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Workshop
SAC2018-IRMAS
Webpage

The Institute of Systems and Robotics is co-organizing a technical track on Intelligent Robotics and Multi-Agent Systems (IRMAS) at the 33rd ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC 2018). The SAC has been a primary gathering forum for applied computer scientists, computer engineers, software engineers, and application developers from around the world. SAC 2018 is sponsored by the ACM Special Interest Group on Applied Computing (SIGAPP), and will be held in Pau, France, on April 2018. In SAC 2015, the technical track on Intelligent Robotics and Multi-Agent Systems (IRMAS) joined the former tracks on Intelligent Robotic Systems (ROBOT) and Cooperative Multi-Agent Systems and Applications (CMASA) which had been organized as separate technical tracks in past editions of SAC. In SAC 2018, the IRMAS track will be organized for the fourth time, exploiting the inherent synergy between Robotics and Multi-Agent Systems, thus aiming to bring together these highly related and exciting research fields.

More information at http://ap.isr.uc.pt/events/sac2018-irmas/

Past Events

Workshop
AP4ISR Open Day 2017

The AP4ISR Team is hosting it's Open Day on the 21st of June, 2017. Come by the lab at around 2:30pm for a number of demonstrations performed by our MSc students, of attend the talks that will be given during the morning.

More info on the event, including the full schedule, can be found on the flyer (download)

Workshop
SAC2017-IRMAS
Webpage

The Institute of Systems and Robotics is co-organizing a technical track on Intelligent Robotics and Multi-Agent Systems (IRMAS) at the 32nd ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC2017). The SAC has been a primary gathering forum for applied computer scientists, computer engineers, software engineers, and application developers from around the world. SAC 2017 is sponsored by the ACM Special Interest Group on Applied Computing (SIGAPP), and will be held in Marrakech, Morocco, on March 2017. In SAC2015, the technical track on Intelligent Robotics and Multi-Agent Systems (IRMAS) joined the former tracks on Intelligent Robotic Systems (ROBOT) and Cooperative Multi-Agent Systems and Applications (CMASA) which had been organized as separate technical tracks in past editions of SAC. In SAC2017, the IRMAS track will be organized for the third time, exploiting the inherent synergy between Robotics and Multi-Agent Systems, thus aiming to bring together these highly related and exciting research fields.

Competition
MBZIRC: Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge
Webpage

The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) is an international robotics competition, to be held every two years with total prize and team sponsorship of USD 5 Million.

Robotics has the potential to have an impact that is as transformative as the internet, with robotics technology poised to fuel a broad range of next-generation products and applications in a diverse array of fields. Robotic competitions in the past few decades have been a catalyst that has accelerated the rate of technological advancements in the field of robotics and autonomous systems.

Seminar
User-Adaptive Robotic Systems, a seminar by Gonçalo S. Martins

As robots transition from research and industrial environments to user's homes, the research community has been addressing the issue of adaptivity in order to make robots more compliant and acceptable to the users.

In order to ensure a satisfactory interaction, an intelligent system can employ any known relevant characteristics of the user in order to adapt its communication strategy. This idea, known as User-Adaptive Interfaces in the field of Human-Computer Interaction, is an emerging trend in Robotics. Preliminary studies report that users tend to prefer adaptive systems, and that these systems are able to improve the performance cooperative tasks shared by users and robots.

The goal of this talk is to provide an overview of the current state of the art in User-Adaptive Robots, with a focus on systems actually implemented in robots.

The overview is split into two. Firstly, a scientific overview is provided, based on a survey of recent Robotics literature. Secondly, a technological overview is discussed, set on the principles of the Technology Readiness Levels. We end by discussing the research and technological gaps we have found, paving the way for future work.

Seminar
Optimizing Learning Procedures Using Surprisal, a seminar by Gonçalo S. Martins

Modern machine learning techniques require large amounts of labelled data in order to achieve interesting results. In this talk we present a novel methodology for coping with this issue, by reducing the amount of training data fed to a classifier while maintaining acceptable classification performance. We have investigated the correlation between the surprisal measurement and the classifier's learning curve, and have developed a technique to filter non-informative samples from a dataset. Our methodology was tested in Bayesian classifiers in simulated trials and using a previously-established action description technique. Results show that, in these conditions, we can effectively use the surprisal measurement to drastically reduce the necessary training data while maintaining acceptable classifier performance.

External lecture
Beyond Moore’s Law and Rebooting Computing with Probabilistic Machines, a talk by Prof. Jorge Lobo
Webpage

We propose Probabilistic Machines that can make a difference for robots that operate in an uncertain world. Moore’s Law allowed us to have smart robots, but uncertainty and incompleteness in models and systems used in robotics lead to heavy computations, requiring power hungry heavy machines. If we look at nature and biology, things can be done in other ways. We revisit the correctness contract between hardware and software, and propose Bayesian probabilistic machines using stochastic computing. The BAMBI project is presented BAMBI (EU FET project, Bottom-up Approaches to Machines dedicated to Bayesian Inference), showing recent results that enable the final goal of having efficient robots dwelling in uncertainty but dealing with it!

Presentation slides can be found here.
External lecture
Invited talk by Prof. João Filipe Ferreira at the RobotCraft2016 event (hosted by Ingeniarius at the DEEC, FCTUC)
Webpage

At the Forefront of Robotics - History, Trends, Examples and Opportunities in Portugal for Innovators in STEM

Robotics currently seems ripe with opportunities. As a matter of fact, in recent years, an increasing amount of dissemination of developments in this field has been aired throughout mass-media channels, ranging from short news-flashes on recent advances to full-blown documentaries, such as the BBC's 2013 documentary "How Robots Will Change the World", adding to this science-fiction works for the big screen portraying the impact of robotics in the "near future", such as "Robot & Frank" in 2012, or "Ex Machina" in 2015. Is all this hype really justified? What are the opportunities that robotics actually provides for innovators in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)? And what about in our own country, Portugal?

In this talk, I will attempt to provide a couple of directions in order for you, the audience, to find your own paths towards answering these questions. I will do this by presenting a (very short) overview of the History of the advances in this field, followed by a few considerations over possible routes for innovation in the near future, while attempting to bypass the effect of the "rose-coloured glasses" through which the media tend to approach these issues. Then, I will present the Portuguese Chapter of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) and talk about the benefits of collaborating or joining, and finish by talking about current work being carried out by the Artificial Perception for Intelligent Systems and Robotics (AP4ISR) team at the Institute of Systems and Robotics of the University of Coimbra as an example of concrete, enthralling research that one can pursue in this field.

Seminar
Fault-tolerant adaptive area coverage

Abstract:
Multi-robot coverage is an essential requirement in many applications, which can be achieved by decomposing a region into cells or polygons and assigning robots to cover these cells. During the operation, agents can fail, resulting in partial coverage. In addition, communication range may be limited. Under these conditions, the faulty agent must be discovered quickly and its area must be redistributed between the rest of the working agents. In this talk, I will discuss some of the fault tolerant algorithms that we have developed for under limited communication constraints and area redistribution without conflicts.

Short Bio:
P.B. Sujit is an Assistant Professor at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, New Delhi, India, and visiting Scientist at FEUP, University of Porto. He received Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, in 2006. Earlier, he was a Research Scientist at FEUP and Post-Doctoral Fellow at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. His research interests include unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles, multi-robot systems, and human-robot interaction.

Seminar
Personality Profiling and User-Adaptable Behavior, a seminar by Gonçalo S. Martins

Nowadays, interactive systems seem to be increasingly tailored to the needs and tastes of the user. Systems learn from the interactions and data they share with their users in order to adjust their actions to their needs. These services have access to a significant amount of information such as their users' schedules, messaging and e-mail histories, etc. On the other hand, service robots, namely in the field of Ambient Assisted Living, are usually designed to perform within a very strict operational envelope and require all knowledge to be known and locally pre-programmed.

This talk presents the author's past year of work on the issues of Personality Profiling and Interaction Regulation, emphasizing the usage of past work as a stepping stone for further research efforts aiming at pushing the boundaries of current scientific knowledge and at being a step towards the democratization of domestic robot use.

Seminar
Distributed Bayesian-based Multi-Label Classification Framework: Application to Social Robots, a seminar by Luís Santos

In this work we propose a distributed Bayesian-based multi-label classifier to perform inference on a person daily behaviour (routine) model, based on multi- modal input data. The model fuses local perceived information such as facial expression or recognized speech with remotely classified information coming, in this specific implementation, from a cloud server, such as recognized objects or the person’s personal agenda or preferences. The benefits of the proposed distributed classification framework are, for once that the proposed multi-label classification scheme is applied to infer a comprehensive description of a person daily behaviour, addressing the questions Who, Why, How, When and What simultaneously, and secondly that the computational effort can be distributed between a robot and a cloud. We propose to solve our problem in two steps based on the principles of Binary Relevance and Label Power-set: (1) a label classification is used to filter input instances into independent labels; (2) the algorithm will map the labels into an hyper-label space, where each hyper-label represents the behaviour which maximizes input instance correlations. This method enables a robot to capture user typical behaviour and identify abnormal situations that might demand a range of care-giver interventions.

Internal Event
AP4ISR MSc Mid-Term Day
Seminar
Exploring Immersive Interfaces for Teleoperation, a seminar by Luís Almeida

The research explores means to induce the sense of tele-presence in remote robot tele-operations. By letting the operator feel the experience of being in the remote environment, his control actions can be simplified. The principle aims to virtually transfer the operator to the remote robot, to improve robot operations. We focus on the design and evaluation of new immersive interacting mechanism for tele-operating a remote robot. Results shows a minimization of cognitive workload and improvements in the task performance.

Workshop
ACM SAC 2016 - Track on Intelligent Robotics and Multi-Agent Systems (IRMAS)
Webpage
xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" xmlns:w="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" xmlns:m="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/2004/12/omml" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40"> Intelligent Robotics and Multi-Agent Systems

The ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC) has been a primary gathering forum for applied computer scientists, computer engineers, software engineers, and application developers from around the world. SAC 2016 is sponsored by the ACM Special Interest Group on Applied Computing (SIGAPP).

Robotics is a multidisciplinary research area that presents an enormous potential. It concerns about developing intelligent robotic systems that are capable of making decisions and acting autonomously in real and unpredictable environments to accomplish tasks and assist humans in relevant application domains for society. Several complex problems require the use of teams of cooperative robots that share some of the same challenges approached by multi-agent systems.

Multi-agent systems (MAS) are groups of intelligent agents that can perceive and act in a given environment to achieve their individual and collective goals. MAS enable solving problems that are beyond the individual capabilities and knowledge of single agents, not suffering from resource limitations, performance bottlenecks, or critical failures usually found in centralized problem solvers. Multi-robot systems are often used to evaluate and validate MAS with physical robot platforms.

For many years, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers have worked separately in these fields, both fields have matured enormously, and today there is a growing interest in getting the two fields together. Many in Robotics believe that the focus in the near future should be adding capabilities to robots that lie at the core of AI research. Reciprocally, AI researchers aim at embedding their techniques in physical robots that can perceive, reason and act in real, dynamic physical environments. Despite this mutual interest, although there are many conferences focusing either on Robotics or AI separately, there is a lack of scientific venues where both communities can meet. The purpose of this track is therefore to provide a venue to exploit synergies between intelligent robotics and MAS, i.e. between Robotics and AI in general, bringing together researchers from both fields to share experiences, expose issues, and discuss about these exciting fields.

