We are pleased to announce that our Professor Stjepan Bogdan has been elected as the new FER vice-dean for Research and Innovation. His mandate will start in October this year.
We wish him the best of luck in his new role! :D
April 12, 2022 - Natalia Ivanjko, Katarina Mužina, Ana Novačić, and Marsela Polić are this year's scholarship holders of the National Scholarship Program "For Women in Science" organized by L’Oréal Adria and the Croatian Commission for UNESCO at the Ministry of Culture and Media.
The scholarship program has been running in Croatia for sixteen years, and by decision of leading Croatian scientists, four scholarships in the amount of 5,000 euros are awarded to the four best Croatian scientists under 35 from the field of natural sciences, including interdisciplinary fields, which are in the final year of their Ph.D. studies.
On March 11, 2022 LARICS researcher Marsela Polić successfully defended her doctoral dissertation and received a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering. Marsela’s thesis is entitled “Soft robotic manipulation in agrotechnical procedures based on machine and deep learning”.
Antun Ivanović and Lovro Marković (UNIZG FER) visited the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) for a week in February 2022. While at the facilities, they worked closely with Prof. Mirko Kovac (ICL), EMPA researchers David Häusermann, Fabian Wiesemüller, and Cedric Portmann, and ICL researchers Bahadir Kocer, Lachlan Orr, and Oscar Pang.
They have continued the collaboration established by Bahadir Kocer's visit to UNIZG FER in February 2020. The team is collaborating on the development of an aerial robotics team for autonomous construction. They are developing planning and control algorithms and exploring new materials and adhesives to enable efficient and robust autonomous construction with a team of drones.
During their stay, they have been working on integrating aerial systems from the two groups and preparing for ICL's upcoming visit to UNIZG FER for further experimental verification in preparation for a joint publication.
LARICS has participated at IFAM 2022, B2B Trade fair Robotics in Ljubljana 15.02.-17.02.22. which is the only event in Slovenia and the CEE region that dedicates to robotics and unmanned systems. Robotics is tailor-made for exhibitors and gives them a platform for presenting their range of robot technologies in both industrial and service robot sectors. Prof. Zdenko Kovačić has come with its team, researchers Ivan Hrabar, mag.ing. and Ivo Vatavuk, mag.ing. and project manager Vlatka Kovačević. LARICS had one of the most visited booths. It was very attractive with a mobile manipulator which was „spraying the vineyard“ and there was an automated guided vehicle, forklift the product of spin-off company Romb Technologies. The automated guided forklift is produced in collaboration with the company VAR d.o.o.
More photos from the fair are available in the gallery.
During Staff Exchange 2, Research Plan, the LARICS team visited partner CTA and US facilities. LARICS Project Manager Vlatka Kovačević met with the Project partner CTA (Technological Corporation of Andalusia) Head of Aerospace Sector Silvia de los Santos and Consultant Marta Marcias and Communication Department Officers Marisol Castro Rey and Natalia Gutierrez Roa.
The goal of this short-term visit was to provide UNIZG-FER project management staff with direct insight into administrative processes in CTA that are related to innovation management and technology transfer. Vlatka has also with Silvia and LARICS Team (Robert Milijaš and Marko Križmančić) visited CATEC (Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies).
The main outcome of this trip was the enhancement of the reputation, attractiveness, and networking channels of LARICS and raising the profile of its staff thanks to knowledge exchange (best practices, lessons learned).
In the last series of visits in the AeroTwin staff exchange program, LARICS PhD students Marko Križmančić and Robert Milijaš spent three weeks at the University of Seville (USE), Spain from January 15 to February 6. They were working at the Department for Systems and Automatic Engineering under the supervision of Professor José Ramiro Martinez de Dios. Marko worked on designing a new mission planning algorithm for multi-robot systems with the help of USE professor Ivan Maza, while Robert compared the SLAM algorithms and hardware used by the GRVC group at USE to the approaches used in LARICS. During the exchange, several fruitful meetings were held which resulted in plans for future scientific publications.
On February 7, 2022 LARICS researcher Barbara Arbanas Ferreira successfully defended her doctoral dissertation and received a Doctor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Barbara’s thesis was entitled “Decentralized mission planning for heterogeneous robotic teams based on hierarchical task representation”.
The thesis was co-supervised by Prof. Stjepan Bogdan (UNIZG FER) and Prof. José Ramiro Martinez de Dios (USE).
The Advent fever did not bypass the robots and drones that occupied the Maksimir Center for Culture and Information at Švarcova 18 on Wednesday, December 22, from 1 pm to 8 pm, and served visitors hot drinks and Christmas treats!
Our lab members introduced visitors to robots Franka, Pepper, Kinova, and Schunk in the Advent house in front of the Center who rolled up their sleeves to warm the visitors in these cold days and brighten the upcoming holidays.
Robots prepared and served hot drinks and Christmas treats, and at the same time in front of the Center, there were presentations of robots intended for primary and secondary school students where they learned firsthand how robots can communicate with plants and learn how to fly drones.
Pupils could also drive robots and make a 2D map or find out how artificial intelligence can warn us in a cheap and environmentally friendly way about the quality of air, soil, and water in our environment. They also learned how robots and plants communicate with each other and how a 3D model of a building model can be made with a drone.
More photos from the event are available in the gallery.
The LARICS members Stjepan Bogdan and Marko Križmančić participated in the 3th WatchPlant General Assembly, which took place from 13th to 14th December, 2021, in Seville. During the meeting, the LARICS team presented results of the project activities that have been carried out in our laboratory during the last six months.
The LARICS members Zdenko Kovačić, Stjepan Bogdan and Goran Vasiljević participated in the 5th Aerial Core General Meeting, which took place from 9th to 10th November, 2021, in Zurich. During the meeting, the LARICS team presented project activities that have been carried out in our laboratory during the last six months.
As a part of "Introduction to the Project Management" seminar, organized by Bicro BIOCentar, Zagreb, on October 26, 2021, prof. Bogdan presented LARICS experience in the scientific projects management. Some tips and tricks in a project proposal writing has been shared with the audience as well.
As part of the national InfoDay on Horizon Europe Widening program, that was held on-line on October 28, 2021, prof. Bogdan presented the H2020 AeroTwin project, as an example of a very successful implementation of the project within the widening program. During the presentation prof. Bogdan shared with the participants his experiences in coordinating the twinning project and writing proposals.
Prof. Stjepan Bogdan attended on October 28, 2021, 3rd Conference on New Technologies, Robotization and Automatization in Industry and Buildings - Hrvatska 4.0 organised by Energetika Marketing. The conference, that was related to the social and economic changes that are faster and greater than ever due to the implementation of new technologies and solutions, was held in Zagreb. Prof. Bogdan has been invited to presented H2020 project Watchplant.
Trend and Innovation Network Dialogue Meeting - Automation & Robotics workshop was held on Thursday, October 7, 2021. On that occasion, Prof. Zdenko Kovačić held a presentation on "Review of research in the Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems", and then participated in the round table.
The workshop was organized by the Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovation and Investments (HAMAG-BICRO), as part of the project "Central Europe Upstreaming for Policy Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing & Industry 4.0 towards 2030 - CEUP2030".
