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2017


Physical and Behavioral Factors Improve Robot Hug Quality
Physical and Behavioral Factors Improve Robot Hug Quality

Block, A. E., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Workshop Paper (2 pages) presented at the RO-MAN Workshop on Social Interaction and Multimodal Expression for Socially Intelligent Robots, Lisbon, Portugal, August 2017 (misc)

Abstract
A hug is one of the most basic ways humans can express affection. As hugs are so common, a natural progression of robot development is to have robots one day hug humans as seamlessly as these intimate human-human interactions occur. This project’s purpose is to evaluate human responses to different robot physical characteristics and hugging behaviors. Specifically, we aim to test the hypothesis that a warm, soft, touch-sensitive PR2 humanoid robot can provide humans with satisfying hugs by matching both their hugging pressure and their hugging duration. Thirty participants experienced and evaluated twelve hugs with the robot, divided into three randomly ordered trials that focused on physical robot char- acteristics and nine randomly ordered trials with varied hug pressure and duration. We found that people prefer soft, warm hugs over hard, cold hugs. Furthermore, users prefer hugs that physically squeeze them and release immediately when they are ready for the hug to end.

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

2017


Project Page [BibTex]


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Physically Interactive Exercise Games with a Baxter Robot

Fitter, N. T., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Hands-on demonstration presented at the IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Munich, Germany, June 2017 (misc)

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Proton Pack: Visuo-Haptic Surface Data Recording

Burka, A., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Hands-on demonstration presented at the IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Munich, Germany, June 2017 (misc)

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Teaching a Robot to Collaborate with a Human Via Haptic Teleoperation

Hu, S., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Work-in-progress paper (2 pages) presented at the IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Munich, Germany, June 2017 (misc)

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


How Should Robots Hug?
How Should Robots Hug?

Block, A. E., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Work-in-progress paper (2 pages) presented at the IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Munich, Germany, June 2017 (misc)

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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An Interactive Augmented-Reality Video Training Platform for the da Vinci Surgical System

Carlson, J., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Workshop paper (3 pages) presented at the ICRA Workshop on C4 Surgical Robots, Singapore, May 2017 (misc)

Abstract
Teleoperated surgical robots such as the Intuitive da Vinci Surgical System facilitate minimally invasive surgeries, which decrease risk to patients. However, these systems can be difficult to learn, and existing training curricula on surgical simulators do not offer students the realistic experience of a full operation. This paper presents an augmented-reality video training platform for the da Vinci that will allow trainees to rehearse any surgery recorded by an expert. While the trainee operates a da Vinci in free space, they see their own instruments overlaid on the expert video. Tools are identified in the source videos via color segmentation and kernelized correlation filter tracking, and their depth is calculated from the da Vinci’s stereoscopic video feed. The user tries to follow the expert’s movements, and if any of their tools venture too far away, the system provides instantaneous visual feedback and pauses to allow the user to correct their motion. The trainee can also rewind the expert video by bringing either da Vinci tool very close to the camera. This combined and augmented video provides the user with an immersive and interactive training experience.

hi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Hand-Clapping Games with a Baxter Robot

Fitter, N. T., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Hands-on demonstration presented at ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Vienna, Austria, March 2017 (misc)

Abstract
Robots that work alongside humans might be more effective if they could forge a strong social bond with their human partners. Hand-clapping games and other forms of rhythmic social-physical interaction may foster human-robot teamwork, but the design of such interactions has scarcely been explored. At the HRI 2017 conference, we will showcase several such interactions taken from our recent work with the Rethink Robotics Baxter Research Robot, including tempo-matching, Simon says, and Pat-a-cake-like games. We believe conference attendees will be both entertained and intrigued by this novel demonstration of social-physical HRI.

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Automatic OSATS Rating of Trainee Skill at a Pediatric Laparoscopic Suturing Task

Oquendo, Y. A., Riddle, E. W., Hiller, D., Blinman, T. A., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Surgical Endoscopy, 31(Supplement 1):S28, Extended abstract presented as a podium presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), Springer, Houston, USA, March 2017 (misc)

