Our open and ongoing projects in this area are listed below, together with a selection of completed projects where relevant.

Robot, bring me... my glasses: Mixed air and ground assistive teams

Robots that assist elderly or disabled persons, or even anyone in their day-to-day tasks, can lead to a huge improvement in quality of life. At ROCON we are pursuing domestic mobile manipulators, as well as UAVs for monitoring the persons. Our next goal is to integrate these two platforms into an overall framework that will both monitor the persons and assist them on the ground.

Optimistic planning with constant control over multiple time steps (OSP)

Optimistic Planning for Deterministic Systems (OPD) is an algorithm designed to deal with very general control problems, usually at high computational costs. However, there exist specific classes of “simpler” problems to which OPD can be adapted, reaching good performance with less computation than the original OPD. This project focuses on one such type of adaptation: namely, to extend the OPD planning algorithm to the class of control problems that prefers long ranges of repeated actions.

Autonomous Guidance of a quadcopter based on vanishing point detection.

Unmanned aerial vehicles are increasingly being used and showing their advantages in many domains. However, their application to railway systems is very little studied. In this paper, we focus on controlling an AR.Drone UAV in order to follow the railway track.

Localization and Mapping with NI Mobile Robot

This project has its main goal the mapping and localization of a mobile robot from the National Instruments in a flat 2D environment. Standard techniques are envisaged in order to create a 2D environment map and to use this in further steps for localization.

In order to apply to this project, the ideal candidate should be open-minded, challenge facing and hardworking personality. Additional knowledge of C++ and VI is a plus. The project is planned to be partially done at the office of NI at Cluj-Napoca.

Robot controller Over-the-Air firmware update module

An over-the-air system update process is required for many applications. A robust mechanism is recommended to update system firmware remotely to fix bugs and make important software updates. The project goal is to implement a software module for ARM based microcontrollers used in robotic applications to change the application logic. The application running on the controller is based on functional blocks/tables stored in the microcontroller flash memory.

Generic robot communication profile

We intend to develop a new communication profile for robotic applications. This profile will include standard interfaces and definition of devices to allow communication between different types of robot controllers. The profile will define the communication logic bewteen different controllers and will run on the higher levels of the controller software stack. The project result shall be a C-based software module portable to any Embedded C controller application. Preliminary results will be tested on ARM based microcontrollers.

Shape Based Active Perception

Perception for artificial systems is increasingly gaining importance especially for systems with multiple sensors. For example, the autonomous vehicles equipped with camera, lidar, inertial measurement units, positioning systems etc are becoming popular. More importantly they are using the information from the multiple sources in the mean time, in the same coordinate system in order to gain information about the environment. Thus, the need for fusing the information from several sources in a common space for reasoning purposes is crucial.

Active Perception for Flexible Object Handling in Smart Manufacturing

Intelligent object handling is becoming a must in a smart manufacturing system especially with the recent appearance of the motion compliant dual handed industrial robotic systems. Also the enhanced 3D sensing capabilities from the robotics domain enables us to reconsider our view about the smart manufacturing by enabling on the fly spatial perception of the robot working space.

Robot pose estimation in 3D using tracking cameras

Robot localization in 3D space is an essential task for many applications in this research field. One of the possible ways to achieve this is to use a camera network, i.e. a set of interconnected cameras which can precisely detect and track the position of an object in the 3D space. 

Vision and control for autonomous UAVs

A wide variety of UAV tasks involve detecting and tracking an object, and then controlling a desired UAV trajectory relative to this object. Examples include following a person, video inspection of an object in the environment, etc. This project is for a team of at least two students, one working on detection, and the other on control.

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