Update on DRIVERLESS VEHICLES

Here is some latest update on driverless vehicles or autonomous vehicles

  1. Driverless cars are legal in California (from September) – “California Governor Jerry Brown signed senate bill SB1298 into state law on May 22, allowing the first licensed autonomous vehicles to roam freely on the California’s roads. Not just test courses or closed-off paths, but the highways and public streets everyone drives everyday. ” See more at Source 
  2. Hyundai driverless car tech - Convoy of unmanned 2015 Hyundai Genesis sedans show off upcoming adaptive cruise control and lane departure technology. The key technologies shown are Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB). See more at Source
  3. Google’s self-driving car is capable of detecting and avoiding traffic cones - See more at Google’s YouTube video.
  4. Michigan Builds Fake City to Test Driverless Cars - The University of Michigan’s Engineering College, through its Mobility Transformation Center, is building a real-life SimCity (32-acre simulated city center complete with building facades, stoplights, intersections, traffic circles, and even construction sites to test driverless cars ) to test new automated vehicle technologies in a realistic off-roadway environment. – See more at Source 

 

Volvo Car Group’s Project ‘Drive Me’ first self-driving car on public roads

Like Google self-driving car, Swedish multinational manufacturing company, Volvo car group  announced on Apr 29 2014 that the company’s ‘Drive Me project’  is testing it’s self-driving cars on public roads. The  Drive Me project is a joint initiative between Volvo Car Group, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park and the City of Gothenburg [source : Volvo Car Group]. The Drive Me project uses a combination of sensors, such as ladar, camera and laser and software algorithms in-order to do automatic steering, accelerating and braking.

Unlike Google self-driving car (still test/drive by engineers), Volvo car group is  putting its customers behind the wheel of the 100 self-driving cars. These customers have to drive the 100 self-driving cars in everyday driving conditions on approximately 50 kilometres of selected roads in and around Gothenburg.

See the video clips below on Drive Me project  (was released late last year)

Volvo Drive Me Autonomous Driving Project

Volvo autonomous driving pilot project overview

Find out more

Google self-driving car testing in city area.

Since 2009, the world’s No.1 Internet search engine, Google has been working on self-driving cars (or autonomous car) and have logged more than 700,000 miles without any accidents. Most of these driving were done on freeways, where road conditions are better, mainly straight road, less traffic, no pedestrian, and driving can be more predictable.

Recently, Google started to test Google self-driving car in city area. See the video clip below;

This video shows Google self-driving car with advanced perception technology that understands its complex surrounding environment.  For example, Google self-driving car is able to detect orange sign and cone and alert a driver about the road construction and road blockage ahead and same time change to another lane safely. The video also shows that Google self-driving car is also able to detect large objects (e.g., large truck) and small dynamic objects (e.g., cyclist) in-front or side of the car and keep safe distance from those object.

Chris Urmson, who is the tech lead for the project, said that We’ve improved our software so it can detect hundreds of distinct objects simultaneously – pedestrians, buses, a stop sign held up by a crossing guard, or a cyclist making gestures that indicate a possible turn,”

Well, it seems to me that we may not need to wait till 2020 for self-driving car – provided infrastructure and legislation are ready.

For more information visit at  IEEE Spectrum or you can visit @ Google driverless car.

Find out more

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SOCIAL ROBOTICS (ICSR 2014)

Conference Theme: Social Intelligence

http://icsr2014.org

October 27th – 29th, 2014

The International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR) brings researchers and practitioners together to report and discuss advances in the exciting and emerging field of social robotics. The ICSR conferences focus on the interaction between humans and robots, robot services, and the integration of robots into society.

The theme of the 2014 conference is “Social Intelligence“. Robots will improve the quality of human life through assistance, enabling for instance independent living or providing support in work-intensive, difficult and complex situations. Fluent interaction and collaboration with people will require that robots develop social intelligence a critical capacity for negotiating complex social relationships and environments. The conference aims to foster discussion on the development of computational models, robotic embodiments, and behaviour that will enable social robots to develop sophisticated levels of social intelligence. The conference welcomes original contributions describing technically rigorous scientific and philosophical advances in the area of social robotics: Innovative ideas and concepts, new discoveries and improvements, novel applications of the latest fundamental advances in the core technologies that form the backbone of social robotics, distinguished developmental projects, as well as seminal works in aesthetic design, ethics and philosophy, studies on social impact and influence pertaining to social robotics, and its interaction and communication with human beings and its social impact on society.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to the following:

