zagreb, METRICS through CATEC), the competition generated similar interest to the first edition. In total, 15 solutions were submitted in the simulation phase, and following the rigorous evaluation of three benchmarks, the committee selected top 5 teams to perform live, during the conference: UMIC (India), Carrot (South Korea), AiRo Lab (Hong Kong), CVAR (Spain), SDCN lab (Canada). ICUAS’23 supported the finalists covering the accommodation, lunch and conference registration expenses. After three days of integration, tests and competition flights, the defending champions, team CVAR from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Escuela Técnica Superior Ingenieros Industriales ETSII, Spain (David Perez Saura, Pedro Arias Perez, Miguel Fernandez Cortizas) won the first place.
We are proud to announce that seven doctoral students in total from the LARICS laboratory presented their research at this year's FER PhD Day through a series of inspiring posters. It is interesting to note that our seven posters make up an impressive 17.5 percent of all participants. The doctoral students who exhibited their work: Jurica Goričanec, Ivan Hrabar, Bruno Marić, Lovro Marković, Ana Milas, Juraj Oršulić and Ivo Vatavuk. Congratulations to everyone on the exceptional presentation of their dedicated work.
We especially want to highlight doctoral students Lovro Marković and Ivan Hrabar, whose posters deservedly entered the final selection for the best poster. We are extremely proud to announce that Ivan Hrabar won the award for the best poster, and presented his work during the central part of the PhD Day event.
You can view all the posters at: https://www.fer.unizg.hr/studiji/doktorski_studij/dan_doktorata/dan_doktorata_2023#%23!p_rep_155074!_-220046.
The 24th edition of the PhD Café took place on May 31st at Booksa, where four young researchers, future doctors of science from the field of technical sciences, presented their research. Among them was Ana Milas and she presented her research titled: Discovering the unknown: application of drones in space exploration.
Renowned experts Stjepan Bogdan from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing and Tomislav Radišić from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences have been appointed to the Technical Committee on Unmanned Aircraft Systems at the Croatian Standards Institute. The committee's main focus is to establish and coordinate Croatian norms and standards for unmanned aircraft systems, ensuring safe and efficient integration into the country's airspace. Bogdan and Radišić bring their extensive knowledge and experience in UAS operations, safety, and airspace integration, positioning Croatia as a leader in responsible unmanned aviation.
The recent MUZZA Science Week, held from May 19th to 21st at the Zagreb Trade Fair, successfully captivated the general public with its mission to showcase the captivating world of science. With a special focus on engaging children, the event aimed to spark curiosity and demonstrate the beauty of scientific exploration, and inspiring children to learn about science and technology.
Marko Križmančić was visiting Spain from 8th to 11th May 2023, where he participated in setting up air quality sampling experiments for the WatchPlant project. The project partners from CSIC-IRNAS and CSIC-IDAEA placed tomato and ivy plants in three different air quality measuring stations located in Barcelona and Vic. These locations were selected specifically to monitor background pollution in suburban, urban, and high-traffic density areas. In a couple of months, the responses collected from plants in the experiment will be matched with data from air quality stations to create more precise models for future bio-hybrid sensors.
Trieste, Italy - From May 15th to May 19th, robotics enthusiasts gathered for an inspiring training event. Professor Stjepan Bogdan from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering delivered a captivating lecture on the MARBLE project, while Filip Zorić conducted a tutorial on starting robots in Docker Terminal. Attendees left with valuable knowledge and newfound inspiration.
The Bounding Box Conference in Osijek was an incredible success, thanks to the outstanding organization by Protostar and the strong support of the Aerostream project. With captivating lectures, including one by Professor Bogdan titled Multi agent active perception based on Reinforcement Learning, the event surpassed all expectations. Held at the newly opened Business Centre, attendees engaged in fruitful networking and explored cutting-edge solutions. Relive the excitement at https://bounding-box.ai/ and stay tuned for future innovations!
The HEKTOR project recently reached an important milestone with the completion of the final experiments.
The project focused on developing algorithms for autonomous robotic tasks in agriculture and mariculture, and the focus of the latest experiments was on the autonomous suckering and spraying in vineyards located on meliorated karst terrain.
Meliorated karst, characterized by distinctive limestone and dolomite rocks, presents a major challenge for agricultural activities. The in situ testing phase of the project included a series of rigorous trials to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the developed algorithms.
These tests provided valuable insights into the real-world performance of the autonomous robotic systems and allowed the team to identify potential areas for improvement and optimization.
The two days of great talks, interesting panels, excellent presentation at the company booths, combined with a casual afternoon in Boogaloo flight zone, are behind us. On a small closing ceremony held at the Alumni club at FER, professor Bogdan thanked all involved for being a part and contributing to DroneDays. Until next edition, feel free to check out the photo gallery at the DroneDays website to relive these two awesome days. Thank you all and until next time!
Like last year, we are organizing the UAV Competition at the International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS). The competition is organized through two phases, with the final phase being held alongside the Conference in Warsaw, Poland in June.
This year, the competition is organized by FER, LARICS and CATEC through AeroSTREAM and METRICS projects. Almost 40 teams registered for the first phase of the competition, with 15 teams submitting their solutions. 5 teams qualified for the finals in Warsaw: UMIC from Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, AIRo Lab (PAIR lab) from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Carrot from Chung-Ang University, SDCN lab from York University and CVAR from Polytechnic University of Madrid.
We congratulate all teams on their performance and especially to the top five teams for qualifying to the finals in Poland. See you at ICUAS'23!
One of our Pepper robots was involved with the Noc knjige at our Faculty, showcasing the robot reading skills and also hosting a pub-like quiz. Noc knjige (Croatian Book Night) is an event organized every year since 2012, marking the World book day and Croatian book day, with the aim of popularisation of reading and promotion of books. Since the 2023 edition of Croatian Book Night was organized with the theme "Do robots dream of electrical books?, it was only logical for our Pepper to participate.
On April 21st 2023, the Central library of FER, lead by Mrs. Branka Marijanovic, organized an event "Book night at FER" that included two talks about artificial intelligence, one from perspective of computer science (held by professor Marko Đurasević from FER) and the other from the more philosophical point of view (held by professor Luka Perušić from Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences). Our robot Pepper joined the dean, professor Bilas, in opening the event by reading a passage from "2001: A Space Odyssey", was the host of the quiz for the four high-school student teams and closed the event by reading out the laws of robotics proposed by Isaac Asimov.
From 17th to 20th April 2023, at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb, LARICS organized an integration workshop for the project WatchPlant with project partners from the University of Konstanz and the University of Lübeck, as well as two of our master's students.
During the intense four days of focused work, the project consortium assembled a prototype heterogeneous sensor network consisting of 15 Bluetooth Low Energy, ZigBee, and LoRa devices and tested their reliability, range, power consumption, and ease of use. The workshop was successful and its results pave the way for setting up larger outdoor sensor networks later in the project.
For more information, check out the detailed report here.
Marijana Peti attended the International Symposium Underwater technologies 2023 (UT23) from 6th until 9th of March in Tokyo, Japan, University of Tokyo, Institute of Industrial Science. She presented an article in the environmental monitoring section: A Search Strategy and Vessel Detection in Maritime Environment Using Fixed-Wing UAVs, Marijana Peti, Ana Milas, Natko Kraševac, Marko Križmančic, Ivan Lončar, Nikola Miškovic, Stjepan Bogdan, FER, University of Zagreb.
Zdenko Kovačić, Goran Vasiljević, and Antun Ivanović, from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (UNIZG-FER), made an appearance at the European Robotics Forum (ERF2023) held in Odense, Denmark from March 13th to 16th, 2023. The project AeroSTREAM and LARICS lab were showcased with a stand in the exhibition area.
ERF is Europe's largest event dedicated to robotics, featuring a wide range of topics, such as aerial robotics, artificial intelligence, human-robot interaction, ethics, legal aspects, robotics in education, and entrepreneurship. The forum comprises plenary sessions with keynote speakers, technical workshops, interactive sessions, and an exhibition that displays the latest robotics technologies.
Their participation proved fruitful, resulting in the establishment of new connections within the community and opening up new collaboration opportunities with other researchers and end-users interested in aerial robotics and robotics in general.
Matko Orsag attended the WORLD FIRA 2023 conference from 7th-9th of February in Toulouse, France.
Ivan Hrabar held a humanoid robotics workshop on the 8th of February, 2023 at the Bjelovar robotics center
www.roboticki.com at the invitation of the Computer Association of Bjelovar - Bilogora County.
prof. Stjepan Bogdan, vice-dean for research and innovation at FER, recently presented the 3rd edition of DroneDays on HRT’s show! 🎉
Registrations for the third edition of aerial vehicles end-user workshop DroneDays 2023 are ready!
Don’t miss out!
Interesting lectures aerial vehicles end-user workshop, are now open! The third edition of DroneDays will be held 5th of May 2023 at Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing.
The registration package includes accreditation with access to all events (lectures, demonstrations in the flying zone, exhibition, coffee breaks, snack zone) and workshop materials. The number of registered participants is limited.
You can buy tickets here!
DroneDays 2023 is back again! The workshop is going to take place in Zagreb (Croatia) on the 4th and 5th of May 2023 at Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing. The programme is yet to be confirmed. Please check this webpage regularly for all the updates as well as the programme and registration details.
Dario Stuhne and Ivan Hrabar participated in the international workshop "From MVP to first customers", which was held in the Ljubljana University Incubator from 23rd of January until 5th of February 2023. The workshop was filled with rich programme of lectures and networking. At the workshop the vineyard robot VIV of the HEKTOR project was presented as a potential for commercialization.
On 24th-26th of January 2023, WatchPlant meeting was held in Sttutgart. LARICS members prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Marko Krizmančić presented the achievements from FER. The project received excellent feedback from reviewers and the project officer, thus the team continues with its work. The plan for the next goals was presented.
At the 4th conference on new technologies, robotization and automation in industry and construction CROATIA 4.0 - BRIGHT FUTURE prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Jurica Goričanec presented FER's 'SPIN-OFF' AVYONX AND AUTONOMOUS INSPECTION PROJECT of WIND PLANT WITH UAVS.
On Thursday, December 22, your favorite professors made a real Christmas spectacle! The last evening of the humanitarian advent week at KSET was brightened up by bands with FER professors and staff performing. The bands played a selection of Christmas classics and other hits. After the bands finished their performance, the Disco section of KSET kept up the dance floor atmosphere. We want to thank all of you for making this event so special, and wish you happy holidays from LARICS!
FER professors play at...
1, 2, 3 and play professor!
On Thursday, December 22, don't miss the performance of your favorite professors who have prepared a Christmas spectacle! The last evening of the humanitarian advent week at KSET, from 8 p.m. onwards, will be brightened up by concerts by bands that have professors from FER in their composition, who will perform covers of Christmas classics, after which we will be kept on the dance floor by DJ mixes and the Disco section of KSET.
We are happy to announce that Tim-Lucas Rabbel, a master student at our WatchPlant partner University of Lübeck (now University of Konstanz) has joined us for 6 months internship at FER. He will work together with LARICS members at WatchPlant project on conducting experiments and developing new algorithms for sensor networking.
Project WatchPlant was presented at in the FER Open Day to future students and interested citizens.