Topics of Interest


Autonomous robotic systems

Multi-agent systems (MAS) theory

Human-robot interaction

Cooperative robotics and cooperative MAS

Multi-robot systems

Coordination and cooperation

Distributed control architectures

Human-robot team interaction

Real-world applications of MAS

Self-adaptation and learning

MAS in mobile ad-hoc sensor networks


Robot localization, mapping and navigation

Artificial perception and computer vision

Field robotic applications

Deployment, coverage and patrolling

Evolutionary robotics and swarm robotics

Humanoid robots

Social and service robotics

Entertainment and educational robots

Micro and nano robotics

Robotic dexterous grasping

Simulation and programming tools for MAS

 


Important Dates

September 11, 2015

:

Paper submission

November 13, 2015

:

Acceptance notification

December 11, 2015

:

Camera-ready submission

 

Original papers addressing the listed topics of interest will be considered. Each submitted paper will be fully refereed and undergo a blind review process by at least three referees. Paper size is limited to 6 pages. A maximum of 2 additional pages may be included for an additional fee. The reviews will be double-blind: authors’ names and affiliations must not appear in the paper and self-citations should be in the third person.

Accepted papers will be published in the ACM SAC 2016 proceedings. Registration for the conference is strictly required by at least one of the authors or a proxy, who must attend SAC and present the paper. This is a requirement for the paper to be included in the ACM/IEEE digital library.

Graduate students are invited to submit research abstracts (maximum 2 pages) to the Student Research Competition (SRC), following the instructions published at SAC 2016 website.

Track Website

http://ap.isr.uc.pt/events/sac2016-irmas

Track Chairs


Rui P. Rocha

University of Coimbra, Portugal

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Christopher D. Kiekintveld

Univ. of Texas at El Paso, TX, USA

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

M. Ani Hsieh

Drexel University, PA, USA

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Seminar
Immersive Virtual Reality Systems for Therapy, a seminar by Bruno Patrão

Virtual reality has been establishing itself as a powerful tool for the treatment of panic disorder and anxiety. Research carried out so far, witch uses virtual reality for exposure therapy, demonstrated the potential of this technology for the treatment of various types of phobias. In this work we will focus on the development of mixed reality-based systems suitable for the use in psychological therapies in two parts. First, we aim to develop an innovative framework that allows the creation and manipulation of experiments oriented to psychological therapy. Second, we will explore the body motion analysis and bio signals data for emotion/affect recognition. These experiments will be tested and evaluated in real scenarios by therapists with clinical patients. The results from this work will enable the assessment of the efficacy and its improvements in order to apply, in a generalized way, to individuals with emotional, behavioural and psychological problems

External lecture
Inauguration of the Service and Product Innovation Lab, including a lecture by Prof. Paulo Menezes
Webpage

Prof. Paulo Menezes will give a lecture entitled "A realidade pode ser virtual? Da criação das sensações à sua exploração" at the University of Porto, in an event associated with the inauguration of the Laboratório de Inovação de Produtos e Serviços (Service and Product Innovation Lab.), FEUP. More information and registration here.

Symposium
1st Joint UAE Symposium on Social Robotics
Webpage

United Arab Emirates University and New York University Abu Dhabi have joined forces in organizing the “1st Joint UAE Symposium on Social Robotics”. As part of the “Innovation Week”, the inaugural conference, held under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, is organized with the collaboration of Italian Embassy to Abu Dhabi. It features a multidisciplinary program that brings together renowned engineers, roboticists, and social scientists from UAE and from across the globe to discuss the state of the art in social robotics. Join us at the multi-site event at UAEU, Al Ain (November 22nd, 2015) and at NYUAD, Saadiyat Island (November 23rd, 2015). Meet the experts, learn about their research, and discuss the latest innovations in the field.

Registration is mandatory to attend: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Download the Programme
Workshop
Robotic endoscopic capsules for gastrointestinal screening, diagnosis and therapy: achievements and future challenges
Webpage

Gastrointestinal endoscopy dates back to the 1860s, but many of the most significant advancements have been made within the past decade. Wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE), a revolutionary clinical alternative to traditional flexible scopes, enables inspection of the digestive system with minimal discomfort for the patient or the need for sedation, mitigating some of the risks of flexible endoscopy. Although WCE has entered the medical scene as a disruptive technology, it presents a number of limitations, e.g., the impossibility to actively control locomotion and camera orientation, which leads to low diagnostic specificity and false-positive results. Therefore, the natural evolution of clinical WCE consists of integrating mechanisms for closed-loop active locomotion and providing the capsule with sensors and tools for diagnosis and therapy.

We propose addressing a wide range of open challenges about robotic endoscopic capsule in a dedicated workshop at IROS. Ranging from active locomotion mechanisms to sensing and therapeutic modules, the topics of interest will cover key aspects of smart robotic devices for gastrointestinal procedures. In the morning, a keynote presentation is followed by three technical sessions: i) capsules and novel flexible endoscopic devices, ii) robotic locomotion for active endoscopic capsules and iii) sensing and therapeutic modules. We will call for posters and the best poster will be selected by the workshop attendees; the winner will be announced by the end of the workshop. The current and future challenges will be discussed in a panel discussion with all invited speakers and the attendees of the workshop. To represent the current research trends, we design a combination of invited talks: invited speakers will include experts with an engineering and medical background.

Workshop
UCBI 2015: workshop on Unconventional Computing for Bayesian Inference/IROS 2015
Webpage

This workshop will address unconventional computing for Bayesian inference, with keynote speakers on Bayesian inference for autonomous robots, and insights form computational biology, as well as presentations of submitted works, aiming to encourage these Bayesian and unconventional computing approaches to the IROS community.

Invited Speakers

Jacques Droulez, "Bayesian computing in biology"

Pierre Bessière, "Bayesian Programming for Robotics"

João Filipe Ferreira, "Probabilistic Approaches for Robotic Perception"

Jorge Dias, "Probabilistic Approaches for Robotic Perception"

Submissions

The workshop on unconventional computing for Bayesian inference invites submissions of full papers or extended abstracts for poster presentation. Topics include, but are not strictly limited to:

* Low power computing solutions for Bayesian inference

* Parallel architectures and unconventional computing for Bayesian inference

* Stochastic computing for Bayesian inference

* Autonomous robots performing Bayesian inference with limited resources

* Insights from computational biology for Bayesian computing

* Bayesian programming for robotics

* Bayesian models for robotic perception and cognition

Submission should follow the conference format , 6 page for the full papers and 2 page for extended abstracts, and submitted via easychair https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ucbi2015. For any help or further details please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Important dates

Submission deadline: July 6

Notification of acceptance: July 31

Camera ready submission: September 1

Workshop day: September 28

Abstract

Contemporary robots and other cognitive artifacts are not available to autonomously operate in complex environments. The major reason for this failure is the lack of cognitive systems able to efficiently deal with uncertainty when behaving in real world situations.

One of the challenges of robotics is endowing devices with adequate computational power to dwell in uncertainty and decide with incomplete data, with limited resources and power, as we and biological beings have done for a long time.

To deal with incompleteness and uncertainty probabilistic Bayesian approaches have been pursued, with outstanding results. However, all these works, even if they propose probabilistic models, still rely on a classical computing paradigm that imposes a bottleneck on the performance and scalability. Improved and novel electronic devices have opened the spectrum of devices available for computation, such as GPUs, FPGAs, hybrid systems, allowing unconventional approaches to better explore parallelization and tackle power consumption. The flexibility of current reprogrammable logic devices provides a test bed for novel stochastic processors and unconventional computing.

The workshop will address recent advances and future directions of probabilistic computing for robotics, with keynote speakers on Bayesian inference for autonomous robots, and insights form computational biology, as well as presentations of submitted works, setting the floor for fruitful discussions and insights in this bridge topic.

Organisers

Jorge Lobo, ISR - University of Coimbra (Contact person: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

João Filipe Ferreira, ISR - University of Coimbra

For further details please visit the website: http://ap.isr.uc.pt/events/UCBI_iros2015/

Workshop
Workshop on Robot Competitions: What did we learn? @IROS2015
Webpage

This workshop aims to bring together experts active in areas of applied robotics to review past robot competitions and to find out what can be learnt from such competitions and to what extent these competitions underpin and further robot research. As an outcome, the workshop will attempt to create guidelines for future robot competitions and how those can be improved so that tangible results useful for future research and technological development can be extracted. The workshop will explore the synergies that will arise from robotic competitions for education, for the advance of modern robots and robotic technologies and/or to promote practical applications, such as rehabilitation, medical robotics, care of the elderly, search and rescue, factories of the future, etc.

Presentations and round table discussions will focus on obstacles and challenges and the future direction of robot competitions. The workshop will also act as a platform for wider discussions and aims at establishing guidelines/recommendations for future robot competitions.

Workshop
REACTS 2015 - 3rd Workshop on Recognition and Action for Scene Understanding
Webpage

 

The Third Workshop on Recognition and Action for Scene Understanding (REACTS) is a satellite event of the 16th International Conference of Computer Analysis of Images and Patterns (CAIP) which will be hold in the Mediterranean Conference Centre at Valletta, Malta, September 5 2015. Scene Understanding has become a popular topic in Computer Science which combines abilities such as perception, analysis and interpretation of both indoor and outdoor scenes. Hence, it involves joining efforst and sharing knowledge from different research areas such as Computer Vision, Pattern Recognition, Machine Intelligence, Software Engineering and Cognitive Sciences.


Important dates

Submission deadline: May 1st, 2015

Notification of results: June 8th, 2015

Final version: June 22nd, 2015

Main event: September 5th, 2015


Committees

Workshop Organisers

 

Francisco Escolano
Universidad de Alicante
Email:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Rebeca Marfil Robles
Universidad de Malaga
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Scientific Committee

  Moulay Akhloufi

Centre Robotique Vision Ind., Canada

 
  Ronald Arkin

Georgia Tech., Atlanta (US)

 
  Tamim Asfour

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

 
  George Azzopardi

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Netherlands

 
  Antonio Bandera Universidad de Malaga, Spain  
  Joao Filipe Ferreira Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal  
  David Filliat UEI - ENSTA ParisTech, France  
  Javier Gonzalez Universidad de Malaga, Spain  
  Jim Little University of British Columbia, Canada  
  Marta Olivetti Sapienza - Universita di Roma, Italy  
  Nicolai Petkov Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Netherlands  
  Andrea Torsello Universita Ca Foscari, Italy  
  Ricardo Vázquez-Martín CITIC, Spain  

 

Workshop
ACM SAC 2015 - Track on Intelligent Robotics and Multi-Agent Systems (IRMAS)
Webpage
===========================
  *** CALL FOR PAPERS ***  
===========================
30th ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (ACM SAC 2015)
Track on Intelligent Robotics and Multi-Agent Systems (IRMAS)
Salamanca, Spain, April 13-17, 2015

http://ap.isr.uc.pt/events/sac2015-irmas/

The ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC) has been a primary gathering forum for applied computer scientists, computer engineers, software engineers, and application developers from around the world. SAC 2015 (http://www.acm.org/conferences/sac/sac2015/) is sponsored by the ACM Special Interest Group on Applied Computing (SIGAPP).
Robotics is a multidisciplinary research area that presents an enormous potential. It concerns about developing intelligent robotic systems that are capable of making decisions and acting autonomously in real and unpredictable environments to accomplish valuable tasks. Several complex problems require the use of teams of robots that share some of the same challenges approached by multi-agent systems.
Multi-agent systems (MAS) are groups of intelligent agents that can perceive and act in a given environment to achieve their individual and collective goals. MAS enable solving problems that are beyond the individual capabilities and knowledge of single agents, not suffering from resource limitations, performance bottlenecks, or critical failures usually found in centralized problem solvers. Multi-robot systems are often used to evaluate and validate MAS with physical robot platforms.
For many years, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers have worked separately in these fields, both fields have matured enormously, and today there is a growing interest in getting the two fields together. Many in Robotics believe that the focus in the near future should be adding capabilities to robots that lie at the core of AI research. Reciprocally, AI researchers aim at embedding their techniques in physical robots that can perceive, reason and act in real, dynamic physical environments. Despite this mutual interest, although there are many conferences focusing either on Robotics or AI separately, there is a lack of scientific venues where both communities can meet. The purpose of this track is therefore to provide a venue to exploit synergies between intelligent robotics and MAS, i.e. between Robotics and AI in general, bringing together researchers from both fields to share experiences, expose issues, and discuss about these exciting fields.


