ADORE Project news

HRI Pioneers workshop in Vienna

Frano attended HRI Pioneers workshop, presenting the poster "Robot-assisted Autism Spectrum Disrder Diagnostics using POMDPs". After the workshop, Frano attended the 2017 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction.

5th Croatian Computer Vision Workshop

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.

LARICS at the 1st Conference on Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Bjelovar

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”.

LARICS visited the Technical faculty and Alfanum in Novi Sad

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.

LARICS at the FER Job Fair

job fair fer larics laboratoryJob 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 also co-organized an open door event during Job Fair alongside Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies (LABUST) and the Laboratory for Autonomous Systems and Mobile Robots (LAMOR) as part of the brand.


LARICS at the Night of the Book event in the FER library

LARICS had a unique opportunity to participate in the “Night of the Book” event organized by the FER library dedicated to the 400th anniversary of W. Shakespeare’s birth. LARICS third-year undergraduate students (Brigita Vrbanec, Marko 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 “To be or not to be” projected on the projection screen.

Demonstration of NAO robots to scholars from primary school Fran Galovic

Frano Petric has been the demonstrator of small NAO humanoid robots to pupils from the primary school Fran Galovic from Zagreb. The visit of young scholars is a part of the STEM popularisation program Šuza supported by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing. It was interesting to read the impressions of the kids published on the school web page. This reminds us all to keep the spirit of child’s curiosity and happiness in seeing and learning new things.

University of Zagreb Fair

Two LARICS projects were selected to represent the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing on the University of Zagreb fair, which was held in the Student Centre from November 12-14, 2015.

High-school seniors and university students were able to see our quadruped walking robot Dynarobin and play tic-tac-toe with one of our NAO robots. We also showcased some of our research on the ADORE project. We got a lot of media coverage from major Croatian TV stations and were visited by the Rector of our University, professor Boras. Our excellent presentation was acknowledged with an award for best presentation.

Rene opens the Interliber fair

Nao at Interliber.

Nao announcing the Interliber fair.

Rene, the media darling among our Nao robots, was a special guest at the press conference that kicked off this year's Interliber, the 38th international book and teaching appliances fair. He was invited to announce the opening of the fair by reading a passage from The Little Prince, his favorite book. As an experienced media personality, he did not succumb to stage fright in front of the cameras and delivered a flawless reading performance, as you can  see for yourself. The story was covered by Croatia's most read daily newspaper, Večernji List and by the independent TV channel Mreža TV.

Together with Edith and Leclerc, Rene will entertain and educate the visitors of Interliber on Thursday, November 12 within the  Science corner program. Join us for a game of tic-tac-toe and a presentation of some of the skills our Nao robots have acquired within the ADORE project.

European Researchers’ Night in Zagreb

We are happy to have been a part of European Researchers’ Night, a manifestation that takes place every year on last Friday of September across Europe, with more than 30 countries and 300 cities involved. This year we were present with our NAO robots, showcasing our research on the ADORE project. Additionally, our ex-students presented the hexapod robot they developed while working on the graduate thesis and used this opportunity to promote their company and learning platform STEMI.

ADORE paper at ICIRA 2015

Frano Petric presented paper entitled “Towards a Robot-assisted Autism Diagnostic Protocol: Modelling and Assessment with POMDP” at the 8th International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Applications, held in Portsmouth, UK. The paper presented the system of automatic encoding of diagnostic tasks and is coauthored by Damjan Miklic, Domagoj Tolic, Zdenko Kovacic and our colleagues from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, Maja Cepanec and Sanja Simlesa.

Nao workshop held at IEEE Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress

CEuSYPLogoIEEE Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress was held in Zagreb from May 8 to 10, 2015, and was attended by 80 participants – student members and Young Professionals, as well as speakers, sections’ and Region 8 representatives from twelve IEEE Sections including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Invited by the Croatian IEEE section, Damjan and Frano prepared a workshop entitled Nao robots play tic-tac-toe with several hand-on excercises to introduce young IEEE members to programming of Nao robots, computer vision and artificial intelligence. While Damjan was busy giving statements to Croatian RTL television which aired on their main informative programme, Frano also got a chance to introduce our efforts on the ADORE project to the attendees of the workshop.

