See you at IROS 2009

We'll be very busy at IROS 2009. For those of you interested in Willow Garage-related talks, we've included a schedule below.

Monday, October 12

09:25-10:45, Video Sessions, Sterling 9

Stanford Testbed of Autonomous Rotorcraft for Multi-Agent Control: Gabriel Hoffmann (PARC), Steven Lake Waslander (University of Waterloo), Michael Vitus (Stanford), Haomiao Huang (Stanford), Jeremy Gillula (Stanford), Vijay Pradeep (Willow Garage), Claire Tomlin (UC Berkeley)

Abstract: The Stanford Testbed of Autonomous Rotorcraft for Multi-Agent Control, a fleet of quadrotor helicopters, has been developed as a testbed for novel algorithms that enable autonomous operation of aerial vehicles. The testbed has been used to validate multiple algorithms such as reactive collision avoidance, collision avoidance through Nash Bargaining, path planning, cooperative search and aggressive maneuvering. This article briefly describes the algorithms presented and provides references for a more in-depth formulation, and the accompanying movie shows the demonstration of the algorithms on the testbed.

14:00 - 15:40, Mapping I, Grand C

Towards Lifelong Visual Maps: Kurt Konolige, James Bowman

Abstract: The typical SLAM mapping system assumes a static environment and constructs a map that is then used without regard for ongoing changes. Most SLAM systems, such as FastSLAM, also require a single connected run to create a map. In this paper we present a system of visual mapping, using only input from a stereo camera, that continually updates an optimized metric map in large indoor spaces with movable objects: people, furniture, partitions, etc. The system can be stopped and restarted at arbitrary disconnected points, is robust to occlusion and localization failures, and efficiently maintains alternative views of a dynamic environment. It operates completely online at a 30 Hz frame rate.

Tuesday, October 13

10:50-11:10, Smart Actuators, Mills 7

Gunter Niemeyer will be co-chairing the Smart Actuators session.

Variable Impedance Magnetorheological Clutch Actuator and Telerobotic Implementation: Daniel Walker (Stanford), Dan Thoma (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Gunter Niemeyer (Willow Garage).

Abstract: Variable impedance actuation is characterized by the ability to independently set output force and output impedance for a robotic device. Adjusting the output impedance in real-time allows a device to better adapt to a variety of tasks, operate in human-like fashion, and support human safety. This paper focuses on a Series Clutch Actuator based on magnetorheological fluid which allows a fast, electrical change of the impedance while maintaining good force tracking. In particular the mechanical clutch can alter the high-frequency impedance, decoupling the motor inertia and thus reducing impact forces. We present the mechanical clutch design and a control system architecture to automatically adjust the fluid magnetization level and leverage the clutch benefits. Experiments verify torque tracking and impact force reduction both in autonomous and telerobotic operation. The actuator was designed and manufactured in collaboration with the Materials Design Institute at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and is tested in a single degree of freedom demonstration.

17:20-17:40, Haptics IV, Grand H

Gunter Niemeyer will be co-chairing the Haptics IV session.

Improved Multi-DOF Haptics with Spring Drive Amplifiers: Robert Wilson (Stanford), Gunter Niemeyer (Willow Garage)

Abstract: Spring drive amplifiers utilize the natural inductive properties of a DC motor to produce stronger position feedback than is achievable with traditional current amplifiers. Impedance-type haptics devices can leverage these amplifiers to render superior contacts with higher contact stiffness. Use of these amplifiers, however, requires the virtual environment to specify motion commands for each motor. This work extends the recently developed 1-DOF integrated approach to multi-DOF applications. It presents a motion controller working with spring drive amplifiers, together producing the maximum achievable isotropic Cartesian stiffness. Isotropy is necessary to guarantee that haptic contact forces are rendered in the correct direction. The system is implemented on a PHANTOM 1.0 haptic device and analytic performance is verified by experiment.

Wednesday, October 14

9:30-9:50, Personal Robots, Mills 3

Brian Gerkey will be co-chairing the Personal Robots session.

Real-Time Perception-Guided Motion Planning for a Personal Robot: Radu Rusu (TUM), Ioan Sucan (Rice), Brian Gerkey (Willow Garage), Sachin Chitta (Willow Garage), Michael Beetz (TUM), Lydia Kavraki (Rice).

Abstract: This paper presents significant steps towards the online integration of 3D perception and manipulation for personal robotics applications. We propose a modular and distributed architecture, which seamlessly integrates the creation of 3D maps for collision detection and semantic annotations, with a real-time motion replanning framework. To validate our system, we present results obtained during a comprehensive mobile manipulation scenario, which includes the fusion of the above components with a higher level executive.

14:40-15:00, Telerobotics - Haptics, Grand H

Gunter Niemeyer will be co-chairing the Telerobotics - Haptics session.

Open-Loop Bilateral Teleoperation for Stable Force Tracking: Peter Shull (Stanford), Gunter Niemeyer (Willow Garage)

Abstract: Traditional bilateral teleoperation communicates both motion and force information explicitly between master and slave devices. Any such closed loop architecture trades off performance with potential instability, especially when using force measurements of high inertia slaves contacting stiff environments. More conservatively, open-loop architectures avoid stability issues, transmitting motion commands while allowing any force feedback only via sensory substitution. We propose open-loop bilateral teleoperation as an alternative communicating force information explicitly and restricting motion information to visual feedback. This naturally matches a user's needs, seeing motion and feeling forces. A user study was conducted to compare the novel user interface to three common open loop and bilateral control methods: position control, position control with force feedback, and rate control. The results of this study show that users are able to achieve superior force tracking with little tremor. Position tracking and trial completion time suffered from the lack of direct position connection, but training provides a promising method to restore this performance.

16:20-16:40, Human Robot Interaction VI, Grand B

Caroline Pantofaru will be co-chairing the Human Robot Interaction VI session.

Influences on Proxemic Behaviors in Human-Robot Interaction: Leila Takayama, Caroline Pantofaru

Abstract: As robots enter the everyday physical world of people, it is important that they abide by society's unspoken social rules such as respecting people's personal spaces. In this paper, we explore issues related to human personal space around robots, beginning with a review of the existing literature in human-robot interaction regarding the dimensions of people, robots, and contexts that influence human-robot interactions. We then present several research hypotheses which we tested in a controlled experiment (N=30). Using a 2 (robotics experience vs. none: between-participants) x 2 (robot head oriented toward a participant's face vs. legs: within-participants) mixed design experiment, we explored the factors that influence proxemic behavior around robots in several situations: (1) people approaching a robot, (2) people being approached by an autonomously moving robot, and (3) people being approached by a teleoperated robot. We found that personal experience with pets and robots decreases a person's personal space around robots. In addition, when the robot's head is oriented toward the person's face, it increases the minimum comfortable distance for women, but decreases the minimum comfortable distance for men. We also found that the personality trait of agreeableness decreases personal spaces when people approach robots, while the personality trait of neuroticism and having negative attitudes toward robots increase personal spaces when robots approach people. These results have implications for both human-robot interaction theory and design.


08:30-17:30, Mills 9, Semantic Perception for Mobile Manipulation

Willow Garage is co-organizing Thursday's workshop on Semantic Perception for Mobile Manipulation. More details and schedule can be found at the workshop page.

workshop logo


Draft versions ?

The conference is now over. Are you going to publish the draft versions of the papers ?

I'll look into whether or not

I'll look into whether or not we're releasing the papers separately.