Following up on the second integration workshop, we held a press conference about the RoboHow project on February 27th. The robot presented its skills in flipping pancakes using a constraint-based controller developed in the RoboHow project and prepared popcorn for the journalists.
Last week, the 2nd joint integration workshop of the project took place in Bremen. PhD students and PostDocs from all project partners came to Bremen to work together to integrate their results and prepare the first review meeting.
Participants split up into five sub-groups focussing on different tasks within the project: Importing and representing tracking results from human demonstrations in the knowledge base, executing constraint-based movement descriptions from the plan-based controllers, grasp stability assessment, learning task involving force interaction from human demonstrations and integrating a new type of perception system into the plan-based controllers were the goals of the respective sub-groups.
Besides work on software integration, the workshop also featured scientific presentations and hands-on tutorials to foster knowledge transfer and the mutual understanding within the project. Looking back, the workshop was a huge success leaving all participants excited about the upcoming project milestones. We are looking forward to the next workshop which will be hosted by project partner KTH, in Stockholm.
The 3D hand tracking technology that has been developed partially within RoboHow by partner FORTH received the 1st place award at the CHALEARN Gesture Recognition Demonstration Competition, organized in conjunction with ICPR 2012, Nov 10-11 2012, Tsukuba, Japan.
FORTH provides a library and API of the 3D hand tracking software with a free license for non-commercial use. Versions for both MS Windows and Linux operating systems are available.
Following the move of Prof Michael Beetz and his research group from Technische Universität München (TUM) to University of Bremen (UniHB), UniHB is now coordinating the RoboHow project while TUM has left the consortium. We would like to express our thanks to everyone at TUM who helped and supported the project in its early stages. We would also like to thank everyone at the European Commission and UniHB involved in moving the project from TUM to UniHB.
At UniHB, work on RoboHow is continued by the Institute of Artificial Intelligence (IAI). The IAI is headed by Prof Beetz and continues the research of the Intelligent Autonomous Systems group (IAS). We are looking forward to welcoming all project partners in Bremen for the upcoming integration and software workshop next month.
We are happy to annouce that the first integration workshop of the project was very successfully. People engaged in mutual teaching activities, fruitful discussions on future research endavours and specified specific interfaces for collaboration.
As education activities several smaller workshops were conducted. The offered topics were an introduction of the ROS middleware, how the iTaSC framework and software can be used to specify desired robot motions, and best practices for collaboration of software projects. All of the respective teaching presentations are available online here.
Additionally, the consortium discussed several demonstration scenarios and their logistic and scientific consequences. As a result, it was decided to use the task of preparing popcorn with the PR2 as the overall theme for upcoming review meeting after year one of the project.
More details and the outcome of the partner discussions in the sub-groups can also be found on the workshop page.