- Interaction and collaboration among robots, humans, and environments
- Robots to assist the elderly and persons with disabilities
- Socially assistive robots to improve quality of life
- Affective and cognitive sciences for socially interactive robots
- Personal robots for the home
- Social acceptance and impact in society
- Robot ethics in human society and legal implications
- Context awareness, expectation, and intention understanding
- Control architectures for social robotics
- Socially appealing design methodologies
- Safety in robots working in human spaces
- Human augmentation, rehabilitation, and medical robots
- Robot applications in education, entertainment, and gaming
- Knowledge representation and reasoning frameworks for robot social intelligence
- Cognitive Architectures that support social intelligence for robots
- Robots in the workplace.

IMPORTANT DATES
Special Session Proposal Submission: March 15, 2014
Workshop Proposal Submission: 2 May 2014
Regular/Special Session Paper Submission: 18 June 2014
Notification of Paper Acceptance: 16 July 2014
Final Camera-Ready Paper Submission: 30 July 2014
Competitions Submission Deadline: 12 September 2013
Competitions Notification of Acceptance: 26 September 2014
Conference Dates: 27th to 29th October 2014

INVITED SPEAKERS

Tony Cohn, Leeds University, UK
Peter Gardenförs, Lund University, Sweden
Oussama Khatib, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Stanford University

SUBMISSION OF PAPERS

Submissions must be made in the PDF format and follow the Springer LNCS/LNAI style for the layout. LNCS style templates are available on the Springer LNCS website. Full papers are limited to ten A4 size papers, extended abstracts to two A4 pages. Detailed instructions for paper submission are available at http://www.icsr2014.org. All papers will be refereed by the program committee.

EXHIBITIONS

Participants who would like to exhibit their interactive demonstrations at the conference site please prepare 1 page summary describing the demonstration and email exhibitions@icsr2014.org. Exhibition booth will be allocated to demonstrations approved by the ICSR2014 organizing committee. The University of Technology, Sydney will make its PR2, Turtle Bots and NAO robots available to accepted demonstrations when required.

WORKSHOPS

Participants are invited to hold a full/half day workshop on 27 October 2013 on a topic relevant to social robotics and the general theme ‘Social Intelligence’. Outlines of intended workshops are to be submitted to workshops@icsr2014.org.

COMPETITIONS

Social Robot Design Competition: A search for creative ideas about what a social robot could be. This year we are accepting designs from practitioners from any discipline, and in any format: designs, prototypes, performances, videos or demos are invited for exhibition at the conference. Please send submissions to competition@icsr2014.org.

CONFERENCE ORGANIZATION

General Chair
Mary-Anne Williams, University of Technology, Sydney

Program Chairs
Michael Beetz, University fo Bremen, Germany
Benjamin Johnston, University of Technology, Sydney

Advisory Board
Ronald C. Arkin, Georgia Tech, USA
Paolo Dario, Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna, Italy
Shuzhi Sam Ge, The National University of Singapore and University of Electronic Science and Technology of China
Oussama Khatib, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Stanford University
Jong Hwan Kim, KAIST, South Korea
Haizhou Li, A*Star, Singapore
Maja Mataric, University of South California, USA

Fore more info visit @ http://icsr2014.org

Robotic Companies

Here is a list of some of the most innovative robotitc companies;