Prof. Zdenko Kovačić attended on October 6, 2021 a conference "Robotics - From Workshop to Market" organised by the Embassy of Italy. The conference was related to the event "Industry Challenges 4.0: Research, Innovation and New Technologies as Tools to Increase Business Competitiveness", held in April last year in Zagreb. Prof. Kovačić participated as a member of a round table.
The conference was held at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (FSB) of the University of Zagreb and focused on three important topics: the use of robotics and advanced automation in the manufacturing industry and related services; the impact of training systems and research activities on innovation and entrepreneurship; as well as promoting a support and guidance framework for researchers, innovators and companies introducing advanced technologies.
Project partners finally gathered for the 2nd edition of DroneDays 2021 that took place in Biograd na Moru, Croatia. The aerial robotics workshop was held on the 4th and 5th of October, organized by LARICS team. Each partner participated by giving lectures and presenting their work through tutorials and hands-on implementing project activities.
Expert lectures were given by:
- Prof. Mirko Kovac (ICL) on Multi-modal Aerial Robotics for Environmental Sensing and Construction
- Prof. José Ramiro Martines de Dios (USE) on Heterogenous Aerial Robot Cooperation for Inspection and Maintenance
Tutorials and hands-on were given by:
- Silvia de los Santos (CTA) on Technology Transfer Actions and Key aspects for the creation of a successful spin-off
- André Farinha, Constança Rosas and Mirko Kovac (ICL) on The intricacies of looking underwater with a drone – A dual agent system for aerial and underwater operations
- Ashutosh Choubey (ICL) on Commercialisation of university based R&D projects
- Julio L. Paneque and Raúl Tapia (USE) on Heterogeneous Robot Cooperation
The event was successful with 90 registered participants, 16 lectures, 6 demonstration flights, and 200 visitors of the exhibition area where 7 companies presented their products and services.
At this year’s edition of MIPRO 2021 – International Convention on Information, Communication and Electronic Technology, Prof. Zdenko Kovačić presented the paper “Collecting information for biomass estimation in mariculture with a heterogeneous robotic system” (Rezo, M.; Čagalj K. M.; Kovačić, Z.).
HEKTOR’s researcher Ivan Hrabar presented the paper “Towards Autonomous Navigation of a Mobile Manipulator in a Steep Slope Vineyard” (Hrabar, I.; Goričanec, J.; Kovačić, Z.).
The conference was held in hybrid form from September 27 to October 1, with live sessions in Opatija, Croatia.
On Friday, 1 October 2021, a group of eight upper-grade students from the Elementary School Eugen Kvaternik in Velika Gorica visited the LARICS lab accompanied by their informatics teacher Dalija Kager.
The students had the opportunity to see LARICS’ labs, 3D printers in action, and various robotic equipment such as the Schunk robotic arm currently used for installing power line separators in the AERIAL-CORE project.
The main reason for their visit, however, was to learn about how we can measure the well-being of plants and use that information to model our surroundings – a goal we are actively pursuing as a part of the WATCHPLANT project. The students learned about various types of sensors we use for that purpose and got to observe the changes in measured values in real time as they interacted with the plants. They also helped us to water the plants properly using a soil humidity sensor. The children and even their teacher had a lot of interesting questions about the project and our lab, and they were excited to share their own experience with microcontrollers and programming with us.
Check out some photos from the visit in the Gallery.
At this year's edition of the 29th International Conference on Software, Communications and Computer Networks - SoftCom, Ivan Hrabar presented the paper Towards Supervised Robot-assisted Physical Therapy after Hand Fractures (Hrabar, I.; Čelan, B., Matić, D., Jerković, N., Kovačić, Z.). The conference was held in Hvar, Croatia, September 23-25 2021, co-organized by the University of Split, FESB and Croatian Communications and Information Society (CCIS), and technically co-sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society.
On 23 September 2021, the TV show “Prometej” aired on Croatian National Television (HRT) showing several interesting reports of scientific news in Croatia, including a report about the WATCHPLANT project. LARICS members prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Dean Martinović, Ph.D., Marijana Peti, and Marko Križmančić presented the goals of the project, its importance for the general public, and the current progress of the research. They also talked about the most interesting parts of the project, such as the development of sensors, establishing a communication network between devices, and the novel idea of extracting energy from plants’ sap flow.
Since LARICS team is constantly growing, so is the need for more space. Last weeek, the construction of a new facililty was finalized. The new offices are now detached to the testing ground. Wishing the LARICS team a lot of experiments and reserach results!
2021 IEEE 17th International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE) was held on August 23-27, 2021 in Lyon, France. LARICS members Assoc. Prof. Matko Orsag, and PhD students Marsela Polic and Bruno Maric have attended the conference. Bruno Maric presented the paper:
Polic, M., Maric, B. and Orsag, M., 2021, August. Soft robotics approach to autonomous plastering. In 2021 IEEE 17th International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE) (pp. 482-487). IEEE.
LARICS members Robert Milijas and Jurica Goricanec attended ICUAS 2021 that took place in Athens, Greece from 15 until 18 June, 2021.
Robert presented the paper A Comparison of LiDAR-Based SLAM Systems for Control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Jurica Civil infrastructure data acquisition in urban environments based on multi-UAV mission. Both papers were results of research and activities done within LARICS projects ENCORE, ASAP and AEROTWIN.
16th International Conference on Telecommunications (ConTEL) was held on June 30 - July 2, 2021 in Zagreb, Croatia. LARICS members have presented the following papers at the conference:
Goričanec, J., Kapetanović, N., Vatavuk, I., Hrabar, I., Vasiljević, G., Gledec, G., Stuhne, D., Bogdan, S., Orsag, M., Petrović, T. and Mišković, N., 2021, June. Heterogeneous autonomous robotic system in viticulture and mariculture-project overview. In 2021 16th International Conference on Telecommunications (ConTEL) (pp. 181-188). IEEE.
Lešić, V., Novak, H., Ratković, M., Zovko, M., Lemić, D., Skendžić, S., Tabak, J., Polić, M. and Orsag, M., 2021, June. Rapid Plant Development Modelling System for Predictive Agriculture Based on Artificial Intelligence. In 2021 16th International Conference on Telecommunications (ConTEL) (pp. 173-180). IEEE.
Polic, M., Ivanovic, A., Maric, B., Arbanas, B., Tabak, J. and Orsag, M., 2021, June. Structured Ecological Cultivation with Autonomous Robots in Indoor Agriculture. In 2021 16th International Conference on Telecommunications (ConTEL) (pp. 189-195). IEEE.
29th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation (Bari, Italy) was held online on June 22-25 2021. LARICS postdoctoral researcher Goran Vasiljevic presented his paper:
Vasiljević, G., Kovačić, Z. and Postružin, Ž., 2021, June. Solving nonlinear kinematics of a rail-guided inspection robot used for planning visual scans of reactor vessel internals. In 2021 29th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation (MED) (pp. 596-603). IEEE.
LARICS members actively participated in this year's edition of ICRA - International Conference on Robotics and Automation but only virtually. The conference was held May 30 - June 5, 2021 at the brand new magnificent Xi’an International Convention and Exhibition Center in Xi’an China.
Ana Batinovic presented the paper "A Multi-Resolution Frontier-Based Planner for Autonomous 3D" (A. Batinović, T. Petrović, A. Ivanovic, F. Petric, S. Bogdan).
