Our NAO robots were a part of our Faculty stand 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 recent results in collaborative projects EUROC and MORUS. Presentation included both a live demo of wind turbine inspection, the work completed under EUROC project, as well as a display of MORUS UAV. Matko Orsag gave a talk entitled “Heterogeneous robotic systems for inspection and interaction with the environment”.
LARICS researchers visited production facilities of Croatian company Cromaris, which is a leading company in the aquaculture sector in Croatia and the Adriatic Sea.
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.
Frano was present at the Fifth Croatian Computer Vision Workshop, held on October 11, 2016 in Osijek. Frano presented his work entitled “Probabilistic Eye-Contact Detection for the Robot-assisted ASD Diagnostic protocol”, done withing the ADORE project. We would like to thank Visage Technologies for providing us with their face-tracking software.
Before her lecture on non-visual access to mathematical contents, professor Silvia Fajardo Flores from University of Colima – Faculty of Telematics, Mexico, visited our ACROSS laboratory and met our humanoid robots. She also took some time to talk to professor Kovacic about our work with the children with autism and exchange some ideas about potentials of using robots to help visually impaired people.
In front of the assessment committee (Prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Prof. Zdenko Kovacic, and Prof. Bojan Jerbic), LARICS PhD student Frano Petric mentored by Prof. Kovacic successfully presented and defended the topic of his doctoral dissertation entitled „Robot-assited Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnostics using POMDPs“. 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.
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 <a href=”http://zg-magazin.com.hr/robot-s-fer-a-mogao-bi-dijagnosticirati-autizam-kod-djece.