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 most burning questions general population might have about robotics. The show also incorporated the footage from the robotics laboratories at FER (LARICS, LABUST, LAMOR) where researchers demonstrated and elaborated on their work.
FER day was held at XV. gymnasium (MIOC) in Zagreb on March 2nd to introduce school’s students to activities and laboratories at FER. LARICS was represented with a booth where we had a Nao robot performing its usual dance routine and wowing the audience, and a Pioneer demonstrating its SLAM abilities to the students. Our colleagues from LABUST represented subCULTron project with an aPad and two aMussels, bringing attention to another aspect of robotics.
Project MORUS 2nd Workshop and General Assembly were held at FER from 06.02. to 10.02.2017. All partners participated in preparation and execution of the workshop. The goal of MORUS project 2nd workshop was twofold: first, UAV roll and pitch control loops, implementing a moving mass concept, were tested, together with low-level state machine; and second, integration of the Human Machine Interface with high-level state machine and overall system communication have been done. Upon successful integration of hardware, software and communication components of MORUS system, major functionalities have been tested through the HMI. Gazebo simulator was used as virtual world where UUV and UAV models executed missions by mimicking inputs from real vehicles, while in the same time high level controllers on real vehicles received positions from the simulator.
LARICS was represented in this year’s Night of Museums as a part of the program in the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (HAZU) library. Our dancing Nao robots demonstrated their capabilities to the audience, some of them were even reading texts from HAZU’s digital collection.
The Night of Museums is a cultural event held across Croatia in which entry to museums and cultural institutions is free, and they stay open to the early hours of the morning introduce themselves to new potential patrons.
The first Long Night of Museums took place in Berlin in 1997. The concept has been very well received, and since then the number of participating institutions and exhibitions has risen dramatically, spreading to over 120 other cities throughout Europe, as well as elsewhere, in Argentina and the Philippines.
It started in Zagreb in 2005 as a pilot project with 6 museums. In 2011, there were more than 300,000 visitors. In 2015, 260,000 people turned up to visit over 200 museums and other cultural institutions in 100 cities and towns.
For the first time FIRST LEGO League was held in Croatia, at FER on January 14th 2017. The league runs for 18 years and is held in 80 countries around the world, and thanks to organization of Croatian Robotic Association, Croatia is one of them. During the opening ceremony NAO robot performed one of his distinctive dances and wowed the audience.
Competition consists of multiple parts (core values, scientific project, robot game, mechanical design) and our Prof. Zdenko Kovačić and Barbara Arbanas were the judges of the technical part. This year 11 teams of children aged 9-16 applied and we expect even more in the upcoming years!
LARICS and LABUST organized H2020 project subCULTron workshop under the title of “stress test workshop” at UNIZG FER on 9 – 13 January 2017 with all project partners representatives.
Overall goal of the workshop was to feature freeze new electronic design for 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.
Barbara Arbanas attended “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. 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. It also showed to be the opportunity to discuss the research work with top level scholars as well as other students, and to extend networks. Barbara also presented project subCULTron in an interactive poster session.
From 8 – 11.10.2016. LARICS researchers participated in LARICS seminar 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 Sibenik.
LARICS researchers participated in Breaking the Surface 2016 event in Biograd na moru. Prof. Stjepan Bogdan gave invited lecture “Unmanned system for maritime security and environmental monitoring“. As a part of demonstrations LARICS researchers participated in presentation of two projects – subCULTron (dr.sc. Tamara Petrovic and Barbara Arbanas) and MORUS (dr.sc.Matko Orsag and Tomislav Haus). Both presentations were well attended and researchers from all over the world expressed interest in hardware and software developed in LARICS.
As a part of the meeting, we played a live demo for the reviewers which validated all of the efforts put into the project so far. Demo team consisted of LARICS (Tamara Petrović, Goran Vasiljević, Barbara Arbanas) and LABUST members (Anja Babić, Ivan Lončar), accompanied by Daniel Moser from UNIGRAZ. All of the tasks within the demo (autonomous docking, inductive charging of aMussels via aPad, environmental monitoring task, SMS communication, tweeting) were a complete success.
The subCULTron team had yet another successful workshop and general assembly in the first week of September 2016. This workshop was dedicated to reliability testing of first batch of ten aMussels. The workshop was held at the Brodarski Institute, Zagreb. The main focus of this workshop was to prepare for upcoming review and to identify possible weaknesses. Various tests such as autonomous docking, diving, interacting with humans via SMS, twitter etc were tested with very encouraging results.
The local news portal Zg-Magazin published a story about our ADORE project. You can read the full story here
Project MORUS internal workshop was held from 20.06. – 24.06.2016. at FER. The main purpose of the workshop was the knowledge transfer between the project partners as well as integration of developed software modules, particularly, the system state machine, models for Gazebo simulator and communication modules. On Thursday, 23.06.2016. the project partners visited lake Jarun where LABUST team demonstrated unmanned underwater vehicle behavior in the real world conditions.
