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.
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”. The 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.
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 have 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.
From 18 until 22 September 2019, LARICS' members Marsela Polic and Antun Ivanovic attended a 5-day mentoring program Big Bang Camp in Rijeka, Croatia, that helps scientists, entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs who envisioned or work with new technology and need to identify its market potential and, based on that, create a roadmap how to transform technology into marketable product or service.
Big Bang Camp brought 20 participants from all over the world that worked with extraordinary mentors from Croatia and USA with the goal to develop a technology concept and to define the steps to get it on the market.
Prof. Zdenko Kovačić attended the 27th International Conference on Software, Telecommunications and Computer Networks (SoftCOM 2019) in Split, Croatia, where he presented the paper entitled “NAO Robot as Demonstrator of Rehabilitation Exercises after Fractures of Hands”. The paper brought to attention the results of the work of a LARICS student Dora Matić on the robot’s assistance to physiotherapists during rehabilitation exercises with patients with healed hand fractures. Eighteen exercises were analysed and using the Choregraphe programming tool for the NAO humanoid robot, a choreography has been made for them (see video on the LARICS’ YouTube channel).
Prof. Zdenko Kovačić attended the Market Activities Circle Forum of the PostEurop COG-LO project that was held in Split, Croatia. Prof. Kovačić presented the research work of LARICS on Intelligent Services and Production (ISP) with the emphasis put on technologies related to Post Office Logistic Solutions with Robots. Also, he presented the technology solutions offered by the LARICS’ spin-off company RoMb Technologies. The host of the forum was the Croatian Post (Hrvatska pošta).
Prof. Zdenko Kovačić attended the European Conference on Mobile Robots held in Prague, Czech Republic, where he presented the poster titled “Autonomous Robots as Actors in Robotics Theatre - Tribute to the Centenary of R.U.R.”. The poster contained the description of the proposed research aimed towards developing foundations for the implementation of the play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) of the Czech writer Karel Čapek with Pepper and NAO humanoid robots acting together with human actors. This work was inspired by the 100th anniversary of R.U.R. in 2020 (see video on the LARICS’ YouTube channel).
LARICS is looking for financial administrators, project administrators, event organizers and/or dissemination coordinators!
LARICS is involved in various scientific and industry projects and organizes multiple events funded by the EC, NATO, national institutions, local and international companies, and many more. We are looking for new employees willing to help us run these projects and organize them with the help of and under the supervision of our laboratory manager.
Responsibilities for the successful candidate(s) will include (depending on the given job role):
- preparing project documents and administrative reports
- monitoring project expenses and keeping track of the budget
- preparing financial reports
- engaging with the media
- creating content for our websites and social platforms
- organizing dissemination activities
- organizing various laboratory events
- any other duties as required and relevant to the role and grade
- excellent written and spoken Croatian and English is essential
If you are interested in the position, please send a short application email with attached CV to this address until 30th of September 2019. Candidates will be contacted shortly after their application for an interview.
Contact: Ivana Mikolić, 091 604 7559
On 3 July 2019, Antonella Barišić and Marko Križmančić, two of our stipendiaries and future members, received rector's award for their work titled Decentralized formation control for a multi-agent system of autonomous spherical robots. The abstract of their work in Croatian is available on this link, while the video of the experimental results can be found here.
This marks the 21st rector's award for students associated with LARICS and continues the streak of awards started in 2011. Congratulations to Antonella, Marko, and their mentor prof. Stjepan Bogdan!
We were first invited by Koncar and Atos Hrvatska to the Pometeno Brdo windfarm on 2 July 2019 to demonstrate the capabilities of our UAVs in wind turbine inspection tasks. With supervision from Jurica Goričanec from Geoarheo, our Kopterworx UAV performed all planned tasks and results we obtained are looking promising for a future collaboration. We were also invited by Geodetski zavod Rijeka to the Grobnik airport on 9 July 2019 to showcase 3D mapping and georeferecing capabilities of our UAV. Gathered data is still being processed, but we hope it will facilitate interesting future collaborations.
LARICS' PhD students Barbara Arbanas and Ana Batinović spent four weeks (June 2019) at the University of Seville, Spain, as a part of Aerotwin staff exchange programme.
They were interns at Department for Systems and Automatic Engineering under supervision of professor Jose Ramiro Martinez de Dios. The main focus was on integrating SLAM, obstacle avoidance algorithm and a mission planner for UAV-UGV cooperative teams. Barbara worked on a new task allocation algorithm and Ana on both static and dynamic obstacle avoidance algorithm based on potential fields. Moreover, results will be presented as a joint conference paper and future collaboration.
Within NATO SfP project MORUS and EU project AeRoTwin, Lovro Marković and Marko Car attended the European Control Conference from 25th to 28th of June, 2019 in Naples, Italy. At the conference Lovro presented their paper titled Geometric Tracking Control of Aerial Robots Based on Centroid Vectoring.
Their paper focuses on presenting the concept of geometric tracking control for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) based on variations in centerof gravity (CoG). The proposed UAV model has the ability to exploit its dynamic CoG as a means of stabilization and control. A mathematical model of such a system is used as a base for developing the nonlinear geometric tracking controller on the special Euclidean group SE(3). Finally, two unique UAV models, presented with a trajectory tracking problem, are simulated in a realistic simulation environment. Performance of the selected control terms is analyzed based on relevant simulation results.
On 22 June 2019, Frano Petric presented our experiences with the ADORE project at the first Assistive technologies and communication conference (ASTEK) in Belgrade, Serbia.
Following our collaboration with Alfanum and professor Delic from the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad, we were invited to present our experience of using humanoid robots with children with autism. Through the talk "Diagnosing ASD with a robot evaluator - experiences from the ADORE project" Frano talked about the technology behind the robot-assisted ASD diagnostics, challenges we faced but also about mixed reactions of the children to the robot and overwhelmingly positive reactions from the parents and caregivers.
We would like to thank ASTEK organizers and especially professor Delic for the invitation and are hoping we will be able to take part in future ASTEK events.
The paper titled Centroid vectoring control using aerial manipulator: Experimental results was presented by Antun Ivanović at the international conference IEEE International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems within projects Specularia and AeRoTwin. The conference was held 11-14 June 2019 in Atlanta, USA.
This paper addresses the issues of aerial manipulation and its dynamic center of mass variations by deriving a control principle capable of exploiting this disturbance as a means to stabilize the UAV. The UAV utilizes both rotors variations and centroid vectoring for attitude control and the control structure was further augmented with position control. The main focus is on experimental validation of the system.
On 20 May 2019, during the Croatian Academy of Engineering (HATZ) General Assembly, LARICS team member and Asst. Prof. Matko Orsag was awarded a Young Scientist Award "Vera Johanides", which is a recognition of his rich contribution to science and the field of engineering - We would like to congratulate our colleague on his success and wish him even more success in the future!
On 20-24 May 2019, the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2019) was held in Montreal, Canada, and three of our Lab's members took part in it. Prof. Stjepan Bogdan went to the conference to take part in the workshop titled "The Future of Aerial Robotics: Challenges and Opportunities" as a speaker on the topic of “Full Autonomy in Aerial Manipulation”, while Barbara Arbanas and Goran Vasiljević presented their work and the results of the subCULTron project within the Marine Robotics section of the event. Take a look at a couple photos from the event in the detailed news!
Yesterday, 4th June 2019, the TV show "Školski sat" aired on Croatian National Television (HRT 2), the episode was titled "On robots and humans" with the topic of robotics. Our Lab's Matko Orsag and Frano Petric took part in the show together with the humanoid robot Pepper, and they discussed how robots work with people, how they might help us in the future and what questions might arise in this process. The show also featured segments about the fund-raising event we had for Christmas, as well as our work with robots in the Laboratory. Take a look at the episode via this link (in Croatian)!
LARICS members took part in another Festival of Science in Zagreb, an event aiming to bring science closer to the general public which was held from 8th to 13th April 2019. The main topic of the festival was colors, but it also included many other interesting and innovative branches of technology, including robotics. This is why the firstname.lastname@example.org brand, which consists of LARICS, LABUST and LAMOR, also took part in the event and had workshops and an exhibition. Matko Orsag, Frano Petric and Barbara Arbanas represented our Laboratory at the event.
Prof. Zdenko Kovačić was a Keynote Speaker at the 42nd International Convention on Information and Communication Technology, Electronics and Microelectronics MIPRO 2019 in Opatija, Croatia where he gave a lecture titled “Industry 4.0: Experience of Technology Transfer from an Academic Laboratory to Manufacturing Sites of Industrial Partners”. He also participated in the panel discussion on “Intelligent Production” organized by MIPRO, Danieli Automation and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing. The objective of the panel was to discuss directions toward merging various information, technologies, big data and computer controls to optimize manufacturing processes in smart factories.
Prof. Zdenko Kovačić appeared in the TV show “Studio 4” aired on the Croatian Radio Television (HRT 4) together with Mr. Zlatko Katalenić, a roboticist from Slovenia. They discussed common topics such as the role of robotics in industry, what the current state of robotics in Croatian industry is, and how artificial intelligence could help robots to work together with people.
Prof. Zdenko Kovačić took part in the panel discussion “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Erasing Borders among Physical, Digital and Biological Sphere” that was held in Osijek, Croatia within the 2nd International Forum ICT-Society #RobotsAreComing dedicated to the topic “Impact of robotization on Economy and Societal Transformations”.
A high-level delegation of Danish top IT managers and experts visited FER with the aim to get acquainted with the results of ICT-related research projects at FER. Prof. Zdenko Kovačić, in cooperation with prof. Stjepan Bogdan, prof. Jan Šnajder, prof. Mario Vašak, prof. Ivana Podnar-Žarko, prof. Mario Kušek, prof. Siniša Šegvić, and Ivan Krešo, held a workshop that was highly regarded and appreciated by the esteemed guests.