Marsela Polic presented the paper "Compliant Plant Exploration for Agricultural Procedures With a Collaborative Robot" (M. Polic, M. Car, F. Petric, M. Orsag).
Antun Ivanovic virtually attended the Aerial Robotics Workshop (paper title: "Precision Airdrop Challenges with Multirotor UAVs", A. Ivanovic, M. Orsag) together with Bruno Maric and Marsela Polic.
Lovro Markovic presented the paper "Adaptive Stiffness Estimation Impedance Control for Achieving Sustained Contact in Aerial Manipulation" (L. Markovic, M. Car, M. Orsag, S. Bogdan).
Ivo Vatavuk presented the paper "Precise Jump Planning Using Centroidal Dynamics Based Bilevel Optimization" (I. Vatavuk, Z. Kovacic).
LARICS members paricipated in the first edition of Dronijada that took place on June 5 , 2021 in Varaždin. The event was organized by LERAMIS, Aeroklub Varaždin and Croatian International Airshow Varazdin, and featured FPV races, commmercial drone fly zone, and exhibiton.
LARICS memebrs took this opportunity to promote project AeRoTwin, and the upcoming DroneDays 2021, as well as the other activities of the lab and their equipment.
At the event "Robotics and AI in Society: Impacts and Questions Raised", organized jointly by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing and the Embassy of Portugal in Croatia, on May 20, 2021, an interesting exchange of expert opinions and quality discussion between scientists and members of the academic and diplomatic community.
The gathering was welcomed by H. E. Ambassador of Portugal Paula Leal da Silva, and Dean of FER, Prof. Gordan Gledec. The program was led by an experienced researcher Fausto Ferreira, from the Department of Automation and Computer Engineering.
Presentations by Prof. Pedra Lime, from the Superior Técnico Institute of the University of Lisbon and Tomislav Bracanović from the Zagreb Institute of Philosophy, were followed by the round table on the implications of introducing artificial intelligence in our daily lives, with special emphasis on its impact on our jobs. The round table was moderated by the Vice Dean for Research, Prof. Nikola Mišković, and attended by Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Prof. Lime and Tomislav Bracanović.
Recording of the event is available on FER’s YouTube channel.
To kickoff the Conference on the Future of Europe, the Office of European Parliament in Croatia and the Croatian Parliament have organized a thematic event called "The Conference on the Future of Europe: Vision of Croatia". The emphasis of the event was placed on digital and green technologies, promoting successful stories and discussing a more equitable economy and education. UNIZG FER's Center for Artificial Intelligence, represented by professor Loncaric, was invited to showcase its efforts to digitally transform the Croatian society. Professor Loncaric was accompanied by LARICS team (professor Kovacic, Frano Petric and Ivan Hrabar) and our robot Pepper that became the first robotic member of the Croatian Parliament by interrupting the talk of Gordan Jandrokovic, the Speaker of the Parliament (Pepper, MP ). Pepper also had a more amicable interation with professor Loncaric, who used the opportunity to invite companies from Croatia to contact the Center for Artificial Intelligence to discuss the transfer of technologies being developed at the Faculty.
The event generated a lot of interest in the media (check the PRESS section), so we hope that the invitation of professor Loncaric will spark some future collaborations with the industry. We thank the Office of European Parliament in Croatia and the Croatian Parliament for the invitation, and Mrs. Renata Skalabrin for organising the event and accomodating all Pepper's requests.
This year's edition od Aerospace and Defense Meetings (A&DM) event is featuring a workshop, organized and held by AeRoTwin project partners, prof. Stjepan Bogdan, prof. Mario KOvač, prof. Anibal Ollero, and Silvia de los Santos. Covering different otpics, the partners are giving their respective talks on May 27, 2021, on the second day of the event.
More details available here.
"Matchmaking Program for the Aerospace and Defense Industries"
The 2021 edition of A&DM turns into a fully-digital event. The event will be held on 26th and 27th of May 2021 and gather the aerospace international community through pre-planned online B2B meetings, live conferences & replay videos and a virtual exhibition.
EDIT: The workshop was successfully finalized, with project partners giving following presentations:
Prof. Sjepan Bogdan (UNIZG FER): Autonomus Inspection of Wind Turbine Blades
Prof. Mirko Kovac (ICL): Physical Artificial INtelligence for Infrastructure Drones
Prof. Anibal Ollero (USE): Aerial Robots for Inspection and Logistics
Press release: ADM Sevilla 2021
Two LARICS student groups have become the recipients of the 2020 Rector Award. Borna Zbodulja, Jakov Vulama and Petar Ljubotina, mentored by prof. Zdenko Kovačić, won the award for their work 'Pepper as a welcome manager at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing', while Filip Bradarić, Marko Cavalli, Ivona Krajačić and Jelena Tabak, together with Andrea Rebec from the Faculty of Architecture, mentored by assoc. prof. Matko Orsag, won the award for their work 'Workshop for children: "Robofun". The abstracts of their works can be found here. Congratulations to the students and their mentors!
The 1st AIRPHARO workshop on Aerial Robotic Systems Physically Interacting with the Environment will be held October 4-5, 2021 at Ilirija Resort, Biograd na Moru, Croatia. Since this two-day event is taking place in Croatia, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society is organizing the workshop together with LARICS.
AIRPHARO workshop is the successor of the workshops on Research, Education and Development of Unmanned Aerial Systems (RED-UAS). The workshop will focus on a high growth area of both research and industry, the use of aerial robots for physical interaction with people and the environment. For more details, please visit AIRPHARO 2021.
Prof. Stjepan Bogdan held a lecture on "Mission planning in heterogeneous robotic systems“ at the the first conference on trends and application of artificial intelligence Bounding Box 2021 that was held on Friday, March 26, in Osijek (Croatia), emphasizing that it is a fast-growing technology that is increasingly applied in various areas of business and life and is becoming an industry.
The conference was held hybrid, i.e. both online and live. At the opening, the organizers from the company Protostar Labs from Belišće and Creative Agency Adverta emphasized the desire to make it an annual event.
Its first edition was organized as part of the project "Improvement and automation of the VirtuAI Annotation system-adaptation of tools to the requirements of the market for the development of artificial intelligence technologies", an EU-funded project.
"Artificial intelligence is a technology that changes our lives and with its better understanding and application it is possible to improve a lot in various spheres of life and business," said the organizers.
Among the participants-lecturers at the conference are representatives of many companies in Croatia that deal with artificial intelligence, machine learning, application, i.e. localization and reading of QR codes in production and others, as well as experts from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, organization CroAI, and others.
The topics discussed with the followers/audience at the conference were mostly professional ones, presenting work experiences, and related to machine learning, heterogeneous robotic systems, computer vision as a catalyst for change in many industries, application of neural networks in construction, challenges of artificial intelligence in various industries and others.