== Topics ==

- Autonomous robotic systems
- Multi-agent systems (MAS) theory
- Cooperative robotics and cooperative MAS
- Multi-robot systems
- Mixed human-robotic teams
- Coordination and cooperation
- Distributed control architectures
- Real-world applications of MAS
- Self-adaptation and learning
- MAS in mobile ad-hoc sensor networks
- Robot localization, mapping and navigation
- Artificial perception and computer vision
- Field robotic applications
- Deployment, coverage and patrolling
- Evolutionary robotics and swarm robotics
- Humanoid robots
- Human-machine and human-robot interaction
- Entertainment and educational robots
- Robotic dexterous grasping
- Simulation tools and middleware


== Important Dates ==

* Paper submission:                Sep. 12, 2014  *
   Acceptance notification:        Nov. 17, 2014
   Final paper submission:        Dec. 8, 2014
   Conference dates:                Apr. 13-17, 2015


== Submission Procedure ==

Original papers addressing the listed topics of interest will be considered. Each submitted paper will be fully refereed and undergo a blind review process by at least three referees. Paper size is limited to 6 pages. A maximum of 2 additional pages may be included for an additional fee. The reviews will be double-blind: authors’ names and affiliations must not appear in the paper and self-citations should be in the third person. Accepted papers will be published in the ACM SAC 2015 proceedings.
Graduate students are invited to submit research abstracts (minimum of 2-page and maximum of 4-page) to the Student Research Competition (SRC), following the instructions published at SAC 2015 website.

Paper submission link:
http://www.acm.org/conferences/sac/sac2015/Paper-SubmissionUploadPage.htm


== Track Chairs ==

  Denis F. Wolf, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  Rui P. Rocha,  University of Coimbra, Portugal
  Christopher D. Kiekintveld, Univ. of Texas at El Paso, TX, USA

For further information on SAC 2015 IRMAS track, please contact:
  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Seminar
Coordinated Attention for Social Interaction with Robots: On designing an artificial attention system

Seminar by Dr. Pablo Lanillos (PostDoc fellow)

Synopsis:

Current research in cognitive systems for social robots has suggested that automatic attention mechanisms are essential to social interaction. In fact, we hypothesise that enabling artificial cognitive systems with middleware implementing these mechanisms will empower robots to perform adaptively and with a higher degree of autonomy in complex and social environments. However, this type of assumption is yet to be convincingly and systematically put to the test. For this purpose, an overarching framework implementing artificial attention is presented, designed to fulfil the requirements of social interaction (i.e., reciprocity, and awareness), with strong inspiration on current theories in functional neuroscience. The ultimate goal will be to test our working hypothesis and demonstrate the importance of the role of attention in adaptive, social robotics.

Seminar
Extending the RoboCog architecture for socially interactive robots: the Reactor proposal

Seminar by Luis Vicente Calderita (Ph.D. candidate from RoboLab-UnEx / ISIS-UMA)

Synopsis:

One of the main goals of current Robotics is to build robots that can accomplish useful tasks in non­trivial environments. During the last few years there have been many achievements in several robotics subfields, such as emotions recognition, navigation and mapping, task planning and grasping, to mention just a few. Building on these skills, roboticists aim at orchestrating them into complex software architectures that are scalable, reusable, maintainable and open to the inclusion of new skills and cognitive abilities. At the center of these architectures lies the problem of how to represent the environment and the robot itself. Roboticists and also philosophers, psychologists and computer scientists, have devoted a huge amount of effort, and some fierce discussions also, to this matter, and although the debate will remain open for a long time to come, there is a considerable consensus nowadays that real robots, performing real, complex tasks need a grounded, well structured and adaptable world representation. Our efforts in this direction and during the last few years have produced the RoboCog architecture [1,2,3], which is built on top of RoboComp, RoboLab’s robotics framework. RoboCog proposes a distributed organization of modules that are in charge of classical perceptual, actuation and planning abilities. Internally, RoboCog follows a vertical structure, reminiscent of Gnat’s three tier architecture [4], with a hardware abstraction layer that provides interfaces to physical subsystems, a layer of behaviors providing perceptual and control skills, and a deliberative planner and executive, in charge of high­level mission unfolding. Behaviors and the deliberative layer communicate through two shared data objects, a ?kinematic tree representing the geometric short­term state of the robot and the environment, and a ?graph ?maintaining a symbolic representation of the robot, its environment and the current plan. Both data objects are complementary and together represent the robot belief about itself and the world. The functioning of the architecture can be easily explained it we picture if as a large dynamical system. Starting in a quasi­stationary state, the perceptual modules try to keep the internal representation synchronized with the world, updating parts of it as things change. But when a new mission is requested, a plan is generated and injected into the symbolic graph. This alteration creates a disequilibrium to which the whole system reacts trying to restore the initial balance. One of the main limitations that we have encountered in this design is the need to maintain two different representations of a same reality. These structures can be considered as two views at different levels of abstraction: geometric and symbolic that have to be updated and accessed concurrently by all modules. This division, although quite handy initially, has turned out to be a major obstacle in the evolution of RoboCog towards handling more demanding social robotics scenarios. The main reasons are, the complexity that each module has to handle in order to update and access both graphs, the difficulty in maintaining a tight division between both abstraction levels, in maintaining a coherent common state when both data objects are accessed separately, in achieving a highly efficient access to data when two or more accesses have to be made for each query, the difficulty in introducing new concepts or new attributes to existing concepts when they must exist in both graphs or the impossibility for the planner to reason about metric properties in an efficient, direct way, among others. This thesis focuses on several improvements over RoboCog that we have called the Reactor proposal. The goal that is pursued seeks the design of a new, integrated, dynamic graph object that can hold several levels of abstraction, from basic geometry and sensorial state to high­level symbols and predicates describing the state of the robot and the environment during a short time lapse. This graph representation must solve the concurrent access issues, guaranteeing internal data coherence and providing a very efficient access for the modules. The final view of the new Reactor architecture can be seen as cylindrical surface splitted in several vertical slices, which are the old modules now standing at equal positions. In the center of the cylinder, the new data object holds the current internal belief of the robot, affecting and being affected by all the modules, and always struggling for an equilibrium that the reality fades away.

References:

[1] P Bustos, J Martinez ­Gómez, I Garcia ­Varea, L Rodriguez ­Ruiz, P Bachiller, LV Calderita, LJ Manso, A Sánchez, A Bandera, JP Bandera. Multimodal Interaction with Loki. In Proceedings of the Workshop of Physical Agents, Albacete, Spain 2013

[2] Jesus Martínez ­Gómez, Rebeca Marfil, L. V. Calderita, Juan Pedro Bandera, L. J. Manso, Antonio Bandera, Adrián Romero ­Garcés and P. Bustos. Toward Social Cognition in Robotics: Extracting and Internalizing Meaning from Perception. In Proceedings of the Workshop of Physical Agents, León, Spain 2014.

[3] L.V. Calderita, C. Suarez Mejías, P. Bustos, F. Fernandez, R. Viciana, A. Bandera. "Asistente Robótico Socialmente Interactivo para Terapias de Neuro­rehabilitación con Pacientes de Pediatria". Revista Iberoamericana de Automática e Informática Industrial. (Impact Factor 0.375). 2015.

Seminar
A review of the TICE.Healthy project

Synopsis: The project TICE.Healthy is part of a consortium with several sub-projects. These sub-projects, named PPS's, are all linked with health-care and will inter-operate with each other. University of Coimbra is in charge of PPS#3 – Mind.Care, which consists in developing a monitoring system for patients with degenerative mental disorders. The objective of this monitoring is to detect stressful situations in the everyday life of the patient. This monitoring is achieved through the use of sensors on the patient that will measure and analyze signals such as the heartbeat frequency, the electrodermal activity and the movement of the patient by using an accelerometer. In the events of a stress situation, an alarm is triggered and sent to the main platform, the assigned doctor and the responsible familiar.

Speakers: Carlos Cortinhas, Samuel Pedro, and Bruno Patrão

Seminar
Attentional Mechanisms for HRI - A Step Towards Building Intelligent Middleware for Socially Interactive Robots

Seminar by Prof. João Filipe Ferreira - 1st internal seminar about CASIR project

Synopsis:

When interacting in socially-relevant applications, robots are expected to engage with humans while displaying attentional behaviours that resemble those of their interlocutors; as a matter of fact, they are supposed to be able to assess intentionality and to be, themselves, intentional agents. Humans assess and exhibit intentionality using processes that are deeply rooted within low-level automatic multisensory attention-related mechanisms of the brain - the popular saying "there is no second opportunity to make a good first impression" is not at all accidental. It is therefore the logical conclusion stemming from this reasoning that for robots to engage with humans properly, they should also be equipped with similar mechanisms. Most of these mechanisms surface, in humans, during infancy, through interaction with their progenitors or caretakers. The acquisition of these basic skills plays a major role in the course of attaining advanced communication skills for more complex social interaction, in a process that takes place throughout the first twenty-four months of a child's life. This fact has impressed the idea on many robot designers and researchers in artificial intelligence (AI) that robots should follow a similar route, engaging in sessions of what is called learning by demonstration to acquire equivalent mechanisms, from a "blank slate" starting point. This is part of the epigenetic and developmental perspectives to robot design and AI. However, we argue that, although the origin of the robot's basic social skills is certainly relevant, even more important is the potential of an emergent property of more complex skills from basic building blocks, irrespectively of if these skills are learnt or preprogrammed. In our opinion, socially interactive robots would greatly benefit from the development of probabilistic real-time frameworks implementing automatic attentional mechanisms. These would effectively constitute middleware for the development of more intelligent and complete socially interactive robotic systems. In fact, we argue that this hierarchical/modular architecture-oriented approach would equip socially-skilled robots with fundamental innate and preacquired capabilities that humans already possess from a very early age; it is our belief that failing to do so will most probably ultimately result in robots exhibiting social deficits similar to those of individuals suffering from autism spectrum disorders. With this in mind, this presentation will attempt to paint a picture of the current situation concerning social and service robotics, how artificial cognitive systems with attentional capabilities fit in this picture, and what challenges might lie ahead for roboticists who might want to pursue this line of research.