On 24 April 2019, members of LARICS working on our Specularia project went to Agrivi, a company applying the newest software and technological innovations to agriculture. Matko, Ivana, Antun and Marsela talked to them about which agricultural crops and cultures they should use as part of the project and which activities can be done with the individual plants in their various stages of growth. They also learned a lot about Agrivi's work and how they use these innovative technologies, which they could also apply to the project in a number of ways.
Asst. Prof. Matko Orsag was invited to be a speaker in the panel discussion titled "The Future of Agriculture in the EU" organized by the Economics Clinic (Ekonomska klinika) as part of the "My voice in the EU" ("Moj glas u EU") event, held on 24 and 25 April 2019 in Zagreb. Together with other speakers at the panel discussion, he talked about his research field, particularly the Specularia project and the application of robotics in agriculture, as well as about future plans, trends and expectations in agricultural sciences and practical applications. Together the speakers answered the listeners' questions. More info on the event can be found here.
LARICS' Matko Orsag took part in the Zagreb Energy Congress - ZEC 2019, organized by the IEEE Student Branch University of Zagreb on 10-14 April, 2019 at our Faculty. He held a lecture titled "Robots in Service of Human Kind" during the Academy Day of the event and told the attending students and listeners about what robots are doing for humans and what they could potentially do in the future, particularly in relation to agriculture and our Specularia project, but also in relation to the energy sector. LARICS was a silver sponsor of this event. You can read the lecture abstract and see a few pictures in the detailed news.
Members of LABUST and LARICS working on the subCULTron project used a sunny day in Zagreb to conduct field experiments with the aPads and aMussels. They went to the lake Jarun and tested the robots in a realistic environment, all in preparation for an upcoming anoxia workshop, which will be held in the Venice Lagoon in July of 2019. Take a look at a couple of pictures from lake Jarun!
PhD student Zoran Vrhovski, mentored by our prof. Stjepan Bogdan, took part in yesterday's PhD Day at our Faculty as part of the poster section of the event. His poster and his PhD thesis deal with the topic of creating a system for Leg Length Discrepancy Evaluation and Compensation for Human Body Balancing, and can be see by following this link (the poster is in Croatian). Zoran's poster left a great impression on the committee and it was awarded as best poster of the event! We would like to congratulate our colleague on this success and wish him even more success in his future research.
The first edition of our two-day end-user aerial vehicles workshop DroneDays, held at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb, Croatia, on 26 and 27 March 2019, was a great success and exceeded all of our expectations. Over 200 participants listened to 17 lectures by aerial robotics experts, there were 9 demonstrations in the flying zone, and some 2000 visitors came to the company expo to learn about aerial vehicles and their applications. DroneDays was organized by UNIZG-FER and LARICS as part of the project AeRoTwin. Read more about our exciting event in the detailed news!
An article on an international EU FP7 project we worked on, ASSISIbf, was published in the newest issue (27 March 2019) of the magazine Science Robotics, and our professor Stjepan Bogdan is one of the authors of the paper. The article is titled "Robots mediating interactions between animals for interspecies collective behaviors" and it deals with the interesting results of this unusual robotics project. The article abstract is available on this link, while the full article is available via the official website of the magazine for AAAS members and registered users.
Our Lab's project manager Ivana Mikolić went on 29th March 2019 to the LEAP Summit in Zagreb, Croatia, where she held a lecture at the EU & ME Stage titled "Increasing robotics research excellence with the EU". Ivana talked about her experiences in managing EU and Croatian projects, why they are important and how they can be used to advance our scientific and technological potential. Ivana also gave some recent examples of LARICS and LABUST projects, such as AeRoTwin and DroneDays, to show how EU funding can successfully be applied in the context of robotics in Croatia and the EU.
Members of our lab went to Bucharest, Romania, on 19 to 24 March, to take part in the European Robotics Forum 2019 to represent the email@example.com brand, which includes three robotics laboratories from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing: LARICS, LABUST and LAMOR. There they took part in lectures and workshops, presented their work and some of the laboratories' robots and brought our work closer to the public and the robotics community.
During the event, euRobotics also announced that LARICS was the ERL Emergency Service Robots Best Team of Season 2018/2019, which is a great honor and confirmation of our hard work done at ERL and in preparation for it. Zdenko Kovačić received the award for LARICS during the banquet at ERF.
You can see a couple of photos from the event by following this link.
The Croatian Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes (Agencija za mobilnost i programe Europske unije) has published a brochure titled Horizon 2020 Success Stories in Croatia, which features one of our H2020 projects - subCULTron! We are proud to have taken part in this successful project and we invite you to take a look at the brochure and read about subCULTron, as well as other stories about successful projects in our country.
Professor Stjepan Bogdan went to Abu Dhabi to take part in the 2019 International Symposium on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence on March 10 and 11, where he held a lecture in the Aerial and Underwater Systems session. The lecture was titled "Aerial Robotics – manipulation and interaction with the environment", dealing with the topic of present results in aerial robotics done in our Lab, particularly when it comes to the problem of controlling the force of interaction between an aerial vehicle equipped with a dexterous manipulator and the environment. You can find more info on the event, as well as a book of abstracts, by following this link.
Another RADDAR workshop, organized in collaboration with the Fifth Gymnasium in Zagreb (MIOC), was held at UNIZG-FER this weekend, on 9th March 2019, during which RADDAR programme attendees went on a tour of our robotics laboratory and learned about how our robots work and what can be done with them. A lot of focus was put on our Pepper robot, so prof. Zdenko Kovačić made sure to help the high-school students get to know more about the interesting field of humanoid robots and the services they can offer. Find out more information on this workshop by following this link (in Croatian).
Our asst. prof. Matko Orsag appeared on 7th March 2019 as a guest speaker for the Croatian National Television's show Dobar Dan, Hrvatska to talk about technological advancements in robotics, particularly aerial robotics, and to introduce the public to our upcoming two-day end-user workshop on aerial robotics, DroneDays. The show also featured a segment on our laboratory and what LARICS members do for this field of technology. Prof. Pero Škorput from the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, who will appear at DroneDays as an invited lecturer, was also a guest in the show to talk about the future of traffic and transport. The whole show can be seen via the HRTi service (in Croatian; registration is necessary).
Our Asst. Prof. Matko Orsag went to Čakovec, Croatia, on 28 February 2019 to take part in an conference on agriculture titled "Managing knowledge in agriculture" ("Upravljanje znanjem u poljoprivredi" in Croatian), where he attended lectures, met experts in this area, and presented the Laboratory's project Specularia. As the Coordinator of the project, Matko talked about the use of robotics in agriculture and its potential future impact and uses in this field of economy and everyday life.
During the ERL Local Emergency Tournament in Seville, our AeRoTwin Project Coordinator Ivana Mikolić met with project partner CTA Aerospace Technical Officer Silvia de los Santos and consultant Marta Macías for the first AeRoTwin Short Term Visit, where she learned about the CTA model of innovation cluster and technological transfer. Ivana, Silvia and Marta visited the CTA facilities, talked to Silvia about their business and research strategies, and found out more about their equipment, projects etc. and visited the Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies (CATEC). This was the first in a line of short-term management oriented visits which will help us improve our laboratory's R&D capacities during the project.
LARICS team members took part in the European Robotics League Emergency Local Tournament on 18-23 February in Seville, Spain, where they achieved amazing results - they won first place overall, as well as best ground team! During the five days of the competition, they worked hard on developing their ground and aerial robots, making them work together autonomously in various environments, and they even found the time to take part in the 1st AeRoTwin Training and 1st AeRoTwin Short Term Visit with project partners from the University of Seville and Technological Corporation of Andalusia. This hard work paid off and was rewarded with the great results they achieved. We would like to congratulate our colleagues for their efforts and achievments, and wish them even more success in the future! You can find a gallery from the tournament here.
This month we will be going to Seville, Spain, to take part in the European Robotics League Emergency Local Tournament 2019! Our team has been pre-selected for this competitive and interesting event, so we will have to combine our knowledge of ground and aerial robots to make them work together. They will have to be as autonomous as possible, capable of coordinating through both indoor and outdoor environments and will have to perform specific advanced tasks. We are working very hard for this competition and are looking forward to taking part in it!
On February 18 and 19, 2019, our team will be going to Seville to take part in the first AeRoTwin hands-on training with the title Drone Localization and Mapping. The training will be held at the Robotics, Vision and Control Group (GRVC ) Lab premises in Seville, Spain, and our lecturers are experienced members of this lab and the AeRoTwin project team, who will help us learn more about drone localization and mapping, the newest developed techniques and technology, the theoretical background and practical applications. You can find out more about the content of the training, the lecturers and related institution by following this link.
Our team's representatives, Matko and Stjepan, went to Spain to the beautiful city of Cáceres, where they will take part in the Kick-off meeting for one of our newest projects, ENCORE - ENergy aware BIM Cloud Platform in a COst-effective Building REnovation Context. There, they are meeting with the project partners and coordinators, and are discussing the plans for the project, their goals, ideas for the future, etc. Their main goal in the following years is to increase the share of renovated stock in Europe and worldwide by providing effective and affordable BIM tools that cover the whole renovation life-cycle. We wish them all a great start and successful project!
We have some great news for the final month of ADORE project! The paper entitled “Hierarchical POMDP Framework for a Robot-assisted ASD Diagnostic Protocol” has been accepted for oral presentation at the prestigious international conference ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction HRI 2019. The conference will be held on March 11-14, 2019 in Daegu, South Korea, and our dr. sc. Frano Petric will do the presentation.