Croatian weekly magazine “Globus” published article about ADORE project

Globus naslovnica 07 May 2015 smallOn May 07, 2015, one of the best-selling Croatian weekly magazines Globus published an article about the use of NAO H25 humanoid robots for autism diagnostics in the LARICS project ADORE funded by the Croatian Science Foundation. The article was entitled "My doctor is robot". We would like to thank Tomislav Novak, a Globus journalist, for his enthusiasm to present our work and thus popularize robotics among the readers of the Globus magazine.

ADORE project presented on the N1 television show "Novi dan"

Newly started regional television N1 hosted Maja Cepanec and Frano Petric in their show "Novi dan" where they discussed ASD prevalence rates across Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia along with the first results of the ADORE project. Maja and Frano were acompanied by one of our Nao robots which demonstrated some of its features. Video from the show is available in Croatian here.

Poster presented at Autism 2014: Geneva Centre for Autism International Symposium

autism2014ADORE project team members from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences presented poster entitled “Challenges of using humanoid robots in the assessment of autism spectrum disorder“ at the AUTISM 2014: Geneva Centre for Autism International Symposium that was held from October 22-24 in Toronto, Canada.  Maja Cepanec and Sanja Šimleša (with broken leg!) presented poster describing current challenges our group is currently facing in the development of robot-based protocol for diagnosing autism in preschool children.  International symposium in Toronto had more than 1400 participants who presented ongoing research in the filed of autism spectrum disorder and examples of best clinical practice.


FraGHTC_Logo-bigno Petric attended the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, held in San Jose (CA), USA. Frano presented initial efforts and results of first clinical tests on the ADORE project  through a paper entitled "Four Tasks of a Robot-assisted Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic Protocol: First Clinical Tests".

ADORE presented at REHACARE 2014

ProfeZdenkoRehacaressor Zdenko Kovacic and Frano Petric went to Düsseldorf to present ADORE project on the REHACARE fair. We would like to thank Miroslav Vrankic from University of Rijeka, founder and CEO of E-GLAS, for the invitation to join him at the fair. Professor Kovacic used this opportunity to talk with Miroslav about possible use of the speech processing part of their Serwantess software in our ADORE applications.

ADORE project started

ADORE: Autism Diagnostic Observation with Robot Evaluator project funded by Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ-93743-2014) started today, with the signing of the contract between LARICS and HRZZ. The main goal of the project is to help clinicians from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences diagnose autism spectrum disorders more quickly and efficiently by using robots from Aldebaran Robotics. Through this project LARICS team will be working on developing a new set of motoric and cognitive skills for our humanoid robots.

ADORE project presented on Croatian national television

dobrojutrohrvatska_adoreThe daily TV show Dobro jutro Hrvatska (Good morning Croatia) invited assist. prof. Maja Cepanec (ERF-Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences), prof. Zdenko Kovacic and Frano Petric to say few words about a new project ADORE – Autism Diagnostic Observation with Robot Evaluator, financed by the Croatian Science Foundation in 2014-2018, in which LARICS' NAO robots play a central role. This is a multidisciplinary project carried out by top young researchers from ERF and LARICS in order to facilitate the diagnosing and treatment of Autism spectrum disorders by using robots as assistants. The feature can be viewed on the following link.

Zdenko Kovacic was a guest in TV broadcast “Drustvena mreza”

drustvenamrezaProf. Bojan Jerbic from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture and Prof. Zdenko Kovacic from LARICS were guests in the Croatian national television (HRT1) broadcast “Drustvena mreza”, where they discussed about cognitive abilities of nowadays and future robot generations. Prof. Kovacic briefly presented the goals of the project ADORE – Autism Diagnostic Obervation with Robot Evaluator, accepted for funding by the Croatian Science Foundation.

NAO robots featured on Croatian national television

Theadore_tv1 daily TV show Hrvatska uživo (Croatia live) aired a feature about a new project in the making in which LARICS' Nao robots play a central role. The proposed project is based on interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences and LARICS laboratory and aims to facilitate the diagnosing and treatment of Autism spectrum disorders by using robots as assistants. The feature can be viewed through the Croatian television VOD channel (airdate 27.11.2013., feature starts at 00:33:28).