Abstract
Introduction: Minimally invasive surgery has revolutionized surgical practice, but challenges remain. Trainees must acquire complex technical skills while minimizing patient risk, and surgeons must maintain their skills for rare procedures. These challenges are magnified in pediatric surgery due to the smaller spaces, finer tissue, and relative dearth of both inanimate and virtual simulators. To build technical expertise, trainees need opportunities for deliberate practice with specific performance feedback, which is typically provided via tedious human grading. This study aimed to validate a novel motion-tracking system and machine learning algorithm for automatically evaluating trainee performance on a pediatric laparoscopic suturing task using a 1–5 OSATS Overall Skill rating. Methods: Subjects (n=14) ranging from medical students to fellows per- formed one or two trials of an intracorporeal suturing task in a custom pediatric laparoscopy training box (Fig. 1) after watching a video of ideal performance by an expert. The position and orientation of the tools and endoscope were recorded over time using Ascension trakSTAR magnetic motion-tracking sensors, and both instrument grasp angles were recorded over time using flex sensors on the handles. The 27 trials were video-recorded and scored on the OSATS scale by a senior fellow; ratings ranged from 1 to 4. The raw motion data from each trial was processed to calculate over 200 preliminary motion parameters. Regularized least-squares regression (LASSO) was used to identify the most predictive parameters for inclusion in a regression tree. Model performance was evaluated by leave-one-subject-out cross validation, wherein the automatic scores given to each subject’s trials (by a model trained on all other data) are compared to the corresponding human rater scores. Results: The best-performing LASSO algorithm identified 14 predictive parameters for inclusion in the regression tree, including completion time, linear path length, angular path length, angular acceleration, grasp velocity, and grasp acceleration. The final model’s raw output showed a strong positive correlation of 0.87 with the reviewer-generated scores, and rounding the output to the nearest integer yielded a leave-one-subject-out cross-validation accuracy of 77.8%. Results are summarized in the confusion matrix (Table 1). Conclusions: Our novel motion-tracking system and regression model automatically gave previously unseen trials overall skill scores that closely match scores from an expert human rater. With additional data and further development, this system may enable creation of a motion-based training platform for pediatric laparoscopic surgery and could yield insights into the fundamental components of surgical skill.

hi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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How Much Haptic Surface Data is Enough?

Burka, A., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Workshop paper (5 pages) presented at the AAAI Spring Symposium on Interactive Multi-Sensory Object Perception for Embodied Agents, Stanford, USA, March 2017 (misc)

Abstract
The Proton Pack is a portable visuo-haptic surface interaction recording device that will be used to collect a vast multimodal dataset, intended for robots to use as part of an approach to understanding the world around them. In order to collect a useful dataset, we want to pick a suitable interaction duration for each surface, noting the tradeoff between data collection resources and completeness of data. One interesting approach frames the data collection process as an online learning problem, building an incremental surface model and using that model to decide when there is enough data. Here we examine how to do such online surface modeling and when to stop collecting data, using kinetic friction as a first domain in which to apply online modeling.

hi

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Development and Evaluation of a Portable BCI System for Remote Data Acquisition

Emde, T.

Graduate School of Neural Information Processing, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2017 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Brain-Computer Interfaces for patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Fomina, T.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2017 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Causal models for decision making via integrative inference

Geiger, P.

University of Stuttgart, Germany, 2017 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning Optimal Configurations for Modeling Frowning by Transcranial Electrical Stimulation

Sücker, K.

Graduate School of Neural Information Processing, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2017 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2009


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Learning an Interactive Segmentation System

Nickisch, H., Kohli, P., Rother, C.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, December 2009 (techreport)

Abstract
Many successful applications of computer vision to image or video manipulation are interactive by nature. However, parameters of such systems are often trained neglecting the user. Traditionally, interactive systems have been treated in the same manner as their fully automatic counterparts. Their performance is evaluated by computing the accuracy of their solutions under some fixed set of user interactions. This paper proposes a new evaluation and learning method which brings the user in the loop. It is based on the use of an active robot user - a simulated model of a human user. We show how this approach can be used to evaluate and learn parameters of state-of-the-art interactive segmentation systems. We also show how simulated user models can be integrated into the popular max-margin method for parameter learning and propose an algorithm to solve the resulting optimisation problem.

ei

Web [BibTex]

2009


Web [BibTex]


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Machine Learning for Brain-Computer Interfaces

Hill, NJ.

Mini-Symposia on Assistive Machine Learning for People with Disabilities at NIPS (AMD), December 2009 (talk)

Abstract
Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) aim to be the ultimate in assistive technology: decoding a user‘s intentions directly from brain signals without involving any muscles or peripheral nerves. Thus, some classes of BCI potentially offer hope for users with even the most extreme cases of paralysis, such as in late-stage Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, where nothing else currently allows communication of any kind. Other lines in BCI research aim to restore lost motor function in as natural a way as possible, reconnecting and in some cases re-training motor-cortical areas to control prosthetic, or previously paretic, limbs. Research and development are progressing on both invasive and non-invasive fronts, although BCI has yet to make a breakthrough to widespread clinical application. The high-noise high-dimensional nature of brain-signals, particularly in non-invasive approaches and in patient populations, make robust decoding techniques a necessity. Generally, the approach has been to use relatively simple feature extraction techniques, such as template matching and band-power estimation, coupled to simple linear classifiers. This has led to a prevailing view among applied BCI researchers that (sophisticated) machine-learning is irrelevant since "it doesn‘t matter what classifier you use once you‘ve done your preprocessing right and extracted the right features." I shall show a few examples of how this runs counter to both the empirical reality and the spirit of what needs to be done to bring BCI into clinical application. Along the way I‘ll highlight some of the interesting problems that remain open for machine-learners.

ei

PDF Web Web [BibTex]

PDF Web Web [BibTex]


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PAC-Bayesian Approach to Formulation of Clustering Objectives

Seldin, Y.