On 16 January 2019, our professor Stjepan Bogdan took part in a TV show titled Treći Element (Third Element) on the Croatian National Television, where he discussed the ASSISIbf project with the guests and hosts, talked about what biomimetics is and how it can be applied, as well as how nature and robotics can work together. We would like to thank Treći Element for the invitation - you can watch the whole episode of the show by following this link (in Croatian).
The first edition of our DroneDays event is soon approaching, so the organizers of the event, Ivana Mikolić, Stjepan Bogdan, Matko Orsag and Frano Petric told us more about what visitors can expect at the workshop. We have published their interview at the DroneDays website and you can read it under detailed news content. Registrations for the event are now open - register by following this link!
DroneDays is a two-day workshop focused on unmanned aerial vehicles which will be held on 26th and 27th March 2019 at UNIZG FER premises in Zagreb, Croatia. The programme consists of keynote lectures, an exhibition area, as well as a flying zone, and is focused on unmanned aerial vehicle applications and end-user industries. It will serve as a meeting place for experts from the industry and academia, end-users, as well as regulatory bodies from the region.
Yesterday our Matko, Frano and NAO robot went to the Advent in Maksimir, where they took part in an art workshop titled "Overcoming the barriers of autism - together", organized by the Autism Association Zagreb, who we collaborated with on our recent Christmas charity event. During the workshop, visitors had the opportunity to meet members of the Association, see what they've been doing and take a look at the crafts they exhibited, as well as to get to know our NAO robot and learn about its role in diagnosing autism. You can read some more about the event here (in Croatian) and see some of the Association's photos here. We would like to thank the Association for the invitation and wish them a successful new year!
On Wednesday, 19th December, we held a fund-raising event for the Autism Association Zagreb, where the robots from our Laboratory worked together to serve the visitors with chocolate waffles, brownies and tea or mulled wine. This exciting event was visited by over 2000 people and some 700 orders were taken and served, which resulted in the amazing amount of over 13 thousand kuna (almost €2000) in donations, all of which will be given to the Autism Association Zagreb. We would like to give our gratitude to everyone who took part in this great event and wish everyone happy holidays!
We have an exciting announcement: the first edition of DroneDays, a two-day workshop focused on unmanned aerial vehicles and their end-users, will be held in Zagreb at our Faculty on 26th and 27th March 2019. The programme of the event will consist of keynote lectures, an exhibition area and a flying zone, and the event will serve as a meeting place for experts from the fields of industry and academia, end-users, as well as regulatory bodies from the region. We invite you to save the date for the first edition of DroneDays, as there is a lot in store for the event! For more up-to-date information, please visit the official DroneDays website.
The famous Christmas market in Zagreb has just become one interesting event richer: On Wednesday, 19th December, 10-16h, visitors of UNIZG-FER will have the opportunity to enjoy mulled wine, tea and brownies or waffles, which are special because they will be served by - robots! This unusual event is organized by us and the brand firstname.lastname@example.org with the goal of raising funds for the Autism Association Zagreb. We hereby invite you to join us at this unusual and exciting event!
Our colleagues from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences have published an article in the journal Croatian Review of Rehabilitation Research entitled “Reaction to Robots in Social and Non-Social Contexts - Comparison of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their Typical Peers”. In this article they have described their experience gained through numerous sessions with a group of typically developing children and children diagnosed with ASD interacting with NAO robots. The article is accessible at the following open-access link.
Our members Matko and Frano, as well as Alumnus Tomislav Haus, will be representing robotics branch of technology and automation at the upcoming B:IT.con event, which will be held in Bjelovar, Croatia, on 15 December 2018. Matko and Frano are holding a presentation titled "Robots in service of mankind" and Tomislav will focus on the topic of "Autonomous mobile robots of the 4.0 industry".
LARICS members took part in the first AeRoTwin Innovation Management Training, organized in cooperation with the EXCELLABUST project and held on 5-7 December 2018 at our faculty in Zagreb. We learned a lot about H2020 projects, how to manage them, what expert profiles are, how R&D management works in a big company and how to choose the right calls for our EU projects. We would like to thank all the speakers, especially our AeRoTwin project partners, and we hope to see them again soon! You can take a look at the gallery of the event by following this link.
As part of our AeRoTwin project, next week we are hosting an Innovation Management Training, the first as part of the project. The title of the event is "EU and Business R&D Project Management", and it will be held 5th to 7th December, 2018, at our Faculty. The goal of the three-day training is to gain a better understanding of EU projects, proposals, and calls, as well as the tools used to manage them, with special focus on Horizon 2020 projects. The training will be led by four speakers: Vesna Torbarina from the Croatian Chamber of Economy, Manuel Jiménez Díaz from the Morera&Vallejo Group, Silvia de los Santos from the Technological Corporation of Andalusia and Matko Barišić from ABB AS Norway.
The full agenda can be found at this link.
For this year's European Robotics Week, we participated in two events in Zagreb - the University of Zagreb Fair (22nd to 24th November) and University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering Open Day (24th November) with the brand email@example.com and together with two more robotics laboratories from our faculty - LABUST and LAMOR. Both the events were very successful!
During the week from the 19th to the 23rd of November, 2018, the AeRoTwin Project Coordinator Yiannis Vacondios was in Zagreb for a study visit organized by the European Commission to learn more about Croatian ministries and institutions, and to explore the impact joining the European Union has so far had on Croatia. We used this chance to meet with him for lunch on Friday, 23rd November, and discuss current ideas and plans for the project, as well as what we have in store in the future of the project.
Prof. Zdenko Kovačić was invited by the partners of theproject to give a presentation about the ADORE project at the that was held in the popular Bulgarian ski resort Bansko. The aim of the workshop was to bring together experts from several European countries in order to exchange ideas leading to possible scientific collaboration on future joint projects.
On Friday, 23rd of November, at the Faculty Day ceremony, our prof. Zdenko Kovačić received an award for the promotion of our faculty and the University in the scientific community, connecting with the industry, and his hard work in the area of automation and robotics through the years. This award serves as a confirmation of all his efforts during the years he spent at the faculty and in LARICS. Congratulations to professor Kovačić, we wish you many more successful years!
Our two project managing team members, Ivana and Anamarija, went to an Innovation Management Training event at our Faculty on Friday, 16th November, organized by our colleagues from LABUST with the title "Disruptive Business Models and cracking the code of Financial Forecasting". The training was held by Helena Deane from WestBIC, Ireland, and she taught the attendees about what disruptive business models are, why they are important and how they could be applied in the context of our scientific efforts.
On Thursday, 15th November, our lab members and PhD students attended a workshop by the Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ) as part of the institution's project that aims to further develop the careers of young researchers and PhD students in Croatia. At the workshop, they learned about what their possibilities and duties are, how they file reports, work with the system etc. They learned a lot and are looking forward to more such initiatives in the future!
On November 15, 2018, our members Matko Orsag and Ivana Mikolić took part in the daily tv programme "Dobro jutro, Hrvatska" (Good morning, Croatia, Croatian Radiotelevision) as guests, where they talked about the European Robotics Week 2018 and how it will be manifested here. Matko is the National Coordinator for the Robotics Week and together with Ivana, his assistant for this event and LARICS project coordinator and manager, they talked about the events organized in Croatia.
Our new robotic arm for the project Specularia has recently arrrived at our Lab! This is great news for the project, as it means that our colleagues will now be able to continue working on new research and ideas. This compliant multi-degree-of-freedom manipulator has the task of performing delicate handling of plants, such as flower and fruit manipulation, and plant pruning. It will work together with two more robots in a robotic system which consists of the arm, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV). Together, they will be able to accomplish many things!
Our member Matko Orsag, coordinator of the Specularia project, took part in a conference organized by the Croatian Innovator Association, together with the Nikola Tesla Innovation Center. The conference with the title "Smart agriculture - use of the technologies in agriculture" was held on October 18, 2018 in Zagreb. Matko Orsag held a presentation entitled "Autonomous Robots in Indoor Agriculture", presenting the new ideas and concepts developed and worked on as part of the Specularia project and LARICS' research. Further details on the conference can be found by following this link, whereas Marko's presentation can be seen its entirety here.
Our Lab will be taking part in ERW 2018 under the firstname.lastname@example.org brand, together with our colleagues from LABUST and LAMOR! We will attend the University of Zagreb Fair (22-24 November) and present our work, equipment, projects, as well as opportunities for potential undergraduate, graduate and PhD students, researchers, teachers etc. We will also open our labs to the public during the Open Day event at our Faculty (24th November) and will show the visitors what it is like to work in our three laboratories. We are looking forward to these events and hope to see you there!
As is tradition, another LARICS seminar was held, this time in the wonderful Sisak-Moslovina County. The seminar was held from 19th to 21st October, and in this time we had a lot to do: The Laboratory's new members introduced themselves, as did the new Alumni, and an overview of the current and planned projects was given in the scientific part of the seminar. But we didn't just work - we had a social programme, too!
On October 10th, 2018, an interview by our professor Stjepan Bogdan was published in the local business weekly, Lider. The article is titled "FER-scientists are not 'lost in translation', even when translating the language of fish to bees", and in the interview, prof. Bogdan talked about all things ASSISIbf - he explained what exactly the project was about, how the various experiments with bees and fish were conducted, what technology was used and how it was done, what our Faculty's role was in all of this, and finally what results were found and what conclusions were made during the project. You can find the whole interview (in Croatian) by following this link.
On Thursday, October 18th, 2018 Prof. Bogdan and Prof. Kovačić attended the 3rd International Workshop on Advanced Cooperative Systems at our Faculty. The Workshop was organised by ACROSS and DATACROSS, with the intention of bringing together Croatian and international researchers and industry professionals who have an interest in strategic research domains of robotics, big data technologies, renewable energy sources, and control methods.
Prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Ivana Mikolić, who are the coordinators of our new project AeRoTwin, are currently in Brussels attending the TWINNING Coordinators Day organized by the European Commission. They will attend presentations, meet experts in this area and learn a lot about how they can work on and improve the project in the future. They also used this opportunity to meet the AeRoTwin Project Officer in Brussels.
On 15th October, prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Matko Orsag presented five new projects developed in our Lab at the scientific symposium “New research projects at UNIZG-FER”. They presented recently started projects: AeRoTwin, ENCORE, MBZIRC, SPECULARIA, and ENDORSE. At the symposium, the emphasis was put on the possibilities for cooperation with economic operators, as well as job opportunities on projects from young professionals and experienced researchers.
Our professor Stjepan Bogdan went to the AI2FUTURE conference, which was held on 11th and 12th October 2018 at the Algebra LAB in Zagreb, Croatia. He was an invited lecturer and held a presentation titled "Swarm Intelligence in Animal and Robot Societies" based on the recently finished ASSISI project, the research was done as part of it and the findings of the project. We hope to take part in this and other such conferences in the future, too!
Our project for the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) has officially started with the kick-off meeting being held on 12th October 2018 at our Faculty. The meeting was led by our Frano Petric, who is also the head of this project, and many of our staff and researchers attended it to discuss current and future plans for this competition and for the European Robotics League (ERL), which we will also be taking part in soon. Best of luck to our colleagues at both competitions!
Continuing with the trend of the Lab being very active, we went to Biograd na Moru in Croatia, where the tenth (birthday!) edition of Breaking the Surface, an international interdisciplinary field workshop of maritime robotics and applications, was held from 30th September until 7th October. Our members went to lectures, visited demonstrations, took part in tutorials, visited a workshop and let's not forget - partied ;) Check us out at the Great Gatsby Party and Karaoke Party!
Our hardworking members went to Madrid to attend another International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) to present their own and the Lab's work. Five of our members, Matko Orsag, Marsela Polić, Frano Petric, Marko Car, and Antun Ivanović were in Spain from 1st to 5th October and actively participated in the conference.
It's been a very active time for our Lab, as our Lab members went to Rijeka, Croatia, from 28th to 30th September 2018, to present our work and our particularly equipment at the Rijeka Nautic Show as part of our new AeRoTwin project. Three of our colleagues were there, prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Marko Car and Lovro Marković, and they presented the UAV designed during the MORUS project.
Our Lab will implement our newest methods and algorithms for our new project, the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC)! The leader of this project for LARICS is our Frano Petric. This is a competition where the contestants meet with various demanding problems in robotics, which means that it is a great chance for our team to develop new technology and solutions, which will be presented at the competition itself, to be held in 2020. in Abu Dhabi.
The Kick-off meeting of our new project, AeRoTwin, was held on September 26th, 2018 in Zagreb, at our Faculty. The meeting was attended by our Lab members, partners working on the project from the University of Seville, Imperial College London and the Technological Corporation of Andalusia, as well as a member of the Advisory Board - there was a lot to talk about!
As announced, dr. Mirko Kovač from the Imperial College London held a presentation with the title "Bioinspired Aerial Robots for Infrastructures", as part of our new project AeRoTwin, where he described his previous and current work in this area, as well as what might be in store in the near future. The invited lecture was attended by many of our students and staff and they learned a lot, asked questions and found out more about this incredibly interesting area of robotics. The gallery of the lecture can be found here. Thank you, dr. Kovač!
Our Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Ivana Mikolić and Marsela Polić went to Brussels on 22-25 September to attend the final review meeting for the ASSISIbf project. ASSISI started five years ago and is the last FP7 project at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, as well as the financially biggest one. At the meeting, the project was discussed in detail and the final review was a success. Congratulations to all the participants!
As per the law and according to the decision made by the Rector's Conference, our dr. sc. Tamara Petrović will be holding her first, inaugural Lecture at the Faculty on 1st October, 2018, starting at 3PM. This is the final step of the process of her becoming a member of the teaching faculty here at FER. The lecture will be held in the room D160 as part of the course Control System Elements. The topic of the lecture will be The role of elements in a control system.
All interested parties are welcome at the lecture!
On Tuesday, September 18th, our Prof. Kovačić and Prof. Bogdan, together with colleagues from Danieli Automation, visited the Pittini plant in Italy as a part of the initiative to introduce autonomous UAVs in the process of a rolling-mill facility status inspection. There they went on a tour of the plant and had a meeting to discuss the details of a future cooperation. Initial flights of the UAV, which should confirm the feasibility of the initiative, are planned for the beginning of November.
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: "Bioinspired Aerial Robots for Infrastructures" by Mirko Kovač, Imperial College London, which will be held on 27th September 2018 at 09:00 in the Seminar Room of the Department of Control and Computer Engineering on the 9th floor of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Zagreb, Croatia.
More about the speaker and the talk can be found in the detailed news content or here.
Our professor Zdenko Kovačić attended the 26th International Conference on Software, Telecommunications and Computer Networks (SoftCOM 2018), which was held in Supetar-Split, Croatia, where he presented the paper entitled “Object Classification for Child Behavior Observation in the Context of Autism Diagnostics Using a Deep Learning-based Approach”. The paper brought to attention the results of a LARICS student, Mihael Presečan, which demonstrate the effectiveness of a deep learning approach for object detection and classification using a mono-vision feedback of a NAO humanoid robot for assessing a child’s behavior during free play with standardized toys, which is one of the tasks contained in the standard ADOS-2 autism spectrum disorder diagnostic protocol used by clinicians.
Our Marsela Polić was at the 11th IFAC Conference on Control Applications in Marine Systems, Robotics, and Vehicles - CAMS, in Opatija, Croatia, 10th-12th September. There she presented a paper entitled "Compliant net for AUV retrieval using an UAV", which was co-authored by Antun Ivanović, Marsela Polić, Omar Salah, Matko Orsag, and Stjepan Bogdan. The research for the paper was done as part of the MORUS project, funded by NATO's Emerging Security Challenges Division in the framework of the Science for Peace and Security Programme.
Our Lab members, specifically Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Karlo Griparić (a LARICS Alumni) and Marsela Polić went to Linz in Austria from the 6th to the 10th of September, 2018. There they took part in this year's Ars Electronica Festival and presented the ASSISIbf project they've been working on. Our team conducted experiments with bees, fish and robots, all of which were developed as part of the project. This is the second time ASSISI has been presented at Ars Electronica, the first being in 2016.
LARICS is the coordinator of a new project: Twinning coordination action for spreading excellence in Aerial Robotics - AeRoTwin, part of the H2020 Twinning programme. AeRoTwin is a coordinated twinning action aiming to spread excellence in aerial robotics. The partners on this project are the Imperial College of London, the University of Seville and the Technological Corporation of Andalusia.
The project Structured Ecological CULtivation with Autonomous Robots In Agriculture - SPECULARIA is a new five-year-long project that deals with concepts of compliant robot control, soft robotics, and heterogeneous robotic system and utilizes them to help farmers in indoor organic agriculture. The project is sponsored by the Croatian Science Foundation. The project has started on June 1st, 2018.
LARICS is a partner in a new Horizon 2020 project - ENCORE. The main objective of the project (ENergy aware Building Information Modelling (BIM) Cloud Platform in a COst-effective Building REnovation Context) is to increase the share of renovated stock in Europe and worldwide by providing effective and affordable BIM tools that cover the whole renovation life-cycle (from data collection to project execution, and commissioning/delivery). ENCORE will provide continuous monitoring of the energy consumption to ensure the non-degradation of the renovation works.
Dr. sc. Frano Petric attended the 26th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, held on June 19-22, 2018 in Zadar, Croatia, where he presented the paper entitled “Classification of Child Vocal Behavior for a Robot-Assisted Autism Diagnostic Protocol”. The paper contained the results of a group of people including two LARICS students - Mirko Kokot and Ivan Bejić. The main contribution of the paper is an empirically determined minimal set of sound features, which allow efficient vocal behavior classification of preschool children, relevant in the context of autism diagnostics.
The half-day workshop on Assistive Technologies for People with ASD and other Disabilities held at the MED'18 Conference in Zadar, Croatia, brought together top experts - trainers from the field of robotics, information technology, human-robot interaction, rehabilitation and other related areas from France, Luxembourg, Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia. The keynote speaker was the famous European roboticist Alexandre Mazel who is a Software Innovation Director at Aldebaran - Softbank Group, Paris, France. Prof. Zdenko Kovačić gave a presentation about the ADORE project while Dr. Frano Petric presented the latest results stemming from his doctoral dissertation. Prof. Sanja Šimleša presented the results of ADORE from the clinician’s point of view. More information about the workshop program can be found at this link.
Four of our current and alumni members have successfully defended their doctoral dissertations and received their Doctor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering.
Goran Vasiljević defended his thesis titled "Highly accurate markerless localization of mobile robots in indoor industrial environments" on October 24, 2017.
Ivica Draganjac became a Doctor of Science on February 2, 2018, with his successful defense of the thesis titled "Decentralized control of free ranging automated guided vehicles in industrial environments".
Frano Petric defended his thesis "Robot-assisted autism spectrum disorder diagnostics using partially observable Markov decision processes" on March 29, 2018.
Karlo Griparić became our latest Doctor of Science on April 5, 2018, upon successful defense of his thesis "Decentralizirani višeagentski sustav za interakciju sa zajednicom pčela zasnovanu na algoritmu konsenzusa".
Congratulations to all of them!
On March 29, 2018 LARICS researcher Frano Petric successfully defended his doctoral dissertation and received a Doctor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Frano’s thesis was entitled “Robot-assisted Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnostics using Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes”. Frano will continue his research work within the ADORE project until January 2019. Congratulations!
