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.
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).
On May 23rd, Jutarnji list, one of the most prominent Croatian newspaper published an article about subCULTron project. Featured on the front page, it encompasses an extensive interview with our own Prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Asst. Prof. Nikola Mišković from Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies, LABUST. The article provided a great visibility to the project and yielded many positive reactions. Other LARICS members working on subCULTron project are Tamara Petrović, Goran Vasiljević and Barbara Arbanas.
This year’s ICRA conference (IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation) held from 16th until 21st of May 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden was attended by multiple members of LARICS team. Matko Orsag, Tamara Petrović, Karlo Griparić, Tomislav Haus, Edin Kočo, Antun Ivanović, Barbara Arbanas and Marko Car participated in various conference activities.
In a short three minute presentation, Barbara presented the paper Aerial-ground robotic system for autonomous delivery tasks and was later joined by her coauthors Matko, Tamara, Tomislav, Antun and Marko in a forty minute interactive session, where conference attendees could ask questions about the presented paper in more detail.
Matko, Tamara, Karlo and Tomislav took part in “Nature vs. Nurture in Robotics” workshop, where they presented ASSISIbf project with a poster accompanied with a short presentation. They also attended a panel discussion on the same subject.
Conference was an overall success as we were able to present our laboratory to the community, as well as introduce the robotics@FER.hr brand which joins forces of three robotics labs from our faculty — LARICS, LABUST (Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies) and LAMOR (Laboratory for Autonomous Systems and Mobile Robots).
One of the key components in the interaction of NAO robots and children is a vocal communication. In the protocol for diagnostics of autism adapted for NAO robots, the tasks like Call by name require vocal communication in Croatian language. NAO robots speak French and English very fine, but they do not speak Croatian. Here comes the reason why Prof. Kovacic, Dr. Damjan Miklic and Frano Petric gladly accepted an invitation to visit the laboratories of the Technical Faculty in Novi Sad and the company Alfanum, a regional leader in speech communication technologies. Thanks to the agreement to start the collaboration between two parties, our NAO robots now speak Croatian very well and we are going to teach them to understand some Croatian vocabulary that is most often used by small children. We would like to thank Prof. Vlado Delic and Darko Pekar from Alfanum for their full openness and warm welcome.
Paper “New Variable Passive-compliant Element Design for Quadruped Adaptation to Stiffness-varying Terrain”, written by Edin Koco, Alan Mutka and Prof. Zdenko Kovacic is now published online in the International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems. The paper presents the design of a novel variable passive-compliant (VPC) element utilized as a lower-leg implant of a fully electrically driven quadruped robot. It is designed as a slider-piston mechanism which ensures that the force produced during a foot-ground contact is directly perpendicular to the contact surface of an actuated revolute spring. In this way, by altering the stiffness of quadruped legs in a closed-loop manner, the VPC element enables the quadruped robot to adapt to varying terrain characteristics, ensuring a constant hopping frequency over a wide range of terrain-stiffness variations.
Paper “High-accuracy vehicle localization for autonomous warehousing”, written by Goran Vasiljevic, Damjan Miklic, Ivica Draganjac and prof. Zdenko Kovacic will be published in the Robotics and Computer-integrated manufacturing journal. The paper presents the algorithm stack for high-precision autonomous vehicle localization, developed within the FP7 EC-SAFEMOBIL project. The proposed methodology satisfies the industrial requirements for localization accuracy and has been verified by extensive experiments in realistic industrial conditions. Full paper can be accessed via the following link, which will be available until July 3, 2016.
Prof. Zdenko Kovacic, Goran Vasiljevic and Edin Koco participated in the kick-off meeting of the new LARICS project ADELE organized in the Ford Research Centre in Aaachen. This was the opportunity to introduce our side better and to discuss with our partners from Ford first steps to be taken in the project. Being primarily focused on the LNT (Lean NOx Trap) models, the task of the project is to establish methods and algorithms for optimal transfer of the measured data into the existing models using the evolutionary learning methods. Aachen is a very attractive place to be with the famous Aachen cathedral (Dom), built by Charlemagne in the 8th century, being for centuries the coronation church of more than 30 German kings.
Job Fair is the event organized by FER seen in the eyes of students as a unique opportunity for them to meet potential future employers. This year FER was present also as an employer offering a number of vacant positions, from doctoral to postdoctoral. Ever since our postdoctorand Domagoj Tolic left to Dubrovnik, LARICS is offering a free postdoctoral position at the project ADORE. Therefore, Prof. Zdenko Kovacic and Dr. Damjan Miklić took part in the FER Job Fair and at the FER’s stand presented the ADORE project to the interested parties and distributed leaflets hoping to attract the right person for the project.
LARICS had a unique opportunity to participate in the “Night of the Book” event organized by the FER library dedicated to the 400th anniversary of W. Shakespeare’s death. LARICS third-year undergraduate students (Brigita Vrbanec, Marko Kovacevic, Zvonimir Kunstek and Dominik Petrovic) played a scene from Karel Capek’s play R.U.R. together with NAO robots. Also, one of NAO robots demonstrated its ability to read Hamlet’s famous words “To be or not to be” projected on the screen.
Matko Orsag, LARICS postdoctoral researcher, gave an Inaugural lecture at UNIZG-FER titled “Description of Object Images using the Moments Method” as a part of the undergraduate course Robotics practicum. The lecture was held successfully in front of an assessment committee, professors, researchers and undergraduate students.