See you at IROS 2010!


We're looking forward to seeing you in Taiwan at IROS 2010! If you're interested in checking out what Willow Garage has been up to lately, come check out our keynote presentation, workshops, and research talks. We'll be hosting a booth in the hall from Tuesday through Friday so you can come check out PR2 and chat with the Willow Garage team there, too.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010, in the Plenary Hall
The Status of ROS and the PR2 Beta Program
Steve Cousins, CEO

Demonstration booth

Tuesday-Friday, October 19-22, 2010

Taipei World Trade Centre Hall I, Booth #604
Come visit the Willow Garage booth to meet us and check out PR2!


Monday, October 18, 2010, 9:00-17:30, in Room 201E
Defining and Solving Realistic Perception Problems in Personal Robotics
Rusu, Pantofaru, Bradski, Konolige
As personal robotics platforms, such as the Willow Garage PR2, become increasingly available, there will be an emphasis in the research community on creating algorithms that are successful in the real world.  Many robotics problems, such as planning or grasping, are currently addressed in simulation, where the state of the world is known. However, in the physical world, the assumption of a known world model falls apart and perception becomes a serious bottleneck. In this workshop, we will explore perception problems that are sufficiently well-defined and constrained to have proven solutions, and that enable interesting robotics research and behaviors.

Friday, October 22, 2010, 8:20-17:20, in Room 203A
Semantic mapping and autonomous knowledge acquisition
Holtz, Duckett, Rusu
As robots and autonomous systems move away from laboratory setups towards complex real-world scenarios, both the perception capabilities of these systems and their abilities to acquire and model semantic information must become more powerful. For example, a general-purpose service robot collaborating with a human user needs to know human spatial concepts and have an understanding of three-dimensional objects, their use and functional relationships between them. More generally, semantic perception and mapping must become a resource for the robot, which links sensory information to the robot's knowledge base and high-level deliberative components. A key issue is the robot's ability to autonomously acquire and model the perceived semantic information, as well as (exploration) strategies for deciding where and how to acquire such information.

Robot Industry Forum Presentation and Panel

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

13:40-14:15 in Room 201, Session: Robot Industry Forum
Open Source Robotics
Steve Cousins, CEO

16:00-17:30 in Room 201, Session: Robot Industry Forum
Panel Discussion

Research Paper Presentations

Monday, October 18, 2010

Afternoon in Room 202B
Workshop Paper - RoboEarth Towards a World Wide Web for Robots
Ciocarlie, Bradski, Hsiao, Brook

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

11:20-11:40 in Room 101A, Session: Mapping I
Sparse pose adjustment for 2d mapping
Konolige, Grisetti, Limketkai, Burgard, Kuemmerle, Vincent
Pose graphs have become a popular representation for solving the simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) problem. A pose graph is a set of robot poses connected by nonlinear constraints obtained from observations of features common to nearby poses. Optimizing large pose graphs has been a bottleneck for mobile robots, since the computation time can grow cubically with the size of the graph. In this paper, we propose an efficient approach for optimizing 2D pose graphs that takes advantage of their sparse structure by efficiently constructing and solving a sparse linear sub-problem. Our method, called Sparse Pose Adjustment (SPA), outperforms all existing approaches in terms of convergence speed and accuracy. We demonstrate its effectiveness on a large set of indoor real-world maps, and a very large simulated dataset. An open-source implementations in C++ and matlab/octave and the datasets are publicly available.