🤖🤖 The robots are returning to the Cultural Information Center Maskimir!!!! Our Christmas robot party will be held on Tuesday, December 13, 2022 in the large hall of the Center, Švarcova 18, from 12 to 8 p.m.!!! 🤖🤖
Assoc. prof. Ph.D.Sc. Matko Orsag and postdoctoral, Ph.D. Frano Petric received the Annual Award for popularization and promotion of technical sciences in the field of robotics for 2021. In addition to significant scientific activity in the fields of robotics and automation, they are particularly active in the popularization and promotion of science and humanoid sciences. robotics.
On Saturday, November 26, 2022, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing opened its doors to all those who are interested in scientific research, advanced technologies, and applications of these technologies in everyday life! Members of LARICS were also there showing a series of scientific research and projects. Among them were project WatchPlant, Hektor, and many others. A new project, Aerostream was also intorduced.
We are proud to announce that the winner of this year's "Nikola Tesla" award 2022 for exceptional scientific and professional contribution in the field of robotics and automation is none other than our Zdenko Kovačić. The prize is awarded by the Croatian section of the IEEE.
The HEKTOR project at the International Fair of Agriculture, Agricultural Equipment and Machinery CroAGRO 2022, which will be held from December 1 to 4, 2022, at the Zagreb Fair. The HEKTOR project will be at the Croatian Association of Innovators. On Saturday, December 3, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Velesajam, there will be a workshop for winegrowers and winemakers: HEKTOR Robotic system for spraying and removing saplings in vineyards.
Project HEKTOR will be presented at Zagreb VINOcom 2022 (Zagreb International Wine and Culinary Festival). The festival will be held form 27th until 28th of November 2022 in hotel Esplanade Zagreb. At the festival on 27th of November a HEKTOR workshop will be held at 11 h.
Goran Vasiljević and Antonella Barišić attendet the #IEEE SSRR conference in Seville, Spain, where they presented the work of the entire research group of the NATO project MARCUS. The presented paper was one of the four finalists for the best paper award. Goran Vasiljević presented the following article: 3D Model-Based Nondestructive Scanning of Reactor Pressure Vessels with 6DoF Robotic Arms.
G. Vasiljević, V. Brkić, Ž. Postružin and Z. Kovačić, "3D Model-Based Nondestructive Scanning of Reactor Pressure Vessels with 6DoF Robotic Arms," 2022 IEEE International Symposium on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics (SSRR), Sevilla, Spain, 2022, pp. 102-109, doi: 10.1109/SSRR56537.2022.10018751.
Our researcher Antonella Barisic participated in the 10th Croatian Computer Vision Workshop (CCVW 2022) on October 19, 2022. She presented work on synthetic data in aerial object detection. The work was published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA -L) and presented at this year's ICRA conference in Philadelphia, USA.
At the international meeting 1ST EUROPEAN CONGRESS OF BIOMEDICAL AND VETERINARY ENGINEERING – BIOMEDVETMECH 2022, held from 20-22.10. 2022 in Zagreb, Prof. Z. Kovačić held on 20.10. within the Medical Robotics keynote lecture section entitled “Robotics in Medicine – Projects of Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems (LARICS).” In it, he spoke about the results of research on the ADORA and Radiochirurgia – Rays of Hope projects, as well as internal research on the use of humanoid robots to assist medical personnel in providing care and health care and to assist during the performance of hand physical therapy exercises.
Dario Stuhne, Jelena Vuletić and Filip Zorić attended the International Conference on Smart Systems and Technologies (SST) which was held from 19th – 20th of October in Osijek. Dario Stuhne presented Automated Suckering of Vines with a Mobile Robot and a Torque-controlled Suckering Tool (Hektor), Jelena Vuletić presented Procedural generation of synthetic dataset for robotic applications in sweet pepper cultivation (Specularia). Filip Zorić presented Towards intuitive HMI for UAV control (Aerial Core) for which he was awarded with Best Paper Award.
The Young Professionals Interest Group, the Robotics and Automation Department (RA24) of the Croatian IEEE Section and the Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems (LARICS, Aerostream project) invite you to an interactive lecture:
Run the bot in a Docker container
which will be held by Filip Zorić, mag. ing. from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, on Thursday, November 3, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. in hall A-211.
The lecture is in Croatian, and the expected duration is 60 minutes. The lecture is open to anyone interested, and we especially invite undergraduate and graduate students. To participate, you need to register using the form. The number of places is limited.
If you want to actively participate in the lecture, please bring your own computer with a charged battery and a Linux operating system.
Read more information about the lecture and the lecturer in the more detailed content of the notification.
The idea of the interactive lecture is to familiarize you with the basic concepts of the Docker system for virtualization. The goal of the lecture is to install Docker and perform all the necessary steps to start a simple robot with ROS2. It is necessary to bring your own computer with a charged battery and a Linux operating system to the lecture.
prof. Stjepan Bogdan held a lecture at AI2FUTURE2022 conference held from 13th –14th of October 2022, Zagreb where he presented ideas and results of od project WATCHPLANT.
On September 22, 2022, a successful kick-off meeting for the AeroSTREAM project was held at the Hotel International in Zagreb. The AeroSTREAM project is a Horizon Europe project coordinated by UNIZG-FER and covers the field of aerial systems for forestry, agriculture and logistics. Project Officer Agne Dobranskyte-Niskota welcomed the attendees and wished us a successful project start. The consortium went through the work planned in work packages and prepared a plan for the first year.
Jelena Vuletić and Matko Orsag participated in the "15th International Workshop on Human-Friendly Robotics" conference in Delft, the Netherlands. Jelena Vuletić presented the paper "Robotic strawberry flower treatment based on deep-learning vision", in which the method for automatic image annotation, A3IA, was presented.
Zdenko Kovačić participated in the RTL Direct show where, at the invitation of editor Mojmira Pastorčić, he gave a short interview on the subject of the public presentation of the humanoid robot Optimus by the world-famous innovator and entrepreneur Elon Musk. , which he claims will be produced and sold in millions for roughly $20,000.
Mirta Čolić, Iva Hrastnik, Luka Karniš, Andro Katanec, Lovro Pliskovac and Dominik Sekula, mentored by assoc. prof. Matko Orsag and with help of assistant Jelena Vuletić, won the award for their work ‘digitalization system based on photogrammetry: “SimplyDigitize”.
Congratulations to the students and their mentors!
On the 13th of September 2022, LARICS participated in an unusual setting for robotics - a fashion show. The first independent fashion show by Croatian fashion brand Klisab, FALLFALL6, featured three spherical robots developed in collaboration between LARICS from FER at the University of Zagreb, TU Delft in the Netherlands, and Croatian artist Hrvoje Hiršl. To find out more about the project, check out our earlier post here, and for pictures and more information about the show and Klisab, visit their Facebook page. A short video of the show is available on YouTube.
Author of photograph: Karla Juric / @ninetofivestudio
ACM International Conference on Information Technology for Social Good (GoodIT) 2022 was held on September 07th - 09th in Limassol, Cyprus. LARICS researcher Marko Križmančić attended the conference and presented the paper "Distributed Connectivity Control in Bio-Hybrid Wireless Sensor Networks" (Marko Križmančić, Tim-Lucas Rabbel, Eduard Buss, Mostafa Wahby, Heiko Hamann, Stjepan Bogdan).
We are proud to announce that another paper, "PhytoNodes for Environmental Monitoring: Stimulus Classification based on Natural Plant Signals in an Interactive Energy-efficient Bio-hybrid System" (Eduard Buss, Tim-Lucas Rabbel, Viktor Horvat, Marko Krizmancic, Stjepan Bogdan, Mostafa Wahby, Heiko Hamann), presented by Eduard Buss and co-authored by LARICS members won the best paper award sponsored by MDPI “Sensors”. Congratulations!
LARICS PhD student Dario Stuhne published an article Design of a Wireless Drone Recharging Station and a Special Robot End Effector for Installation on a Power Line in scientific journal IEEE Access on 29th of August 2022.
D. Stuhne et al., "Design of a Wireless Drone Recharging Station and a Special Robot End Effector for Installation on a Power Line," in IEEE Access, vol. 10, pp. 88719-88737, 2022, doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2022.3201351.
On 11th of August 2022, the local newspaper Jutarnji list featured a story about the project SubCULTron from Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies (LABUST) and new project HEKTOR. Project subCULTron was a large Obzor2020 project worth almost four million euros led by prof. Nikola Mišković. The goal of the project was to create a flock of underwater robots composed of different platforms. It also brought together researchers from the University of Graz, the Free University of Brussels, the Swiss company Cybertronica Research, a non-profit research organization from France, and the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna University, the CORILA consortium from Italy. LABUST collaborated on the project with another FER laboratory, LARICS, which specializes in robotics and intelligent systems and is led by Stjepan Bogdan. Through the project, in Croatia alone, around 15 underwater robot experts have been created. The project is undergoing the process of commercialization.
Four LARICS researchers Jurica Goričanec, Lovro Marković Marijana Peti and Filip Zorić attended the AeroStream Summer School 2022 on multi robot systems held from 1st to 4th of August at Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic. A few lectures were from top academic researchers in the field of robotics, such as Anibal Ollero, Konstantinos Alexis, Martin Saska, etc. Each day a rich networking program was provided after the lectures in the form of social dinners and sightseeing trips.
As a part of project Caliper, an interview was published, with LARICS Lab assistant professor Ph.D. Tamara Petrović. The goal of the interview is to promote horizontal principles, equality, and representation of women scientists at the university and their involvement in projects.
LARICS members Stjepan Bogdan and Marko Krizmančić participated at the 4th WatchPlant General assembly held from 13th-14th of July 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden, where all partners presented activities carried out during the last six months. The review meeting of the project WatchPlant was held on the 15th of July 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden. At the meeting activities from the beginning of the project were presented to the representatives of the European commission. The project received excellent feedback from reviewers and the project officer, thus the team continues with its work.
On 14th of July LARICS team researcher Dario Stuhne attended the IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM2022) conference that was held from 11th-15th of July in hybrid form in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. The article "Design and Prototyping of Soft Finger AI-enabled Hand (SofIA)" was presented as a part of Specularia project.
Filip Zoric, Stjepan Bogdan and Goran Vasiljevic participated at 2nd review meeting of the Aerial Core project that was held in Lausanne, Switzerland and which was held during week 4th to 8th July 2022. The consortium presented the results of AERIAL-CORE's second period, performing demonstrations at EPFL, as well as streaming demonstrations from US, CTU, UT and Donecle.
On July 2nd LARICS researchers Jelena Vuletić, Marijana Peti and Dario Stuhne attended the Innovation Day conference THINK BIG. They demonstrated manipulation of objects of irregular shapes with soft robotic hand (SOFIA) from project SPECULARIA and a smart biohybrid system for controlling and monitoring plants as a part of WATCH PLANT project.
At the conference 20 international and Croatian faculties and companies from the tech industry had an opportunity to present their innovations and projects to students from all over Croatia. The conference was held at Alpha Centauri campus organized by Infobip and STEMI as a part of “Škola budućnosti” project.
More about the project “Škola budućnosti” you can find here.
Read more news about the event in other media:
On 28th of June 2022 professor Stjepan Bogdan presented Autonomous inspection of wind turbines by unmanned UAV as a part of the workshop Application of Robotics in Sustainability and Environmental Aspects held at the European Robotics Forum (ERF2022).