On Tuesday, March 30, 2021, LARICS is organizing an online presentation of Fulbright Scholarships Program for researchers and PhD students. The presentation will be held by Mrs. Vanja Ratković, Established Opinion Leaders Specialist from the U.S Embassy Zagreb. Assistant Public Affairs Officer Mrs. Elise Crane will make a short introduction to welcome the participants. The presentation starts at 10 a.m. via MS Teams platform. To join, please follow: Fulbright Scholarship Presentation
Last week, 4-6 March 2021, the IEEE International Conference on Inteligence and Safety for Robotics ISR2021 was held online (Nagoya, Japan). LARICS' PhD student Bruno Maric presented a paper:
B. Maric, F. Jurican, M. Orsag, Z. Kovacic: "Vision based collision detection for a safe collaborative industrial manipulator"
The IEEE ISR2021 brought together an international community of experts to discuss a way forward in robotics for the future of safety and security with intelligence by provisions of new research results and perspectives of future developments as well as achievements of social implementation.
DroneDays 2021 is finally happening! The aerial vehicles end-user workshop is going to take place in Biograd na Moru (Croatia) on the 4th and 5th of October 2021 at Ilirija Resort. The programme is yet to be confirmed. Please check DroneDays webpage regularly for all the updates as well as the programme and registration details.
LARICS got another team member – Dario Stuhne! Dario obtained a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2019 and a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering (specialization in Product Design and Development) in December 2020. He worked as a student teaching assistant at the Department of Applied Mechanics and at the Department of Design for 4 years, with a team of students from European universities for industrial partners Electrolux and ROLD, and in design and production departments for a year and a half year in companies Končar D&ST Inc., Vetropack Inc. and OMCO Croatia Ltd. His newest position in LARICS is Research Associate in the field of design and development of robotic mechanical systems. Wishing him all the best and many prosperous years with the team!
Continuing the collaboration on the ASAP project, on 16 December 2020 LARICS joined their partners from the Faculty of Civil Engineering in the inspection of the pedestrian bridge in Osijek.
This inspection marked the first deployment of new upgrades to their UAV (gimbal, IMU and high resolution lidar), which allowed them to detect and measure frequency of bridge vibrations, which are now being validated against measurements of the partners' obtained through standard techniques. Although hindered by cold temperatures, the project team also used this opportunity to thoroughly test the Ouster lidar by mapping the pylons and using them as a reference for autonomous navigation.
LARICS has again partnered up in two new projects that were kicked off in the last months - ESI ERDF project Development of environmentally friendly vehicle for cleaning public surfaces with autonomous control system based on artificial intelligence (EKOKOMVOZ) coordinated by company RASCO, and COST Action project Advancing Social Inclusion through Technology and Empowerment (a-STEP), with 17 states participating. On behalf of LARICS, both projects are coordinated by prof. Zdenko Kovačić.
Instead of the annually held University of Zagreb Fair and Doors Open Day at UNIZG FER, this year the event had a special edition. The alternative Windows Open Days featured a programme that was streamed via MS Teams. UNIZG-FER's “windows” were open from November 19 to 21, 2020. LARICS also participated in the programme within the session Introducing projects - Ask professors what you want to know about robotics. LARICS members presented the lab, their activities, robots, and projects. The extensive programme is available as YouTube videos at https://smotra.fer.unizg.hr/
Daily newspaper Vecernji list visited Specularia project team to discuss the impact of the implementation of 5G on both the global and domestic economies, in which exceptional speed of information, communication and services are becoming possible. Project Coordinator Matko Orsag and Specularia researchers explained how 5G technology will enable innovation and the implementation of ideas into reality, and their robots will finally be able to talk to each other and make decisions all the time.
Full article (in Croatian) available here.
Three more members have recently joined the LARICS team - Marijana Peti, Jelena Tabak, and Filip Zorić!
Marijana Peti graduated with a master's degree from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in 2020. During her studies, she received three “Josip Lončar” Awards and the City of Zagreb scholarships due to her academic success. Her research interests include multi-agent systems and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Jelena Tabak graduated with a master's degree from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in 2020. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. and working as a Research and Teaching Assistant. Her research interests include soft robotics manipulation and machine learning.
Fillip Zorić graduated from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (UNIZG-FER) in 2018 by having successfully defended his master thesis Control of Multirotor-UAV by Using Variable Rotational Plane Rotors. After that, he worked in robotics start-up company Gideon Brothers for 2 years. As of October 2020, he a Research Assistant at LARICS in the scope of the Aerial-Core project where he is also pursuing his PhD degree. His research interests are in the intertwining of control, perception, and robotic manipulation.
The Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems (LARICS) has become a partner in new H2020 FET project WatchPlant - SMART BIOHYBRID PHYTO-ORGANISMS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL IN SITU MONITORING.
WatchPlant will develop a new biohybrid system technology, a wireless wearable self-powered sensor for in-situ monitoring of urban environments. This system equips urban biological organisms -plants- with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create a smart sensor for measuring both, environmental parameters and the responding physiological state of plants, in a very early stage by the use of a barely explored fluid, phloem sap, in combination with chemical, and physical sensors. It will be integrated into complex network that allows performing distributed information processing, decision making, modeling and
data fitting, paving the way for the self-awareness or self-adaptation. Additionally, it will constitute a clean energy self-powered device due to the novel use of sap, not only for transforming plants into living sensors, but also for clean energy generation.
As one of three partners that participate in new ERASMUS+ project, LARICS researchers will be responsible for the 3rd semester curriculum of Joint Master program entitled Intelligent Field Robotic Systems (IFRoS). Also, LARICS staff will mentor master students in 4th semester during master diploma thesis preparation.
The Intelligent Field Robotic Systems (IFRoS) Master Programme aims to train a new generation of engineers who will develop new applications and tools to expand the capabilities of field robots in the near future. The technology behind the development of these systems comes from different research areas such as artificial intelligence, computer vision, control, sensorization, automatic learning, and others, all of them under fast-paced evolution in the current digital revolution. IFRoS is a 2-year joint master degree with 120 ECTS coordinated by the Universitat de Girona (UdG, Spain) together with the University of Zagreb (UNIZG, Croatia) and the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE, Hungary) as consortium programme partners.
To commemorate Europe Code Week, an online exchange of knowledge and experience was designed and moderated by Sanja Pavlović Šijanović, Sanda Šutalo and Kristinka Lemaić with the involvement of students from three Croatian high schools.
At the invitation of Kristinka Lemaić, Petar Ljubotina, fourth-year student at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, presented the Industrial School of Mechanical Engineering with a short video. Petar was awarded the Rector's Award in the academic year 2019/2020 in the field of technical sciences for his scientific team work "Humanoid robot Pepper as a welcome manager at FER".
Special thanks goes to Prof. Zdenko Kovačić for giving the opportunity to high school students to gain insight into the work of FER students.
Given the current epidemiological situation, most of the events during the EU Code Week have been moved to the virtual world. The social initiative CodeWeek was launched by the European Commission with the aim of promoting programming and digital literacy. This event gathers more and more participants every year, so in 2019 the number of participants reached 4.2 million people from more than 80 countries.
Read more (in Croatian): Robotika i programiranje nisu bauk
LARICS team attended Breaking the Surface 2020 workshop from September 27 to October 4, 2020. This was the 12th edition of this international intersiciplinary field workshop of marine robotics and its applications, held every year in Biograd na moru, Croatia.
LARICS members actively participated in the workshop programme with their PhD presentations and tutorials, and attended lectures by AeRoTwin partners from the University of Seville (J. Ramiro Martinez de Dios, Augusto Gómez Eguíluz, Julio L. Paneque) and Imperial College London (Mirko Kovac, Crystal Winston, Andre Farinha, Julien di Tria), and the invited talk by Ivana Palunko (University of Dubrovnik) organized within H2020 AeRoTwin project.