J. F. Ferreira and J. Dias - "Attentional Mechanisms for Socially Interactive Robots - A Survey". IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development, Volume 6, Issue 2, p. 110-125, 2014. DOI: 10.1109/TAMD.2014.2303072 .

Seminar
Some Industrial Applications of Bayesian Inference

Seminar by Emmanuel Mazer

Abstract: Real life applications of Bayesian Inference will be presented, from financial applications to automated driving and defense applications.

Short Bio: Emmanuel Mazer is a senior researcher at CNRS. He defended two doctoral dissertations in Robotics in 1981 and 1989. He stayed at the Artificial Intelligence Department of the University of Edinburgh during his postdoc and was a fellow researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 3 years. He is a founder of several high tech companies in France and abroad (including Probayes). He was part of the European projects BIBA (Bayesian Inspired Brain and artefact) and BACS (Bayesian Approach to Cognitive Systems). Within ProbaYes, he contributed to several industrial projects involving computational geometry and Bayesian inference techniques. He participated to the design and implementation of ProBT, a software allowing the interpretation of the Bayesian programs. In 2013 he received with his colleagues “The best innovation awards at the ITP conference sponsored by the department of Defence and "Délégation Générale de l’Armement. His current interest is on the design of a probabilistic machine (European project BAMBI).

Seminar
The Role of Virtual Environments in Online Learning and Experimentation

Seminar by Bruno Patrão

In this work we present an immersive virtual reality simulator for online experimentation and training reducing the costs and risks. The interactive visual simulation integrates real-time 3D computer graphics with other modalities, such as stereoscopic head-mounted displays, user pose tracking, haptic systems, and physics behaviour in order to provide a immersive and realistic simulation scenario to the user.

Seminar
Visual Saliency from adaptative whitening

Seminar by Xosé R. Fdez-Vidal

Abstract: The term visual saliency is widely used in computer vision to refer to any aspect of a stimulus that, for any of many reasons, stands out from the rest. There is a number of applications in which the saliency map is typically used to prioritize selection, e.g. to identify the most important information in visual input streams and to use this to improve performance in late states (scene uderstanding, object recognition, etc.) or transmitting visual data (compression, video resume, thumbnailing, etc.). Our approach to visual saliency that relies on a contextually adapted representation produced through adaptive whitening of color and scale features. Unlike previous models, the proposal is grounded on the specific adaptation of the basis of low level features to the statistical structure of the image. Adaptation is achieved through decorrelation and contrast normalization in several steps in a hierarchical approach, in compliance with coarse features described in biological visual systems. The model is able to predict a wide set of relevant psychophysical observations and predicting human fixations using diferents different eye-tracking datasets.

Short bio: XOSÉ R. FDEZ-VIDAL received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, both in Physics, from the University of Santiago de Compostela in 1991 and 1996, respectively. Since 1992, he has been with the Applied Physics Department at Santiago de Compostela University, where he is now an Associate Professor.His primary research interest is in computational models of biological vision, with applications to machine vision. Dr. Fdez-Vidal is a member of IAPR.

Workshop
RoMan 2014 Workshop on Interactive Robots for aging and/or impaired people
Webpage

Scope

The RO-MAN 2014 Workshop "Interactive Robots for Ageing and Impaired People” (IRAIP2014) is a workshop held in conjunction with the 23rd IEEE International Symposium on Robot And Human Interactive Communication (IEEE RO-MAN 2014), in Edinburgh on August 25 2014.

This workshop aims to promote a discussion on the questions related with the acceptance of interactive robots and systems by users with very different characteristics of those normally targeted by companies. It has become clear in the recent years that robots may play an important role as helpers or companions. The first potential customers of these types of robots are impaired or aged people. The role of these robots is already clearly identified, but there are still questions to be answered such as:

- How to develop robots whose interaction mechanisms and behaviors adapt to the person it is interacting with?

- How to develop robots that are accepted by the endusers?

Based on the above this workshop will open the discussion among the participants based on the perspective presented by the speakers. The presentations will range from the user point of view of the interactive robots, to the case studies, passing by the technological support and theoretical principles.

Call for Papers

In this workshop, researchers are invited to present and discuss topics that may include, but are not limited to:

- Robot companions and social robots in home environments;

- Assistive robotics for supporting the elderly or people with special needs;

- Machine learning and adaptation in human?robot interaction;

- Multi?modal situation awareness and spatial cognition;

- Computational architectures for human?robot interaction;

- Detecting and understanding human activity.

We invite contributors to submit short papers with 4 pages maximum, following the template for the conference main track papers. Nevertheless other forms of contributions are welcome also.

Important dates

Contributions will be welcome until 09/05/2014

Submissions must be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Programme

The workshop will be divided in two parts. In the morning, speakers will provide an overview of recent work on the questions related with the acceptance of interactive robots and systems by users with very different characteristics of those normally targeted by companies

In the afternoon, participants will be invited to present their own work and ideas regarding the topics of the workshop.

Invited speakers

Jorge Dias, (University of Coimbra, Portugal)

Eleni Christodoulou (University of Geneve, Switzerland)

Markus Dubielzig (Siemens AG, Germany)

Maher Ben Moussa (University of Geneve, Switzerland)

Paulo Alvito (IDMind, Portugal)

Organizers

Paulo Menezes (Institute of Systems and Robotics, Portugal)

João Quintas (Instituto Pedro Nunes, Portugal)

Luís Santos (ISR-UC, Portugal / Citard Services Ltd, Cyprus)

Contacts

Paulo Menezes: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

João Quintas: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Luís Santos: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Seminar
MORSE - the Modular Open Robots Simulation Engine

Seminar by Nuno Dias

MORSE is a powerful open-source robotics simulator which provides 3D realistic scenarios. It is completely developed in Python and can be easily extended with Python scripts. The simulation is based on the Bullet physics engine and the 3D scenarios are built with the Blender software. Blender allows to develop scenarios which include: aerial, terrestial and underwater simulations. There are already several robots, sensors and actuators models available, supporting several middlewares including ROS.

M.Sc. Defence
M.Sc. defence of Francisco Sales

Francisco Ferrer Sales will defend his M.Sc. dissertation on the 22nd July 2014 at 11:30 in Amphitheatre A5.1 of DEEC - University of Coimbra. The title of the dissertation is “SLAM and Localization of People with a Mobile Robot using a RGB-D Sensor” and was supervised by Prof. Rui P. Rocha and Dr. David Portugal.

The jury will be composed by:

  • Prof. Helder de Jesus Araújo (President)
  • Prof. Paulo Jorge Carvalho Menezes
  • Prof. Rui Paulo Pinto da Rocha (Supervisor)
M.Sc. Defence
M.Sc. defence of Gonçalo Martins

Gonçalo dos Santos Martins will defend his M.Sc. dissertation on the 22nd July 2014 at 11:30 in Amphitheatre A5.1 of DEEC - University of Coimbra. The title of the dissertation is “A Cooperative SLAM Framework with Efficient Information Sharing over Mobile Ad Hoc Networks” and was supervised by Prof. Rui P. Rocha and Dr. David Portugal.

The jury will be composed by:

  • Prof. Paulo Jorge Carvalho Menezes (President)
  • Prof. João Filipe de Castro Cardoso Ferreira
  • Prof. Rui Paulo Pinto da Rocha (Supervisor)
Seminar
3Dnav - 3D mapping, exploration, navigation and people detection with a mobile robot using a RGBD sensor

Seminar by Francisco Sales (preparation for M.Sc. defense)

Synopsis: The main goal in this work is to use a RGBD sensor, e.g. the well-known Kinect sensor, in a mobile robot to perform autonomous mapping, exploration, navigation, and people detection/localization in unknown environments. Methods for detecting people using both dense depth information and auditory cues were studied, implemented and tested in ROS. The motivation of the work has been the CHOPIN project where mobile robots are a valuable asset to perform the initial reconnaissance of an indoor incident zone and the localization of victims, e.g. after the leakage of a hazardous substance in an industrial facility.

Supervisor: Prof. Rui P. Rocha, Co-supervisor: Dr. David Portugal

Seminar
Cooperative SLAM Framework with Efficient Information Sharing over Mobile Ad Hoc Networks

Seminar by Gonçalo Martins (preparation for M.Sc. defense)

Synopsis: The main goal in this work is to develop a solution to perform SLAM with multiple cooperative mobile robots using a mobile ad hoc network (MANET). The focus has been designing a modular multi-robot SLAM solution that optimizes information sharing among robots in the course of the cooperative mapping mission, so that it can scale both in terms of communication bandwidth used and computational cost required in each robot. The solution developed in ROS can be instantiated either as a distributed computational system or as a centralized one, and is sufficiently modular to use any classical single robot SLAM technique, such as GMapping, GraphSLAM, HectorSLAM, etc.

Supervisor: Prof. Rui P. Rocha, Co-supervisor: Dr. David Portugal

Seminar
TRITON: multisensory based underwater intervention through cooperative marine robots

Seminar by Juan Carlos García Sanchez

Abstract: During the last 20 years, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) have become a standard tool for mapping the seafloor using optical and acoustic sensor modalities, with applications to dam inspection, marine geology and underwater archaeology to mention some but a few. The TRITON marine robotics research project is focused on the development of autonomous intervention technologies really close to the real needs of the final user. The project proposes two scenarios as a proof of concept to demonstrate the developed capabilities: (1) the search and recovery of an object of interest (e.g. a "black-box mockup" of a crashed airplane), and (2) the intervention on an underwater panel in a permanent observatory. Nevertheless, experimentation with underwater robots is normally very dif?cult due to the high number of resources required. So, the IRSLab (University Jaume I) develops "UWSim", a software tool for visualization and simulation of underwater robotics missions.

Short bio: Juan Carlos García Sánchez holds a B.S. in Computer Science, a master in "Intelligence Systems" from the Universitat Jaume I (Castellón, Spain) and is working on his PhD "Towards a multimodal interface in the context of underwater robotics" in the Interactive & Robotic Systems Lab. His actual work is related to the Graphical User Interface (GUI), which will be used in underwater robotic projects. His current research interests are underwater robotics, humanoids robots and web development (HTML+PHP+CSS, Drupal).

M.Sc. Defence
M.Sc. defence of Eduardo Martins

Eduardo Martins will defend his M.Sc. dissertation on the 27th June 2014 at 15:00 in Amphitheatre A5.1 of DEEC - University of Coimbra. The title of the dissertation is “CHOPIN-CCO: Command Center of Operations for Search and Rescue Missions with Human and Robotic Teams” and was supervised by Prof. Paulo Menezes and Prof. Rui P. Rocha.

The jury will be composed by:

  • Prof. António Paulo Coimbra (President)
  • Prof. Jorge Nuno de Almeida e Sousa Almada Lobo
  • Prof. Paulo Jorge Carvalho Menezes (Supervisor)
Seminar
Variation-aware high-level DSP circuit design optimisation framework for FPGAs

Seminar by Rui Duarte

Synopsis: Frequently, applications such as image and video processing rely on implementations of the Linear Projection algorithm with high throughput and low latency requirements. This work presents a framework to optimise Linear Projection designs that excel typical design implementations via a pre-characterisation of over-clocked arithmetic units. It is well known that the delay models used by synthesis tools are generic and tuned for the worst performance possible of a given fabrication process. Hence, they impose a heavy penalty in the possible maximum performance offered by the fabrication process. The proposed optimisation framework focuses on the optimisation of the generic multipliers, as they are the arithmetic operators with the most critical paths in the data path of a linear projection design, by performing a performance characterisation step on the target device. Experiments demonstrate that the proposed framework is able to generate Linear Projection designs that achieve higher throughput (up to 1.85 times) while producing less errors than typical implementation methodologies.