The forum was held in Rotterdam, Netherlands from 28th-30th of June 2022. It is one of the most influential events for the robotics and artificial intelligence community in Europe. This year's theme was Sustainability, where high level speakers from industry, knowledge institutes and government shared their vision on the various sustainability topics.
In summer semester of the academic year 2021/2022 students Marija Piliškić, Denis Đurašinović, Filip Pušnik, Josip Ante Kozulić and Filip Karaj participated in the ARIAC competition organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The focus of the competition is testing the agility of industrial robot systems, with the goal of enabling industrial robots to be more productive and more autonomous. In Gazebo simulator the infrastructure for the production of ventilators was constructed, and two robot arms UR10 which autonomously did given tasks of kitting and assembly. After solving kinematics and elementary moving of robots, the team implemented a system which solves agility challenges like flipped part, faulty product, high-priority orders, human obstacles, and what to do if sensors are faulty.
Various teams from Chinese Academy of Sciences, universities from USA, laboratories from Sri Lanka and South America participated in the competition, and our students successfully passed the first part of the competition and qualified for the finals. In the final, they won a high 6th place.
This year's international ICUAS conference on Unmanned Aircraft systems was held in Dubrovnik from 21st until 24th of June 2022. The main theme of the conference had two aspects: aerial robotics and navigation, and control of manned-unmanned systems. In addition to excellent organization and a handful of content, this year's conference was the first time a student UAV competition was held. One of the organizers of the conference was LARICS (Laboratory for robotics and intelligent control systems) lab.
The conference was fully sponsored by the ICUAS Association, a non-profit organization. The platinum sponsor was the Technical Innovation institute. Technical co-sponsors were the IEEE Control Systems Society, IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, and IEEE, Mediterranean Control Association. Sponsors of the UAV competition were Croatia Control Ltd. (CCL)., F4F Fly4Future, Info-kod, special sponsors: Army Research Office, academic sponsors: University of Denver, the University of South-Eastern Norway and University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing. In total 292 participants took part in the conference, of which 233 were live, including 5 keynote speakers and 16 volunteers, 63 students and 121 full-time researchers, and 59 in virtual form.
The excellent atmosphere at the conference can be seen in our photo gallery.
Three members of the LARICS lab Ana Batinovic, Antun Ivanović, Lovro Marković and Goran Vasiljević attended the international ICUAS conference on Unmanned Aircraft systems that was held in Dubrovnik from 21st until 24th of June 2022. The main theme of the conference had two aspects: aerial robotics and navigation, and control of manned-unmanned systems.
Ana Batinovic presented "Path Planning with Potential Field-Based Obstacle Avoidance in a 3D Environment by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle".
Antun Ivanović presented "Render-in-the-loop Aerial Robotics Simulator: Case Study on Yield Estimation in Indoor Agriculture".
Lovro Marković presented "Error State Extended Kalman Filter Multi-Sensor Fusion for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Localization in GPS and Magnetometer Denied Indoor Environments".
Goran Vasiljevic presented "Validation of Two-Wire Power Line UAV Localization Based on the Magnetic Field Strengt".
A. Batinovic, J. Goricanec, L. Markovic and S. Bogdan, "Path Planning with Potential Field-Based Obstacle Avoidance in a 3D Environment by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle," 2022 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), 2022, pp. 394-401, doi: 10.1109/ICUAS54217.2022.9836159.
A. Ivanovic, M. Polic, J. Tabak and M. Orsag, "Render-in-the-loop Aerial Robotics Simulator: Case Study on Yield Estimation in Indoor Agriculture," 2022 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), 2022, pp. 787-793, doi: 10.1109/ICUAS54217.2022.9836121.
L. Marković, M. Kovač, R. Milijas, M. Car and S. Bogdan, "Error State Extended Kalman Filter Multi-Sensor Fusion for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Localization in GPS and Magnetometer Denied Indoor Environments," 2022 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), 2022, pp. 184-190, doi: 10.1109/ICUAS54217.2022.9836124.
G. Vasiljević, D. Martinović, M. Batoš and S. Bogdan, "Validation of two-wire power line UAV localization based on the magnetic field strength," 2022 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), 2022, pp. 434-441, doi: 10.1109/ICUAS54217.2022.9836106.
As part of the 2022 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), LARICS team organized Aerial Core workshop named “Aerial Core – boosting the adoption of aerial robotics in real-world applications”. The workshop was attended by more than 20 participants, including representatives from electric power companies from Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Hercegovina.
Goran Vasiljevic visited Spain from 8th to 16th June 2022 where he participated at integration of Main Local-Manipulation Platform (MLMP), developed within the Aerial Core project. MLMP consists of end-effector for installation of recharging station developed by LARICS, robotic arm developed by CREATE and aerial platform developed by CATEC. After successful indoor experiments at CATEC in Seville, the experiments continued outdoor in Atlas Tactical Center at Beas de Segura.
LARICS researchers Jelena Vuletić and Marijana Peti attended the 17th Intelligent Autonomous systems (IAS-17) conference held from 13th-16th of June in Zagreb, Croatia.
Jelena Vuletić presented an article Towards Synthetic Data: Dealing with the Texture-Bias in Sim2real Learning.
Marijana Peti presented Multi-agent Coordination based on POMDPs and Consensus for Active Perception.
LARICS researchers Antonella Barisic and Ana Batinovic attended 2022 ICRA - International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Philadelphia, USA. The largest in-person robotics conference was held May 23-27 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Antonella Barisic presented the paper “Sim2Air - Synthetic Aerial Dataset for UAV Monitoring” (A. Barisic, F. Petric, S. Bogdan).
Ana Batinovic presented the paper “A Shadowcasting-Based Next-Best-View Planner for Autonomous 3D Exploration” (A. Batinovic, A. Ivanovic, T. Petrovic, S. Bogdan).
The presentations were followed by a poster session. Our researchers also participated in the "RAS Lunch with Leaders” and “Women in Engineering" events.
Last week, on Tuesday, 24th of May 2022, we had a final review meeting for the AeRoTwin project, where we reported to the project officer Mr. Antonio Scarafino and the external reviewer Mrs. Jolanta Mallon on all the activities done within the project. The overall assessment of the project was very positive, and both the project officer and the external reviewer gave us valuable feedback on what could be done to better disseminate and report the project results.
As this is the last official event for the project, we would like to thank our project partners Aerial Robotics Lab from the Imperial College London, Technological Corporation of Andalusia - CTA and Robotics, Vision and Control Group from the University of Seville for their great efforts in making the AeRoTwin project a real success story. It has been a pleasure working with you and we look forward to new such opportunities in the future!
Professor Stjepan Bogdan held the main lecture about Unmanned Aerial System for Inspection and Maintenance of Industrial and Civil Structure a the Aerial and Space Robotics workshop held on the 1st of June at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. The workshop was organized by AFRL-UNM Agile Manufacturing (AgMan) Lab. A concise summary of the lecture can be found here.
On 26th of May 2022, the local newspaper Jutarnji list featured a story about the art installation called “Is this life?”. Croatian artist Hrvoje Hiršl, who had conceived the idea behind the installation and is the project initiator, has been closely collaborating with the University of TU Delft in Netherlands and the LARICS lab from FER at the University of Zagreb. The Universities provided technical and engineering support for implementing the artistic ideas envisioned in the project. LARICS member Marko Krizmančić oversaw the development and control of a spherical robot. Marko applied the expertise from his previous work on spherical robots for which he was awarded a Rector’s award together with Antonella Barišić. The team from LARICS was led by assistant professor Tamara Petrović Ph.D.
At the 13th international fair in agriculture, food industry and agricultural mechanization AGRO ARCA 2022, two FERs innovations won the highest prizes.
The Autonomous catamaran for aquaculture secured the highest award “Grand Prix” for the authors Nadir Kapetanović, mag. ing., doc. dr. sc. Đula Nađa, Nikica Kokir, mag. ing., Martin Oreč, mag. ing., Kristijan Krčmar, mag. ing. i prof. dr. sc. Nikola Mišković.
Heterogeneous robotic system, whose authors are Ivo Vatavuk, mag. ing., Marko Cukon, Dario Stuhne, mag. ing., Ivan Hrabar, mag. ing., Jurica Goričanec, mag. ing. i prof. dr. sc. Zdenko Kovačić, was awarded with the Golden medal.
The president of Croatian community of innovators prof. dr. sc. Miljenko Šimpraga, in his speech emphasized the importance of innovations in agriculture as well as the significance of collaboration with the academic community.
The 13th international fair in agriculture, food industry and agricultural mechanization AGRO ARCA 2022 took place from 13th-15th of May 2022. The fair was organized by Croatian community of innovators and city of Prelog. On the fair participated 130 presenters from 11 countries. In total, 16 gold, 18 silver and 21 bronze medals were divided into categories of junior and senior innovators.
Laboratory for robotics and intelligent control systems (LARICS) was featured in the student papers Global. LARICS is the first official experimental laboratory at the FER, established in 2011. The team consists of 24 members, including 4 professors, 4 postdoctoral researchers and 16 Ph.D. candidates, led by Professor Zdenko Kovačić.
Discover how they inspire students with a variety of different experiments and projects, and how the application of their solutions is changing the industry in the article “FER-ovi vizionari motiviraju studente i mijenaju svijet.”
After two challenging COVID years, the annual Croatian Science Festival, an event aiming to bring science closer to the general public, finally took place live and in all its glory from 2nd to 7th May 2022. The main theme of this year's festival was celebrating and learning everything about life. Topics ranged from its definition to its preservation, from molecular biology, chemistry and psychology to advanced technologies and beyond. As our lives are quickly becoming unimaginable without robots, LARICS also participated as part of the firstname.lastname@example.org brand in collaboration with LABUST and LAMOR.
Jelena Vuletić, Marijana Peti, Dario Stuhne, Marko Križmančić, Matko Orsag and Stjepan Bogdan prepared an interactive exhibition to showcase two fascinating projects that aim to improve life through smart agriculture and better environmental monitoring: Specularia and WatchPlant. Marko also gave a presentation on the WatchPlant project, including its mission, concept, and current technological advances.
More photos from the festival can be found in the gallery.
From 15th to 20th May 2022 Filip Zoric and Goran Vasiljevic visited EPFL in Switzerland, where they participated in integration activities of Aerial Core project. Human machine interface developed by LARICS was successfully integrated with fixed wing-rotary wing UAV developed by EPFL.
We are pleased to announce that our Professor Stjepan Bogdan has been elected as the new FER vice-dean for Research and Innovation. His mandate will start in October this year.
We wish him the best of luck in his new role! :D
April 12, 2022 - Natalia Ivanjko, Katarina Mužina, Ana Novačić, and Marsela Polić are this year's scholarship holders of the National Scholarship Program "For Women in Science" organized by L’Oréal Adria and the Croatian Commission for UNESCO at the Ministry of Culture and Media.
The scholarship program has been running in Croatia for sixteen years, and by decision of leading Croatian scientists, four scholarships in the amount of 5,000 euros are awarded to the four best Croatian scientists under 35 from the field of natural sciences, including interdisciplinary fields, which are in the final year of their Ph.D. studies.
On March 11, 2022 LARICS researcher Marsela Polić successfully defended her doctoral dissertation and received a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering. Marsela’s thesis is entitled “Soft robotic manipulation in agrotechnical procedures based on machine and deep learning”.