15:20-16:40 in 1F Corridor, Session: Interactive Session IA
Contact-Reactive Grasping of Objects with Partial Shape Information
Hsiao, Chitta, Ciocarlie, Jones
Robotic grasping in unstructured environments requires the ability to select grasps for unknown objects and execute them while dealing with uncertainty due to sensor noise or calibration errors. In this work, we propose a simple but robust approach to grasp selection for unknown objects, and a reactive adjustment approach to deal with uncertainty in object location and shape. The grasp selection method uses 3D sensor data directly to determine a ranked set of grasps for objects in a scene, using heuristics based on both the overall shape of the object and its local features. The reactive grasping approach uses tactile feedback from fingertip sensors to execute a compliant robust grasp. We present experimental results to validate our approach by grasping a wide range of unknown objects. Our results show that reactive grasping can correct for a fair amount of uncertainty in the measured position or shape of the objects, and that our grasp selection approach is successful in grasping objects with a variety of shapes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10:50-11:10 in Room 101C, Session: Range Sensing I
Fast 3D Recognition and Pose Using the Viewpoint Feature Histogram
Rusu, Bradski, Hsu
We present the Viewpoint Feature Histogram (VFH), a descriptor for 3D point cloud data that encodes geometry and viewpoint. We demonstrate experimentally on a set of 60 objects captured with stereo cameras that VFH can be used as a distinctive signature, allowing simultaneous recognition of the object and its pose. The pose is accurate enough for robot manipulation, and the computational cost is low enough for real time operation. VFH was designed to be robust to large surface noise and missing depth information in order to work reliably on stereo data.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

9:30-9:50 in Room 201E, Session: Haptics and Haptic Interfaces I
Multi-DOF Equalization of Haptic Devices for Accurate Rendering at High Frequencies
Wilson, Chan, Salisbury, Niemeyer
Previous work has shown that high frequency content is important for realistic haptic feedback, while stability considerations limit the ability of closed-loop control to effectively generate high frequencies. Open-loop playback of high frequencies offers a promising way to generate rich contact transients and textures, but complex high frequency dynamics cause distortion. This paper explores the equalization and dynamic decoupling of multi-DOF haptic devices for accurate open-loop playback. Toward this end, a user study is performed to determine the frequency limit of human force direction sensitivity at 35Hz. This information together with experimental system identification techniques is used to develop a strategy for equalization in different frequency bands. Finally, MIMO equalization is accomplished through online simulation of the system model under the control of an LQR tracking controller.

12:00-12:20 in Room 101B, Session: Force Control II
Examining the Benefits of Variable Impedence Actuation
Walker, Niemeyer
Variable impedance actuators provide the ability to robustly alter interaction impedances mechanically, without bandwidth, power, and stability limitations. They can achieve the physical benefits of an elastic transmission and also recover characteristics of traditionally controlled, inelastic motors. We review previously explored benefits of variable impedance actuators for energetic tasks and impact safety. We then focus on benefits in low frequency force interactions. We examine impedance and force dynamic ranges and illustrate how they are significantly increased by physical impedance variation. Theoretical analysis is confirmed by experiments on a 1-DOF testbed with three impedance settings.

15:40-16:00 in Room 101C, Session: Telerobotics I
Mutli-DOF Model-Reference Force Control for Telerobotic Applications
Hart, Niemeyer
For a wide range of telerobotic applications, the slave device needs to be a large, powerful, industrial type robot in order to achieve the desired tasks. Due to the large frictional forces within the gearing of such robots, a force-feedback controller is necessary to precisely control the forces the robot applies when manipulating its environment. This paper proves passivity, and therefore guarantees stability, of a model-based force controller in one degree of freedom (DOF) when subject to viscous and Coulomb friction. The controller is then expanded to muli-DOF systems. In addition to maintaining the robustness of the 1-DOF controller, the multi-DOF controller provides additional freedom to design the closed loop dynamics of the robot. This freedom allows the control designer the ability to shape and optimize how the system feels from a users perspective. The robustness of the controller is experimentally validated and the freedom to modify the closed loop dynamics is explored using a 2-DOF device.


Dr. Cousins speeches on IROS 2010

Dr. Cousins not only will give the Plenary speech but also speech at the Robot Industry Forum and panel Discussion: 1 Plenary Speech, 8:20AM-9:20AM, Wednesday, October 20, 2010 2. Robot Industry Forum Speech, 13:40-14:15, Wednesday, October 20, 2010 3. Panel Discussion of Robot Industry Forum, 16:00-17:30, Wednesday, October 20, 2010