Rui Duarte's short bio: Rui Duarte is concluding a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Imperial College London, with the thesis "Variation-Aware High-Level DSP Circuit Design Optimisation Framework for FPGAs”. He holds a MSc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico. His research interests include SoC FPGA Design for Digital Image and Video Processing, Reconfigurable and Resilient architectures, and Computer Networking. He has joined AP4ISR recently to work in the BAMBI project as a PostDoc Research Associate.

Seminar
Touch attention Bayesian models for active haptic exploration of heterogeneous surfaces by robotic hands

Seminar by Ricardo Martins

Synopsis: This work presents the theoretical foundations of the Bayesian models and experimental implementation of the touch attention mechanisms involved in the active haptic exploration of heterogeneous surfaces by robotic hands. The Bayesian model ?tar infers the sequence of regions of the workspace that are explored by the sensory apparatus of the robotic system, taking in consideration the objective of the task, saliency and uncertainty associated to the haptic perception of the workspace and inhibition-of-return mechanisms. The Bayesian model ?per perceives the material category of the surface being explored (haptic stimulus), integrating the haptic sensory inputs from the region of the workspace explored the robotic hand. The Bayesian models proposed in this work were designed to be integrated in robotic systems with different sensory apparatus and mechanical structures. The experimental results demonstrate that the Bayesian model ?per can be used to discriminate 10 different classes of materials with an average recognition rate higher than 90%. The ATLAS robot, in the simulation, was tested in three scenarios (generalization capability) with different configurations of haptic stimulus. The robotic system has used a robotic finger to perform the search and follow of discontinuities between regions of surfaces of different materials with a divergence smaller than 1cm from the ground truth, using only haptic sensory data (Bayesian model ?tar).

Seminar
On-line incremental 3D body reconstruction framework for telepresence applications

Seminar by Luis Almeida

Synopsis: Building 3D body models is an important task for virtual and augmented reality applications in telerehabilitation,education, 3DTV, entertainment and tele-presence. We propose a real-time full 3D reconstructionsystem that combines visual features and shape-based alignment using low cost depth sensor and video cameras targeting three-dimensional conferencing applications.

Ph.D Defence
Ph.D. defence of Kamrad Khoshhal Roudposhti

Kamrad Khoshhal Roudposhti will defend his Ph.D. thesis on the 7th May 2014 at 14:30 in the University of Coimbra. The title of the thesis is “Probabilistic-based Human Behaviour Analysis using Hierarchical Framework” and was supervised by Prof. Jorge M. Dias

The jury will be composed by:

  • Prof. Hélder de Jesus Araújo, Full Professor of University of Coimbra (President)
  • Prof. António Paulo Gomes Mendes Moreira, Associate Professor of University of Porto
  • Prof. Henrique Manuel Dinis dos Santos, Associate Professor of University of Minho
  • Prof. Paulo José Monteiro Peixoto, Assistant Professor of University of Coimbra
  • Prof. Jorge M. Dias, Associate Professor with habilitation of University of Coimbra (Supervisor)
Seminar
Context-Based Human-Robot Interaction

Seminar by João Quintas

Synopsis: Human perception is heavily influenced by top-down predictions, making it more difficult to detect, or recognize, out-of-context objects than familiar ones, and there are numerous studies showing the priming effect of one concept on another (e.g. Glass and Holyoak, 1986). Human-machine interaction should evolve beyond the limits of conscious or direct inputs and be capable to perceive context as humans do and learn from shared experiences. The aim of this work is to devise methods and algorithms for sharing context information, sensory information, and cognitive capabilities in heterogeneous systems and explore new approaches for human-robot interaction integrating contextual information. The addressed problems relate with:

  • In the human-machine interaction context there is not available yet a satisfactory framework to reason and learn based in context information in a distributed system, which involves sharing contextual information between different components of the system;
  • Architecture, context modelling and algorithms are customized for each problem, thus it is difficult to evaluate the performance between different systems;
  • Current systems use static and implicit representations for context preventing dynamic system adaptation through information sharing and learning.

Ph.D Defence
Ph.D. defence of Micael Couceiro

Micael Couceiro will defend his Ph.D. thesis on the 10th April 2014 at 15:30 in “Sala dos Capelos” of University of Coimbra. The title of the thesis is “Evolutionary Robot Swarms under Real-World Constraints” and was supervised by Prof. Rui P. Rocha.

The jury will be composed by:

  • Prof. Aníbal Traça de Almeida, Full Professor of University of Coimbra (President)
  • Prof. Luís Correia, Associate Professor with habilitation of University of Lisbon
  • Prof. António Paulo Moreira, Associate Professor of University of Porto
  • Prof. Lino Marques, Assistant Professor of University of Coimbra
  • Prof. Rui P. Rocha, Assistant Professor of University of Coimbra (Supervisor)
Ph.D Defence
Ph.D. defence of Luis Carlos Santos

Luis Carlos Santos will defend his Ph.D. thesis on the 4th April 2014 at 14:30 in “Sala José Anastácio da Cunha” of University of Coimbra. The title of the thesis is “Probabilistic Learning of Human Manipulation of Objects towards Autonomous Robotic Grasping” and was supervised by Prof. Jorge M. Dias

The jury will be composed by:

  • Prof. Jorge Manuel Moreira de Campos Pereira Batista, Associate Professor of University of Coimbra (President)
  • Prof. Pedro José Sanz Valero, Full Professor of Universitat Jaume-I, Spain
  • Prof. Pedro Manuel Urbano de Almeida Lima, Associate Professor of University of Lisbon
  • Prof. Carlos Manuel Robalo Lisboa Bento, Associate Professor with habilitation of University of Coimbra
  • Prof. Jorge M. Dias, Associate Professor with habilitation of University of Coimbra (Supervisor)
Ph.D Defence
Ph.D. defence of Diego Resende Faria

Diego Resende Faria will defend his Ph.D. thesis on the 3rd April 2014 at 10:30 in “Sala dos Capelos” of University of Coimbra. The title of the thesis is “Probabilistic Learning of Human Manipulation of Objects towards Autonomous Robotic Grasping” and was supervised by Prof. Jorge M. Dias and Prof. Jorge Lobo.

The jury will be composed by:

  • Prof. Urbano Nunes, Full Professor of University of Coimbra (President)
  • Prof. Véronique Perdereau, Full Professor of Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, France
  • Prof. Kaspar Althoefer, Professor of King’s College London, UK
  • Prof. Alexandre Bernardino, Assistant Professor of University of Lisbon
  • Prof. Rui P. Rocha, Assistant Professor of University of Coimbra
  • Prof. Jorge M. Dias, Associate Professor with habilitation of University of Coimbra (Supervisor)
Seminar
Evolutionary Robot Swarms under Real-World Constraints

Seminar by Micael Couceiro (preparation for Ph.D. defense)

(Supervisors: Prof. Rui P. Rocha, Prof. Nuno M. F. Ferreira (ISEC) )

Synopsis: This seminar will present a complete swarm robotic solution that can be applied to real-world missions. Although the proposed methods do not depend on any particular application, search and rescue (SaR) operations are considered as the main case study due to their inherent level of complexity. The contributions that will be highlighted revolve around an extension of the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) to real Multi-Robot Systems (MRS), denoted as Robotic Darwinian Particle Swarm Optimization (RDPSO). The RDPSO is a distributed swarm robotic architecture that benefits from the dynamical partitioning of the whole swarm of robots by means of an evolutionary social exclusion mechanism based on Darwin’s survival-of-the-fittest. Nevertheless, although currently applied solely to the RDPSO case study, the applicability of all concepts herein proposed is not restricted to it, since all parametrized swarm robotic algorithms may benefit from a similar approach. The proposed approaches are extensively validated in benchmarking tasks, in simulation, and with real robots. On top of that, and due to the limitations inherent to those (e.g., number of robots, scenario dimensions, real-world constraints), the presented work further contributes to the state-of-the-art by proposing a macroscopic model able to capture the RDPSO dynamics and, to some extent, analytically estimate the collective performance of robots under a certain task. It is the authors' expectation that this seminar may shed some light into bridging the reality gap inherent to the applicability of swarm strategies to real-world scenarios, and in particular to SaR operations.

Ph.D Defence
Ph.D. defence of David Portugal

David Portugal will defend his Ph.D. thesis on 27th March 2014 at 10:30 in “Sala dos Capelos” of University of Coimbra. The title of the thesis is “Effective Cooperation and Scalability in Mobile Robot Teams for Automatic Patrolling of Infrastructures” and was supervised by Prof. Rui P. Rocha.

The jury will be composed by:

  • Prof. Urbano Nunes, Full Professor of University of Coimbra (President)
  • Prof. Estela Bicho Erlhagen, Associate Professor of University of Minho
  • Prof. Luís Seabra Lopes, Associate Professor of University of Aveiro
  • Prof. Paulo Menezes, Assistant Professor of University of Coimbra
  • Prof. Rui P. Rocha, Assistant Professor of University of Coimbra (Supervisor)
Seminar
Fusing Sonars and LRF data to Perform SLAM in Reduced Visibility Scenarios

Seminar by João Santos

Synopsis: Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) approaches have evolved considerably in recent years. However, there are many situations which are not easily handled, such as the case of smoky, dusty, or foggy environments where commonly used range sensors for SLAM are highly disturbed by noise induced in the measurement process by particles of smoke, dust or steam. This work presents a sensor fusion method for range sensing in Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) under reduced visibility conditions. The proposed method uses the complementary characteristics between a Laser Range Finder (LRF) and an array of sonars in order to ultimately map smoky environments. The method was validated through experiments in a smoky indoor scenario, and results showed that the it is able to adequately cope with disturbances induced by smoke particles and consequently decrease the impact of smoke particles in the mapping task.

Seminar
Laban Movement Analysis - A Bayesian Computational Approach to Hierarchical Motion Analysis and Learning

Seminar by Luis Santos (preparation for Ph.D. defense)

(Supervisor: Prof. Jorge Dias)

Synopsis: This work presents a set of novel methodologies and concepts that enable robots to comprehensively interpret human motion and extend such knowledge via hierarchical analysis of different types of information. The proposed methods in this thesis address the following main three topics: (1) Defining a model which can robustly infer different types of information from human motion, using a general grounding language; (2) Encoding the unique expressive properties of each person’s motion, so as to develop action invariant motion signatures towards a person recognition framework; (3) Develop a system’s action memory, which can store and retrieve action generalized information towards incrementally learn new actions and executing them to solve a task in has respectively. We start by presenting an innovative approach to hierarchical analysis of human motion, based on a descriptive motion language, Laban Movement Analysis. This allows a system to infer multiple levels of information, from dynamic characteristics to intentions or behaviour patterns, by observing the 3D trajectories, generated from a given motion instance. Then, we exploit the outcome of Laban qualities classification into encoding this information to develop individual motion profiles. Such characteristics are then applied to develop a Bayesian-based action invariant person recognition framework. The two aforementioned techniques are then integrated and adapted to develop an intelligent video-surveillance framework, showing to be capable of robustly recognize actions and person identities. The last part of this work focuses on developing a set of cognitive skills, allowing the system to build its own memory, by either learning new actions or incrementally fuse newly performed actions to existing knowledge. All methods have been developed using probabilistic learning and inference, more specifically, Bayesian methodologies. They have been implemented and thoroughly evaluated using cross-validation procedures and different kinds of experimental scenarios so as to allow withdrawing conclusions based on produced evidences. Results demonstrate a highly robust and precise framework, whose main characteristics are flexibility, scalability and adaptability, showing to be useful to increase perception capabilities of artificial systems and have the potential to make significant impact in our future economy and society.