Antun Ivanović and Lovro Marković (UNIZG FER) visited the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) for a week in February 2022. While at the facilities, they worked closely with Prof. Mirko Kovac (ICL), EMPA researchers David Häusermann, Fabian Wiesemüller, and Cedric Portmann, and ICL researchers Bahadir Kocer, Lachlan Orr, and Oscar Pang.
They have continued the collaboration established by Bahadir Kocer's visit to UNIZG FER in February 2020. The team is collaborating on the development of an aerial robotics team for autonomous construction. They are developing planning and control algorithms and exploring new materials and adhesives to enable efficient and robust autonomous construction with a team of drones.
During their stay, they have been working on integrating aerial systems from the two groups and preparing for ICL's upcoming visit to UNIZG FER for further experimental verification in preparation for a joint publication.
LARICS has participated at IFAM 2022, B2B Trade fair Robotics in Ljubljana 15.02.-17.02.22. which is the only event in Slovenia and the CEE region that dedicates to robotics and unmanned systems. Robotics is tailor-made for exhibitors and gives them a platform for presenting their range of robot technologies in both industrial and service robot sectors. Prof. Zdenko Kovačić has come with its team, researchers Ivan Hrabar, mag.ing. and Ivo Vatavuk, mag.ing. and project manager Vlatka Kovačević. LARICS had one of the most visited booths. It was very attractive with a mobile manipulator which was „spraying the vineyard“ and there was an automated guided vehicle, forklift the product of spin-off company Romb Technologies. The automated guided forklift is produced in collaboration with the company VAR d.o.o.
More photos from the fair are available in the gallery.
During Staff Exchange 2, Research Plan, the LARICS team visited partner CTA and US facilities. LARICS Project Manager Vlatka Kovačević met with the Project partner CTA (Technological Corporation of Andalusia) Head of Aerospace Sector Silvia de los Santos and Consultant Marta Marcias and Communication Department Officers Marisol Castro Rey and Natalia Gutierrez Roa.
The goal of this short-term visit was to provide UNIZG-FER project management staff with direct insight into administrative processes in CTA that are related to innovation management and technology transfer. Vlatka has also with Silvia and LARICS Team (Robert Milijaš and Marko Križmančić) visited CATEC (Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies).
The main outcome of this trip was the enhancement of the reputation, attractiveness, and networking channels of LARICS and raising the profile of its staff thanks to knowledge exchange (best practices, lessons learned).
In the last series of visits in the AeroTwin staff exchange program, LARICS PhD students Marko Križmančić and Robert Milijaš spent three weeks at the University of Seville (USE), Spain from January 15 to February 6. They were working at the Department for Systems and Automatic Engineering under the supervision of Professor José Ramiro Martinez de Dios. Marko worked on designing a new mission planning algorithm for multi-robot systems with the help of USE professor Ivan Maza, while Robert compared the SLAM algorithms and hardware used by the GRVC group at USE to the approaches used in LARICS. During the exchange, several fruitful meetings were held which resulted in plans for future scientific publications.
On February 7, 2022 LARICS researcher Barbara Arbanas Ferreira successfully defended her doctoral dissertation and received a Doctor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Barbara’s thesis was entitled “Decentralized mission planning for heterogeneous robotic teams based on hierarchical task representation”.
The thesis was co-supervised by Prof. Stjepan Bogdan (UNIZG FER) and Prof. José Ramiro Martinez de Dios (USE).
The Advent fever did not bypass the robots and drones that occupied the Maksimir Center for Culture and Information at Švarcova 18 on Wednesday, December 22, from 1 pm to 8 pm, and served visitors hot drinks and Christmas treats!
Our lab members introduced visitors to robots Franka, Pepper, Kinova, and Schunk in the Advent house in front of the Center who rolled up their sleeves to warm the visitors in these cold days and brighten the upcoming holidays.
Robots prepared and served hot drinks and Christmas treats, and at the same time in front of the Center, there were presentations of robots intended for primary and secondary school students where they learned firsthand how robots can communicate with plants and learn how to fly drones.
Pupils could also drive robots and make a 2D map or find out how artificial intelligence can warn us in a cheap and environmentally friendly way about the quality of air, soil, and water in our environment. They also learned how robots and plants communicate with each other and how a 3D model of a building model can be made with a drone.
More photos from the event are available in the gallery.
The LARICS members Stjepan Bogdan and Marko Križmančić participated in the 3th WatchPlant General Assembly, which took place from 13th to 14th December, 2021, in Seville. During the meeting, the LARICS team presented results of the project activities that have been carried out in our laboratory during the last six months.
The LARICS members Zdenko Kovačić, Stjepan Bogdan and Goran Vasiljević participated in the 5th Aerial Core General Meeting, which took place from 9th to 10th November, 2021, in Zurich. During the meeting, the LARICS team presented project activities that have been carried out in our laboratory during the last six months.
As a part of "Introduction to the Project Management" seminar, organized by Bicro BIOCentar, Zagreb, on October 26, 2021, prof. Bogdan presented LARICS experience in the scientific projects management. Some tips and tricks in a project proposal writing has been shared with the audience as well.
As part of the national InfoDay on Horizon Europe Widening program, that was held on-line on October 28, 2021, prof. Bogdan presented the H2020 AeroTwin project, as an example of a very successful implementation of the project within the widening program. During the presentation prof. Bogdan shared with the participants his experiences in coordinating the twinning project and writing proposals.
Prof. Stjepan Bogdan attended on October 28, 2021, 3rd Conference on New Technologies, Robotization and Automatization in Industry and Buildings - Hrvatska 4.0 organised by Energetika Marketing. The conference, that was related to the social and economic changes that are faster and greater than ever due to the implementation of new technologies and solutions, was held in Zagreb. Prof. Bogdan has been invited to presented H2020 project Watchplant.
Trend and Innovation Network Dialogue Meeting - Automation & Robotics workshop was held on Thursday, October 7, 2021. On that occasion, Prof. Zdenko Kovačić held a presentation on "Review of research in the Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems", and then participated in the round table.
The workshop was organized by the Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovation and Investments (HAMAG-BICRO), as part of the project "Central Europe Upstreaming for Policy Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing & Industry 4.0 towards 2030 - CEUP2030".
Prof. Zdenko Kovačić attended on October 6, 2021 a conference "Robotics - From Workshop to Market" organised by the Embassy of Italy. The conference was related to the event "Industry Challenges 4.0: Research, Innovation and New Technologies as Tools to Increase Business Competitiveness", held in April last year in Zagreb. Prof. Kovačić participated as a member of a round table.
The conference was held at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (FSB) of the University of Zagreb and focused on three important topics: the use of robotics and advanced automation in the manufacturing industry and related services; the impact of training systems and research activities on innovation and entrepreneurship; as well as promoting a support and guidance framework for researchers, innovators and companies introducing advanced technologies.
Project partners finally gathered for the 2nd edition of DroneDays 2021 that took place in Biograd na Moru, Croatia. The aerial robotics workshop was held on the 4th and 5th of October, organized by LARICS team. Each partner participated by giving lectures and presenting their work through tutorials and hands-on implementing project activities.
Expert lectures were given by:
- Prof. Mirko Kovac (ICL) on Multi-modal Aerial Robotics for Environmental Sensing and Construction
- Prof. José Ramiro Martines de Dios (USE) on Heterogenous Aerial Robot Cooperation for Inspection and Maintenance
Tutorials and hands-on were given by:
- Silvia de los Santos (CTA) on Technology Transfer Actions and Key aspects for the creation of a successful spin-off
- André Farinha, Constança Rosas and Mirko Kovac (ICL) on The intricacies of looking underwater with a drone – A dual agent system for aerial and underwater operations
- Ashutosh Choubey (ICL) on Commercialisation of university based R&D projects
- Julio L. Paneque and Raúl Tapia (USE) on Heterogeneous Robot Cooperation
The event was successful with 90 registered participants, 16 lectures, 6 demonstration flights, and 200 visitors of the exhibition area where 7 companies presented their products and services.
At this year’s edition of MIPRO 2021 – International Convention on Information, Communication and Electronic Technology, Prof. Zdenko Kovačić presented the paper “Collecting information for biomass estimation in mariculture with a heterogeneous robotic system” (Rezo, M.; Čagalj K. M.; Kovačić, Z.).
HEKTOR’s researcher Ivan Hrabar presented the paper “Towards Autonomous Navigation of a Mobile Manipulator in a Steep Slope Vineyard” (Hrabar, I.; Goričanec, J.; Kovačić, Z.).
The conference was held in hybrid form from September 27 to October 1, with live sessions in Opatija, Croatia.
On Friday, 1 October 2021, a group of eight upper-grade students from the Elementary School Eugen Kvaternik in Velika Gorica visited the LARICS lab accompanied by their informatics teacher Dalija Kager.
The students had the opportunity to see LARICS’ labs, 3D printers in action, and various robotic equipment such as the Schunk robotic arm currently used for installing power line separators in the AERIAL-CORE project.
The main reason for their visit, however, was to learn about how we can measure the well-being of plants and use that information to model our surroundings – a goal we are actively pursuing as a part of the WATCHPLANT project. The students learned about various types of sensors we use for that purpose and got to observe the changes in measured values in real time as they interacted with the plants. They also helped us to water the plants properly using a soil humidity sensor. The children and even their teacher had a lot of interesting questions about the project and our lab, and they were excited to share their own experience with microcontrollers and programming with us.
Check out some photos from the visit in the Gallery.
At this year's edition of the 29th International Conference on Software, Communications and Computer Networks - SoftCom, Ivan Hrabar presented the paper Towards Supervised Robot-assisted Physical Therapy after Hand Fractures (Hrabar, I.; Čelan, B., Matić, D., Jerković, N., Kovačić, Z.). The conference was held in Hvar, Croatia, September 23-25 2021, co-organized by the University of Split, FESB and Croatian Communications and Information Society (CCIS), and technically co-sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society.
On 23 September 2021, the TV show “Prometej” aired on Croatian National Television (HRT) showing several interesting reports of scientific news in Croatia, including a report about the WATCHPLANT project. LARICS members prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Dean Martinović, Ph.D., Marijana Peti, and Marko Križmančić presented the goals of the project, its importance for the general public, and the current progress of the research. They also talked about the most interesting parts of the project, such as the development of sensors, establishing a communication network between devices, and the novel idea of extracting energy from plants’ sap flow.
Since LARICS team is constantly growing, so is the need for more space. Last weeek, the construction of a new facililty was finalized. The new offices are now detached to the testing ground. Wishing the LARICS team a lot of experiments and reserach results!
2021 IEEE 17th International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE) was held on August 23-27, 2021 in Lyon, France. LARICS members Assoc. Prof. Matko Orsag, and PhD students Marsela Polic and Bruno Maric have attended the conference. Bruno Maric presented the paper:
Polic, M., Maric, B. and Orsag, M., 2021, August. Soft robotics approach to autonomous plastering. In 2021 IEEE 17th International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE) (pp. 482-487). IEEE.
LARICS members Robert Milijas and Jurica Goricanec attended ICUAS 2021 that took place in Athens, Greece from 15 until 18 June, 2021.
Robert presented the paper A Comparison of LiDAR-Based SLAM Systems for Control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Jurica Civil infrastructure data acquisition in urban environments based on multi-UAV mission. Both papers were results of research and activities done within LARICS projects ENCORE, ASAP and AEROTWIN.