The results of work done by LARICS researcher Dr. sc. Frano Petric and his coauthors on autism disorder observation with a robot evaluator have been published in the International Journal of Humanoid Robotics (World Scientific) in the article entitled “POMDP-Based Coding of Child–Robot Interaction within a Robot-Assisted ASD Diagnostic Protocol”. The existing procedures for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis are often time consuming and tiresome both for highly-trained human evaluators and children, which may be alleviated by using humanoid robots in the diagnostic process. Hence, this paper proposes a framework for robot-assisted ASD evaluation based on partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP) modeling, specifically POMDPs with mixed observability (MOMDPs). POMDP is broadly used for modeling optimal sequential decision-making tasks under uncertainty. The article is accessible at the following IJHR link.
Dr. sc. Frano Petric attended the 2018 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction held in Chicago, USA, where he presented a poster entitled “No data? No problem! Expert System Approach to Designing a POMDP Framework for Robot-assisted ASD Diagnostics”. The poster contained a discussion about the clinical tests of an improved robot-assisted diagnostic protocol with a group of children with ASD, which has drawn the attention of HRI 2018 reviewers who suggested to include Frano’s work into the session entitled Late-Breaking Reports.
FER Day was held at XV. gymnasium (MIOC) in Zagreb on March 2nd to introduce the school’s students to activities and laboratories at FER. LARICS was presented with a booth where we had a NAO robot performing its usual dance routine and waving the audience, and a Pioneer demonstrating its SLAM abilities to the students. Our colleagues from LABUST presented the subCULTron project with an aPad and two aMussels, bringing attention to another aspect of robotics.
Together with Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies (LABUST) and Laboratory for Autonomous and Mobile Robotics (LAMOR), we were a part of our Faculty’s display at this years University Fair, which was held in the Student Centre from November 23-25, 2017.
The event was aimed towards high school students which were able to see a small part of our robotics research, including our newly acquired robot Pepper, aPad platform from LABUST and Husky platform from LAMOR, all presented under our email@example.com brand.
On November 23, 2017 our LARICS researcher Tomislav Haus successfully defended his doctoral dissertation entitled “Control of multirotor unmanned aerial vehicle based on moving mass concept”.
The LARICS part of the MORUS team spent a week in a military base in Udbina preparing the MORUS aerial vehicle its first take off. Stjepan Bogdan, Matko Orsag, Tomislav Haus, Antun Ivanović, Marko Car were preparing the aerial vehicle powered by four internal combustion engines for its first flight.
LARICS participated in a Knowledge Thursday lecture with Croatian Telecom (HT) and Bokamobile, where we learned about using robotics for promotional purposes. We also held a presentation of our own about the technical background of robotics and described our work and activities.
We were once again invited to participate in the Intellectual property day for children and youth, organized by Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia with the support of the European Union Intellectual Property Office. This time the event was held in Varaždin City Hall on November 14th, 2017.
Prof. Zdenko Kovačić and Frano Petric were guests in the radio show "Znanstveni koncentrat” (Scientific concentrate) of the Croatian National Radio 1 (Hrvatski radio 1. Program). They answered questions about and discussed the purpose, methodology and significance of our ADORE project for the broader population with ASD.
Almost at the end of the development phase of our collaboration with Croatian Telecom and Bokamobile, we deployed Croatian Telecom’s Pepper robot in two real-world scenarios during the Weekend Media Festival, held in Rovinj, Croatia on September 21-24, 2017.
On September 15, 2017 the subCULTron consortium jointly presented the subCULTron project as “the world's largest diving robot test” in the waters of the Venice lagoon, at the Venice Arsenal. This was the first time that journalists and the public had the opportunity to see our project in action. Journalists from all over Europe participated in the event and transmitted the news about the project. Euro news' feature on subCULTron can be found here.
Frano Petric attended the 26th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2017) held in Lisbon, Portugal, on 28 to 31 August 2017, where he presented a paper titled “Functional Imitation Tasks in the Context of Robot-assisted Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnostics: Preliminary Investigations”. In this paper, instead of pure motoric imitation, imitation tasks involving real objects in the environment are proposed. The introduction of physical objects strongly emphasizes joint attention skills, another area that is typically impaired in children with ASD. Furthermore, simple object detection, manipulation, tracking and gesture recognition algorithms, suitable for real-time, onboard execution on the small-scale humanoid robot NAO were presented.
LARICS Phd student Tomislav Haus spent four weeks (mid June to mid July 2017) at the United States Military Academy at WestPoint, NY, as a part of their summer internship program.
LARICS researcher Tamara Petrović participated in the 20th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC 2017 World Congress), which was held in Toulouse, France from 9 to 14 July 2017.
On July 17, 2017 LARICS researcher Edin Kočo successfully defended his doctoral dissertation and received a Doctor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Edin’s thesis was entitled “Hybrid compliance control and feet trajectory optimization for a bioinspired quadruped robot”.
Our colleague Ante Zglav visited the Ford research center in Aachen to collaborate on project ADELE. The project's goal is to provide an automatic tuning and extension method for a model of a diesel Lean NOx trap (LNT) catalyst using test data.
We were invited to participate in the Intellectual property day for children and youth, organized by Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia with the support of European Union Intellectual Property Office and held on May 30 in the Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb.
LARICS Phd student Tomislav Haus attended the 2017 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), held in Miami, FL, USA, June 13-16. Tomislav presented the paper titled “A concept of a non-tilting multirotor-UAV based on moving mass control“.
Our members attended the TEDx event at Vatroslav Lisinski hall in Zagreb, where they presented a collection of wheeled and legged mobile robot platforms developed within the laboratory at the Faculty booth. The goal of the event was to share ideas and experiences mainly in the STEM area and it featured a large number of distinguished presenters.
IEEE Croatia Section, Robotic and Automation Department and ZCI-ACROSS organized the lecture “Design of wearable IMU sensors-data fusion for a user-friendly mobility assistive device” which was held by Dr. Omar Nour, Post doctor at LARICS.
Our PhD student Marko Filipović who has a background in inustry (Croatian company HS product) successfully defended his PhD Thesis at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing on April 11th, 2017. Marko’s supervisor was prof. Stjepan Bogdan and the PhD thesis is entitled “Robot Workstation Failure Recovery Strategy based on Treatment Quality and Resource Failure Matrices”. Congratulations Marko!
Our NAO robots were a part of our Faculty booth at the office of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. We were honored to be a part of the “Open-doors day for STEM fields popularization”. While we were taking pictures, one of our robots decided to grab a few STEMI minions and take control over the President’s chair!
LARICS participated in DRONEfest 2017, presenting our recent results in collaborative projects EUROC and MORUS. The presentation included both a live demo of wind turbine inspection, the work completed under EUROC project, as well as a display of the MORUS UAV. Matko Orsag gave a talk titled “Heterogeneous robotic systems for inspection and interaction with the environment”.
Together with our colleagues from LAMOR and UNIDU, LARICS successfully completed a demonstration of our Blade capture system for autonomous wind turbine inspection. This project has been supported by the EU-FP7-ICT project European Robotics Challenges (EuRoC).
LARICS researchers visited the production facilities of the Croatian company Cromaris, which is one of the leading companes in the aquaculture sector in Croatia and the Adriatic Sea.
Our Frano Petric attended the 2017 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction held in Vienna, Austria, on March 6-9, 2017, where he presented the poster entitled “Robot-assisted autism spectrum disorder diagnostics using POMDPs”. The poster contained the description of the proposed research aimed towards developing models for control and assessment of child-robot interaction within a robot-assisted autism spectrum disorder diagnostic protocol. Although the poster contained only preliminary information, it was recommended by the HRI reviewers to be included in the HRI PIONEERS 2017 Workshop.
LARICS was featured in Treći element, a popular science talk show, on March 2nd. In a 45-minute show, hosts of the show were joined by our professors Stjepan Bogdan and Zdenko Kovačić in the studio where they gave insights on some of the burning questions the general population might have about robotics. The show also incorporated the footage from the robotics laboratories at FER (LARICS, LABUST, LAMOR) where researchers demonstrated and elaborated on their work.
Project MORUS 2nd Workshop and General Assembly were held at FER from February 2nd to 10th 2017. All partners in the project participated in the preparation and execution of this workshop. The goal of the MORUS project 2nd workshop was twofold: first, UAV roll and pitch control loops, implementing a moving mass concept, were tested, together with the low-level state machine. Second, the integration of the Human Machine Interface with a high-level state machine and overall system communication have been done.
LARICS PhD student Karlo Griparić mentored by Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, in front of the assessment committee (Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Prof. Zdenko Kovačić and Prof. Mladen Crneković), successfully defended the topic his doctoral dissertation titled “Decentralized multi-agent system for interaction with a honeybee society based on a consensus algorithm”. The committee agreed about the expected contributions and therefore the Faculty Council and the Technical Committee of the University of Zagreb approved the given topic proposal.
LARICS and LABUST organized an H2020 project subCULTron workshop titled “stress test workshop” at UNIZG FER on 9 – 13 January 2017 with all project partners representatives. The overall goal of the workshop was to feature freeze new electronic design for the mass production of 100+ aMussel units. Extensive testing on three newly produced aMussels in the pool as well as out of it validated the design and provided us with the data to make minor adjustments before taking the next step.
The first Croatian FIRST LEGO League was held at FER on January 14th 2017. The league has been held for 18 years and in 80 countries around the world, and thanks to the organization of Croatian Robotic Association, Croatia is one of them. During the opening ceremony, our NAO robot performed one of his distinctive dances and wowed the audience.
Barbara Arbanas attended the “Lucia 2016 – 3nd PhD school on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics”, held in Örebro, Sweden on December 12-16, 2016. The school provided a unique training and human experience. The lecture topics covered technologies at the forefront of research in AI and in Robotics, while some of these were applied through hands-on exercises on real robots. The winter school was also an opportunity to discuss our research with top-level scholars, as well as other students, and to extend networks. Barbara also presented project subCULTron in an interactive poster session.