Seminar
Effective Cooperation and Scalability in Mobile Robot Teams for Automatic Patrolling of Infrastructures

Seminar by David Portugal (preparation for Ph.D. defense)

(Supervisor: Prof. Rui P. Rocha)

Synopsis: In this thesis, teams of mobile robots are deployed in indoor scenarios to cooperatively perform patrolling missions, representing an effort to bring robots closer to humans and assist them in monotonous or repetitive tasks, such as supervising and monitoring indoor infrastructures or simply cooperatively cleaning floors. The team of robots should be able to sense the environment, localize and navigate autonomously between way points while avoiding obstacles, incorporate any number of robots, communicate actions in a distributed way and being robust not only to agent failures but also communication failures, so as to effectively coordinate to achieve optimal collective performance. The referred capabilities are an evidence that such systems can only prove their reliability if robots are endowed with intelligence and autonomy. Patrolling units have the tools for intelligent decision-making, according to the information of the mission, the environment and teammates' actions. Distributed coordination architectures are studied and models for multi-robot patrol with special focus on real-world application are presented. Furthermore, interference between autonomous agents is explicitly dealt with, and the approaches are shown to scale to large teams of robots. Additionally, the robustness to agent and communication failures is demonstrated, as well as the flexibility of the models proposed. All methods developed in this thesis are tested and corroborated by experimental results, showing the usefulness of employing cooperative teams of robots in real-world environments and the potential for similar systems to emerge in our society.

Seminar
Probabilistic-based Human Behaviour Analysis using Hierarchical Framework

Seminar by Kamrad Roudposhti (preparation for Ph.D. defense)

(Supervisor: Prof. Jorge Dias)

Synopsis: Recently by progressing technology and infrastructures, monitoring and understanding human behaviour and activity is going to be more interesting in various applications. Exploring through human body parts motions to analyse human behaviours in different contexts, is the aim of this PhD research. The features of human movements are less restricted than the other possible features (e.g. facial expressions and voice) in many real world applications, however they are more complicated to be analysed. Due to the large dimensions of body parts movements and the complex dynamics and dependencies between them, high computational processing resources are needed to analyse and estimate human behaviours. Firstly, a hierarchical framework is proposed to reduce the complexity of the process in different layers. Secondly, a well-known human movement descriptor, Laban Movement Analysis (LMA), which provides different types of needed features in ?ve components, is proposed. The LMA components prepare minimum needed features that can assist us to analyse any kind of human activities, and ?ll the gap between the Low Level Features (LLFs) and human movements analysis. Finally, for modeling the framework, Bayesian-based approaches (Bayesian Network (BN), Dynamic BN (DBN), and Hidden Markov Model (HMM)), are defined to deal with the uncertain data, to apply learning processes using small data, to fuse different types of features (in frequency and spatial domains) and to have enough ?exibility for modeling the different dependencies between different features and layers. In this study we explored several different human activities and behaviours though the framework, namely; body parts movements, human individual analysis, human-object interaction, human-human interaction, interpersonal behaviour, and social role of people. The mentioned framework is modeled and constructed in a bottom-up strategy. During the process, different approaches are proposed to solve the problems. From the lowest level of analysis, the study is divided into two different domains; frequency and spatial. This study is performed to estimate LMA components, which provide enough knowledge in body motion level, to be able to explore more high level of human activities analysis. For instance; Effort component, which explains human body movement dynamics, is modeled in frequency domain, and Shape component, which explains human body shape deformation in 3D space during any movement, is modeled by spatial based features. Based on the mentioned components, individual human action level is modeled. In the next step to analyse human-object and human-human interaction analysis (context-based), each individual human actions and the relations between them, are needed. Those relations are modeled by inspiration of Relationship Component which is one of the less explored LMA component. Thus we were able to model human-object and human-human interactions by modeling Relationship components through the framework to explore human activities with respect to the context (i.e., scene understanding). With respect to the proposed framework, human activities in social context are explored by information of the LMA level. The system was enough ?exible to provide the complex existent dependencies between di?erent features to estimate body-motion based interpersonal behaviors and a social role, inspired by Alex Pentland investigation in ”Honest signals” book. The hierarchical framework presents many capabilities such as; ?exibility of modeling, generalizing to di?erent related applications, extendability by progressing the sensory technology, dealing with uncertainly in all level of analysis, and providing semantic-based information for all layers of analysis. The proposed framework provides an automatic monitoring human behaviour system which is very highly interested application in almost everywhere that people are involved, such as; clinical study, security system, elder-care, surveillance system, sport training, virtual reality, choreography, etc. In the experimental process, a motion tracker suit which provides 3D position of human body parts in maximum 120 Hz resolution, is used. To prepare a dataset, several people dressed the suit and performed the defined activities. The attached sensors of the suit for each record trial, need to be calibrated. It means the data for each person in different trials can be different with respect to the calibration process. The obtained results in the each step, present the capability of the mentioned framework in different level of human movement activity analysis. Furthermore, a descriptive global framework to explore and estimate various level of human body-motion based activities, is proposed.

Seminar
Probabilistic Learning of Human Manipulation of Objects towards Autonomous Robotic Grasping

Seminar by Diego Resende Faria (preparation for Ph.D. defense)

(Supervisors: Prof. Jorge Dias, Prof. Jorge Lobo)

Synopsis: In this thesis we study how humans manipulate everyday objects, and construct a probabilistic representation model for the tasks and objects useful for autonomous grasping and manipulation by robotic hands. An object-centric probabilistic volumetric model is proposed to represent the object shape acquired by in-hand exploration. The object volumetric map is also useful to fuse the multimodal data and map contact regions, and tactile forces during stable grasps. This model is refined by segmenting the volume into components approximated by superquadrics modeling, and overlaying the contact points used taking into account the task context. A novel approach for object identification by human in-hand exploration of objects is proposed. Different contact points are associated to an object shape, modeled by mixture models, allowing the object identification through the set of hand configurations sed during the in-hand exploration. The results presented in this thesis show that the in-hand exploration of object is useful to model and represent the object shape allowing its identification by the hand configurations during the exploration. The features extracted from human grasp demonstrations are sufficient to distinguish key patterns that characterize each stage of the manipulation tasks, ranging from simple object displacement, where the same grasp is employed during manipulation (homogeneous manipulation) to more complex interactions such as object reorientation, fine positioning, and sequential in-hand rotation (dexterous manipulation). We have validated our approach of grasp synthesis on a real robotic platform (a dexterous robotic hand). Results show that the segmentation of the object into primitives allows identifying the most suitable regions for grasping based on previous learning. The proposed approach provides suitable grasps, better than more time consuming analytical and geometrical approaches. Learning from human grasp demonstrations along with features extracted from objects is a useful way to endow a robotic dexterous hand with enough skills to autonomously grasp and manipulate novel objects.

Seminar
Minimum Time Search for Mobile Targets in Uncertain Environments

Lecture by Dr. Pablo Lanillos (PostDoc fellow)

Synopsis: The minimum time search problem consists in determining the best sequence of actions (observations) to find a target (object) with uncertain location in the minimum time possible. In more colloquial way we can pose the following question: where do we have to look to find a lost object as soon as possible? I propose a Bayesian approach to efficiently find the target using several moving agents with constrained dynamics and equipped with sensors that provide information about the environment. The whole task involves two processes: the target location estimation using the information collected by the agents, and the planning of the searching routes that the agents must follow to find the target. The agents trajectory planning is faced as a sequential decision making problem where, given the a priori target location estimation, the best actions that the agents have to perform are computed. For that purpose, three Bayesian strategies are proposed: minimizing the local expected time of detection, maximizing the discounted time probability of detection, and optimizing a probabilistic function that integrates a heuristic that approximates the expected observation. The minimum time search problems are found inside the core of many real applications, such as search and rescue emergency operations (e.g. shipwreck accidents).

Workshop
REACTS 2013 - 2nd Workshop on Recognition and Action for Scene Understanding
Webpage

The Second Workshop on Recognition and Action for Scene Understanding (REACTS) is a satellite event of the 15th International Conference of Computer Analysis of Images and Patterns (CAIP) which will be hold in the King's Manor at York, United Kingdom, August 2013.

Scene Understanding has become a popular topic in Computer Science which combines abilities such as perception, analysis and interpretation of both indoor and outdoor scenes. Hence, it involves joining efforst and sharing knowledge from different research areas such as Computer Vision, Pattern Recognition, Machine Intelligence, Software Engineering and Cognitive Sciences.

 

Important dates:

Submission deadline: May 17th, 2013
Notification of results: June 21th, 2013
Final version: July 5th, 2013
Main event: August 30-31, 2013

 

Committees:

Workshop Organisers

 

Francisco Escolano
Universidad de Alicante
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Rebeca Marfil Robles
Universidad de Malaga
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Scientific Committee

 

Moulay Akhloufi

Centre Robotique Vision Ind., Canada

 

 

Ronald Arkin

Georgia Tech., Atlanta (US)

 

 

Tamim Asfour

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

 

 

Antonio Bandera

Universidad de Malaga, Spain

 

 

Joanna Bryson

University of Bath, UK

 

 

Joao Filipe Ferreira

Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal

 

 

David Filliat

UEI - ENSTA ParisTech, France

 

 

Simone Frintrop

University of Bonn, Germany

 

 

Javier Gonzalez

Universidad de Malaga, Spain

 

 

The Anh Han

Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

 

 

Jim Little

University of British Columbia, Canada

 

 

Baerbel Mertsching

University of Paderborn, Germany

 

 

Marta Olivetti

Sapienza - Universita di Roma, Italy

 

 

Luis M. Pereira

Universidad Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

 

 

Nicolai Petkov

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Netherlands

 

 

Andrea Torsello

Universita Ca Foscari, Italy

 

 

Ricardo Vázquez-Martín

CITIC, Spain

 

 

 

Conference
13th International Conference on Mobile Robots and Competitions
Webpage

The 13th International Conference on Autonomous Robot Systems and Competitions is an international scientific meeting in the field of Mobile Robotics technically co-sponsored by the IEEE and sponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), through its Portuguese Chapter.

It will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, from 24 to 28 of April 2013, in conjunction with the 13th Portuguese Robotics Open, a RoboCup Local Event with several other associated competitions. Its scope encompasses, but is not limited to, the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Education.

The 13th International Conference on Autonomous Robot Systems and Competitions will take place at ISEL Campus (www.isel.pt) while the Robocup event will take place in the premises of Secundary School D. Dinis (http://esecddinis.pt/) just a walking distance from ISEL Campus.

The conference proceedings will be indexed in IEEExplore and the conference has also already confirmed for these 13th edition a Special Issue of selected extended papers in the Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems from Springer, indexed by Thomson ISI Web of Knowledge (IF=0.83).