16th International Conference on Telecommunications (ConTEL) was held on June 30 - July 2, 2021 in Zagreb, Croatia. LARICS members have presented the following papers at the conference:
Goričanec, J., Kapetanović, N., Vatavuk, I., Hrabar, I., Vasiljević, G., Gledec, G., Stuhne, D., Bogdan, S., Orsag, M., Petrović, T. and Mišković, N., 2021, June. Heterogeneous autonomous robotic system in viticulture and mariculture-project overview. In 2021 16th International Conference on Telecommunications (ConTEL) (pp. 181-188). IEEE.
Lešić, V., Novak, H., Ratković, M., Zovko, M., Lemić, D., Skendžić, S., Tabak, J., Polić, M. and Orsag, M., 2021, June. Rapid Plant Development Modelling System for Predictive Agriculture Based on Artificial Intelligence. In 2021 16th International Conference on Telecommunications (ConTEL) (pp. 173-180). IEEE.
Polic, M., Ivanovic, A., Maric, B., Arbanas, B., Tabak, J. and Orsag, M., 2021, June. Structured Ecological Cultivation with Autonomous Robots in Indoor Agriculture. In 2021 16th International Conference on Telecommunications (ConTEL) (pp. 189-195). IEEE.
29th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation (Bari, Italy) was held online on June 22-25 2021. LARICS postdoctoral researcher Goran Vasiljevic presented his paper:
Vasiljević, G., Kovačić, Z. and Postružin, Ž., 2021, June. Solving nonlinear kinematics of a rail-guided inspection robot used for planning visual scans of reactor vessel internals. In 2021 29th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation (MED) (pp. 596-603). IEEE.
LARICS members actively participated in this year's edition of ICRA - International Conference on Robotics and Automation but only virtually. The conference was held May 30 - June 5, 2021 at the brand new magnificent Xi’an International Convention and Exhibition Center in Xi’an China.
Ana Batinovic presented the paper "A Multi-Resolution Frontier-Based Planner for Autonomous 3D" (A. Batinović, T. Petrović, A. Ivanovic, F. Petric, S. Bogdan).
Marsela Polic presented the paper "Compliant Plant Exploration for Agricultural Procedures With a Collaborative Robot" (M. Polic, M. Car, F. Petric, M. Orsag).
Antun Ivanovic virtually attended the Aerial Robotics Workshop (paper title: "Precision Airdrop Challenges with Multirotor UAVs", A. Ivanovic, M. Orsag) together with Bruno Maric and Marsela Polic.
Lovro Markovic presented the paper "Adaptive Stiffness Estimation Impedance Control for Achieving Sustained Contact in Aerial Manipulation" (L. Markovic, M. Car, M. Orsag, S. Bogdan).
Ivo Vatavuk presented the paper "Precise Jump Planning Using Centroidal Dynamics Based Bilevel Optimization" (I. Vatavuk, Z. Kovacic).
LARICS members paricipated in the first edition of Dronijada that took place on June 5 , 2021 in Varaždin. The event was organized by LERAMIS, Aeroklub Varaždin and Croatian International Airshow Varazdin, and featured FPV races, commmercial drone fly zone, and exhibiton.
LARICS memebrs took this opportunity to promote project AeRoTwin, and the upcoming DroneDays 2021, as well as the other activities of the lab and their equipment.
At the event "Robotics and AI in Society: Impacts and Questions Raised", organized jointly by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing and the Embassy of Portugal in Croatia, on May 20, 2021, an interesting exchange of expert opinions and quality discussion between scientists and members of the academic and diplomatic community.
The gathering was welcomed by H. E. Ambassador of Portugal Paula Leal da Silva, and Dean of FER, Prof. Gordan Gledec. The program was led by an experienced researcher Fausto Ferreira, from the Department of Automation and Computer Engineering.
Presentations by Prof. Pedra Lime, from the Superior Técnico Institute of the University of Lisbon and Tomislav Bracanović from the Zagreb Institute of Philosophy, were followed by the round table on the implications of introducing artificial intelligence in our daily lives, with special emphasis on its impact on our jobs. The round table was moderated by the Vice Dean for Research, Prof. Nikola Mišković, and attended by Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Prof. Lime and Tomislav Bracanović.
Recording of the event is available on FER’s YouTube channel.
To kickoff the Conference on the Future of Europe, the Office of European Parliament in Croatia and the Croatian Parliament have organized a thematic event called "The Conference on the Future of Europe: Vision of Croatia". The emphasis of the event was placed on digital and green technologies, promoting successful stories and discussing a more equitable economy and education. UNIZG FER's Center for Artificial Intelligence, represented by professor Loncaric, was invited to showcase its efforts to digitally transform the Croatian society. Professor Loncaric was accompanied by LARICS team (professor Kovacic, Frano Petric and Ivan Hrabar) and our robot Pepper that became the first robotic member of the Croatian Parliament by interrupting the talk of Gordan Jandrokovic, the Speaker of the Parliament (Pepper, MP ). Pepper also had a more amicable interation with professor Loncaric, who used the opportunity to invite companies from Croatia to contact the Center for Artificial Intelligence to discuss the transfer of technologies being developed at the Faculty.
The event generated a lot of interest in the media (check the PRESS section), so we hope that the invitation of professor Loncaric will spark some future collaborations with the industry. We thank the Office of European Parliament in Croatia and the Croatian Parliament for the invitation, and Mrs. Renata Skalabrin for organising the event and accomodating all Pepper's requests.
This year's edition od Aerospace and Defense Meetings (A&DM) event is featuring a workshop, organized and held by AeRoTwin project partners, prof. Stjepan Bogdan, prof. Mario KOvač, prof. Anibal Ollero, and Silvia de los Santos. Covering different otpics, the partners are giving their respective talks on May 27, 2021, on the second day of the event.
More details available here.
"Matchmaking Program for the Aerospace and Defense Industries"
The 2021 edition of A&DM turns into a fully-digital event. The event will be held on 26th and 27th of May 2021 and gather the aerospace international community through pre-planned online B2B meetings, live conferences & replay videos and a virtual exhibition.
EDIT: The workshop was successfully finalized, with project partners giving following presentations:
Prof. Sjepan Bogdan (UNIZG FER): Autonomus Inspection of Wind Turbine Blades
Prof. Mirko Kovac (ICL): Physical Artificial INtelligence for Infrastructure Drones
Prof. Anibal Ollero (USE): Aerial Robots for Inspection and Logistics
Press release: ADM Sevilla 2021
Two LARICS student groups have become the recipients of the 2020 Rector Award. Borna Zbodulja, Jakov Vulama and Petar Ljubotina, mentored by prof. Zdenko Kovačić, won the award for their work 'Pepper as a welcome manager at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing', while Filip Bradarić, Marko Cavalli, Ivona Krajačić and Jelena Tabak, together with Andrea Rebec from the Faculty of Architecture, mentored by assoc. prof. Matko Orsag, won the award for their work 'Workshop for children: "Robofun". The abstracts of their works can be found here. Congratulations to the students and their mentors!
The 1st AIRPHARO workshop on Aerial Robotic Systems Physically Interacting with the Environment will be held October 4-5, 2021 at Ilirija Resort, Biograd na Moru, Croatia. Since this two-day event is taking place in Croatia, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society is organizing the workshop together with LARICS.
AIRPHARO workshop is the successor of the workshops on Research, Education and Development of Unmanned Aerial Systems (RED-UAS). The workshop will focus on a high growth area of both research and industry, the use of aerial robots for physical interaction with people and the environment. For more details, please visit AIRPHARO 2021.
Prof. Stjepan Bogdan held a lecture on "Mission planning in heterogeneous robotic systems“ at the the first conference on trends and application of artificial intelligence Bounding Box 2021 that was held on Friday, March 26, in Osijek (Croatia), emphasizing that it is a fast-growing technology that is increasingly applied in various areas of business and life and is becoming an industry.
The conference was held hybrid, i.e. both online and live. At the opening, the organizers from the company Protostar Labs from Belišće and Creative Agency Adverta emphasized the desire to make it an annual event.
Its first edition was organized as part of the project "Improvement and automation of the VirtuAI Annotation system-adaptation of tools to the requirements of the market for the development of artificial intelligence technologies", an EU-funded project.
"Artificial intelligence is a technology that changes our lives and with its better understanding and application it is possible to improve a lot in various spheres of life and business," said the organizers.
Among the participants-lecturers at the conference are representatives of many companies in Croatia that deal with artificial intelligence, machine learning, application, i.e. localization and reading of QR codes in production and others, as well as experts from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, organization CroAI, and others.
The topics discussed with the followers/audience at the conference were mostly professional ones, presenting work experiences, and related to machine learning, heterogeneous robotic systems, computer vision as a catalyst for change in many industries, application of neural networks in construction, challenges of artificial intelligence in various industries and others.
On Tuesday, March 30, 2021, LARICS is organizing an online presentation of Fulbright Scholarships Program for researchers and PhD students. The presentation will be held by Mrs. Vanja Ratković, Established Opinion Leaders Specialist from the U.S Embassy Zagreb. Assistant Public Affairs Officer Mrs. Elise Crane will make a short introduction to welcome the participants. The presentation starts at 10 a.m. via MS Teams platform. To join, please follow: Fulbright Scholarship Presentation
Last week, 4-6 March 2021, the IEEE International Conference on Inteligence and Safety for Robotics ISR2021 was held online (Nagoya, Japan). LARICS' PhD student Bruno Maric presented a paper:
B. Maric, F. Jurican, M. Orsag, Z. Kovacic: "Vision based collision detection for a safe collaborative industrial manipulator"
The IEEE ISR2021 brought together an international community of experts to discuss a way forward in robotics for the future of safety and security with intelligence by provisions of new research results and perspectives of future developments as well as achievements of social implementation.
DroneDays 2021 is finally happening! The aerial vehicles end-user workshop is going to take place in Biograd na Moru (Croatia) on the 4th and 5th of October 2021 at Ilirija Resort. The programme is yet to be confirmed. Please check DroneDays webpage regularly for all the updates as well as the programme and registration details.
LARICS got another team member – Dario Stuhne! Dario obtained a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2019 and a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering (specialization in Product Design and Development) in December 2020. He worked as a student teaching assistant at the Department of Applied Mechanics and at the Department of Design for 4 years, with a team of students from European universities for industrial partners Electrolux and ROLD, and in design and production departments for a year and a half year in companies Končar D&ST Inc., Vetropack Inc. and OMCO Croatia Ltd. His newest position in LARICS is Research Associate in the field of design and development of robotic mechanical systems. Wishing him all the best and many prosperous years with the team!
Continuing the collaboration on the ASAP project, on 16 December 2020 LARICS joined their partners from the Faculty of Civil Engineering in the inspection of the pedestrian bridge in Osijek.
This inspection marked the first deployment of new upgrades to their UAV (gimbal, IMU and high resolution lidar), which allowed them to detect and measure frequency of bridge vibrations, which are now being validated against measurements of the partners' obtained through standard techniques. Although hindered by cold temperatures, the project team also used this opportunity to thoroughly test the Ouster lidar by mapping the pylons and using them as a reference for autonomous navigation.
