Tag Archives: Robotics

Funded PhD Position – Cognitive Robotics

Using robots to understand animal social cognition:

We are offering a funded PhD position for an enthusiastic and highly-motivated student to join a thriving and dynamic research environment, and benefit from close associations with both the School of Life Sciences and the School of Computer Science.

The aim of this project is to develop a robot that is able to respond dynamically to the behaviour of the focal animal and use it in a series of cognitive experiments. Bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) are an ideal model species for such an endeavour. They are responsive to social cues and show sophisticated social learning abilities. In addition they have relatively simple behavioural repertoires and movement patterns which can be accurately replicated by a robotic simulant.

Contact:

For more information and details on how to apply for this exciting opportunity contact Dr. John Murray (jomurray@lincoln.ac.uk)

New research into robots’ understanding of the world

Oscar Martinez-MozosNew methods to enable robots to understand the world around them have been put forward by Dr Oscar Martinez Mozos from the School of Computer Science.

His paper, currently in press, details research into how a robot can understand human-made environments by trying to learn how to recognise different types of surroundings, such as corridors, kitchens and offices. A 3D laser sensor is used in order to scan the environment.

Dr Martinez-Mozos said: “In our method, we combine the range and reflectance data from the laser scan for the final categorisation of places. The results of the presented experiments demonstrate the capability of our technique to categorise indoor places with high accuracy.”

The paper ‘Categorization of indoor places by combining local binary pattern histograms of range and reflectance data from laser range finders’ is currently in press for the international journal Advanced Robotics. The research was conducted with the University of Kyushu in Japan.

In a second publication Dr Martinez Mozos and colleagues study new methods for robots to be able to recognise everyday objects such as plates, boxes and cups.

He said: “The main point of this paper is that we focus on the situations where there is a lot of clutter and it is difficult to distinguish the different objects. For example, we try to identify several objects that are located on a table and that occlude each other. In this situation the task of recognising objects is difficult (even for humans) because the robot can only see a part of the object.”

The paper presents an approach based on a 3D dataset containing over 15,000 Kinect scans of more than 100 objects which were grouped into general geometric categories.

The joint work ‘Cumulative object categorization in clutter’ was done in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the University of Bremen in Germany, and the Autonomous Technologies Group Robert Bosch LLC in the United States.

The paper was accepted for a workshop organised inside the Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) conference, June 2013.

Computer Science students’ project showcase

Robotics, gaming and website design will all be showcased as part of a week-long event by students from the School of Computer Science.

Students, staff and visitors are all welcome to the event, which will take place from Monday, 29th April to Friday, 3rd May.

Posters and video demos detailing the projects will be on display along with various interactive exhibitions and student-designed games that will be available to play between 11am and 2pm every day, during the week.

Live demos and presentations by students will also be available all day on Friday, 3rd May, while visitors from industry and businesses tour the showcase. A panel will evaluate the presented work and choose a number of winners by the close of the day.

One of the students taking part in the event is Sean Oxspring, 21, who is studying MComp Games Computing.

He will be showing off a selection of his games throughout the week, while also presenting the work of others who have participated in various ‘game jam’ events he has helped to run.

Sean said: “My time at the University of Lincoln has definitely made me more confident in both my speaking and programming skills. I can now wake up in the morning, decide that I want to make a game – and then make it without much worry. It’s been wonderful to go to games related conferences and talk with designers working at some of my favourite companies. I can’t wait to start my own company and do more of what I love.”

Sean, who has taught computing and games design in schools across the country while at Lincoln, hopes to set up his own games development company.

Peter Anderson, 23, who is also studying MComp Games Computing, will be presenting a physics-based version of the Breakout video game. He hopes to get a job in the games industry, creating games or tools for developers.

Peter said: “Lincoln is a great city; the university is really friendly, is a great place to learn, and there are plenty of opportunities for experience. By giving us the chance to work on additional projects and challenging us in our assignments our tutors are preparing us for the working world.”

Dr Amr Ahmed, senior lecturer and event organiser, added: “We believe it is important for students to present their projects and be exposed to industries and business early on. It also encourages them to build their portfolio, in preparation for better employability. Following the success and feedback from last year’s showcase event, I’m pleased to be organising it again and facilitating this opportunity for our students.”

The event will take place across the third floor of the MHT building on the University’s Brayford Campus.

The School is always open for companies and potential employers to get in touch and participate. This could be the source for recruiting your next potential intern or placement student, if not new employee.

For more information contact Dr Ahmed at aahmed@lincoln.ac.uk