 

Organizing Committee 

JOÃO CALADO

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+351 218317013
Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa
Mechanical Engineering Department
IDMEC / IST

 

LUIS PAULO REIS

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+351 253510312
Universidade do Minho
Department of Information Systems
LIACC / UP

RUI ROCHA

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+351 239796256
Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
ISR / UC

 

Steering Committee

Bruno Siciliano (UNINA-IT) 
Toshio Fukuda (UNagoya-JP) 
(To be completed)

 

International Program Committee 

A Fernando Ribeiro (UMinho-PT)
Alexandre Simões (UNESP-BR)
Alicia Casals (UPC-SP)
André Marcato (UJuizFora–BR)
Andreas Birk (UJacobs-D)
Angel Sappa (UAB-SP)
Anibal Matos (FEUP-PT) 
António Bandera (UM-SP)
António P. Moreira (FEUP-PT)
António Pascoal (IST-PT)
Armando Sousa (FEUP-PT)
Bernardo Cunha (UAveiro-PT)
Bruno Siciliano (UNINA-IT)
Carlos Cardeira (IST-PT)
Carlos Carreto (IPG-PT)
Danilo Tardioli (UZaragoza-SP)
Denis Wolf (USão Paulo-BR)
Dimos Dimarogonas (KTH-S)
Enric Cervera (UJaume I-SP)
Estela Bicho (UMinho-PT)
Fernando Melício (ISEL-PT)
Fernando Pereira (FEUP-PT)
Gabriel Oliver (UIB-SP)
G. Kraetzschmar (UBonn-Rhein-Sieg-D)
Gil Lopes (UMinho-PT)
Guilherme Barreto (UCeará-BR)
Hans Du Buf (UAlgarve-PT)
Helder Araújo (UCoimbra-PT)
Hideki Hashimoto (UTokyo-JP)
Hugo Costelha (IPLeiria-PT)
Isabel Ribeiro (IST-PT)
João Calado (ISEL-PT)
João Palma (ISEL-PT)
João Pinto (IST-PT)
João Sequeira (IST-PT)
Jorge Dias (UCoimbra-PT)
Jorge Ferreira (UAveiro-PT)
Jorge Lobo (UCoimbra-PT)
Jorge Pais (ISEL-PT)
José Igreja (ISEL-PT)
José Lima (IPBragança-PT)
José Luis Azevedo (UAveiro-PT)
José Sá Da Costa (IST-PT)
José T. Machado (ISEP-PT)
Jun Ota (UTokyo–JP)
Luca Iocchi (URome-IT) 
Lucia Pallottino (UPisa–IT)
Luís Almeida (FEUP-PT)
Luís Gomes (UNINOVA-PT)
Luís Louro (UMinho-PT)
Luís Merino (UPOlavide -SP)
Luís Mota (ISCTE-PT)
Luís Paulo Reis (UMinho-PT) 
Luís S. Lopes (UAveiro-PT)
Luiz Chaimowicz (UFMG–BR)
Manuel Lopes (INRIA–FR)
Manuel Silva (ISEP–PT)
Mário Mendes (ISEL-PT)
Nuno Lau (UAveiro-PT)
Nuno Ferreira (ISEC-PT)
Norberto Pires (UCoimbra-PT)
Patricia Vargas (UHeriot-Watt-UK) 
Patricio Nebot (UJaume-I-SP)
Paulo Costa (FEUP-PT)
Paulo Fiorini (UNIVR-IT) 
Paulo Goncalves (IPCB-PT)
Paulo Menezes (UCoimbra-PT)
Paulo Oliveira (IST-PT)
Pedro U. Lima (IST-PT)
René van de Molengraft (TUE-NL)
Reinaldo Bianchi (FEI-BR)
Rodrigo Braga (USCatarina-BR)
Rodrigo Ventura (IST-PT)
Rui Cortesão (UCoimbra-PT)
Rui Rocha (UCoimbra-PT) 
Sérgio Monteiro (UMinho-PT)
Toshio Fukuda (UNagoya-JP)
Urbano Nunes (UCoimbra-PT)
Vicente Matellan (ULeon-SP)
Vítor Santos (UAveiro-PT)
(To be completed) 

 

LOCATION 

The 13th International Conference on Mobile Robots and Competitions will take place in the main auditorium of ISEL – Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa in the following address:

ISEL – Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa
Rua Conselheiro Emídio Navarro, 1
1959-007 Lisboa

Conference
SAC 2013 - 28th Symposium On Applied Computing
Webpage

For the past twenty-seven years, the ACM Symposium on Applied Computing has been a primary gathering forum for applied computer scientists, computer engineers, software engineers, and application developers from around the world.

Authors are invited to submit original work in all areas of experimental computing and application development for the technical program via the various tracks hosted by SAC 2013.

The conference is hosted by the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra (IPC), Institute of Systems and Robotics, University of Coimbra (ISR-FCTUC), and Mathematical and Computer Sciences Institute, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil (ICMC-USP); and will be held at the Institute of Engineering of the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra (ISEC-IPC).

Organizing Comitee

Steering Committee
Barrett R. Bryant
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama, USA

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Steering Committee
Hisham M. Haddad
Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw, Georgia, USA

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Steering Committee
Sascha Ossowski
University Rey Juan Carlos
Madrid, Spain

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Steering Committee
Roger L. Wainwright
University of Tulsa
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

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Steering Committee
Sung Y. Shin
South Dakota State University
Brookings, South Dakota, USA

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Conference Co-Chair
José Carlos Maldonado
ICMC - University of São Paulo
São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil
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Conference Co-Chair
Sung Y. Shin
South Dakota State University
Brookings, South Dakota, USA
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Conference Vice-Chair
Rui P. Rocha
ISR - University of Coimbra
Coimbra, Portugal
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Program Co-Chair
Chih-Cheng Hung
Southern Polytechnic State University
Marietta, Georgia, USA
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Program Co-Chair
Jiman Hong
Soongsil University
Seoul, Korea
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Publication Chair
Dongwan Shin
New Mexico Tech
Socorro, New Mexico, USA
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Posters Chair
Mathew J. Palakal
Indiana University Purdue University
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
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Tutorials Chair
Denis Wolf
ICMC - University of Sao Paulo
Sao Carlos, Sao Paulo, Brazil
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Local Arrangement Chair
Nuno M.F. Ferreira
Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra
Coimbra, Portugal
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Treasurer/Registrar/Webmaster
Hisham M. Haddad
Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw, Georgia, USA
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Workshop
SAC 2013 - Special Track on Cooperative Multi-Agent Systems and Applications
Webpage

The ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC) has been an important venue for the past twenty-seven years, attracting applied computer scientists, computer engineers, software engineers, and application developers from around the world. SAC 2013 is sponsored by the ACM Special Interest Group on Applied Computing (SIGAPP), and will be held at Coimbra, Portugal. For the first time, the ACM SAC will have a track focusing on cooperative multi-agent systems and their applications.

Cooperative multi-agent systems are groups of intelligent agents that can perceive and act in a given environment to achieve their individual and collective goals. Often, multi-agent systems (MAS) are used to solve problems that are beyond the individual capacities and knowledge of single agents. Such systems provide solutions in situations where expertise is spatially and temporally distributed, but typically do not suffer from resource limitations, performance bottlenecks or the critical failures associated with centralized problem solvers. Recently, due to the applicability of MAS to a wide spectrum of application domains, multi-robot systems and mixed human-robot teams have emerged as relevant instantiations of MAS, increasing their potential and solving challenging problems in the physical world.

The purpose of this technical track is to address methods for representing, specifying, designing, programming, deploying, and reasoning about cooperative MAS applied to real world problems, either in realistic simulations or field experiments. The agents in such systems may include virtual agents, mobile robots and/or humans. This technical track is a forum for researchers and practitioners to meet and share experiences, theoretical knowledge and discuss application domains of MAS comprising either software agents or physically embodied agents.

Topics of Interest

Coordination and cooperation Distributed and decentralized control
Multi-agent systems (MAS) Multi-robot systems
Mixed human-robotic teams Real world applications of MAS
Simulation techniques, tools and environments Distributed constraint satisfaction
MAS in mobile ad-hoc networks and sensor networks Emergent behaviors, self-organization and learning
Scalability Robustness and fault-tolerance

 

SAC 2013 (CMASA) - Call For Papers

Conference
REC2013 - 9th Portuguese Meeting on Reconfigurable Systems
Webpage

The Portuguese Meeting on Reconfigurable Systems gathers together every year the Portuguese research community with interests in electronic reconfigurable systems and applications. The meetings focus mainly on research issues associated with the design and development of FPGA-based systems for use in information processing and process control applications.

The 9th edition of the meeting will be hosted by the University of Coimbra at the Institute of Systems and Robotics on the 7th and 8th of February 2013. As in previous years, there will be a single presentation track with the aim of providing ample contact and discussion opportunities for all participants. The scientific program will include invited keynote presentations, together with the presentation of peer-reviewed papers. The organization of REC 2013 invites authors to submit long papers on completed research and short papers on work in progress.

Organizing Committee

Jorge Lobo, ISR - Universidade de Coimbra
Manuel Gericota, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto

Event
APSUBA meeting - last meeting in Coimbra

In November 8th, 2012, it will take place in ISR another APSUBA meeting.

External lecture
Autonomous and Cooperative Robotic Systems, a talk by Prof. Rui P. Rocha

Prof. Rui P. Rocha gave a talk entitled "Autonomous and Cooperative Robotic Systems" at the 8th “Back to Basics” colloquium, an event on fundamental tools for research on Electrical and Computer Engineering, mainly aimed at PhD students in ECE at FEUP.

Event
Handling ROS Tutorial
Introductory tutorial to ROS and its use for robot in-hand manipulation.
Webpage

flyer

Introductory tutorial to ROS and its use for robot in-hand manipulation.

Tutorial held at IROS 2012 - IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems

List of Topics:

ROS Introduction and Case-Study demonstration.

  • Motion planning capabilities.
  • Grasp planning and integration with GraspIt!
  • Visual Perception System within HANDLE EU project using ROS.
  • Managing coordinate frames with ROS.
  • Control of the Shadow Dexterous Hand using ROS.
  • Hand configuration perception with distributed sensors using ROS
  • Grasp and Motion Planning with Underwater Intervention Vehicles running ROS: the experience of TRIDENT EU project.
  • Adapting the manipulation stack to in-hand manipulation.

List of Speakers

  • Jorge Dias, University of Coimbra
  • Jorge Lobo, University of Coimbra
  • Véronique Perdereau, Université Pierre et Marie Curie
  • Matei Ciocarlie, Willow Garage
  • Sachin Chitta, Willow Garage
  • Silvia Rodríguez-Jiménez, University Carlos III of Madrid
  • João Bimbo, King’s College London
  • Toni Oliver, Shadow Robot Company
  • Pedro Trindade, ISR - University of Coimbra
  • Mario Prats, University Jaume I
  • Guillaume Walck, Université Pierre et Marie Curie
Conference
IROS 2012 - IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
Webpage
IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
October 7-11, 2012
Vilamoura, Algarve [Portugal]
Celebrating 25 Years of IROS
Conference
Robotica 2012: 12th International Conference on Autonomous Robot Systems and Competitions
Webpage


The 12th International Conference on Autonomous Robot Systems and Competitions (www.robotica2012.org/EC) is an international scientific meeting in the field of autonomous robotics and related areas, which will take place in conjunction with the 12th Portuguese Robotics Open, a RoboCup Local Event.