LARICS has again partnered up in two new projects that were kicked off in the last months - ESI ERDF project Development of environmentally friendly vehicle for cleaning public surfaces with autonomous control system based on artificial intelligence (EKOKOMVOZ) coordinated by company RASCO, and COST Action project Advancing Social Inclusion through Technology and Empowerment (a-STEP), with 17 states participating. On behalf of LARICS, both projects are coordinated by prof. Zdenko Kovačić.
Instead of the annually held University of Zagreb Fair and Doors Open Day at UNIZG FER, this year the event had a special edition. The alternative Windows Open Days featured a programme that was streamed via MS Teams. UNIZG-FER's “windows” were open from November 19 to 21, 2020. LARICS also participated in the programme within the session Introducing projects - Ask professors what you want to know about robotics. LARICS members presented the lab, their activities, robots, and projects. The extensive programme is available as YouTube videos at https://smotra.fer.unizg.hr/
Daily newspaper Vecernji list visited Specularia project team to discuss the impact of the implementation of 5G on both the global and domestic economies, in which exceptional speed of information, communication and services are becoming possible. Project Coordinator Matko Orsag and Specularia researchers explained how 5G technology will enable innovation and the implementation of ideas into reality, and their robots will finally be able to talk to each other and make decisions all the time.
Full article (in Croatian) available here.
Three more members have recently joined the LARICS team - Marijana Peti, Jelena Tabak, and Filip Zorić!
Marijana Peti graduated with a master's degree from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in 2020. During her studies, she received three “Josip Lončar” Awards and the City of Zagreb scholarships due to her academic success. Her research interests include multi-agent systems and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Jelena Tabak graduated with a master's degree from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in 2020. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. and working as a Research and Teaching Assistant. Her research interests include soft robotics manipulation and machine learning.
Fillip Zorić graduated from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (UNIZG-FER) in 2018 by having successfully defended his master thesis Control of Multirotor-UAV by Using Variable Rotational Plane Rotors. After that, he worked in robotics start-up company Gideon Brothers for 2 years. As of October 2020, he a Research Assistant at LARICS in the scope of the Aerial-Core project where he is also pursuing his PhD degree. His research interests are in the intertwining of control, perception, and robotic manipulation.
The Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems (LARICS) has become a partner in new H2020 FET project WatchPlant - SMART BIOHYBRID PHYTO-ORGANISMS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL IN SITU MONITORING.
WatchPlant will develop a new biohybrid system technology, a wireless wearable self-powered sensor for in-situ monitoring of urban environments. This system equips urban biological organisms -plants- with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create a smart sensor for measuring both, environmental parameters and the responding physiological state of plants, in a very early stage by the use of a barely explored fluid, phloem sap, in combination with chemical, and physical sensors. It will be integrated into complex network that allows performing distributed information processing, decision making, modeling and
data fitting, paving the way for the self-awareness or self-adaptation. Additionally, it will constitute a clean energy self-powered device due to the novel use of sap, not only for transforming plants into living sensors, but also for clean energy generation.
As one of three partners that participate in new ERASMUS+ project, LARICS researchers will be responsible for the 3rd semester curriculum of Joint Master program entitled Intelligent Field Robotic Systems (IFRoS). Also, LARICS staff will mentor master students in 4th semester during master diploma thesis preparation.
The Intelligent Field Robotic Systems (IFRoS) Master Programme aims to train a new generation of engineers who will develop new applications and tools to expand the capabilities of field robots in the near future. The technology behind the development of these systems comes from different research areas such as artificial intelligence, computer vision, control, sensorization, automatic learning, and others, all of them under fast-paced evolution in the current digital revolution. IFRoS is a 2-year joint master degree with 120 ECTS coordinated by the Universitat de Girona (UdG, Spain) together with the University of Zagreb (UNIZG, Croatia) and the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE, Hungary) as consortium programme partners.
To commemorate Europe Code Week, an online exchange of knowledge and experience was designed and moderated by Sanja Pavlović Šijanović, Sanda Šutalo and Kristinka Lemaić with the involvement of students from three Croatian high schools.
At the invitation of Kristinka Lemaić, Petar Ljubotina, fourth-year student at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, presented the Industrial School of Mechanical Engineering with a short video. Petar was awarded the Rector's Award in the academic year 2019/2020 in the field of technical sciences for his scientific team work "Humanoid robot Pepper as a welcome manager at FER".
Special thanks goes to Prof. Zdenko Kovačić for giving the opportunity to high school students to gain insight into the work of FER students.
Given the current epidemiological situation, most of the events during the EU Code Week have been moved to the virtual world. The social initiative CodeWeek was launched by the European Commission with the aim of promoting programming and digital literacy. This event gathers more and more participants every year, so in 2019 the number of participants reached 4.2 million people from more than 80 countries.
Read more (in Croatian): Robotika i programiranje nisu bauk
LARICS team attended Breaking the Surface 2020 workshop from September 27 to October 4, 2020. This was the 12th edition of this international intersiciplinary field workshop of marine robotics and its applications, held every year in Biograd na moru, Croatia.
LARICS members actively participated in the workshop programme with their PhD presentations and tutorials, and attended lectures by AeRoTwin partners from the University of Seville (J. Ramiro Martinez de Dios, Augusto Gómez Eguíluz, Julio L. Paneque) and Imperial College London (Mirko Kovac, Crystal Winston, Andre Farinha, Julien di Tria), and the invited talk by Ivana Palunko (University of Dubrovnik) organized within H2020 AeRoTwin project.
Check the photos here.
On 23 September 2020, Prof. Zdenko Kovačić attended Croatia 4.0 Conference on new technologies, robotization and automatization in industry, buildings, power and energy business. He held a lecture on "Robotic assistive technologies for autistic people and people with disabilities“.
The Conference gathered and presented everyone that in any way comes in a contact with the new technologies in design, planning, manufacturing, control, monitoring, operation and traffic such as robotization, automatization, remote control, smart homes, buildings and cities, Internet of things (IoT), Blockchain, ‘cloud’ business.
LARICS nudi jedno znanstveno-istraživačko radno mjesto na istraživačkom projektu AgroSPARC: Napredna i prediktivna poljoprivreda za otpornost klimatskim promjenama koji provodi u suradnji s Agronomskim fakultetom i Inovacijskim centrom Nikola Tesla.
Radna mjesta obuhvaćaju razvoj inovativnog proizvoda koji će pomoći predviđanje razvoja pšenice umjetnom inteligencijom ovisno o vremenskoj prognozi i drugim uvjetima. Kandidati će pomoći izraditi sustav za uzgoj pšenice u izoliranim i željenim klimatskim uvjetima uz regulacijske petlje osvjetljenja, temperature, navodnjavanja, doziranja nutrijenata i dr. te sustav u oblaku za automatsko arhiviranje podataka o mikroklimatskim uvjetima i identifikatorima razvoja.
- motiviranog inženjera iskusnog u području automatike, robotike i elektotehničkih sustava koji se želi nositi sa znanstvenim i tehničkim izazovima u području Interneta stvari i umjetne inteligencije
- iskustvo u radu s Robotskim operacijskim sustavom
- iskustvo s korištenjem algoritama iz područja robotike
- poznavanje programskih jezika C++ i Python
Natječaj je otvoren od 24.9.2020. do 31.9.2020.
Zainteresirane kandidate molimo da pošalju email sa svojim životopisom i motivacijskim pismom voditelju projekta doc. dr. sc. Matku Orsagu (email@example.com).
Our PhD students Antun Ivanovic, Lovro Markovic, Marko Krizmancic and Ana Batinovic attended the 2020 IEEE RAS Summer School on Multi-Robot Systems hosted at Czech Technical University in Prague from 14th to 18th of September 2020. The Summer School program aims at promoting the newest achievements in multi-robot system research.
The main scope of the program was swarm robotics, including lectures by well-recognized experts in the field, group seminars, computer practicals, and outdoor experiments. Moreover, the Summer School was a great opportunity for networking with other participants and lecturers.
You can find more about the Summer School at http://mrs.felk.cvut.cz/summer-school/
Check out photos in the Gallery.
The 2020 IEEE International Conference on Multisensor Fusion and Integration (MFI 2020) was held from 14th to 16th of September 2020 virtually. MFI 2020 is an international conference sponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) and the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IES). LARICS' PhD student Bruno Maric virtually presented a scientific paper:
B. Maric, M. Polic, T. Tabak, M. Orsag, "Unsupervised optimization approach to in situ calibration of collaborative human robot interaction tools"
Our PhD student Antonella Barišić attended the Programming short course and workshop on Deep Learning and Computer Vision for Autonomous Systems from 19th to 21st of August, 2020. The workshop was held remotely with more than 40 participants.
The aim of the workshop was to provide theoretical and practical programming knowledge on applying computer vision techniques and deep learning to solve problems in robotics such as object detection and target tracking.
International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems ICUAS 2020, as a hybrid conference, both virtual and physical event, was held from 1st to 4th of September 2020 in Athens, Greece. LARICS' PhD student Antun Ivanovic virtually presented a scientific paper:
A. Ivanovic, M. Car, M. Orsag, and S. Bogdan, “Exploiting null space in aerial manipulation through model-in-the-loop motion planning”
The video of demonstration experiments can be found here.
The International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) World Congress 2020, Germany was held virtually on July 11-17 2020. LARICS PhD Student Ana Batinović attended the conference and presented her paper:
Batinović, A., Oršulić, J., Petrović, T. and Bogdan, S., 2020. Decentralized strategy for cooperative multi-robot exploration and mapping. IFAC-PapersOnLine, 53(2), pp.9682-9687.
LARICS has got another team member – Dean Martinovic! After graduating from the University of Stuttgart Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, Dean worked in the automotive industry as embedded software developer on AUTOSAR software components. After returning to the University of Stuttgart in 2012, he completed his Ph.D. in the area of magnetic field based localization systems for inductive charging purposes of electric vehicles. Wishing Dean good luck and a lot of successful endeavors in the LARICS team!
This year, International Conference on Robotics and Automation ICRA 2020 is being held form 31 May to 31 August as a virtual conference with some live events. LARICS' PhD students Bruno Maric and Marko Krizmancic have sent in video presentations of the following scientific papers:
Maric B., Mutka A., Orsag M., (2020), Collaborative Human-Robot Framework for Delicate Sanding of Complex Shape Surfaces
Krizmancic M., Arbanas B., Petrovic T., Petric F., Bogdan S., (2020), Cooperative Aerial-Ground Multi-Robot System for Automated Construction Tasks
The video presentations and the papers are now available to all registered participants of ICRA 2020.
LARICS team was busy before the pandemic shut everything down for a few months. Following his talk at E-Conference Better Future of Healthy Ageing 2020 (BFHA 2020), Professor Kovacic gave an interview for ZIMO portal on the preliminary work with Pepper robots being demonstrators of rehabilitation exercises and plans for the future of humanoid robots in healthcare.
Full article (in Croatian) is available here.
In celebration of the World Bee Day (May 20), Prof. Stjepan Bogdan held an invited talk “Swarm Intelligence in Animal-Robot Interaction” at the Technical Museum Nikola Tesla in Zagreb. Prof. Bogdan presented very interesting results of research done on bee communication channels and social behaviour of bees. The talk was a part of a special programme the Museum had prepared to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development.
On 21 May 2020, LARICS team carried out dynamic median consensus experiments. Five aMussels were used to communicate underwater depth measurements trying to reach a common measurement value. The experiment was performed at Lake Jarun in Zagreb, and the results will be used to support a journal paper that is being prepared.