Before the assessment committee (Prof. Matko Orsag, Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, and Prof. Zdravko Terze), LARICS PhD student Tomislav Haus mentored by Prof. Bogdan successfully presented and defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation titled „Control of multirotor unmanned aerial vehicle based on moving mass concept“. The Committee agreed upon expected scientific contributions and thereafter, the Faculty Council and the Technical Committee of the University of Zagreb approve the given topic proposal.
LARICS researcher Edin Kočo spent one month in Armenia with the Croatian company HRID d.o.o. He was involved in inspection tasks of reactor pressure vessel (VVER-440) in Metsamor nuclear power plant located near capital city Yerevan. During his visit to Armenia, Edin provided software support during the inspection process for any unexpected problems that arose during the inspection.
Prof. Stjepan Bogdan attended on the 7th ASSISI General Assembly meeting in Lisabon, held on October 26th 2016. Prof. Bogdan presented the work done by LARICS team, including the developed interactive arena, visual bee tracking software, bee density estimation by neutral network and results obtained in the successful cooperation between honeybee society and multi-agent system based on consensus algorithm.
LARICS researchers participated in LARICS seminar, held October 8-11, 2016, that was jointly organized with KoREMA. Senior members presented an overview of results and on-going tasks of LARICS projects. Plans for next year research activities in LARICS were discussed. As a part of the seminar social program LARICS team visited Šibenik.
LARICS researchers participated in interdisciplinary field workshop on maritime robotics and applications - Breaking the Surface 2016 in Biograd na Moru, Croatia. Prof. Stjepan Bogdan gave an invited lecture titled “Unmanned system for maritime security and environmental monitoring“. As a part of demonstrations, LARICS researchers participated in a presentation of two projects – subCULTron (dr.sc. Tamara Petrović and Barbara Arbanas) and MORUS (dr.sc. Matko Orsag and Tomislav Haus). Both presentations were well attended and researchers from all over the world expressed interest in hardware and software developed in LARICS.
Our Frano took part in the Fifth Croatian Computer Vision Workshop, held on October 11, 2016, in Osijek. Frano presented his work titled “Probabilistic Eye-Contact Detection for the Robot-assisted ASD Diagnostic protocol”, done within the ADORE project. We would like to thank Visage Technologies for providing us with their face-tracking software.
Before her lecture on non-visual access to mathematical contents, professor Silvia Fajardo Flores from the University of Colima – Faculty of Telematics, Mexico, visited our ACROSS laboratory and met our humanoid robots. She also took some time to talk to professor Kovačić about our work with the children with autism and exchange some ideas about the potentials of using robots to help visually impaired people.
In front of the assessment committee (Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Prof. Zdenko Kovačić, and Prof. Bojan Jerbić), LARICS PhD student Frano Petric mentored by Prof. Kovacic successfully presented and defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation titled „Robot-assited Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnostics using POMDPs“. The Committee agreed on the expected scientific contributions and following this decision, the Faculty Council and the Technical Committee of the University of Zagreb should approve the given topic proposal.
In front of the assessment committee (Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Prof. Zdenko Kovačić, and Prof. Mladen Crneković), LARICS PhD student Edin Kočo, mentored by Prof. Kovačić, successfully presented and defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation with the title „Control of four legged robots based on biologically inspired mechanical and control characteristics and evolutionary learning“. The Committee agreed upon the expected scientific contributions and, following this decision, the Faculty Council and the Technical Committee of the University of Zagreb should approve the given topic proposal.
The subCULTron team had yet another successful workshop and general assembly in the first week of September 2016. This workshop was dedicated to reliability testing of the first batch of ten aMussels. The workshop was held at the Brodarski Institute, Zagreb. The main focus of this workshop was to prepare for the upcoming review and to identify possible weaknesses. Various tests, such as autonomous docking, diving, interacting with humans via SMS, twitter etc. were conducted and showed very encouraging results.
The local news portal Zg-Magazin published a story about our ADORE project. Our Damjan Miklić was interviewed about the project, the NAO robots, the project's results so far, the team working on it etc. You can read the full story here.
As a member of the European Control Association's (EUCA) General Assembly, Prof. Stjepan Bogdan attended the meeting which was held during the 2016 European Control Conference, that took place in Aalborg, Denmark. As a part of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles session at ECC2016, Prof. Bogdan presented his paper titled “Human-in-the-Loop Control of Multi-Agent Aerial Systems”.
A MORUS project internal workshop was held from 20th to 24th June 2016 at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing. The main purpose of the workshop was transferring knowledge among project partners, as well as integrating developed software modules, particularly the system state machine, models for the Gazebo simulator and communication modules. On Thursday, 23rd of June, the project partners visited lake Jarun, where the LABUST team demonstrated unmanned underwater vehicle behavior in the real world conditions.
We are pleased to announce that the book chapter “Trajectory Planning Based on Collocation Methods for Adaptive Motion Control of Multiple Aerial and Ground Autonomous Vehicles” co-authored by S. Vera, F. Petric, G. Heredia, A. Ollero, and Z. Kovačić has just been published in the book Control of Complex Systems, Editor(s): K. G. Vamvoudakis and J. Sarangapani, Elsevier Inc., pp. 575-624, 2016 (available on-line: DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-805246-4.00001-X).
Three LARICS researchers and PhD students attended the 24th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, which took place on 21-24 June 2016 in Athens, Greece. Goran Vasiljević presented the paper “Model predictive control based torque vectoring algorithm for electric car with independent drives” by G. Vasiljević and S. Bogdan. Edin Kočo gave a presentation of the paper “Multiobjective locomotion optimization of quadruped robot with different 2DOF configurations of actuated spine” by E. Kočo and Z. Kovačić. Finally, Tomislav Haus presented the paper “A novel concept of attitude control for large multirotor-UAVs based on moving mass control” by T. Haus, N. Prkut, K. Borovina, B. Marić, M. Orsag and S. Bogdan.
Prof. Zdenko Kovačić and Frano Petric participated as presenters at the Conference on Education, Innovation and Enterpreneurship organized by the Technical College in Bjelovar, Croatia. Prof. Kovačić held a lecture entitled “Autism and autism diagnostics with a robot evaluator”. Frano conducted a demonstration workshop “A robot as a friend”.
We are pleased to announce that the book chapter “Harmonization of Research and Development Activities Toward Standardization in the Automated Warehousing Systems” co-authored by Z. Kovačić, M. Butler, P. Lista, G. Vasiljević, I. Draganjac, D. Miklić, T. Petrović, and F. Petric has been just published in the book Autonomous Industrial Vehicles: From the Laboratory to the Factory Floor.
LARICS participated in the the 11th annual Croatian Exporters ceremony with two NAO robots opening the program as presenters. Our friends from LAMOR joined us with their Kinova Jaco arm, which revealed the Golden Key awards for the best exporters and handed out the envelopes with awardee names. The ceremony took place in the Crystal Ballroom of the Westin hotel in Zagreb.
In front of the assessment committee (Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Prof. Zdenko Kovačići, and Prof. Ivana Palunko), LARICS PhD student Goran Vasiljević mentored by Prof. Kovačić successfully presented and defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation titled „High precision markerless localization of mobile robots in indoor industrial environments“. The Committee agreed upon the expected scientific contributions and following this decision, the Faculty Council and the Technical Committee of the University of Zagreb should approve the given topic proposal.
On May 23rd, Jutarnji list, one of the most prominent Croatian newspapers, published an article about the subCULTron project. Featured on the front page, it includes an extensive interview with our Prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Asst. Prof. Nikola Mišković from the Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies, LABUST. The article provided a great visibility boost to the project and yielded many positive reactions. Other LARICS members working on the subCULTron project are Tamara Petrović, Goran Vasiljević and Barbara Arbanas.
Matko Orsag, Tamara Petrović, Edin Kočo, Tomislav Haus, Karlo Griparić, Antun Ivanović, Marko Car and Barbara Arbanas attended the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation ICRA 2016. The conference was held on May 16-21, 2016 at the Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre in Stockholm, Sweden. Barbara Arbanas presented the paper “Aerial-ground robotic system for autonomous delivery tasks” that she co-authored with Antun Ivanović, Marko Car, Tomislav Haus, Matko Orsag, Tamara Petrović and Stjepan Bogdan.
One of the key components in the interaction of NAO robots and children is a vocal communication. In the protocol for diagnostics of autism adapted for NAO robots, tasks like Call by name require communication in the Croatian language. NAO robots speak French and English fluently, but they do not speak Croatian. This is the reason why Prof. Kovačić, Dr. Damjan Miklić, and Frano Petric gladly accepted an invitation to visit the laboratories of the Technical Faculty in Novi Sad and the company Alfanum, a regional leader in speech communication technologies.
The paper “New Variable Passive-compliant Element Design for Quadruped Adaptation to Stiffness-varying Terrain”, written by Edin Kočo, Alan Mutka and Prof. Zdenko Kovačić, is now available online in the International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems. The paper presents the design of a novel variable passive-compliant (VPC) element utilized as a lower-leg implant of a fully electrically driven quadruped robot. It is designed as a slider-piston mechanism which ensures that the force produced during foot-ground contact is directly perpendicular to the contact surface of an actuated revolute spring.
Paper “High-accuracy vehicle localization for autonomous warehousing”, written by Goran Vasiljević, Damjan Miklić, Ivica Draganjac and prof. Zdenko Kovačić will be published in the Robotics and Computer-integrated Manufacturing journal. The paper presents the algorithm stack for high-precision autonomous vehicle localization, developed within FP7 EC-SAFEMOBIL project. The proposed methodology satisfies the industrial requirements for localization accuracy and has been verified by extensive experiments in realistic industrial conditions. Full paper can be accessed via the following link, which will be available until July 3, 2016.