Check the photos here.
On 23 September 2020, Prof. Zdenko Kovačić attended Croatia 4.0 Conference on new technologies, robotization and automatization in industry, buildings, power and energy business. He held a lecture on "Robotic assistive technologies for autistic people and people with disabilities“.
The Conference gathered and presented everyone that in any way comes in a contact with the new technologies in design, planning, manufacturing, control, monitoring, operation and traffic such as robotization, automatization, remote control, smart homes, buildings and cities, Internet of things (IoT), Blockchain, ‘cloud’ business.
LARICS nudi jedno znanstveno-istraživačko radno mjesto na istraživačkom projektu AgroSPARC: Napredna i prediktivna poljoprivreda za otpornost klimatskim promjenama koji provodi u suradnji s Agronomskim fakultetom i Inovacijskim centrom Nikola Tesla.
Radna mjesta obuhvaćaju razvoj inovativnog proizvoda koji će pomoći predviđanje razvoja pšenice umjetnom inteligencijom ovisno o vremenskoj prognozi i drugim uvjetima. Kandidati će pomoći izraditi sustav za uzgoj pšenice u izoliranim i željenim klimatskim uvjetima uz regulacijske petlje osvjetljenja, temperature, navodnjavanja, doziranja nutrijenata i dr. te sustav u oblaku za automatsko arhiviranje podataka o mikroklimatskim uvjetima i identifikatorima razvoja.
- motiviranog inženjera iskusnog u području automatike, robotike i elektotehničkih sustava koji se želi nositi sa znanstvenim i tehničkim izazovima u području Interneta stvari i umjetne inteligencije
- iskustvo u radu s Robotskim operacijskim sustavom
- iskustvo s korištenjem algoritama iz područja robotike
- poznavanje programskih jezika C++ i Python
Natječaj je otvoren od 24.9.2020. do 31.9.2020.
Zainteresirane kandidate molimo da pošalju email sa svojim životopisom i motivacijskim pismom voditelju projekta doc. dr. sc. Matku Orsagu (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our PhD students Antun Ivanovic, Lovro Markovic, Marko Krizmancic and Ana Batinovic attended the 2020 IEEE RAS Summer School on Multi-Robot Systems hosted at Czech Technical University in Prague from 14th to 18th of September 2020. The Summer School program aims at promoting the newest achievements in multi-robot system research.
The main scope of the program was swarm robotics, including lectures by well-recognized experts in the field, group seminars, computer practicals, and outdoor experiments. Moreover, the Summer School was a great opportunity for networking with other participants and lecturers.
You can find more about the Summer School at http://mrs.felk.cvut.cz/summer-school/
Check out photos in the Gallery.
The 2020 IEEE International Conference on Multisensor Fusion and Integration (MFI 2020) was held from 14th to 16th of September 2020 virtually. MFI 2020 is an international conference sponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) and the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IES). LARICS' PhD student Bruno Maric virtually presented a scientific paper:
B. Maric, M. Polic, T. Tabak, M. Orsag, "Unsupervised optimization approach to in situ calibration of collaborative human robot interaction tools"
Our PhD student Antonella Barišić attended the Programming short course and workshop on Deep Learning and Computer Vision for Autonomous Systems from 19th to 21st of August, 2020. The workshop was held remotely with more than 40 participants.
The aim of the workshop was to provide theoretical and practical programming knowledge on applying computer vision techniques and deep learning to solve problems in robotics such as object detection and target tracking.
International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems ICUAS 2020, as a hybrid conference, both virtual and physical event, was held from 1st to 4th of September 2020 in Athens, Greece. LARICS' PhD student Antun Ivanovic virtually presented a scientific paper:
A. Ivanovic, M. Car, M. Orsag, and S. Bogdan, “Exploiting null space in aerial manipulation through model-in-the-loop motion planning”
The video of demonstration experiments can be found here.
The International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) World Congress 2020, Germany was held virtually on July 11-17 2020. LARICS PhD Student Ana Batinović attended the conference and presented her paper:
Batinović, A., Oršulić, J., Petrović, T. and Bogdan, S., 2020. Decentralized strategy for cooperative multi-robot exploration and mapping. IFAC-PapersOnLine, 53(2), pp.9682-9687.
LARICS has got another team member – Dean Martinovic! After graduating from the University of Stuttgart Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, Dean worked in the automotive industry as embedded software developer on AUTOSAR software components. After returning to the University of Stuttgart in 2012, he completed his Ph.D. in the area of magnetic field based localization systems for inductive charging purposes of electric vehicles. Wishing Dean good luck and a lot of successful endeavors in the LARICS team!
This year, International Conference on Robotics and Automation ICRA 2020 is being held form 31 May to 31 August as a virtual conference with some live events. LARICS' PhD students Bruno Maric and Marko Krizmancic have sent in video presentations of the following scientific papers:
Maric B., Mutka A., Orsag M., (2020), Collaborative Human-Robot Framework for Delicate Sanding of Complex Shape Surfaces
Krizmancic M., Arbanas B., Petrovic T., Petric F., Bogdan S., (2020), Cooperative Aerial-Ground Multi-Robot System for Automated Construction Tasks
The video presentations and the papers are now available to all registered participants of ICRA 2020.
LARICS team was busy before the pandemic shut everything down for a few months. Following his talk at E-Conference Better Future of Healthy Ageing 2020 (BFHA 2020), Professor Kovacic gave an interview for ZIMO portal on the preliminary work with Pepper robots being demonstrators of rehabilitation exercises and plans for the future of humanoid robots in healthcare.
Full article (in Croatian) is available here.
In celebration of the World Bee Day (May 20), Prof. Stjepan Bogdan held an invited talk “Swarm Intelligence in Animal-Robot Interaction” at the Technical Museum Nikola Tesla in Zagreb. Prof. Bogdan presented very interesting results of research done on bee communication channels and social behaviour of bees. The talk was a part of a special programme the Museum had prepared to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development.
On 21 May 2020, LARICS team carried out dynamic median consensus experiments. Five aMussels were used to communicate underwater depth measurements trying to reach a common measurement value. The experiment was performed at Lake Jarun in Zagreb, and the results will be used to support a journal paper that is being prepared.
LARICS team is growing - Jurica Goricanec has joined the lab! After graduating from the UNIZG-FER, Jurica worked in the industry developing and designing UAVs for different purposes, such as collecting geophysical information and carrying out inspections. He is currently also doing his Ph.D. at the UNIZG-FER under the mentorship of Prof. Stjepan Bogdan. We wish him a lot of successful projects and a stimulating work environment. Welcome, Jurica!
The Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems (LARICS) has become a partner in two new projects – the EU H2020 AeroWind project and the Danieli Group project, for which grants agreements have been recently signed. Both projects have been kicked off in May 2020, and all the project activities will be implemented over a period of 1 year (Danieli), and 1.5 years (AeroWind), respectively.
LARICS has partnered up with Danieli Group to develop a pilot system that aims to show autonomous inspection of the process of steel elements production by using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The second project ‘Autonomous UAV inspection of wind turbine blades – AeroWind’ is a new EU project funded under the HORIZON 2020 programme. This project, built on previous research done by LARICS through FP7 project EuRoC, will focus on the implementation of novel methods for UAVs navigation and control, based on state-of-the-art technologies, increase in the speed and efficiency of wind turbine inspection, and a significant decrease in the cost of inspection and downtime of wind turbines.