LARICS team is growing - Jurica Goricanec has joined the lab! After graduating from the UNIZG-FER, Jurica worked in the industry developing and designing UAVs for different purposes, such as collecting geophysical information and carrying out inspections. He is currently also doing his Ph.D. at the UNIZG-FER under the mentorship of Prof. Stjepan Bogdan. We wish him a lot of successful projects and a stimulating work environment. Welcome, Jurica!
The Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems (LARICS) has become a partner in two new projects – the EU H2020 AeroWind project and the Danieli Group project, for which grants agreements have been recently signed. Both projects have been kicked off in May 2020, and all the project activities will be implemented over a period of 1 year (Danieli), and 1.5 years (AeroWind), respectively.
LARICS has partnered up with Danieli Group to develop a pilot system that aims to show autonomous inspection of the process of steel elements production by using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The second project ‘Autonomous UAV inspection of wind turbine blades – AeroWind’ is a new EU project funded under the HORIZON 2020 programme. This project, built on previous research done by LARICS through FP7 project EuRoC, will focus on the implementation of novel methods for UAVs navigation and control, based on state-of-the-art technologies, increase in the speed and efficiency of wind turbine inspection, and a significant decrease in the cost of inspection and downtime of wind turbines.
A new chapter on 'Multi-rotor Systems, Kinematics, Dynamics, and Control of ' written by Stjepan Bogdan, Matko Orsag, and Paul Oh has been published in the Encyclopedia of Robotics.
The subject matter covered in the chapter – kinematic and dynamic model of the multi-rotor system – is the first step towards any real application of aerial vehicles. This includes various surveillance missions that require an eye in the sky, like search and rescue missions, infrastructure inspection, archaeology, film industry, and many more.
The Springer Reference Work Encyclopedia of Robotics addresses the existing need for an easily accessible yet authoritative and granular knowledge resource in robotic science and engineering. The encyclopedia is a work that comprehensively explains the scientific, application-based, interactive, and socio-ethical parameters of robotics. It is the first work that explains at the concept and fact level the state of the field of robotics and its future directions.
You can read the chapter here.
One of the first activities on the ASAP project was helping the partners from the Faculty of Civil Engineering inspect the Franjo Tudjman bridge in Dubrovnik, which took place between May 12th and 14th 2020.
The need for the inspection arose from the strong wind-induced vibrations in early April, and this opportunity was used to get an inside look into the process of infrastructure inspection but also to evaluate which aspects of the inspection can be performed with UAVs. Aditionally, some of our 3D data collection algorithms for the ENCORE project were tried out.
While the environment of a steel reinforced bridge proved to be challenging for the UAVs, LARICS team will build upon these insights and is already looking forward to the next inspection!
The new project “Heterogeneous autonomous robotic system in viticulture and mariculture (HEKTOR)” commenced on 13 March 2020. It is a three-year project funded by European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and coordinated by the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing with Prof. Zdenko Kovacic as Project Leader. Project partners are the University of Dubrovnik (Institute for Marine and Coastal Research) and the University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture. Two UNIZG-FER laboratories are involved in the implementation of the project – Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems (LARICS) and Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies (LABUST).
The main objective of HEKTOR project is to provide a systematic solution for the coordination and cooperation of smart heterogeneous robots/vehicles (marine, land, and air) capable of autonomously collaborating and distributing tasks in open unstructured space/waters. HEKTOR is conceived as a modular and autonomous system, adapted for various missions in viticulture and mariculture with the anticipated possibility of human intervention while performing various work, inspection and intervention tasks.
In line with recommendation given by National Civil Protection Headquarters and Croatian Institute of Public Health, and in order to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease, DroneDays 2020 is postoned until further notice. New dates have yet to be determined.
LARICS team participated in the international robotics competition MBZIRC held from 23 to 27 February 2020. The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) is a biennial international robotics competition, organized by Khalifa University. The competition is held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and is intended to be an ambitious and challenging set of tasks that aims to inspire innovative robotics solutions and technical excellence.
LARICS team for the MBZIRC2020 was led by Frano Petric with supervision of professors Stjepan Bogdan and Matko Orsag, and consists of LARICS’ PhD students: Barbara Arbanas, Marko Car, Antun Ivanovic, Marsela Polic, Ivan Hrabar, Ivo Vatavuk, Lovro Markovic, Ana Batinovic, Antonella Barisic, Robert Milijas and Marko Krizmancic. Being the robotics laboratory, LARICS decided to do the challenges autonomously.
Read all about LARICS' participation at MBZIRC at http://larics-mbzirc.fer.hr/index.php/mbzirc2020/
Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing had the honour to host a two-day regional workshop 'Space powering the Green Deal and the Digital Economy' that was co-organised with European Space Agency (ESA) and Croatian Ministry of Science and Education. The workshop took place on 5 and 6 March 2020 and welcomed more than 200 participants and national and international experts from the public and private sector that held more than 20 lectures on different topics related to space technologies, Earth observation data, and environmental protection.
This workshop was a unique opportunity for Croatian researchers and interested public to exchange information and ideas with European experts to define further steps in strengthening cooperation and explore opportunities for Croatian industry to become actively involved in ESA's programs and projects.
Photos are available in the Gallery.
Prof. Zdenko Kovacic attended European Robotics Forum (ERF) that was held 3-5 March 2020 in Malaga, Spain. Prof. Kovačić joined AeRoTwin project partners from the University of Seville, José Ramiro Martinéz de Dios, and Silvia de los Santos from Technological Corporation of Andalusia in promoting AeRoTwin project, attending lectures and workshops, and networking.
This was the 11th Annual European Robotics Forum ‘Future Robotics: Unlocking Human Potential’ hosted by Trade Fair and Congress Centre of Malaga (FYCMA). This iconic event put Spain at the heart of Europe’s most influential forum for robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).
More about ERF 2020 at https://www.eu-robotics.net/robotics_forum/press/malaga-inspires-erf202.html
The H2020 project "Twinning coordination action for spreading excellence in Aerial Robotics - AeRoTwin" and Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems - LARICS, and IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, Croatian section invite you to the lecture "Human-robot collaboration to extend space missions through telerobotics" by Dr. Neal Y. Lii from the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The lecture which will be held on 6 March 2020 at 09:40 in the Auditorium Hall at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Zagreb, Croatia. The lecture will be held within European Space Agency (ESA)- Croatia regional workshop 'Space powering the Green Deal and the Digital Economy'.
More about the speaker and the talk can be found here.
On Saturday, 1 February 2020, LARICS members Marko Križmančić, Robert Milijaš and Antonella Barišić hosted around 20 second-grade students from the Elementary School Ksaver Šandor Gjalski in the LARICS lab.
The students had the opportunity to see LARICS' robots operate, and to learn about their functionalities in a simple and interesting way. The students also learned about different types of robots, how they move and perceive the world around them. Robot arm Franka was giving out candy and picking up items which caused a lot of excitement.
The students got to operate spheric robots Sphero and walking robots STEMI using a mobile phone application. The students had most fun interacting with the dancing humanoid robot Pepper. They also expressed great interest in UAVs and remote controlling. Everyone learned a lot of new things and the hosts had a difficult task answering all the questions.
Check out photos and students' drawings inspired by the visit in the Gallery.
LARICS members attended the three-day Robotics Fair 2020 in Ljubljana that took place from 11th to 13th February 2020. Robotics is an international trade fair dedicated to industrial robotics and unmanned systems. The event offers the exhibitors a platform for presenting their range of robot technologies in both industrial and service robots sectors.
The Fair was organised by ICM Slovenia. LARICS members attended the event as representatives of three UNIZG FER laboratories: LARICS, LABUST and LAMOR, under the common brand ROBOTICS FER, next to some of the top tech companies in this field. The visitors had an opportunity to learn about current projects of UNIZG FER's laboratories', their research, innovations and equipment.
All the exhibitors also had excellent opportunities to strengthen their image, increase brand awareness and establish new business relationships. The content-rich accompanying programme included roundtable discussions, presentations and workshops.
In the first week of February 2020, Bahadir Basaran from the Imperial College London, together with our own Marko Krizmancic and Antun Ivanovic, worked on experiments as part of collaboration within AeRoTwin project.
The main goal was building a wall with teams of aerial vehicles specialized for spreading infil mixture between brick layers, and brick pickup and placement. The team developed a mission planner for aerial vehicles collaboration and conducted experiments on a mockup scenario.
ESA-Croatia EO workshop 2020 "Space powering the Green Deal and the Digital Economy" will be held 5-6 March 2020 at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing.
The workshop is being jointly organised by the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineer and Computing and the European Space Agency under the auspices of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
This workshop will be the opportunity to confront needs and solutions and it will gather policy makers, scientists, service operators and EO application specialists.
More details about the workshop at croatianspace.info
On 8 January 2020, Ivana Mikolic held an invited talk within the 5th year course Organisation and Management at University of Zagreb Faculty of Economics and Business. Ivana was invited by the Dr. Rebeka Danijela Vlahov together with Andrej Hanzir (LEAP Summit) to share knowledge and experience in managing EU projects. After the introductory presentations, a panel discussion was initiated between the guest lecturers and the students.
The Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems - LARICS (UNIZG FER) is looking to recruit 1 (one) employee for the position of a Researcher on the project ASAP - Autonomous System for Assessment and Prediction of infrastructure integrity.
The ASAP project develops a system for autonomous inspection and prediction of the integrity of transport infrastructure, as part of intelligent transportation systems and logistics for maintenance, monitoring and management. The system includes experimental testing of buildings using robots and drones, as well as real-time wireless data collection. Post-processing combines experimental test results and numerical models to predict the service life and residual load-carrying capacity of structures, and enables data to be stored in a database for end-user needs.
The advantage will be given to applicants who have experience in the synthesis and analysis of drones control algorithms.
If you are interested in the position, please send a short application email with attached CV to this address by Thursday, 30 January 2020 (midnight). Candidates will be contacted shortly after their application for an interview.
On Thursday, 23 January 2020, Prof. Felipe Gonzalez, Associate Professor at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, will give a lecture on “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Artificial Intelligence Revolutionizing Wildlife Monitoring and Conservation”. This IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, Croatian section technical lecture will be held at 11 a.m. in room C-09-01.
Dr. Gonzalez interest is in creating aerial robots, drones or UAVs that possess a high level of cognition using efficient on-board computer algorithms using advanced optimization and game theory approaches that assist us to understand and improve our physical and natural world. Dr. Gonzalez lead the Airborne Sensing Lab at QUT. He is the co-author of several books in UAV based remote sensing and UAV based design based on evolutionary optimization and game strategies and as of 2018 has published nearly 130 refereed papers. He is also a Chartered Professional Engineer, Engineers Australia – National Professional Engineers Register (NPER), a Member Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), The IEEE, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Holder of a current Australian Private Pilot Licence (CASA PPL) and a Remote Pilot Licence (RePL from CASA).
On 15 January 2020, Prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Prof. Nikola Miskovic held an invited lecture called ‘Heterogeneous Mobile Robots Mapping the Present and the Past’ at the Time Machine Croatia Info Day.
This event kindly invited the interested public and experts in the field of humanities, culture, science, history, IT and the research sector to learn more about the Time Machine project as well as the Time Machine Organisation.