  1. 3D Robotics - 3D Robotics develops innovative, flexible and reliable personal drones and UAV technology for everyday exploration and business applications.
  2. ABB Robotics - ABB is a leading supplier of industrial robots, modular manufacturing systems and service. A strong solutions focus helps manufacturers improve productivity, product quality and worker safety. ABB has installed more than 200,000 robots worldwide.
  3. Autonomous Solutions - ASI designs and manufactures unmanned vehicles for mining, agriculture, proving grounds, and military.
  4. Bosch - The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In 2012, its roughly 306,000 associates generated sales of 52.5 billion euros.
  5. Foxconn Technology Group –  Guided by a belief that the electronics products would be an integral part of everyday life in every office and in every home, Terry Gou founded Hon Hai Precision Industry Company
  6. Honda Robotics – Honda Motor Co., Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the development, manufacture, and distribution of motorcycles, automobiles, and power products primarily in
  7. Honeybee Robotics – Honeybee Robotics develops technology and products for next-generation advanced robotic and spacecraft systems that must operate in dynamic, unstructured and often hostile environments
  8. iRobot Corporation – iRobot Corporation designs and builds robots for the consumer, government, and industrial markets. iRobot was founded in 1990 when Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticists
  9. Kinova Robotics – Kinova is a Canadian company engaged into the design and manufacture of innovative solutions in the field of personal robotics. The team of experts at Kinova is dedicated to
  10. KUKA Robotics – KUKA Robotics Corporation manufactures PC-controlled robots. The company offers industrial robots, such as small robots; robots with low, medium, and high payloads;
  11. Panasonic – Panasonic Corporation, formerly known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (changed its name to Panasonic Corporation in October 2008), develops, manufactures, and sells
  12. Parrot – Parrot S.A is a French company that provides wireless devices for mobile phones worldwide. The company’s products include Bluetooth hands-free systems and kits, multimedia…
  13. Rethink Robotics - Rethink Robotics develops adaptive, low-cost robots for manufacturing. Rethink’s solutions are targeted for the SMB market and designed to be human-safe and easily programmable.
  14. ULC Robotics – ULC works with gas utilities and other energy-related organizations to provide advanced equipment and services for asset inspection, maintenance and other other specialize
  15. Universal Robots – Universal Robots is a first mover within a new segment of collaborative industrial robots focusing on user friendliness and flexibility for the SMB market. The company is headquartered
  16. WowWee Holdings Inc. – WowWee Holdings Inc. engages in the design, development, marketing, and distribution of technology-based consumer robotic, toy, and entertainment products.

RoboCup International Symposium 2014

********************************************************************
Final Call for Papers – Extended Deadline
RoboCup International Symposium 2014
João Pessoa, Brazil
July 25th, 2014

http://www.robocup2014.org/

********************************************************************

IMPORTANT UPDATE INFORMATION

New Deadline: the deadline was postponed by 2 weeks to April 25th. This is a HARD deadline.

Confirmed Keynote Speaker: We are proud to announce that Prof. Rodney Brooks (iRobot, Rethink and MIT) will be presenting a keynote speech at the RoboCup Symposium in João Pessoa.
OVERVIEW

The 18th annual RoboCup International Symposium will be held in conjunction with RoboCup 2014 (July 19-24). The Symposium represents the core meeting for presentation and discussion of scientific contributions to a variety of research areas related to all RoboCup divisions (RoboCupSoccer, RoboCupRescue, RoboCup at Home, RoboCup at Work and RoboCupJunior). Its scope encompasses, but is not restricted to, research and educational activities within the fields of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.

Due to its interdisciplinary nature, the symposium offers a unique venue for exploring various and intimate connections of theory and practice across a wide spectrum of research fields. The experimental, interactive, and benchmark character of the RoboCup initiative presents the opportunity to disseminate novel ideas and promising technologies, which are rapidly adopted and field-tested by a large (and still growing) community.

SUBMISSION

We solicit submissions of papers reporting on high-quality, original research with relevance to the areas mentioned below. All researchers working in these areas, even if not actively participating in RoboCup teams, are urged to submit their work. Both papers describing real-world research and papers reporting theoretical results, as well as combinations thereof, are welcome. We also encourage the submission of high-quality overview articles for any field related to the general scope of RoboCup.

The proceedings of the RoboCup International Symposium are published and archived within the Springer-Verlag Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (LNAI) series. Submitted papers are limited to 12 pages formatted according to the LNAI requirements (http://www.springer.com/series/1244) and must be electronically submitted through the symposium web site:

https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=robocupsymposium2014

All contributions are peer-reviewed by at least three reviewers using a blind review process.

DEVELOPMENT TRACK

To encourage open-source releases of hard and software components, a special track on open-source developments will be included in the 2014 RoboCup International Symposium. Contributions to this track are limited to eight pages, formatted according to LNAI requirements. They should include evidence of impact of the released component to the RoboCup community. Review of these contributions will be based on technical contribution and benefit for the RoboCup community.
IMPORTANT DATES

* Submission of full papers: April 25th, 2014 – HARD Deadline.
* Notification to authors: June 6th, 2014.
* Submission of camera-ready copies: June 20th, 2014.
* RoboCup 2014 Symposium: July 25th, 2014.
SYMPOSIUM CO-CHAIRS

