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2010


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Graph signature for self-reconfiguration planning of modules with symmetry

Asadpour, M., Ashtiani, M. H. Z., Spröwitz, A., Ijspeert, A. J.

In Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages: 5295-5300, IEEE, St. Louis, MO, 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In our previous works we had developed a framework for self-reconfiguration planning based on graph signature and graph edit-distance. The graph signature is a fast isomorphism test between different configurations and the graph edit-distance is a similarity metric. But the algorithm is not suitable for modules with symmetry. In this paper we improve the algorithm in order to deal with symmetric modules. Also, we present a new heuristic function to guide the search strategy by penalizing the solutions with more number of actions. The simulation results show the new algorithm not only deals with symmetric modules successfully but also finds better solutions in a shorter time.

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DOI [BibTex]

2010


DOI [BibTex]


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Roombots - Towards decentralized reconfiguration with self-reconfiguring modular robotic metamodules

Spröwitz, A., Laprade, P., Bonardi, S., Mayer, M., Moeckel, R., Mudry, P., Ijspeert, A. J.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), pages: 1126-1132, IEEE, Taipeh, 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This paper presents our work towards a decentralized reconfiguration strategy for self-reconfiguring modular robots, assembling furniture-like structures from Roombots (RB) metamodules. We explore how reconfiguration by loco- motion from a configuration A to a configuration B can be controlled in a distributed fashion. This is done using Roombots metamodules—two Roombots modules connected serially—that use broadcast signals, lookup tables of their movement space, assumptions about their neighborhood, and connections to a structured surface to collectively build desired structures without the need of a centralized planner.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Roombots: Reconfigurable Robots for Adaptive Furniture

Spröwitz, A., Pouya, S., Bonardi, S., van den Kieboom, J., Möckel, R., Billard, A., Dillenbourg, P., Ijspeert, A.

Computational Intelligence Magazine, IEEE, 5(3):20-32, 2010 (article)

Abstract
Imagine a world in which our furniture moves around like legged robots, interacts with us, and changes shape and function during the day according to our needs. This is the long term vision we have in the Roombots project. To work towards this dream, we are developing modular robotic modules that have rotational degrees of freedom for locomotion as well as active connection mechanisms for runtime reconfiguration. A piece of furniture, e.g. a stool, will thus be composed of several modules that activate their rotational joints together to implement locomotor gaits, and will be able to change shape, e.g. transforming into a chair, by sequences of attachments and detachments of modules. In this article, we firstly present the project and the hardware we are currently developing. We explore how reconfiguration from a configuration A to a configuration B can be controlled in a distributed fashion. This is done using metamodules-two Roombots modules connected serially-that use broadcast signals and connections to a structured ground to collectively build desired structures without the need of a centralized planner. We then present how locomotion controllers can be implemented in a distributed system of coupled oscillators-one per degree of freedom-similarly to the concept of central pattern generators (CPGs) found in the spinal cord of vertebrate animals. The CPGs are based on coupled phase oscillators to ensure synchronized behavior and have different output filters to allow switching between oscillations and rotations. A stochastic optimization algorithm is used to explore optimal CPG configurations for different simulated Roombots structures.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Distributed Online Learning of Central Pattern Generators in Modular Robots

Christensen, D. J., Spröwitz, A., Ijspeert, A. J.

In From Animals to Animats 11, 6226, pages: 402-412, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, Berlin, 2010, author: Doncieux, Stéphan (incollection)

Abstract
In this paper we study distributed online learning of locomotion gaits for modular robots. The learning is based on a stochastic ap- proximation method, SPSA, which optimizes the parameters of coupled oscillators used to generate periodic actuation patterns. The strategy is implemented in a distributed fashion, based on a globally shared reward signal, but otherwise utilizing local communication only. In a physics-based simulation of modular Roombots robots we experiment with online learn- ing of gaits and study the effects of: module failures, different robot morphologies, and rough terrains. The experiments demonstrate fast online learning, typically 5-30 min. for convergence to high performing gaits (≈ 30 cm/sec), despite high numbers of open parameters (45-54). We conclude that the proposed approach is efficient, effective and a promising candidate for online learning on many other robotic platforms.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Automatic Gait Generation in Modular Robots: to Oscillate or to Rotate? that is the question

