7 New Papers that have high Potential Impact on the Robotics Field

7 New Papers that have high Potential Impact on the Robotics Field

International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), starting on 26th May 2015, selected seven outstanding papers for the best Conference paper award. These papers can change or will be able to change in near future the research and innovation in Robotics field. The finalists for the Best Conference Paper Award are the following:

  1. Control of Generalized Contact Motion and Force in Physical Human-Robot Interaction

    • Abstract: During human-robot interaction tasks, a human may physically touch a robot and engage in a collaboration phase with exchange of contact forces and/or requiring coordinated motion of a common contact point. Under the premise of keeping the interaction safe, the robot controller should impose a desired motion/force behavior at the contact or explicitly regulate the contact forces. Since intentional contacts may occur anywhere along the robot structure, the ability of controlling generalized contact motion and force becomes an essential robot feature. In our recent work, we have shown how to estimate contact forces without an explicit force sensing device, relying on residual signals to detect contact and on the use of an external (depth) sensor to localize the contact point. Based on this result, we introduce two control schemes that generalize the impedance and direct force control paradigms to a generic contact location on the robot, making use of the estimated contact forces. The issue of human-robot task compatibility is pointed out in case of control of generalized contact forces. Experimental results are presented for a KUKA LWR robot using a Kinect sensor.
      • Authors:Magrini, Emanuele; Flacco, Fabrizio; De Luca, Alessandro
      • Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
  2. Flight Control Systems of a Quad Tilt Rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for a Large Attitude Change

    • Abstract: Quad tilt rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) solves the problem of underacuated system in general quadrotor UAV. The quad tilt rotor UAV can control position and attitude independently by tilting directions of propellers.However, the flight control system in a wide range of attitudes has not been discussed yet, e.g. a UAV flying and hovering with a 90 degree pitch angle and can flip over when the range of the tilting motor rotates wide enough. In this paper, we present the attitude transition flight control system for pitch angles ranging from 0 to 90 degree since flight condition with a 90 degree pitch angle significantly differs from that in a conventional quadrotor UAV flight, and then an adequate control system and sufficient experimental validation are necessary for stable flight in wide range of attitude conditions.
  3. An Online and Approximate Solver for POMDPs with Continuous Action Space

    • Abstract: For agile, accurate autonomous robotics, it is desirable to plan motion in the presence of uncertainty. The Partially Observable Markov Decision Process (POMDP) pro- vides a principled framework for this. Despite the tremendous advances of POMDP-based planning, most can only solve problems with a small and discrete set of actions. This paper presents General Pattern Search in Adaptive Belief Tree (GPS- ABT), an approximate and online POMDP solver for problems with continuous action spaces. Generalized Pattern Search (GPS) is used as a search strategy for action selection. Under certain conditions, GPS-ABT converges to the optimal solution in probability. Results on a box pushing and an extended Tag benchmark problem are promising.
  4. Learning Legged Swimming Gaits from Experience

    • Abstract: We present an end-to-end framework for realizing fully automated gait learning for a complex underwater legged robot. Using this framework, we demonstrate that a hexapod flipper-propelled robot can learn task-specific control policies purely from experience data. Our method couples a state-of-the-art policy search technique with a family of periodic low-level controls that are well suited for underwater propulsion. We demonstrate the practical efficacy of tabula rasa learning, that is, learning without the use of any prior knowledge, of policies for a six-legged swimmer to carry out a variety of acrobatic maneuvers in three dimensional space. We also demonstrate informed learning that relies on simulated experience from a realistic simulator. In numerous cases, novel emergent gait behaviors have arisen from learning, such as the use of one stationary flipper to create drag while another oscillates to create thrust. Similar effective results have been demonstrated in under-actuated configurations, where as few as two flippers are used to maneuver the robot to a desired pose, or through an acrobatic motion such as a corkscrew. The success of our learning framework is assessed both in simulation and in the field using an underwater swimming robot.
      • Authors:- Meger, David Paul; Gamboa Higuera, Juan Camilo; Xu, Anqi; Giguere, Philippe (University Laval, Canada); Dudek, Gregory
      • McGill University, Canada
  5. Observability, Identifiability and Sensitivity of Vision-Aided Inertial Navigation

    • Abstract: We analyze the observability of 3-D pose from the fusion of visual and inertial sensors. Because the model contains unknown parameters, such as sensor biases, the problem is usually cast as a mixed filtering/identification, with the resulting observability analysis providing necessary conditions for convergence to a unique point estimate. Most models treat sensor bias rates as “noise,” independent of other states, including biases themselves, an assumption that is patently violated in practice. We show that, when this assumption is lifted, the resulting model is not observable, and therefore existing analyses cannot be used to conclude that the set of states that are indistinguishable from the measurements is a singleton. In other words, the resulting model is not observable. We therefore re-cast the analysis as one of sensitivity: Rather than attempting to prove that the set of indistinguishable trajectories is a singleton, we derive bounds on its volume, as a function of characteristics of the sensor and other sufficient excitation conditions. This provides an explicit characterization of the indistinguishable set that can be used for analysis and validation purposes.
  6. An Untethered Miniature Origami Robot that Self-folds, Walks, Swims, and Degrades

    • Abstract: A miniature robotic device that can fold-up on the spot, accomplish tasks, and disappear by degradation into the environment promises a range of medical applications but has so far been a challenge in engineering. This work presents a sheet that can self-fold into a functional 3D robot, actuate immediately for untethered walking and swimming, and subsequently dissolve in liquid. The developed sheet weighs 0.31g, spans 1.7cm square in size, features a cubic neodymium magnet, and can be thermally activated to self-fold. Since the robot has asymmetric body balance along the sagittal axis, the robot can walk at a speed of 3.8 body-length/s being remotely controlled by an alternating external magnetic field. We further show that the robot is capable of conducting basic tasks and behaviors, including swimming, delivering/carrying blocks, climbing a slope, and digging. The developed models include an acetone-degradable version, which allows the entire robot’s body to vanish in a liquid. We thus experimentally demonstrate the complete life cycle of our robot: self-folding, actuation, and degrading.
      • Authors: Miyashita, Shuhei; Guitron, Steven; Ludersdorfer, Marvin (Tech. University München, Germany); Sung, Cynthia; Rus, Daniela
      • MIT, USA
  7. Case study in non-prehensile manipulation: planning and orbital stabilization of one-directional rollings for the “Butterfly” robot

    • Abstract: We approach a problem of motion planning and stabilization for a benchmark example, known as the “Butterfly” robot. It was proposed as a benchmark challenge for developing systematic techniques for nonprehensile rolling manipulation. A dynamical model of the underactuated system with a non-unilateral contact is derived. The recently proposed methodologies, known as virtual-holonomic-constraints-based motion planning and transverse-linearization-based orbital stabilization, are appropriately extended to suit the task. Finally, the feasibility is demonstrated through a hardware implementation and an experimental validation of the concept.
      • Authors:- Surov, Maksim (National Res. University of Information Tech. Mechan, Russia); Shiriaev, Anton (Norwegian University of Science and Tech, Norway); Freidovich, Leonid (Umeå University, Sweden); Gusev, Sergei (St. Petersburg State University, Russia); Paramonov, Leonid (NTNU, Norway)

Photo: ICRA – 2015                                  Source: ICRA – 2015

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