* H. Levent Akin, Bogaziçi University
* Reinaldo A. C. Bianchi, FEI University
* Subramanian Ramamoorthy, University of Edinburgh
* Komei Sugiura, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology
AREAS OF INTEREST
* Robot Hardware and Software
- mobile and humanoid robots
- sensors and actuators
- embedded and mobile devices
- robot construction and new materials
- robotic system integration
- robot software architectures
- robot programming environments and languages
- real-time and concurrent programming
- robot simulators
* Perception and Action
- distributed sensor integration
- sensor noise filtering
- real-time image processing and pattern recognition
- motion and sensor models
- sensory-motor control
- robot kinematics and dynamics
- high-dimensional motion control
* Robotic Cognition and Learning
- world modeling
- localization, navigation, and mapping
- planning and reasoning
- decision making under uncertainty
- reinforcement learning
- complex motor skill acquisition
- motion and sensor model learning
* Multi-Robot Systems
- team coordination methods
- communication protocols
- learning and adaptive systems
- teamwork and heterogeneous agents
- dynamic resource allocation
- adjustable autonomy
* Human-Robot Interaction
- human-robot interfaces
- speech synthesis and natural language generation
- visualization
- emotion recognition
- human’s intent cognition
- affect detection and synthesis
- robot response to external disturbances
- safety and dependability
* Education and Edutainment
- Robotics and Artificial Intelligence education
- educational robotics
- robot kits and programming tools
- robotic entertainment
* Applications
- disaster rescue information systems
- search and rescue robots
- robotic surveillance
- service and social robots
- robots at home
Regards on behalf of the symposium co-chairs.
Email: symposium@robocup2014.org

http://www.robocup2014.org/ 

What is robotic middleware ?

There are many definitions of middleware found in literature. In common, middleware can be defined as a software layer that reside above OS and Networking that enable interaction between different applications through standard Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in distributed environment.

There are many middlewares available in markets and some are listed below;

  1. Player – The Player project started at the University of Southern California. Player is a “distributed device repository server”  for robots, sensors, and actuators. A client program communicates with Player, running on the robot, using a separate TCP socket connection for data transfer.
  2. Coupled Layer Architecture for Robotic Autonomy (CLARAty) -  CLARAty is an attempt by NASA, through collaboration with the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ames Research Center, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Minnesota
  3. Miro – The Miro is an object-oriented robotics middleware developed by the University of Ulm, Germany. Player
  4. Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio (MRDS) – MRDS is a Windows-based environment for robot control and simulation. Marie (Mobile and Autonomous Robotics Integration Environment) was developed by the Mobile Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory, University of Sherbrooke, Canada.
  5. Orca and Open Platform for Robotic Services (OPRoS) – Both middleware are designed by the IT R&D program of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy of Korea, are component-based software frameworks.
  6. Robot Operating System (ROS) – ROS is a “thin, message-based, peer-to-peer”, robotics middleware designed for mobile manipulators.
  7. The Open Robot Control Software (Orocos) - Orocos is a Real-Time Toolkit (RTT) that helps the developers to build C++ robotics applications.
  8. Robot Software Communication Architecture (RSCA) – RSCA developed in Seoul National University, is a robot middleware for networked home service robots.

 

Source : Robotics Middleware: A Comprehensive Literature Survey and Attribute-Based Bibliography

What is autonomous car ?

In nutshell, Autonomous car is a robotic vehicle that is designed to sense its environment – using various sensors – and navigate/travel – using various software modules – between destinations without a human operator’s input. Autonomous car also known or sometime called as driver-less car, driver-free car, self-driving car or robot car and many more.

Autonomous car rely on a number of sensors such as ultrasonic sonars, LIDAR, regular cameras, laser scanners,and radars to provide the “eyes” and “ears” for autonomous car. For example, the ultrasonic sensor reflects sound waves that detects distance to nearby objects – can be used for assisted parking. Some Autonomous cars use short-range radar instead. LIDAR can be used to create a detailed map of the car’s surroundings as it moves. Cameras can be used for lane-keeping and back-up assistance.

Similarly, Autonomous car rely on a number of software such as perception, navigation, behaviour, and localisation provide “intelligent behaviour” to navigate safely. For example perception software, image-processing software can be used to detect lane stripes, signs, stop lights, road signs and other objects. Navigation software

RoboCup 2013 : RoboCup International Symposium 2013

OVERVIEW

The 17th annual RoboCup International Symposium will be held in conjunction with RoboCup 2013 (June 24-30). The Symposium represents the core meeting for presentation and discussion of scientific contributions to a variety of research areas related to all RoboCup divisions (RoboCupSoccer, RoboCupRescue, RoboCup@Home, RoboCup@Work and RoboCupJunior). Its scope encompasses, but is not restricted to, research and educational activities within the fields of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.