Prof. Zdenko Kovačić, Goran Vasiljević and Edin Kočo participated in the kick-off meeting of the new LARICS project ADELE organized in the Ford Research Centre in Aaachen. This was the opportunity to introduce our side better and to discuss the first steps to be taken in the project with our partners from Ford.
Job Fair is a career fair organized by the student association KSET and FER, and from the students' perspective, it is a unique opportunity to meet potential future employers. This year, our Faculty was also present as an employer, offering a number of vacant positions, from doctoral to postdoctoral. Since our postdoctorand Domagoj Tolić left for Dubrovnik, LARICS is offering a postdoctoral position with the project ADORE.
LARICS had a unique opportunity to participate in the “Night of the Book” event organized by the FER library, dedicated to the 400th anniversary of W. Shakespeare’s birth. LARICS' third-year undergraduate students (Brigita Vrbanec, Marko Kovačević, Zvonimir Kunstek and Dominik Petrović) played a scene from Karel Čapek’s play R.U.R. together with NAO robots. Also, one of the NAO robots demonstrated its ability to read Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” displayed on the projection screen.
Matko Orsag, a LARICS postdoctoral researcher, gave an inaugural lecture at UNIZG-FER titled “Description of Object Images using the Moments Method” as a part of the undergraduate course Robotics practicum. The lecture was held successfully in front of an assessment committee, professors, researchers and undergraduate students.
LARICS members Tamara Petrović, Goran Vasiljević, Stjepan Bogdan and Barbara Arbanas participated in a “throw in” workshop for the subCULTron project, which was held in Italy. The workshop consisted of two parts, aiming to integrate, assemble and test the developed hardware and software.
As members of the group of ROBOTICS@FER.HR, LARICS participated together with LABUST and LAMOR as the exhibitor at the European Robotics Forum ERF 2016 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. ERF 2016 is the largest gathering of roboticists in Europe with more than 600 participants and more than 20 exhibitors showing their robots and robotic solutions.
Prof. Tomotaka Takahashi from the University of Tokyo made a short tour in Croatia, visiting the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing on his way, too. His lecture was attended by more than 500 people who were interested to hear one of the global celebrities in the world of robotics.
We were proud to host nearly three hundred elementary school students in our lab during the last few weeks. These visits were organized as experimental intervention within the JOBSTEM project, aimed towards determining how STEM career aspirations are formed and how these aspirations are influenced by various factors, such as gender, family characteristics and early exposure to the STEM field. During the students' visit to our laboratory, Barbara, Antun, Damjan and Frano introduced them to basic concepts in robotics through our aerial, ground and humanoid robots.
Our laboratory has received a valuable donation by Schneider Electric, Zagreb. We were given eight analog I/O modules as add-ons to the eight previously donated Modicon M238 PLCs. This donation will enable our students to solve complex control problems in their automation and robotics projects and laboratory exercises. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Schneider Electric for their continuous support to the quality of education at our Faculty and especially in these two vibrant technical areas.
In front of the assessment committee (Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Prof. Zdenko Kovačić, and Prof. Mladen Crneković), LARICS PhD student Ivica Draganjac, mentored by Prof. Kovačić, successfully presented and defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation titled „Decentralized Control of Free Ranging Automated Guided Vehicles in Automated Warehouses“. The aim of his doctoral dissertation is to extend the current state of the art practice in the Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) Systems area and eliminate limitations present in current systems due to the use of centralized control architectures and predefined paths of AGVs.
LARICS received a grant from the Ford Motor Company for a 3-year project Advanced evolutionary learning based methods for optimal characterisation of non-linear aftertreatment technologies (ADELE), the main focus of which will be on LNT (Lean NOx Trap) models. The goal is to establish methods and algorithms for the optimal transfer of the measured data into the existing models or to identify the need for specific model features that need to be added or enhanced in order to improve the model prediction quality.
On 16 December 2015, the ASSISIbf LARICS team organized a training at the local Faculty for their master students. The purpose of the training was to present, through selected lectures and a practical session, the overall goals of the ASSISIbf project and the results accomplished in the first half of the project.
Frano Petric has demonstrated our small NAO humanoid robots to pupils from the primary school Fran Galović from Zagreb. This visit of young potential future students is a part of the STEM popularisation program Šuza supported by our Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing. It was interesting to read the impressions of the children which were published on the school web page. This reminds us all to hold on to the spirit of child’s curiosity and happiness in seeing and learning new things.
Prof. Zdenko Kovačić, Prof. Ivana Palunko and Dr. Domagoj Tolić visited the research group of Prof. Ji-Feng Zhang, director of the Institute of Systems Science, Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science at the Chinese Academy of Science. The visit is the part of the on-going bilateral project „Coordination Control of Multi-agent Systems“, funded by the Chinese and Croatian governments.
One of our traditional LARICS seminars was held this year in the picturesque Istrian town Tinjan. Preparations for the meeting took several days as the schedule of all presentations and the organization of the accompanying social program engaged all LARICS' human resources, strengthened by Prof. Nikola Mišković from LABUST.
Since 2014, the European Robotics Week has become a major robotics event in many places all over Europe. The coordinator for Croatia is LARICS postdoctorand dr. Matko Orsag. LARICS, together with the other two FER robotics laboratories, LAMOR and LABUST, opened the laboratory's doors to visitors and prepared several demonstrations of various robotics equipment for air, ground, and underwater operations.
Two LARICS projects were selected to represent the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing on the University of Zagreb fair, which was held in the Student Centre on November 12-14, 2015. The goal was to show the fair's visitors what the laboratory, as well as the Faculty have to offer to new and current students.
Rene, the media darling among our NAO robots, was a special guest at the press conference that kicked off this year’s Interliber, the 38th international book, and teaching appliances fair. He was invited to announce the opening of the fair by reading a passage from The Little Prince, his favorite book. As an experienced media personality, he did not succumb to stage fright in front of the cameras and delivered a flawless reading performance, as you can see for yourself.
Our Prof. Stjepan Bogdan received the 2015 Fran Bošnjaković award from the University of Zagreb for his exceptional scientific achievements, promotion of the science and his contribution in the exchange of knowledge and education of young professionals. We would like to congratulate him on his excellence in science and education and we hope he will achieve even more success in the future!
Prof. Zdenko Kovačić and Tomislav Haus participated as presenters at the Conference on Innovation-driven Defense Enterprising organized by the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Croatia. The titles of their lectures were “Design and Control of Professional Service Robots for Exploration and Inspection in Hazardous Environments” and “Aerial Robots – Mobile Manipulation using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles”. It was a unique opportunity for LARICS to present some of the research results that might have the potential for innovation-driven defense enterprising.
Before the assessment committee (Prof. Zdenko Kovačić, Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, and Prof. Bojan Jerbić), our LARICS doctoral student Marko Filipović, mentored by Prof. Bogdan, successfully presented and defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation titled „Robot Workstation Failure Recovery Strategy“. The Committee agreed upon the expected scientific contributions and following this decision, the Faculty Council and the Technical Committee of the University of Zagreb should approve the given topic proposal.
Our LARICS researcher Edin Kočo spent one month in India with Croatian company HRID d.o.o. He was involved in various inspection tasks of reactor pressure vessel (RPV) in Kudankulam nuclear power plant located in the south of India. This collaboration between LARICS and HRID resulted in the development of the software package FIONA, which is used for controlling the reactor inspection system.
We are happy to have been a part of European Researchers’ Night, a manifestation that takes place every year on the last Friday of September across Europe, with more than 30 countries and 300 cities involved. This year we were present with our NAO robots, showcasing our research on the ADORE project. Additionally, our ex-students presented the hexapod robot they developed while working on the graduate thesis and used this opportunity to promote their company and learning platform STEMI.
The rejuvenation of LARICS continues through the employment of two 2014 Rector Award winners, Marko Car and Antun Ivanović, and one of the most talented computer engineering students, Barbara Arbanas. They will take up work on several ongoing projects, including MORUS, EuRoC, and SubCULTron. Welcome on board!
We would like to use this opportunity to thank our now ex-LARICS research staff members: Dr. Ivana Palunko became an assistant professor at the University of Dubrovnik, Dr. Domagoj Tolić became a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Dubrovnik, and Dr. Alan Mutka became a lecturer at the High Technical School in Bjelovar, Croatia. Congratulations to all of them!
Frano Petric presented the paper entitled “Towards a Robot-assisted Autism Diagnostic Protocol: Modelling and Assessment with POMDP” at the 8th International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Applications (ICIRA), held in Portsmouth, UK. The paper presented the system of automatic encoding of diagnostic tasks and is coauthored by Damjan Miklić, Domagoj Tolić, Zdenko Kovačić and our colleagues from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, Maja Cepanec and Sanja Šimleša.
Zdenko Kovačić and Stjepan Bogdan attended the American Control Conference ACC 2015 that was held on July 1–3, 2015, in downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA. On June 30th, Zdenko and Stjepan took part in the Workshop on Recent Advances and Future Directions on Adaptation and Control dedicated to the celebration of Frank Lewis’ birthday. They presented recent LARICS research results in the areas of multi-agent systems with unreliable communication and decentralized control of autonomous forklifts in industrial warehouse systems.
Tamara Petrović presented a paper at the ICINCO conference (12th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics) that was held from 21st until 23rd of July 2015 in Colmar, in the Alsace region in north-eastern France. The presented paper, entitled Can UAV and UGV Be Best Buddies? Towards Heterogeneous Aerial-ground Cooperative Robot System for Complex Aerial Manipulation Tasks is the result of joint work of LARICS researchers Tomislav Haus, Matko Orsag, Barbara Arbanas, Stjepan Bogdan and Tamara Petrović.