Pouya, S., van den Kieboom, J., Spröwitz, A., Ijspeert, A. J.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), pages: 514-520, IEEE, Taipei, 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Modular robots offer the possibility to design robots with a high diversity of shapes and functionalities. This nice feature also brings an important challenge: namely how to design efficient locomotion gaits for arbitrary robot structures with many degrees of freedom. In this paper, we present a framework that allows one to explore and identify highly different gaits for a given arbitrary- shaped modular robot. We use simulated robots made of several Roombots modules that have three rotational joints each. These modules have the interesting feature that they can produce both oscillatory movements (i.e. periodic movements around a rest position) and rotational movements (i.e. with continuously increasing angle), leading to very rich locomotion patterns. Here we ask ourselves which types of movements —purely oscillatory, purely rotational, or a combination of both— lead to the fastest gaits. To address this question we designed a control architecture based on a distributed system of coupled phase oscillators that can produce synchronized rotations and oscillations in many degrees of freedom. We also designed a specific optimization algorithm that can automatically design hybrid controllers, i.e. controllers that use oscillations in some joints and rotations in others, for fast gaits. The proposed framework is verified by multiple simulations for several robot morphologies. The results show that (i) the question whether it is better to oscillate or to rotate depends on the morphology of the robot, and that in general it is best to do both, (ii) the optimization framework can successfully generate hybrid controllers that outperform purely oscillatory and purely rotational ones, and (iii) the resulting gaits are fast, innovative, and would have been hard to design by hand.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Roombots: Design and Implementation of a Modular Robot for Reconfiguration and Locomotion

Spröwitz, A.

EPFL, Lausanne, Lausanne, 2010 (phdthesis)

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DOI [BibTex]


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Combining depth and color cues for scale- and viewpoint-invariant object segmentation and recognition using Random Forests

Stueckler, J., Behnke, S.

In Proc. of the IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), pages: 4566-4571, October 2010 (inproceedings)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Intuitive Multimodal Interaction for Domestic Service Robots

Nieuwenhuisen, M., Stueckler, J., Behnke, S.

In Proc. of the ISR/ROBOTIK, VDE Verlag, 2010 (inproceedings)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Improving People Awareness of Service Robots by Semantic Scene Knowledge

Stueckler, J., Behnke, S.

In RobuCup, 6556, pages: 157-168, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, 2010 (inproceedings)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Towards Semantic Scene Analysis with Time-of-flight Cameras

Holz, D., Schnabel, R., Droeschel, D., Stueckler, J., Behnke, S.

In RobuCup, 6556, pages: 121-132, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, 2010 (inproceedings)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Utilizing the Structure of Field Lines for Efficient Soccer Robot Localization

Schulz, H., Liu, W., Stueckler, J., Behnke, S.

In RobuCup, 6556, pages: 397-408, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, 2010 (inproceedings)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Improving indoor navigation of autonomous robots by an explicit representation of doors

Nieuwenhuisen, M., Stueckler, J., Behnke, S.

In Proc. of the IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pages: 4895-4901, May 2010 (inproceedings)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Improving imitated grasping motions through interactive expected deviation learning

Gräve, K., Stueckler, J., Behnke, S.

In Proc. of the 10th IEEE-RAS Int. Conf. on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), pages: 397-404, December 2010 (inproceedings)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Motion Skills from Expert Demonstrations and Own Experience using Gaussian Process Regression

Gräve, K., Stueckler, J., Behnke, S.

In Proc. of the ISR/ROBOTIK, pages: 1-8, VDE Verlag, 2010 (inproceedings)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Using Time-of-Flight cameras with active gaze control for 3D collision avoidance

Droeschel, D., Holz, D., Stueckler, J., Behnke, S.

In Proc. of the IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pages: 4035-4040, May 2010 (inproceedings)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]