Due to its interdisciplinary nature, the symposium offers a unique venue for exploring various and intimate connections of theory and practice across a wide spectrum of research fields. The experimental, interactive, and benchmark character of the RoboCup initiative presents the opportunity to disseminate novel ideas and promising technologies, which are rapidly adopted and field-tested by a large (and still growing) community.

SUBMISSION

We solicit submissions of papers reporting on high-quality, original research with relevance to the areas mentioned below. All researchers working in these areas, even if not actively participating in RoboCup teams, are urged to submit their work. Both papers describing real-world research and papers reporting theoretical results, as well as combinations thereof, are welcome. We also encourage the submission of high-quality overview articles for any field related to the general scope of RoboCup.

The proceedings of the RoboCup International Symposium are published and archived within the Springer-Verlag Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (LNAI) series. Submitted papers are limited to 12 pages formatted according to the LNAI requirements (http://www.springer.com/series/1244) and must be electronically submitted through the symposium web site:

https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=robocupsymposium2013

All contributions are peer-reviewed by at least three reviewers using a blind review process.

NEW TRACK

To encourage open-source releases of hard- and software components, a special track on open-source developments will be included in the 2013 RoboCup International Symposium. Contributions to this track are limited to eight pages, formatted according to LNAI requirements. They should include evidence of impact of the released component to the RoboCup community. Review of these contributions will be based on technical contribution and benefit for the RoboCup community.

IMPORTANT DATES

* Submission of full papers: March 1, 2013
* Notification to authors: April 14, 2013
* Submission of camera-ready copies: April 29, 2013
* RoboCup 2013 Symposium: July 1st, 2013

SYMPOSIUM CO-CHAIRS

* Sven Behnke, University of Bonn
* Manuela Veloso, Carnegie Mellon University
* Arnoud Visser, Universiteit van Amsterdam
* Rong Xiong, Zhejiang University

AREAS OF INTEREST

* Robot Hardware and Software
- mobile and humanoid robots
- sensors and actuators
- embedded and mobile devices
- robot construction and new materials
- robotic system integration
- robot software architectures
- robot programming environments and languages
- real-time and concurrent programming
- robot simulators

* Perception and Action
- distributed sensor integration
- sensor noise filtering
- real-time image processing and pattern recognition
- motion and sensor models
- sensory-motor control
- robot kinematics and dynamics
- high-dimensional motion control

* Robotic Cognition and Learning
- world modeling
- localization, navigation, and mapping
- planning and reasoning
- decision making under uncertainty
- reinforcement learning
- complex motor skill acquisition
- motion and sensor model learning

* Multi-Robot Systems
- team coordination methods
- communication protocols
- learning and adaptive systems
- teamwork and heterogeneous agents
- dynamic resource allocation
- adjustable autonomy

* Human-Robot Interaction
- human-robot interfaces
- speech synthesis and natural language generation
- visualization
- emotion recognition
- human’s intent cognition
- affect detection and synthesis
- robot response to external disturbances
- safety and dependability

* Education and Edutainment
- Robotics and Artificial Intelligence education
- educational robotics
- robot kits and programming tools
- robotic entertainment

* Applications
- disaster rescue information systems
- search and rescue robots
- robotic surveillance
- service and social robots
- robots at home

Regards on behalf of the symposium co-chairs
Manuala Veloso, Rong Xiong, Sven Behnke and Arnoud Visser
Email: robocupsymposium2013@easychair.org

Robot Operating System

Willow Garage has been spearheading the push of open source software for use in the robotics community. Robot Operating System (ROS) has been used widely in the research community and it’s interesting how researcher can share their work globally and how this community not only helps to grow the functions of robots but also improve the robustness of the algorithms.

Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) was formed as a bigger umbrella to take care projects like ROS and Gazebo to unify the use of the platforms and also to educate the users of the platform. These evangelistic or consultants will preach the good news and they will be the eyes and ears on the ground to find out the needs of robotics as a whole globally.

Willow Garage has been spearheading the push of open source software for use in the robotics community. Robot Operating System (ROS) has been used widely in the research community and it’s interesting how researcher can share their work globally and how this community not only helps to grow the functions of robots but also improve the robustness of the algorithms.
Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) was formed as a bigger umbrella to take care projects like ROS and Gazebo to unify the use of the platforms and also to educate the users of the platform. These evangelistic or consultants will preach the good news and they will be the eyes and ears on the ground to find out the needs of robotics as a whole globally.