A new chapter on 'Multi-rotor Systems, Kinematics, Dynamics, and Control of ' written by Stjepan Bogdan, Matko Orsag, and Paul Oh has been published in the Encyclopedia of Robotics.
The subject matter covered in the chapter – kinematic and dynamic model of the multi-rotor system – is the first step towards any real application of aerial vehicles. This includes various surveillance missions that require an eye in the sky, like search and rescue missions, infrastructure inspection, archaeology, film industry, and many more.
The Springer Reference Work Encyclopedia of Robotics addresses the existing need for an easily accessible yet authoritative and granular knowledge resource in robotic science and engineering. The encyclopedia is a work that comprehensively explains the scientific, application-based, interactive, and socio-ethical parameters of robotics. It is the first work that explains at the concept and fact level the state of the field of robotics and its future directions.
You can read the chapter here.
One of the first activities on the ASAP project was helping the partners from the Faculty of Civil Engineering inspect the Franjo Tudjman bridge in Dubrovnik, which took place between May 12th and 14th 2020.
The need for the inspection arose from the strong wind-induced vibrations in early April, and this opportunity was used to get an inside look into the process of infrastructure inspection but also to evaluate which aspects of the inspection can be performed with UAVs. Aditionally, some of our 3D data collection algorithms for the ENCORE project were tried out.
While the environment of a steel reinforced bridge proved to be challenging for the UAVs, LARICS team will build upon these insights and is already looking forward to the next inspection!
The new project “Heterogeneous autonomous robotic system in viticulture and mariculture (HEKTOR)” commenced on 13 March 2020. It is a three-year project funded by European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and coordinated by the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing with Prof. Zdenko Kovacic as Project Leader. Project partners are the University of Dubrovnik (Institute for Marine and Coastal Research) and the University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture. Two UNIZG-FER laboratories are involved in the implementation of the project – Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems (LARICS) and Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies (LABUST).
The main objective of HEKTOR project is to provide a systematic solution for the coordination and cooperation of smart heterogeneous robots/vehicles (marine, land, and air) capable of autonomously collaborating and distributing tasks in open unstructured space/waters. HEKTOR is conceived as a modular and autonomous system, adapted for various missions in viticulture and mariculture with the anticipated possibility of human intervention while performing various work, inspection and intervention tasks.
In line with recommendation given by National Civil Protection Headquarters and Croatian Institute of Public Health, and in order to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease, DroneDays 2020 is postoned until further notice. New dates have yet to be determined.
LARICS team participated in the international robotics competition MBZIRC held from 23 to 27 February 2020. The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) is a biennial international robotics competition, organized by Khalifa University. The competition is held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and is intended to be an ambitious and challenging set of tasks that aims to inspire innovative robotics solutions and technical excellence.
LARICS team for the MBZIRC2020 was led by Frano Petric with supervision of professors Stjepan Bogdan and Matko Orsag, and consists of LARICS’ PhD students: Barbara Arbanas, Marko Car, Antun Ivanovic, Marsela Polic, Ivan Hrabar, Ivo Vatavuk, Lovro Markovic, Ana Batinovic, Antonella Barisic, Robert Milijas and Marko Krizmancic. Being the robotics laboratory, LARICS decided to do the challenges autonomously.
Read all about LARICS' participation at MBZIRC at http://larics-mbzirc.fer.hr/index.php/mbzirc2020/
Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing had the honour to host a two-day regional workshop 'Space powering the Green Deal and the Digital Economy' that was co-organised with European Space Agency (ESA) and Croatian Ministry of Science and Education. The workshop took place on 5 and 6 March 2020 and welcomed more than 200 participants and national and international experts from the public and private sector that held more than 20 lectures on different topics related to space technologies, Earth observation data, and environmental protection.
This workshop was a unique opportunity for Croatian researchers and interested public to exchange information and ideas with European experts to define further steps in strengthening cooperation and explore opportunities for Croatian industry to become actively involved in ESA's programs and projects.
Photos are available in the Gallery.
Prof. Zdenko Kovacic attended European Robotics Forum (ERF) that was held 3-5 March 2020 in Malaga, Spain. Prof. Kovačić joined AeRoTwin project partners from the University of Seville, José Ramiro Martinéz de Dios, and Silvia de los Santos from Technological Corporation of Andalusia in promoting AeRoTwin project, attending lectures and workshops, and networking.
This was the 11th Annual European Robotics Forum ‘Future Robotics: Unlocking Human Potential’ hosted by Trade Fair and Congress Centre of Malaga (FYCMA). This iconic event put Spain at the heart of Europe’s most influential forum for robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).
More about ERF 2020 at https://www.eu-robotics.net/robotics_forum/press/malaga-inspires-erf202.html
The H2020 project "Twinning coordination action for spreading excellence in Aerial Robotics - AeRoTwin" and Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems - LARICS, and IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, Croatian section invite you to the lecture "Human-robot collaboration to extend space missions through telerobotics" by Dr. Neal Y. Lii from the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The lecture which will be held on 6 March 2020 at 09:40 in the Auditorium Hall at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Zagreb, Croatia. The lecture will be held within European Space Agency (ESA)- Croatia regional workshop 'Space powering the Green Deal and the Digital Economy'.
More about the speaker and the talk can be found here.
On Saturday, 1 February 2020, LARICS members Marko Križmančić, Robert Milijaš and Antonella Barišić hosted around 20 second-grade students from the Elementary School Ksaver Šandor Gjalski in the LARICS lab.
The students had the opportunity to see LARICS' robots operate, and to learn about their functionalities in a simple and interesting way. The students also learned about different types of robots, how they move and perceive the world around them. Robot arm Franka was giving out candy and picking up items which caused a lot of excitement.
The students got to operate spheric robots Sphero and walking robots STEMI using a mobile phone application. The students had most fun interacting with the dancing humanoid robot Pepper. They also expressed great interest in UAVs and remote controlling. Everyone learned a lot of new things and the hosts had a difficult task answering all the questions.
Check out photos and students' drawings inspired by the visit in the Gallery.
LARICS members attended the three-day Robotics Fair 2020 in Ljubljana that took place from 11th to 13th February 2020. Robotics is an international trade fair dedicated to industrial robotics and unmanned systems. The event offers the exhibitors a platform for presenting their range of robot technologies in both industrial and service robots sectors.
The Fair was organised by ICM Slovenia. LARICS members attended the event as representatives of three UNIZG FER laboratories: LARICS, LABUST and LAMOR, under the common brand ROBOTICS FER, next to some of the top tech companies in this field. The visitors had an opportunity to learn about current projects of UNIZG FER's laboratories', their research, innovations and equipment.
All the exhibitors also had excellent opportunities to strengthen their image, increase brand awareness and establish new business relationships. The content-rich accompanying programme included roundtable discussions, presentations and workshops.
In the first week of February 2020, Bahadir Basaran from the Imperial College London, together with our own Marko Krizmancic and Antun Ivanovic, worked on experiments as part of collaboration within AeRoTwin project.