NIPS Workshop on "Clustering: Science or Art? Towards Principled Approaches", December 2009 (talk)

Abstract
Clustering is a widely used tool for exploratory data analysis. However, the theoretical understanding of clustering is very limited. We still do not have a well-founded answer to the seemingly simple question of "how many clusters are present in the data?", and furthermore a formal comparison of clusterings based on different optimization objectives is far beyond our abilities. The lack of good theoretical support gives rise to multiple heuristics that confuse the practitioners and stall development of the field. We suggest that the ill-posed nature of clustering problems is caused by the fact that clustering is often taken out of its subsequent application context. We argue that one does not cluster the data just for the sake of clustering it, but rather to facilitate the solution of some higher level task. By evaluation of the clustering‘s contribution to the solution of the higher level task it is possible to compare different clusterings, even those obtained by different optimization objectives. In the preceding work it was shown that such an approach can be applied to evaluation and design of co-clustering solutions. Here we suggest that this approach can be extended to other settings, where clustering is applied.

ei

PDF Web Web [BibTex]

PDF Web Web [BibTex]


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Semi-supervised Kernel Canonical Correlation Analysis of Human Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Data

Shelton, JA.

Women in Machine Learning Workshop (WiML), December 2009 (talk)

Abstract
Kernel Canonical Correlation Analysis (KCCA) is a general technique for subspace learning that incorporates principal components analysis (PCA) and Fisher linear discriminant analysis (LDA) as special cases. By finding directions that maximize correlation, KCCA learns representations tied more closely to underlying process generating the the data and can ignore high-variance noise directions. However, for data where acquisition in a given modality is expensive or otherwise limited, KCCA may suffer from small sample effects. We propose to use semi-supervised Laplacian regularization to utilize data that are present in only one modality. This manifold learning approach is able to find highly correlated directions that also lie along the data manifold, resulting in a more robust estimate of correlated subspaces. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) acquired data are naturally amenable to subspace techniques as data are well aligned and such data of the human brain are a particularly interesting candidate. In this study we implemented various supervised and semi-supervised versions of KCCA on human fMRI data, with regression to single and multivariate labels (corresponding to video content subjects viewed during the image acquisition). In each variate condition, Laplacian regularization improved performance whereas the semi-supervised variants of KCCA yielded the best performance. We additionally analyze the weights learned by the regression in order to infer brain regions that are important during different types of visual processing.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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An Incremental GEM Framework for Multiframe Blind Deconvolution, Super-Resolution, and Saturation Correction

Harmeling, S., Sra, S., Hirsch, M., Schölkopf, B.

(187), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, November 2009 (techreport)

Abstract
We develop an incremental generalized expectation maximization (GEM) framework to model the multiframe blind deconvolution problem. A simplistic version of this problem was recently studied by Harmeling etal~cite{harmeling09}. We solve a more realistic version of this problem which includes the following major features: (i) super-resolution ability emph{despite} noise and unknown blurring; (ii) saturation-correction, i.e., handling of overexposed pixels that can otherwise confound the image processing; and (iii) simultaneous handling of color channels. These features are seamlessly integrated into our incremental GEM framework to yield simple but efficient multiframe blind deconvolution algorithms. We present technical details concerning critical steps of our algorithms, especially to highlight how all operations can be written using matrix-vector multiplications. We apply our algorithm to real-world images from astronomy and super resolution tasks. Our experimental results show that our methods yield improve d resolution and deconvolution at the same time.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Efficient Filter Flow for Space-Variant Multiframe Blind Deconvolution

Hirsch, M., Sra, S., Schölkopf, B., Harmeling, S.

(188), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, November 2009 (techreport)

Abstract
Ultimately being motivated by facilitating space-variant blind deconvolution, we present a class of linear transformations, that are expressive enough for space-variant filters, but at the same time especially designed for efficient matrix-vector-multiplications. Successful results on astronomical imaging through atmospheric turbulences and on noisy magnetic resonance images of constantly moving objects demonstrate the practical significance of our approach.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Event-Related Potentials in Brain-Computer Interfacing

Hill, NJ.

Invited lecture on the bachelor & masters course "Introduction to Brain-Computer Interfacing", October 2009 (talk)

Abstract
An introduction to event-related potentials with specific reference to their use in brain-computer interfacing applications and research.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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BCI2000 and Python

Hill, NJ.

