Tag Archives: EU STRANDS project

Postdoc to give a talk at a world-leading AI lab in America

A School of Computer Science STRANDS postdoc has been invited to give a presentation at a world-leading Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab in the USA.

Dr Tomas Krajnik, in L-CAS will give a talk next week at MIT: Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Cambridge, USA on ‘FreMEn: Frequency Map Enhancement for Long-Term Autonomy of Mobile Robots’.

Tom is a research fellow at the Lincoln Center of Autonomous Systems. He has a PhD degree in Artificial Intelligence and Biocybernetics from the Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic, in 2012. His research interests include long-term autonomy, robot vision and aerial robotics.

This is an amazing opportunity for him to present the work of the STRANDS project to an American audience and we will keep you informed on how the talk goes.

Abstract:

While robotic mapping of static environments has been widely studied,life-long mapping in non-stationary environments is still an open problem. We present an approach for long-term representation of natural environments, where many of the observed changes are caused by pseudo-periodic factors, such as seasonal variations, or humans performing their daily chores.

Rather than using a fixed probability value, our method models the uncertainty of the elementary environment states by their frequency spectra. This allows to integrate sparse and irregular observations obtained during long-term deployments of mobile robots into memory-efficient models that reflect the recurring patterns of activity in the environment.

The frequency-enhanced spatio-temporal models allow to predict the future environment states, which improves the efficiency of mobile robot operation in changing environments. In a series of
experiments performed over periods of weeks to years, we demonstrate that the proposed approach improves mobile robot localization, path and task planning, activity recognition and allows for life-long spatio-temporal exploration.

STRANDS

Linda the robot stars on TV’s Gadget Man

A robot called Linda developed by computer scientists at the University of Lincoln, UK, has appeared on Channel 4’s Gadget Man.

In the fourth series of the technology show, presenter Richard Ayoade test-drives new technological devices designed to make life easier.

In an episode exploring the theme Health and Safety, aired at 8.30pm on Monday 22nd June, Ayoade tests security devices with actor Keith Allen and comedian Bill Bailey, including a post-apocalypse survival kit that also works at festivals.

Fearing that the world is a dangerous place for Gadget Man, Ayoade employs the services of Linda the robot to guard his home.

Linda, who is based in the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, is named after the city’s Roman roots as Lindum Colonia. The specialist mobile robot is currently being programmed to act intelligently in real-world environments, with the ultimate aim of being able to support security guards or staff in care homes.

She is one of six robots involved in the £7.2 million collaborative STRANDS project aimed at creating mobile robots that are able to operate independently, based on an understanding of 3D space and how this space changes over time.

Funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework programme (FP7), the research project involves six academic partners, a security company and an Austrian care home provider, where the technology will be tested.

The robots have just finished a month-long deployment at Haus der Barmherzigkeit care facility in Austria, as they continue to develop an understanding of how the world should appear and be able to identify deviations from their normal environment.

The trial tested how long the robots could autonomously complete simple tasks in a real-life hospital environment without human support. Beside frequent patrols through the corridors, the robots also guided visitors, residents and members of staff to offices or seminar rooms, and accompanied physio-therapeutic walking groups twice a week.

Linda’s TV debut is not her first high profile public appearance. The robot was also chosen to be part of Universities Week 2014 which aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the UK’s universities. She greeted and interacted with visitors to the Natural History Museum in London during the week-long event in June 2014.

Dr Marc Hanheide, from the University of Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, who is working on the STRANDS project with colleague Professor Tom Duckett, said: “It’s fantastic that Linda is still getting out and about, as a key aim for this project is to show people how this sort of technology could help us in our everyday lives.”

To view the episode click here.

Linda on Gadget Man set

linda-on-gadget-man

 

Can robots guess our next move?

Researchers have programmed a robot that is able to understand and react to human movement.

The team, based at the University of Lincoln, UK, have developed a computational model which focusses on the essence of movement, representing the relative movement of human and robot in relation to one another.

This enables the robot to reason about not only its movements but how the human will be influenced by it; and how the robot should then react to the human’s behaviour.

The research was carried out as part of the collaborative STRANDS project aimed at creating mobile robots that are able to operate independently, based on an understanding of 3D space and how this space changes over time.

Funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework programme (FP7), the research project involves six academic partners, a security company and an Austrian care home provider, where the technology will be tested.

Linda, who is based at the University of Lincoln, is one of six specialist mobile robots currently being programmed to act intelligently in real-world environments, with the ultimate aim of being able to support security guards or staff in care homes.
Named after the city’s Roman roots as Lindum Colonia, Linda was used to test out the model.

Lead author Christian Dondrup, from Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, said: “For mobile robots to be used in populated environments, they have to understand how humans behave and be able to move when encountering each other in a corridor for example. In such situations, the robot’s movement not only has to be safe but the robot has to be able to convey its intention on where and how to move, how to react to the human’s movements, and how the human will react to it. Current research mainly focuses on how the robot has to avoid a human, but not on how their movement might influence each other.”

The research paper has been published in the international journal Robotics.

STRANDS robots. Credit: John Robertson
STRANDS robots. Credit: John Robertson

Robot Linda making an impression

Linda the robot is generating a great deal of interest at the Universities Week event at the Natural  History Museum in London.

The specialist  mobile robot is one  of six currently being programmed to act intelligently in real-world environments, with the ultimate aim of being able to support security guards or staff in care homes.

She is one of six robots involved in the £7.2 million collaborative STRANDS project aimed at creating mobile robots that are able to operate independently, based on an understanding of 3D space and how this space changes over time.

Linda was invited to take part in Universities UK week-long celebration of university research and can be seen in the Darwin Centre of the Museum until Friday, 13th June.

The project has generated a great deal of media interest, including from Times Higher Education  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm91a9OnThU&list=UUquqZYSjbdTsTGRzex9o_8g and the British Council http://www.educationuk.org/global/articles/universities-week-lincoln-university-robot-of-the-future-linda/

The open evening, attended by journalists and UK university representatives, involved demonstrations thanks to Dr Marc Hanheide, Dr Jaime Pulido Fentanes and Christian Dondrup.

The exhibit is just one of a number being hosted by the Natural History Museum as part of Universities Week 2014.

Linda NHM 9 Linda NHM 7 Linda NHM 5

Linda at the Natural History Museum
Linda at the Natural History Museum

Robot Linda will mingle with visitors at the Natural History Museum

Members of the public will have the opportunity to meet Linda the robot at a week-long celebration of university research at the Natural History Museum in London.

Linda is a specialist mobile robot currently being programmed to act intelligently in real-world environments, with the ultimate aim of being able to support security guards or staff in care homes.

She is one of six robots involved in the £7.2 million collaborative STRANDS project aimed at creating mobile robots that are able to operate independently, based on an understanding of 3D space and how this space changes over time.

Linda, who is based at the University of Lincoln, UK, and named after the city’s Roman roots as Lindum Colonia, will be mingling with visitors to the Museum from 9th to 13th June in the ‘Robots on Patrol’ exhibit.

The event is part of Universities Week 2014 which aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the UK’s universities.

It will be an opportunity for the research team to showcase the robot, which has already learned to map a building and run for 30 days autonomously.

Funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework programme (FP7), the research project involves six academic partners, a security company and an Austrian care home provider, where the technology will be tested.

The robots will eventually be deployed to run for an extended time so they have the chance to develop an understanding of how the world should appear and be able to identify deviations from their normal environment.

Dr Marc Hanheide, from the University of Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, will be on hand throughout the week to explain Linda’s capabilities.

He said: “The aim is to show members of the public how this sort of technology could help us in our everyday lives, assisting humans in basic activities allowing them to concentrate on more important aspects of their work.

“It’s not just about providing a care home or security robot. We are trying to enable robots to learn from their long-term experience and their perception of how the environment unfolds in time. It will have many possible applications and taking Linda to the Natural History Museum is a fantastic opportunity for people to see how robots like this will, one day, be able to aid and assist humans in a variety of roles.”

The exhibit is just one of a number being hosted by the Natural History Museum as part of Universities Week 2014.
Linda was also one of the star attractions at the high-profile Longitude Prize 2014 launch at New Broadcasting House in London.

Linda
Linda