Stjepan Bogdan and Domagoj Tolić attended the European Control Conference ECC 2015 that was held in Linz, Austria, July 15-17, 2015. Domagoj presented the paper entitled “Multi-Agent Control in Degraded Communication Environment”. During the conference, Stjepan participated in the European Control Association General Assembly as the representative of Croatia.
Our Zdenko Kovačić and Goran Vasiljević attended the EC-SAFEMOBIL 7th Consortium Meeting that was held on June 17–18, 2015, in Seville, Spain. They gave the report on the latest results on precise localisation and distributed control of multiple LGVs, two main goals of the Scenario 4: Autonomous Distributed Warehousing. On their way home, they stopped shortly in Lisbon, Portugal and enjoyed sightseeing in this beautiful European metropole.
Before the assessment committee (Prof. Zdenko Kovačić, Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, and Prof. Hrvoje Haramina), LARICS doctoral student Vedran Sesar, mentored by Prof. Bogdan, successfully presented and defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation entitled „Railway traffic control based on variable structure Petri nets“. The Committee agreed upon the expected scientific contributions and so, the Faculty Council and the Technical Committee of the University of Zagreb approved the given topic proposal.
As a result of a presentation about CANape held on FER on May 21, 2015, Vector Informatik, the distributor of CANape SW, decided to donate one CANape user license to researchers on FER. CANape is installed and maintained in LARICS (interested parties should contact Goran Vasiljević).
CANape is an all-round tool for Electronic Control Unit (ECU) calibration. With CANape, one can solve all necessary tasks in this field – from functional development of the software to rapid prototyping solutions and the production-ready ECU. This tool can be useful at the work desk, on the test bench or on test drives. It can be also used in data logging, parameter calibration, ECU and vehicle diagnostics or verification and visualization of object recognition algorithms for driver assistance systems.
Our LARICS PhD student Goran Vasiljević and LARICS industry collaborator Marko Cukon were attending the international exhibition SEA FAIR that was held in Tehran, Iran. Goran presented the exploration robot for fire fighting units that was developed within a two-year project financed by the Croatian Science Foundation. A short report about attendance of Croatian exhibitors on the Iran Sea Fair was published in the Croatian daily newspapers Večernji list.
Zdenko Kovačić, Stjepan Bogdan and Ivica Draganjac (LARICS PhD student) attended the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation ICRA 2015. The conference was held on May 26-30, 2015 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington, USA. There they presented their papers and results of recent projects and research.
The kick-off meeting of the subCULTron project, which is a part of the H2020-FET-PROACTIVE initiative, was held on 26th and 27th of May in Pontedera, Italy. Project partners from Italy, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, and France gathered to share knowledge and ideas, and decide on the next actions. The project aims for achieving long-term autonomy in a learning, self-regulating, self-sustaining underwater society/culture of robots in a high-impact application area of Venice Lagoon, Italy.
As a member of the BladeHunters team, LARICS entered Stage II of EuRoC Challenge 3: Plant Servicing and Inspection. The project ‘Wind generator remote inspection system’ will start in August 2015. The project proposes an autonomous visual inspection system which will enable inspection experts, untrained in piloting micro aerial vehicles (MAVs), to tele‐operate them as an aid to their mission, while focusing on the inspection task at hand.
On May 07, 2015, one of the best-selling Croatian weekly magazines Globus published an article about the use of NAO H25 humanoid robots for autism diagnostics in the LARICS project ADORE funded by the Croatian Science Foundation. The article was entitled “My doctor is a robot”. We would like to thank Tomislav Novak, a Globus journalist, for his enthusiasm to present our work and thus popularize robotics among the readers of the magazine.
IEEE Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress was held in Zagreb from May 8 to 10, 2015, and was attended by 80 participants – student members and Young Professionals, as well as speakers, sections’ and Region 8 representatives from twelve IEEE Sections including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, and Ukraine.
LARICS had two papers presented at the 2015 IEEE Sensor Applications Symposium that was held from April 13-15 in Zadar, Croatia. Our PhD student Karlo Griparić presented the paper entitled “Combined Actuator Sensor Unit for Interaction with Honeybees”, describing the newest results of the on-going FP7 project ASSISI. Dr. Damir Arbula presented the paper entitled “Microimmune Algorithm for Sensor Network Localization”, describing the key results of his doctoral dissertation. Prof. Zdenko Kovačić is the coauthor of the second paper together with a LARICS PhD student Slaven Glumac, also participated in this very well organized event in the beautiful city of Zadar.
As a big surprise to all LARICS members, and surprising himself the most, Prof. Kovačić joined the Croatian team of basketball veterans VKK Zagreb and played at the FIMBA World League Maxibasketball tournament in the category M55+, where he won a bronze medal. Among 10 teams from Brazil, Chile (2 teams), Slovenia, Austria, Argentina, Japan, Russia, Moldavia and Croatia, VKK Zagreb won against Japan and Argentina and became the winner in group B. In the semifinals against Brazil, the Brasilian team dominated, but in the match with the Russian team for the bronze medal, the Croatian team returned to the winning path. Congratulations to our professor and his team!
On April 09, 2015 a LARICS Ph.D. student Ranko Munk (mentored by Prof. Zdenko Kovačić) successfully passed his doctoral qualification exam, presenting his gained knowledge about the intended topic of research – control of humanoid robots. Ranko’s presentation was entitled “Advanced control of biped robot motion” focusing on the intelligent control of robot balance while a robot is moving on uneven terrains and is affected by different robot balance disturbances.
NATO Science for Peace project “MORUS – Unmanned systems for maritime security and environmental monitoring” starts in 2015. The project's duration is 36 months and the partners are UNIZG-FER (LARICS and LABUST), University of Limerick (Marine Robotics Research Centre), University of Sarajevo (Faculty of Electrical Engineering) and University of Dubrovnik. The main goal of the MORUS project is to design and produce a prototype of a fully operational robotic system comprised of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV).
Our LARICS researchers held a lecture entitled “Robots: bringers of well-being or job destroyers?” at the “Open class days” of Nova Gradiška Highschool. The lecture drew a lot of attention, with over 100 students attending the two scheduled timeslots. Even though the students were very interested in the lecture itself, it was the live demonstration by one of our NAO robots that stole the show once again.
On March 20, 2015, LARICS researcher Alan Mutka successfully defended his doctoral dissertation and received a Doctor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Alan’s thesis was entitled “Adaptive control of quadruped robot locomotion through variable compliance of revolute spiral feet”. We would like to congratulate our colleague for this great achievment!
Our Domagoj held a lecture at the Electrical Engineering Department, University of Osijek, on March 16th 2015. The lecture was titled Networked Control Systems: Intermittent and Delayed Information and focused on the recent results related to the EOARD project. More info about the lecture can be found here (in Croatian ).
THe project ‘Human-in-the-loop Control of Multi-agent Aerial Systems Under Intermittent Communication’ was successfully completed on February 28, 2015. The project, funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, reached all of the planned goals – the results of the 2 years of research have been published in more than 20 conference and journal papers.
From 19th until 21st of January, the Italian company Euroimpianti hosted the 6th EC-SAFEMOBIL consortium meeting in the town of Schio. Using two autonomous forklifts produced by Euroimpianti, the LARICS team held two successful demonstrations of decentralized control and markerless localization developed within the EC-SAFEMOBIL project.
Two LARICS papers were presented at the 2014 IEEE 53rd Conference on Decision and Control (CDC 2014). The conference was held in Los Angeles, CA, December 15-17. For more info regarding the conference, you can look here. Our Domagoj presented one paper and co-authored another one which was presented at the conference.
Our Frano Petric attented “Lucia 2014 – 2nd PhD school on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics”, held in Örebro, Sweden. Following the interesting presentations on the industrial perpsective of robotics, the participants had the opportunity to go through tutorials on Constraint Satisfaction Programming (CSP) and Answer Set Programming (ASP). The school was concluded with lectures on probabilistic logics, knowledge representation and benchmarking of robotic systems. Several attendees had the opportunity to present their work in form of a lecture at the PhD symposium, while others participated in a poster session.
Two of our Faculty's laboratories, LARICS and AMOR, formed a UNIZG-FER team, which finished 2nd in the first stage of the European Robotics Challenge – EuRoC. The next stop is the workshop in London and negotiations with potential partners for the next stage.
Our colleague Damir Arbula had successfully defended his doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Zdenko Kovačić and received a Doctor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Damir’s thesis was entitled “Distributed algorithm for node localization in anchor-free wireless sensor network”. Congratulations to Damir for reaching this great academic goal!
The newly started regional television N1 hosted Maja Cepanec and Frano Petric in their show “Novi dan”, where they discussed ASD prevalence rates across Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia along with the first results of the ADORE project. Maja and Frano were accompanied by one of our NAO robots which demonstrated some of its features. A video from the show is available in Croatian here.
ADORE project team members from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences presented poster entitled “Challenges of using humanoid robots in the assessment of autism spectrum disorder“ at the AUTISM 2014: Geneva Centre for Autism International Symposium that was held from October 22-24 in Toronto, Canada.
Following our good old tradition, LARICS was one of the main attractions of the open doors manifestation held at the Faculty, which accompanies the showcasing of all parts of the University of Zagreb to potential future students coming from high schools. The main part of the LARICS demonstration were NAO robots, while our department was also represented by AMOR and LARES groups.
Professor Bogdan, Matko Orsag and Tomislav Haus, along with the new developments in aerial robotics and manipulation, were featured on Croatian television in the show called “The code of the future” (“Kod budućnosti”). The video of the show can be seen on the following link, for now only in Croatian.