As in previous years, we expect the conference to get the Technical co-sponsorship of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.

The conference will be held in the beautiful city of Guimarães, Portugal, on April 11, 2012. Guimarães is the cradle of Portugal and it was classified by Unesco as Worldwide Heritage. In 2012 it will be European Capital of Culture.

 

Topics:

  • Artificial Intelligence;
  • Architectures for Mobile Robots;
  • Sensors and Sensor Integration;
  • Motion and Actuation Systems;
  • Multi-Robot Systems;
  • Human-Robot Interaction;
  • Simulation and Visualization;
  • Robotic Competitions;
  • Planning, Reasoning and Modeling;
  • Cooperative Navigation and Control;
  • Cooperative Perception;
  • Computer Vision and Image-Processing;
  • Navigation and Control of Mobile Robots;
  • Recognition, Localization, Tracking, SLAM;
  • Robot Learning;
  • Applications of Autonomous Intelligent Robots;
  • Computer and Robotic Entertainments.

 

Important Dates:

All dead-lines are 23:59 GMT
  • 23rd January, 2012 Submission of full-length papers
  • 20th February, 2012 Notification of acceptance
  • 5th March, 2012 Camera Ready Papers
  • 12th March, 2012 Early Registration Deadline
  • 11th April, 2012 Conference takes place
Conference
8th Portuguese Meeting on Reconfigurable Systems (REC 2012)
Webpage
The Portuguese Meeting on Reconfigurable Systems gathers together every year the Portuguese research community with interests in electronic reconfigurable systems and applications. The meetings focus mainly on research issues associated with the design and development of FPGA-based systems for use, e.g., in information processing and process control applications.

The 8th edition of the meeting will be hosted by the Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa on 9-10 February 2012. As in previous years, there will be a single presentation track with the aim of providing ample contact and discussion opportunities for all participants. The scientific program will include invited keynote speeches, together with the presentation of peer-reviewed papers. The organization of REC 2012 invites authors to submit long papers on completed research and short papers on work in progress.

The best papers will be published in ISEL Academic Journal of Electronics, Telecommunications and Computers.

Mário Véstias, Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa
Jorge Lobo, Universidade de Coimbra
Event
Investigação do Grupo de Robótica e Sistemas Inteligentes do INESCPorto
Webpage

Orador: Doutor Armando Sousa


Sinopse:
Nesta palestra, será feita uma apresentação dos projetos de investigação em curso no Grupo de Robótica e Sistemas Inteligentes do INESCPorto e serão detalhados alguns tópicos de interesse e resultados alcançados no âmbito da robótica de serviços e futebol robótico.

External lecture
ROBOCOMP 2011 - 2nd Int. Robotics Competition 2011
Webpage
Doctor Jorge Dias was an Invited Speaker as IEEE RAS Distinguished Lecture at the 2nd Int. Robotics Competition 2011 - ROBOCOMP 2011, that took place in Laico Hotel, Hammamet – Tunisia, from 18-20 December 2011, with a plenary talk on “Multi-Sensing Artificial Perception A Probabilistic Approaches for Robotic Perception.

Download Presentation
Event
European Robotics Week
Webpage
The European Robotics Week offers one week of various robotics related activities across Europe for the general public, highlighting growing importance of robotics in a wide variety of application areas. The Week aims at inspiring technology education in students of all ages to pursue careers in STEM-related fields, i.e. science, technology, engineering and math.
The aim is to have several events dedicated to robotics throughout Europe within this week, such as open houses, lab tours, exhibitions, workshops / public talks / discussions, targeted educational reach-out-activities (at schools, universities, ….), challenges / competitions, media events (press conferences, filmings, photo shootings, …).
Workshop
ICRA 2011 - Workshop on Autonomous Grasping
From Multi-Sensing to Symbolic Representation for Robotic Manipulation Tasks
Webpage

The 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2011) will take place from May 9 to 13, 2011 at the Shanghai International Conference Center and the Shangri-La Hotel Shanghai Pudong in Shanghai, China.

In this workshop we shall cover representations underlying the human strategies that define the appropriate characteristics of the grasp and manipulation movements in specific contexts or objects and howthese strategies can be extended and replicated by robots.

The focus will be on techniques to extract relevant information from human data recording in scenarios of grasping and manipulation tasks, including data on tactile sensing, visual gaze and saccade movements of the subject.

As an outcome, we expect the speakers to contribute for a more complete overview on the current state-of-art on robotic systems that explore different strategies of grasping and manipulation, and explore physical properties of objects to provide more intelligent artificial hands. The models for multi-sensor data integration will be discussed as well as the representations and control strategies that provide autonomous manipulation.

Event
Tutorial RA2010
Webpage
Event
IROS 2010
Workshop On Grasp Planning and Task Learning by Imitation
Webpage
Internal lecture
Conflict resolution in free-ranging multi-vehicle systems: A Resourse allocation paradigm

Prof. Elzbieta Roszkowska, from University of Wroclaw - Poland, will provide a conference talk on "Conflict resolution in free-ranging multi-vehicle systems: A Resourse allocation paradigm", at Institute of Systems and Robotics – ISR Coimbra’s Auditorium on 22 th September 2010 at 14:30.


Based among other on the following previous publications:

  -    S. Reveliotis, E. Roszkowska, Conflict resolution in multi-
vehicle systems: A resourse allocation paradigma, IEEE, CASE 2008;
-    S.Reveliotis, E.Roszkowska, On the complexity of maximally 
permissive deadlock avoidance in multi-vehicle traffic systems, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 2010

-   E.Roszkowska, Decentralized motion-coordination policy for 
cooperative mobile robots, IEEE, Wodes 2008


This conference talk is open to all participants, professors and students that are interested in the field of Computer Engineering, Control and Robotics.

 

Conference
Controlo 2010
Webpage
It's our great pleasure to invite you to participate in the 9th Portuguese Conference on Automatic Control - CONTROLO' 2010, to be held in Coimbra, from 8 to 10 September 2010. This event is organized in cooperation with APCA and the School of Sciences and Engineering of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC). APCA is the Portuguese Association of Automatic Control, which is a national member organization of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC). The event is also organized in close cooperation with the Mechanical Engineering Research Center of the University of Coimbra (CEMUC), which activity in automation and robotics is well known.
External lecture
Robótica e a complexidade em imitar o comportamento humano
Webpage
"E(I)mergência da Complexidade" is the topic for a meeting of researchers from various fields of science (medicine, economics, philosophy, physics and psychology, among others), taking place at Saturday, May 22 at the Museum of Science, University of Coimbra, between 10 and 18 hours. The initiative aims to discuss the role of complexity in the contemporary world. This symposium will use common terms and non-technical to talk about how complexity can be obtained from simpler elements, and how complexity can be understood differently at different scales. The concepts of complexity will be analyzed in several areas: Philosophy, Quantum Mechanics, Physics of Chaos, Robotics, Economics and Management. In the final round table we will see how these areas interrelate. The discussion involves issues such as what life is, what constitutes the richness, the boundaries of robotics and what the future of the university in Portugal and abroad.
Internal lecture
Image Analysis - Research Projects at LIV/UNICAMP

Hélio Pedrini is currently an assistant professor in the Institute of Computing at the
University of Campinas, Brazil. He was formerly with the Federal University of
Paraná, Brazil, from July 2000 to March 2008. He was a visiting researcher in the
Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Davis, USA, from
September 2005 to August 2006.
He received a Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA, in 2000. He received his M.Sc. degree in
Electrical Engineering from the University of Campinas, Brazil, in 1994, and his B.Sc.
degree in Computer Science from the University of Campinas, Brazil, in 1986.
He has served as a member of technical committee and reviewer for several
conferences and journals. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and of the Brazilian Computer Society (SBC).
His research interests include image processing, computer vision, pattern
recognition, computational geometry, geometric modeling, computer graphics,
scientific visualization, geographic information systems.

Internal lecture
An Overview of the Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio and its use in the new RobChair software architecture

MRDS is a Windows-based environment for robot control and simulation and handles a wide variety of robot hardware.
It is based on CCR (Concurrency and Coordination Runtime), a .NET-based concurrent library implementation, for managing asynchronous, parallel tasks using message-passing and DSS (Decentralized Software Services), a lightweight services-oriented runtime, which allows the orchestration of multiple services to achieve complex behaviors.

Features include: a visual programming tool for creating and debugging robot applications, web-based and windows-based interfaces, 3D simulation, easy access to a robot's sensors and actuators and support for a number of languages including C# and Visual Basic .NET, JScript, and IronPython.

One of the aims of this environment is becoming the standard robotics operating system, providing a common programming framework that can be applied to support a wide variety of robots, enabling code and skill transfer.

Some of Supported robots
 Aldebaran Robotics Nao
 CoroWare CoroBot
 Lego Mindstorms NXT
 iRobot Create
 KUKA Robotics Educational Framework
 Parallax Boe-Bot
 Parallax Scribbler
 Robosoft's robots
 fischertechnik FT16
 Kondo KHR-1
 Segway RMP
 WowWee RoboSapien

Some MRDS Partners:
 Groupner
 Hokuyo Automatic Co., Ltd
 Lynxmotion, Inc.
 SimplySim
 VIA Technologies, Inc.
 LG CNS Co, Ltd.
 fischertechnik
 ICOP Technology Inc.
 RoboDynamics Corp.

This briefly presentation will introduce you to the MRDS and its main features.
You will also know how MRDS is being used in the new RobChair software architecture.
 

Workshop
IROS 2008
Webpage
IROS-2008 WORKSHOP ON Grasp and Task Learning by Imitation
Workshop
InerVis 2008 - Tutorial on Integration of Vision and Inertial Sensors 28 June 2008 RSS 2008 2008 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference Zurich, Switzerland
Webpage
Inertial sensors coupled to cameras can provide valuable data about camera ego-motion and how world features are expected to be oriented. Object recognition and tracking benefits from both static and dynamic inertial information. In human vision several tasks rely on the inertial data provided by the vestibular system. Artificial systems should also exploit this sensing fusion. In this tutorial we first present some studies on visuo-vestibular interactions in humans, providing a biological motivation. The complementary information between inertial and visual sensing modalities for robotic applications will be presented and discussed. Starting from a biological perspective, some fundamental approaches for fusing this sensing data in robotic systems will be presented, together with a survey of the recent work in the field.
Workshop
InerVis 2005 - 2nd Workshop on Integration of Vision and Inertial Sensors
Webpage
The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers working on integrating these two and possible other sensors into one system. We encourage contributions including the following aspects: * Neurological studies of the human vision and inertial sensing, * Theoretical analysis of multi-rate signal integration, * Integration methods to fuse inertial, visual and other sensor modes, * Experimental results and evaluation of sensor integration techniques, and * Methods and metrics for performance evaluation.
Workshop
Workshop on Integration of Vision and Inertial Sensors 29 June 2003 ICAR'03 ISR, Coimbra University, Portugal
Webpage
The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers working on integrating these two and possible other sensors into one system. We encourage contributions including the following aspects: * Neurological studies of the human vision and inertial sensing, * Theoretical analysis of multi-rate signal integration, * Integration methods to fuse inertial, visual and other sensor modes, * Experimental results and evaluation of sensor integration techniques, and * Methods and metrics for performance evaluation.