As a member of European Control Association (EUCA) General Assembly, Prof. Stjepan Bogdan attended the meeting that was held during 2016 European Control Conference, that took place in Aalborg, Denmark. As a part of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles session at ECC2016, Prof. Bogdan presented paper “Human-in-the-Loop Control of Multi-Agent Aerial Systems”.
Three LARICS researchers and PhD students attended the 24th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, that took place on 21-24 June 2016 in Athens, Greece. Goran Vasiljević presented the paper “Model predictive control based torque vectoring algorithm for electric car with independent drives” by G. Vasiljević and S. Bogdan. Edin Kočo gave a presentation of the paper “Multiobjective locomotion optimization of quadruped robot with different 2DOF configurations of actuated spine” by E. Kočo and Z. Kovačić. Finally, Tomislav Haus presented the paper “A novel concept of attitude control for large multirotor-UAVs based on moving mass control” by T. Haus, N. Prkut, K. Borovina, B. Marić, M. Orsag and S. Bogdan.
This year LARICS students received again two Rector Awards; Tomislav Petkovic and Luka Petrovic mentored by Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, for their work “Decentralized Control of Multi-agent Robotic Systems”, and Luka Malovan and Mirko Kokot mentored by Prof. Zdenko Kovacic for their work “Robot Assisted Autism Diagnostics: Evaluation of Robot-child Interaction”. Here is the list of all LARICS laureates in the last 16 years: 2001 – Bruno Birgmajer; 2002 – Ivan Ljubic; 2003 – Goran Genter and Ranko Munk; 2005 – Alan Mutka, 2006 – Andrija Ersek and Ivana Palunko; 2007 – Maja Varga, Matko Orsag and Mario Dogan; 2008 – Davor Mihaljevic, Robert Rantes and Petar Mateljak; Zoran Vrhovski, Ivan Jakus and Natasa Kovjanovic; 2009 – Kristian Hengster Movric; 2011 – Grgo Cupic; Frano Petric and Ivan Rajkovic, 2012 – Josip Cesic, Jurica Goricanec, and Tomislav Haus; 2013 – Edin Koco. 2014 – Marko Car and Antun Ivanovic; Anja Babic and Nikola Jagodin, 2015 – Luka Fucek, Antun Vukicevic and Josip Vukicevic; Damir Mirkovic, 2016 – Tomislav Petkovic, Luka Petrovic, Luka Malovan and Mirko Kokot. It is worth to mention that we had also two recipients of the Rector Award in the pre-LARICS era, 1993 – Kresimir Mudrovcic and 1994 – Marinko Markic.
Prof. Zdenko Kovacic and Frano Petric participated as presenters at the Conference on Education, Innovation and Enterpreneurship organized by the Technical College in Bjelovar, Croatia. Prof. Kovacic held a lecture entitled “Autism and autism diagnostics with a robot evaluator”. Frano conducted a demonstration workshop “A robot as a friend”.
We are pleased to announce that the book chapter “Harmonization of Research and Development Activities Toward Standardization in the Automated Warehousing Systems” co-authored by Z. Kovačić, M. Butler, P. Lista, G. Vasiljević, I. Draganjac, D. Miklić, T. Petrović, and F. Petric has been just published in the book Autonomous Industrial Vehicles: From the Laboratory to the Factory Floor, Editor(s): R. Bostelman (NIST); E. Messina, ASTM International, pp. 106-128, April 2016 (available on-line: DOI:10.1520/STP159420150050). In this chapter, we describe some ideas of robotic system standardization based on the recently concluded research and development processes in the European FP7 project named EC-SAFEMOBIL, which was focused on estimation and control technologies for safe, wireless, high-mobility cooperative systems. In the given analysis of possible standardization of automated warehousing systems, we elaborate on ideas on how to overcome evident gaps between academic achievements and viable industry practice. Paying particular attention to process and development standards, as well as function-specific standards, we describe our view of reaching new standards in automated warehousing systems, particularly with a number of deployed automated guided vehicles (AGVs).
In front of the assessment committee (Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Prof. Zdenko Kovacic, and Prof. Ivana Palunko), LARICS PhD student Goran vasiljevic mentored by Prof. Kovacic successfully presented and defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation entitled „High precision markerless localization of mobile robots in indoor industrial environments“. The Committee agreed upon expected scientific contributions and thereafter, the Faculty Council and the Technical Committee of the University of Zagreb should still approve the given topic proposal. The aim of this doctoral dissertation is to extend the current state of the art in the indoor industrial environments and eliminate limitations present in current systems due to the use of marker-based localization solutions. Contribution is intended to be achieved by development and implementation of new localization methods, in order to achieve the accuracy required within specific industrial applications that can only be achieved using markers. Developed new methods are planned to be implemented on a real autonomous forklift and their performance validated in realistic indoor industrial conditions (automated warehouses).