Invited lecture at the 5th International BCI2000 Workshop, October 2009 (talk)

Abstract
A tutorial, with exercises, on how to integrate your own Python code with the BCI2000 software package.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Implementing a Signal Processing Filter in BCI2000 Using C++

Hill, NJ., Mellinger, J.

Invited lecture at the 5th International BCI2000 Workshop, October 2009 (talk)

Abstract
This tutorial shows how the functionality of the BCI2000 software package can be extended with one‘s own code, using BCI2000‘s C++ API.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Kernel Learning Approaches for Image Classification

Gehler, PV.

Biologische Kybernetik, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany, October 2009 (phdthesis)

Abstract
This thesis extends the use of kernel learning techniques to specific problems of image classification. Kernel learning is a paradigm in the field of machine learning that generalizes the use of inner products to compute similarities between arbitrary objects. In image classification one aims to separate images based on their visual content. We address two important problems that arise in this context: learning with weak label information and combination of heterogeneous data sources. The contributions we report on are not unique to image classification, and apply to a more general class of problems. We study the problem of learning with label ambiguity in the multiple instance learning framework. We discuss several different image classification scenarios that arise in this context and argue that the standard multiple instance learning requires a more detailed disambiguation. Finally we review kernel learning approaches proposed for this problem and derive a more efficient algorithm to solve them. The multiple kernel learning framework is an approach to automatically select kernel parameters. We extend it to its infinite limit and present an algorithm to solve the resulting problem. This result is then applied in two directions. We show how to learn kernels that adapt to the special structure of images. Finally we compare different ways of combining image features for object classification and present significant improvements compared to previous methods.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Consistent Nonparametric Tests of Independence

Gretton, A., Györfi, L.

(172), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, July 2009 (techreport)

Abstract
Three simple and explicit procedures for testing the independence of two multi-dimensional random variables are described. Two of the associated test statistics (L1, log-likelihood) are defined when the empirical distribution of the variables is restricted to finite partitions. A third test statistic is defined as a kernel-based independence measure. Two kinds of tests are provided. Distribution-free strong consistent tests are derived on the basis of large deviation bounds on the test statistcs: these tests make almost surely no Type I or Type II error after a random sample size. Asymptotically alpha-level tests are obtained from the limiting distribution of the test statistics. For the latter tests, the Type I error converges to a fixed non-zero value alpha, and the Type II error drops to zero, for increasing sample size. All tests reject the null hypothesis of independence if the test statistics become large. The performance of the tests is evaluated experimentally on benchmark data.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning Motor Primitives for Robotics

Kober, J., Peters, J., Oztop, E.

Advanced Telecommunications Research Center ATR, June 2009 (talk)

Abstract
The acquisition and self-improvement of novel motor skills is among the most important problems in robotics. Motor primitives offer one of the most promising frameworks for the application of machine learning techniques in this context. Employing the Dynamic Systems Motor primitives originally introduced by Ijspeert et al. (2003), appropriate learning algorithms for a concerted approach of both imitation and reinforcement learning are presented. Using these algorithms new motor skills, i.e., Ball-in-a-Cup, Ball-Paddling and Dart-Throwing, are learned.

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning To Detect Unseen Object Classes by Between-Class Attribute Transfer

Lampert, C.

IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), June 2009 (talk)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Semi-supervised subspace analysis of human functional magnetic resonance imaging data

Shelton, J., Blaschko, M., Bartels, A.

(185), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, May 2009 (techreport)

Abstract
Kernel Canonical Correlation Analysis is a very general technique for subspace learning that incorporates PCA and LDA as special cases. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) acquired data is naturally amenable to these techniques as data are well aligned. fMRI data of the human brain is a particularly interesting candidate. In this study we implemented various supervised and semi-supervised versions of KCCA on human fMRI data, with regression to single- and multi-variate labels (corresponding to video content subjects viewed during the image acquisition). In each variate condition, the semi-supervised variants of KCCA performed better than the supervised variants, including a supervised variant with Laplacian regularization. We additionally analyze the weights learned by the regression in order to infer brain regions that are important to different types of visual processing.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Kernel Methods in Computer Vision:Object Localization, Clustering,and Taxonomy Discovery

Blaschko, MB.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, March 2009 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Motor Control and Learning in Table Tennis

Mülling, K.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Gerrmany, 2009 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Hierarchical Clustering and Density Estimation Based on k-nearest-neighbor graphs

Drewe, P.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2009 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning with Structured Data: Applications to Computer Vision

Nowozin, S.

Technische Universität Berlin, Germany, 2009 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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From Differential Equations to Differential Geometry: Aspects of Regularisation in Machine Learning

Steinke, F.

Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2009 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]