The main goal was building a wall with teams of aerial vehicles specialized for spreading infil mixture between brick layers, and brick pickup and placement. The team developed a mission planner for aerial vehicles collaboration and conducted experiments on a mockup scenario.
ESA-Croatia EO workshop 2020 "Space powering the Green Deal and the Digital Economy" will be held 5-6 March 2020 at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing.
The workshop is being jointly organised by the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineer and Computing and the European Space Agency under the auspices of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
This workshop will be the opportunity to confront needs and solutions and it will gather policy makers, scientists, service operators and EO application specialists.
More details about the workshop at croatianspace.info
On 8 January 2020, Ivana Mikolic held an invited talk within the 5th year course Organisation and Management at University of Zagreb Faculty of Economics and Business. Ivana was invited by the Dr. Rebeka Danijela Vlahov together with Andrej Hanzir (LEAP Summit) to share knowledge and experience in managing EU projects. After the introductory presentations, a panel discussion was initiated between the guest lecturers and the students.
The Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems - LARICS (UNIZG FER) is looking to recruit 1 (one) employee for the position of a Researcher on the project ASAP - Autonomous System for Assessment and Prediction of infrastructure integrity.
The ASAP project develops a system for autonomous inspection and prediction of the integrity of transport infrastructure, as part of intelligent transportation systems and logistics for maintenance, monitoring and management. The system includes experimental testing of buildings using robots and drones, as well as real-time wireless data collection. Post-processing combines experimental test results and numerical models to predict the service life and residual load-carrying capacity of structures, and enables data to be stored in a database for end-user needs.
The advantage will be given to applicants who have experience in the synthesis and analysis of drones control algorithms.
If you are interested in the position, please send a short application email with attached CV to this address by Thursday, 30 January 2020 (midnight). Candidates will be contacted shortly after their application for an interview.
On Thursday, 23 January 2020, Prof. Felipe Gonzalez, Associate Professor at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, will give a lecture on “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Artificial Intelligence Revolutionizing Wildlife Monitoring and Conservation”. This IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, Croatian section technical lecture will be held at 11 a.m. in room C-09-01.
Dr. Gonzalez interest is in creating aerial robots, drones or UAVs that possess a high level of cognition using efficient on-board computer algorithms using advanced optimization and game theory approaches that assist us to understand and improve our physical and natural world. Dr. Gonzalez lead the Airborne Sensing Lab at QUT. He is the co-author of several books in UAV based remote sensing and UAV based design based on evolutionary optimization and game strategies and as of 2018 has published nearly 130 refereed papers. He is also a Chartered Professional Engineer, Engineers Australia – National Professional Engineers Register (NPER), a Member Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), The IEEE, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Holder of a current Australian Private Pilot Licence (CASA PPL) and a Remote Pilot Licence (RePL from CASA).
On 15 January 2020, Prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Prof. Nikola Miskovic held an invited lecture called ‘Heterogeneous Mobile Robots Mapping the Present and the Past’ at the Time Machine Croatia Info Day.
This event kindly invited the interested public and experts in the field of humanities, culture, science, history, IT and the research sector to learn more about the Time Machine project as well as the Time Machine Organisation.
The Time Machine Project is by far the most ambitious and far-reaching project ever undertaken using Big Data of the Past. Revolutionising the way we experience European history and culture, the project is an international collaboration to build a map of European history that spans thousands of years.
On 2 January 2020, Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji list published an article on project Specularia (Structurized Ecological Cultivation with Autonomous Robots in Indoor Agriculture). Project team members Ivana Mikolić, Bruno Marić, Antun Ivanović, Matko Orsag and Marsela Polić explained in a nutshell the objectives of the project and its scientific, technical and implementational aspects.
- Robotic systems can help small farms with farmland that is difficult for a family to cultivate. One of agricultural critical issues is lack of workforce, young people interested in ariculture. Robotics is a lifeline for our economy, said Project Coordinator Dr. Matko Orsag.
You can read the article (in Croatian) here.
On 20 December 2019, project 'Autonomous System for Assessment and Prediction of Infrastructure Integrity (ASAP)' officially began. The three-year project is funded by ESI European Regional Development Fund. Project coordinator, the Faculty of Civil Engineering (UNIZG-GF) is implementing the project together with their partners - Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (UNIZG-FER) and Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (UNIZG-FSB).
The aim of the ASAP project is to develop a system for autonomous inspection and prediction of the integrity of transport infrastructure, as part of intelligent transport systems and logistics for road and rail infrastructure maintenance, monitoring and management. The system involves the autonomous conduct of experimental testing of materials and construction using robots and UAVs, real-time wireless data acquisition, and post-process integration of experimental test results and numerical models to estimate the service life and residual load-carrying capacity of the structures, and store the data in a large database for end users.
ROBOWEEK activites have been successfully finalized – Sunday (Dec 15, 19) ROBOBAND concert at KSET; Wednesday (Dec 18, 19) lecture "Real-World Robotics: From Swarms to Entrepreneurship" held by Prof. Daniel Lofaro (University of George Mason) and Prof. Neil Dantam (Colorado School of Mines); ROBOTIC FOOD COURT and ROBOFUN interactive workshops on Thursday (Dec 19, 19). Supported by the U. S. Embassy Zagreb, these events served to popularize robotics and spread holiday cheer, all for a good cause. The raised donations will be given to the Association for improving the quality of life of poor and neglected children "Mali zmaj".
Check out photos in the Gallery.
Article on 'Highly-scalable traffic management of autonomous industrial transportation systems' written by Ivica Draganjac, Tamara Petrović, Damjan Miklić, Zdenko Kovačić, and Juraj Oršulić has been published in Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing journal.
In this article, a method for highly-scalable coordination of free-ranging Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) in industrial environments is presented together with experimental results obtained on a system comprising six vehicles and simulation results with up to fifty vehicles.
Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing journal is on disseminating the application of research to the development of new or improved industrially-relevant robotics, manufacturing technologies, and innovative manufacturing strategies. Preference is given to papers describing original research that includes both theory and experimental validation.
Full article is available online by February 01, 2020 at:
The H2020 project "Twinning coordination action for spreading excellence in Aerial Robotics - AeRoTwin" and Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems - LARICS invite you to the lecture: "Real-World Robotics: From Swarms to Entrepreneurship" by Daniel Lofaro, George Mason University, which will be held on 18th December 2019 at 12:00 in the Gray Hall of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Zagreb, Croatia.
The lecture is organized under the programme Robotics Food Court which is supported by the U. S. Embassy in Croatia.
More about the speaker and the talk can be found in the detailed news content or here.
Ivana Mikolić has been nominated as a finalist of the Project Management Awards 2019 for the best young project manager for the organization of the international interdisciplinary field workshop of maritime robotics and applications “Breaking the Surface (BtS)”. This is a unique award for project management in Croatia. The award is given by the Croatian Association for Project Management (full member of the International Project Management Association, IPMA) and IPMA Young Crew Croatia. The winners will be announced at the award ceremony at hotel Esplanade in Zagreb on December 17, 2019.
More details at IPMA Young Crew Croatia.
The new project “AERIAL Cognitive Integrated Multi-task Robotic System with Extended Operation Range and Safety (AERIAL-CORE)” commenced on December 1, 2019. It is a four-year project funded under HORIZON 2020-ICT, and coordinated by the University of Sevilla (Prof. Anibal Ollero). FER (LARICS) is partaking as a project partner, together with other European partners.