The Time Machine Project is by far the most ambitious and far-reaching project ever undertaken using Big Data of the Past. Revolutionising the way we experience European history and culture, the project is an international collaboration to build a map of European history that spans thousands of years.
On 2 January 2020, Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji list published an article on project Specularia (Structurized Ecological Cultivation with Autonomous Robots in Indoor Agriculture). Project team members Ivana Mikolić, Bruno Marić, Antun Ivanović, Matko Orsag and Marsela Polić explained in a nutshell the objectives of the project and its scientific, technical and implementational aspects.
- Robotic systems can help small farms with farmland that is difficult for a family to cultivate. One of agricultural critical issues is lack of workforce, young people interested in ariculture. Robotics is a lifeline for our economy, said Project Coordinator Dr. Matko Orsag.
You can read the article (in Croatian) here.
On 20 December 2019, project 'Autonomous System for Assessment and Prediction of Infrastructure Integrity (ASAP)' officially began. The three-year project is funded by ESI European Regional Development Fund. Project coordinator, the Faculty of Civil Engineering (UNIZG-GF) is implementing the project together with their partners - Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (UNIZG-FER) and Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (UNIZG-FSB).
The aim of the ASAP project is to develop a system for autonomous inspection and prediction of the integrity of transport infrastructure, as part of intelligent transport systems and logistics for road and rail infrastructure maintenance, monitoring and management. The system involves the autonomous conduct of experimental testing of materials and construction using robots and UAVs, real-time wireless data acquisition, and post-process integration of experimental test results and numerical models to estimate the service life and residual load-carrying capacity of the structures, and store the data in a large database for end users.
ROBOWEEK activites have been successfully finalized – Sunday (Dec 15, 19) ROBOBAND concert at KSET; Wednesday (Dec 18, 19) lecture "Real-World Robotics: From Swarms to Entrepreneurship" held by Prof. Daniel Lofaro (University of George Mason) and Prof. Neil Dantam (Colorado School of Mines); ROBOTIC FOOD COURT and ROBOFUN interactive workshops on Thursday (Dec 19, 19). Supported by the U. S. Embassy Zagreb, these events served to popularize robotics and spread holiday cheer, all for a good cause. The raised donations will be given to the Association for improving the quality of life of poor and neglected children "Mali zmaj".
Check out photos in the Gallery.
Article on 'Highly-scalable traffic management of autonomous industrial transportation systems' written by Ivica Draganjac, Tamara Petrović, Damjan Miklić, Zdenko Kovačić, and Juraj Oršulić has been published in Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing journal.
In this article, a method for highly-scalable coordination of free-ranging Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) in industrial environments is presented together with experimental results obtained on a system comprising six vehicles and simulation results with up to fifty vehicles.
Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing journal is on disseminating the application of research to the development of new or improved industrially-relevant robotics, manufacturing technologies, and innovative manufacturing strategies. Preference is given to papers describing original research that includes both theory and experimental validation.
Full article is available online by February 01, 2020 at:
The H2020 project "Twinning coordination action for spreading excellence in Aerial Robotics - AeRoTwin" and Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems - LARICS invite you to the lecture: "Real-World Robotics: From Swarms to Entrepreneurship" by Daniel Lofaro, George Mason University, which will be held on 18th December 2019 at 12:00 in the Gray Hall of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Zagreb, Croatia.
The lecture is organized under the programme Robotics Food Court which is supported by the U. S. Embassy in Croatia.
More about the speaker and the talk can be found in the detailed news content or here.
Ivana Mikolić has been nominated as a finalist of the Project Management Awards 2019 for the best young project manager for the organization of the international interdisciplinary field workshop of maritime robotics and applications “Breaking the Surface (BtS)”. This is a unique award for project management in Croatia. The award is given by the Croatian Association for Project Management (full member of the International Project Management Association, IPMA) and IPMA Young Crew Croatia. The winners will be announced at the award ceremony at hotel Esplanade in Zagreb on December 17, 2019.
More details at IPMA Young Crew Croatia.
The new project “AERIAL Cognitive Integrated Multi-task Robotic System with Extended Operation Range and Safety (AERIAL-CORE)” commenced on December 1, 2019. It is a four-year project funded under HORIZON 2020-ICT, and coordinated by the University of Sevilla (Prof. Anibal Ollero). FER (LARICS) is partaking as a project partner, together with other European partners.
The main objective of AERIAL-CORE is the development of core technology modules and an integrated aerial cognitive robotic system that will have unprecedented capabilities on the operational range and safety in the interaction with people, or Aerial Co-Workers (ACW), for applications such as the inspection and maintenance of large infrastructures.
The project will integrate aerial robots with different characteristics to meet the requirements of:
- Long range (several kilometres) and local very accurate (subcentimetre) inspection of the infrastructure capability;
- Maintenance activities based on aerial manipulation involving force interactions; and
- Aerial co-working safely and efficiently helping human workers in inspection and maintenance.
In November 2019, two LARICS PhD students, Marsela Polic and Marko Car visited the Aerial Robotics Laboratory at the ICL. The students first participated in the training activity, during which they had a guided laboratory visit. They also attended a guest lecture from prof. Masayuki Inaba from the University of Tokio and participated in an origami robotics workshop.
Following the training activity, the students continued their visit to the ARL within the short-term visit, during which they worked on a joint research project proposal together with Dr. Hai-Nguyen Nguyen (post-doc) and Chuqian Lou (PhD student), under the supervision of Dr. Mirko Kovac (laboratory director). The research proposal investigates the possibility of integration of soft robotics paradigm into the UAV control scheme using the origami robotic structures. During the visit, compliant force sensing origami prototypes were designed and tested on mechanical, hardware and software level. An origami casing for UAV mechanical compliance was designed, including both micro origami repeating pattern and macro structure with UAV mounting. Available state of the art micro depth cameras were tested, and the optimal one was chosen. The raw data acquisition was implemented and tested. A long-term timeline for the project progress was defined, during which the origami structure will be manufactured, tested, and implemented. The compliant sensing capabilities will be realized using machine learning and deep learning techniques.
This year LARICS team members are organizing again a robotic charity event, together with KSET and professors from the University George Mason (USA), with the goal to raise funds for the Association for improving the quality of life of poor and neglected children “Mali zmaj”. All the planned activities are taking place between December 15 and 19, 2019 at KSET and in the Faculty’s lobby. The programme of the ROBOWEEK is the following:
- on Sunday, December 15, 2019, from 8 to 11 p.m., on KSET’s stage, the visitors will have the opportunity to attend a unique performance of the ROBOBAND! Robots will be warming up the audience and spreading holiday cheer by playing different instruments, accompanied by FER’s professors and students;
- on Monday, December 16, 2019, professors from the University George Mason (USA) will hold a lecture for FER’s graduate and postgraduate students, and a lecture for the general public to present their science popularization projects;
- on Thursday, December 19, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in FER’s lobby, at the ROBOTIC FOOD COURT, our well-known little robotic helpers Pepper, Franka and Baxter will be serving warm drinks and cookies, while primary and secondary school students will have a chance to attend interactive ROBOFUN workshops.
The co-organizers of the event, University of George Mason professors are planning to hold a similar event in April 2020 at their University.
We wholeheartedly invite you to join us in doing a good deed and spreading joy!
LARICS' PhD students Antonella Barišić and Marko Car are currently attending the 2019 International Workshop on Research, Education and Development on Unmanned Aerial Systems, RED-UAS 2019, held in Cranfield, UK, at the Cranfield University taking place from 25 to 27 November 2019. They presented the following papers:
Barisic, A., Car, M., Bogdan, S., (2019), Vision-Based System for a Real-Time Detection and Following of UAV
Turkovic, K., Car, M., Orsag, M., (2019), End-Effector Force Estimation Method for an Unmanned Aerialmanipulator
RED-UAS 2019 aims to bring together representatives from academia, industry or government agencies working in the rapidly expanding research area of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Focused interests of diverse groups involved in UAS research and development is discussed. Special emphasis is given to current and future research opportunities.
LARICS, LABUST and LAMOR did a great job representing UNIZG-FER at the University of Zagreb Fair 2019 held between November 21 and 23, 2019 at the Student Centre Zagreb, and at the Open Door Day at FER on Saturday, November 23, 2019. Future students and visitors had the opportunity to talk to the members of our laboratories, check the equipment, interact with Pepper, compete against Baxter in solving a Rubik’s cube, and try out navigating the autonomous surface platform H20mniX in an indoor pool! The visitors were also able to learn about the laboratories’ current projects, activities, and prospects of studying at FER.
Check the photos in the Gallery.
The Faculty Council of FER awarded LARICS (Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems) with the Science Award for achieving internationally recognised results in the field of robotics in the past year. Head of Laboratory Prof. Zdenko Kovačić was honoured to receive this special award on behalf of LARICS.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the U.S. Embassy Zagreb organized the reception and a closed screening of the Apollo 11 Documentary Film at the Kaptol Boutique Cinema. Project leaders of grant projects funded by the Embassy Matko Orsag and Ivana Mikolic attended the event accompanied by the new addition to the project team Ana Golec. Deputy Chief of Mission Victoria Taylor hosted the reception and in the welcome address reminded us of two Croatian-Americans who were part of the Apollo 11 mission – Mike Vucelic and George Skurla.
AeRoTwin Coordinators prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Ivana Mikolić participated at the national Horizon 2020 Info Day on Spreading excellence and widening participation programme on 24th October 2019. Stjepan presented Twinning project AeRoTwin as an example of excellent written proposal and implemented project.
Stjepan and Ivana then participated in a Q&A session with representatives from other faculties and institutes in order to share their knowledge and experience and increase proposal submission from Croatia.
Ivana Mikolić held an invited lecture "Managing EU scientific-research projects" at the University of Dubrovnik on 10th of October 2019. More than 30 University's teaching and administrative staff participated in the lecture. The lecture was organized in the scope of AeRoTwin project and by the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society University of Zagreb Student Branch Chapter.
The lecture presented in detail all phases of the projects - from proposal writing, to project implementation, and to evaluation. The possibilities of using EU funds from different programmes were presented. Project preparation and management were elaborated through practical examples. All project phases were presented from a technical, managerial, financial and administrative perspective. The aim of the lecture was to gain a better understanding of EU projects, proposals and calls, as well as the tools used to manage them.
As a part of final media event for the "Quick, healthy and available to all" project of the UNUO centre, our Pepper played a minor role in the "Spoon of Amor" play which showcased the work of UNUO in education of people with disabilities. The play revolves around falling in love over food, since UNUO is focused on teaching people to cook and work in a professional kitchen. We would like to extend our thanks to Vedran Habel, a professional chef and founder of the UNUO, for inviting us to take part in this heart-warming event. We also congratulate everyone involved on a great show, we had a blast! And while Vedran's work and work of the UNUO continues, so will our efforts to find avenues for future collaboration.
FER is establishing Artificial Intelligence Centre, the first such institution in Croatia. The Centre will be the pivotal institution to co-ordinate the activities in the field of AI development, as well as the key link between the public sector and the scientific community. Its activities will also largely be directed towards using AI for socially responsible purposes. LARICS is one of the fourteen research laboratories which constitute the Centre. On two occasions, on the Croatian Radio Television channel 4, and on RTL TV channel, Prof. Zdenko Kovačić was answering questions about the role and future of the Centre.