The main objective of AERIAL-CORE is the development of core technology modules and an integrated aerial cognitive robotic system that will have unprecedented capabilities on the operational range and safety in the interaction with people, or Aerial Co-Workers (ACW), for applications such as the inspection and maintenance of large infrastructures.
The project will integrate aerial robots with different characteristics to meet the requirements of:
- Long range (several kilometres) and local very accurate (subcentimetre) inspection of the infrastructure capability;
- Maintenance activities based on aerial manipulation involving force interactions; and
- Aerial co-working safely and efficiently helping human workers in inspection and maintenance.
In November 2019, two LARICS PhD students, Marsela Polic and Marko Car visited the Aerial Robotics Laboratory at the ICL. The students first participated in the training activity, during which they had a guided laboratory visit. They also attended a guest lecture from prof. Masayuki Inaba from the University of Tokio and participated in an origami robotics workshop.
Following the training activity, the students continued their visit to the ARL within the short-term visit, during which they worked on a joint research project proposal together with Dr. Hai-Nguyen Nguyen (post-doc) and Chuqian Lou (PhD student), under the supervision of Dr. Mirko Kovac (laboratory director). The research proposal investigates the possibility of integration of soft robotics paradigm into the UAV control scheme using the origami robotic structures. During the visit, compliant force sensing origami prototypes were designed and tested on mechanical, hardware and software level. An origami casing for UAV mechanical compliance was designed, including both micro origami repeating pattern and macro structure with UAV mounting. Available state of the art micro depth cameras were tested, and the optimal one was chosen. The raw data acquisition was implemented and tested. A long-term timeline for the project progress was defined, during which the origami structure will be manufactured, tested, and implemented. The compliant sensing capabilities will be realized using machine learning and deep learning techniques.
This year LARICS team members are organizing again a robotic charity event, together with KSET and professors from the University George Mason (USA), with the goal to raise funds for the Association for improving the quality of life of poor and neglected children “Mali zmaj”. All the planned activities are taking place between December 15 and 19, 2019 at KSET and in the Faculty’s lobby. The programme of the ROBOWEEK is the following:
- on Sunday, December 15, 2019, from 8 to 11 p.m., on KSET’s stage, the visitors will have the opportunity to attend a unique performance of the ROBOBAND! Robots will be warming up the audience and spreading holiday cheer by playing different instruments, accompanied by FER’s professors and students;
- on Monday, December 16, 2019, professors from the University George Mason (USA) will hold a lecture for FER’s graduate and postgraduate students, and a lecture for the general public to present their science popularization projects;
- on Thursday, December 19, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in FER’s lobby, at the ROBOTIC FOOD COURT, our well-known little robotic helpers Pepper, Franka and Baxter will be serving warm drinks and cookies, while primary and secondary school students will have a chance to attend interactive ROBOFUN workshops.
The co-organizers of the event, University of George Mason professors are planning to hold a similar event in April 2020 at their University.
We wholeheartedly invite you to join us in doing a good deed and spreading joy!
LARICS' PhD students Antonella Barišić and Marko Car are currently attending the 2019 International Workshop on Research, Education and Development on Unmanned Aerial Systems, RED-UAS 2019, held in Cranfield, UK, at the Cranfield University taking place from 25 to 27 November 2019. They presented the following papers:
Barisic, A., Car, M., Bogdan, S., (2019), Vision-Based System for a Real-Time Detection and Following of UAV
Turkovic, K., Car, M., Orsag, M., (2019), End-Effector Force Estimation Method for an Unmanned Aerialmanipulator
RED-UAS 2019 aims to bring together representatives from academia, industry or government agencies working in the rapidly expanding research area of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Focused interests of diverse groups involved in UAS research and development is discussed. Special emphasis is given to current and future research opportunities.
LARICS, LABUST and LAMOR did a great job representing UNIZG-FER at the University of Zagreb Fair 2019 held between November 21 and 23, 2019 at the Student Centre Zagreb, and at the Open Door Day at FER on Saturday, November 23, 2019. Future students and visitors had the opportunity to talk to the members of our laboratories, check the equipment, interact with Pepper, compete against Baxter in solving a Rubik’s cube, and try out navigating the autonomous surface platform H20mniX in an indoor pool! The visitors were also able to learn about the laboratories’ current projects, activities, and prospects of studying at FER.
Check the photos in the Gallery.
The Faculty Council of FER awarded LARICS (Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems) with the Science Award for achieving internationally recognised results in the field of robotics in the past year. Head of Laboratory Prof. Zdenko Kovačić was honoured to receive this special award on behalf of LARICS.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the U.S. Embassy Zagreb organized the reception and a closed screening of the Apollo 11 Documentary Film at the Kaptol Boutique Cinema. Project leaders of grant projects funded by the Embassy Matko Orsag and Ivana Mikolic attended the event accompanied by the new addition to the project team Ana Golec. Deputy Chief of Mission Victoria Taylor hosted the reception and in the welcome address reminded us of two Croatian-Americans who were part of the Apollo 11 mission – Mike Vucelic and George Skurla.
AeRoTwin Coordinators prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Ivana Mikolić participated at the national Horizon 2020 Info Day on Spreading excellence and widening participation programme on 24th October 2019. Stjepan presented Twinning project AeRoTwin as an example of excellent written proposal and implemented project.
Stjepan and Ivana then participated in a Q&A session with representatives from other faculties and institutes in order to share their knowledge and experience and increase proposal submission from Croatia.
Ivana Mikolić held an invited lecture "Managing EU scientific-research projects" at the University of Dubrovnik on 10th of October 2019. More than 30 University's teaching and administrative staff participated in the lecture. The lecture was organized in the scope of AeRoTwin project and by the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society University of Zagreb Student Branch Chapter.
The lecture presented in detail all phases of the projects - from proposal writing, to project implementation, and to evaluation. The possibilities of using EU funds from different programmes were presented. Project preparation and management were elaborated through practical examples. All project phases were presented from a technical, managerial, financial and administrative perspective. The aim of the lecture was to gain a better understanding of EU projects, proposals and calls, as well as the tools used to manage them.
As a part of final media event for the "Quick, healthy and available to all" project of the UNUO centre, our Pepper played a minor role in the "Spoon of Amor" play which showcased the work of UNUO in education of people with disabilities. The play revolves around falling in love over food, since UNUO is focused on teaching people to cook and work in a professional kitchen. We would like to extend our thanks to Vedran Habel, a professional chef and founder of the UNUO, for inviting us to take part in this heart-warming event. We also congratulate everyone involved on a great show, we had a blast! And while Vedran's work and work of the UNUO continues, so will our efforts to find avenues for future collaboration.
FER is establishing Artificial Intelligence Centre, the first such institution in Croatia. The Centre will be the pivotal institution to co-ordinate the activities in the field of AI development, as well as the key link between the public sector and the scientific community. Its activities will also largely be directed towards using AI for socially responsible purposes. LARICS is one of the fourteen research laboratories which constitute the Centre. On two occasions, on the Croatian Radio Television channel 4, and on RTL TV channel, Prof. Zdenko Kovačić was answering questions about the role and future of the Centre.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.