Living Machines Satellite 2020 Workshop is a virtual workshop entitled "Growing structures: bioinspired innovation insights for architecture and robotics". This event, co-organised by Dr. Mirko Kovac (ICL), is to be held on 28 July 2020. Dr. Kovac is also going to give a talk on "Tensile web construction and perching with aerial vehicles".
Full program is available here.
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2020 is the largest robotics conference of its’ kind. A virtual workshop entitled "Self-Assembling and Reconfigurable Systems" is to be held on Tuesday, 30 June 2020. The event is co-organised by Dr. Mirko Kovac (ICL), who is also going to give an invited talk.
Full program is available here: https://www.selfassemblingsystems.org/program
To view the full line-up of speakers, please check: https://www.selfassemblingsystems.org/invited-speakers
LARICS team was busy before the pandemic shut everything down for a few months. Following his talk at E-Conference Better Future of Healthy Ageing 2020 (BFHA 2020), Professor Kovacic gave an interview for ZIMO portal on the preliminary work with Pepper robots being demonstrators of rehabilitation exercises and plans for the future of humanoid robots in healthcare.
Full article (in Croatian) is available here.
In celebration of the World Bee Day (May 20), Prof. Stjepan Bogdan held an invited talk “Swarm Intelligence in Animal-Robot Interaction” at the Technical Museum Nikola Tesla in Zagreb. Prof. Bogdan presented very interesting results of research done on bee communication channels and social behaviour of bees. The talk was a part of a special programme the Museum had prepared to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development.
On 12 March 2020, the review meeting of the first 15 months of the project implementation period (01/09/2018 - 30/11/2019) of project AeRoTwin was held online via WebEx due to special circumstances (COVID-19). The purpose of the meeting was to familiarize the project officer and the EC reviewer with the project activities and achievements accomplished in the relevant period.
Along with the project officer Antonio Scarafino and the EC reviewer, the review meeting was attended by AeRoTwin coordinators Stjepan Bogdan and Ivana Mikolić, as well as the leaders of work packages (WPs) and project team members Silvia de los Santos (CTA), José Ramiro Martinez de Dios (USE), and Ashutosh Choubey (ICL). During the meeting, project partners had the opportunity to present their respective WPs and discuss relevant issues as well as the plan for the upcoming period.
Prof. Zdenko Kovacic attended European Robotics Forum (ERF) that was held 3-5 March 2020 in Malaga, Spain. Prof. Kovačić joined AeRoTwin project partners from the University of Seville, José Ramiro Martinéz de Dios, and Silvia de los Santos from Technological Corporation of Andalusia in promoting AeRoTwin project, attending lectures and workshops, and networking.
This was the 11th Annual European Robotics Forum ‘Future Robotics: Unlocking Human Potential’ hosted by Trade Fair and Congress Centre of Malaga (FYCMA). This iconic event put Spain at the heart of Europe’s most influential forum for robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).
More about ERF 2020 at https://www.eu-robotics.net/robotics_forum/press/malaga-inspires-erf202.html
In line with recommendation given by National Civil Protection Headquarters and Croatian Institute of Public Health, and in order to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease, DroneDays 2020 is postoned until further notice. New dates have yet to be determined.
LARICS team particiapted in the international robotics competition MBZIRC held from 23 to 27 February 2020. The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) is a biennial international robotics competition, organized by Khalifa University. The competition is held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and is intended to be an ambitious and challenging set of tasks that aims to inspire innovative robotics solutions and technical excellence.
LARICS team for the MBZIRC2020 was led by Frano Petric with supervision of professors Stjepan Bogdan and Matko Orsag, and consists of LARICS’ PhD students: Barbara Arbanas, Marko Car, Antun Ivanovic, Marsela Polic, Ivan Hrabar, Ivo Vatavuk, Lovro Markovic, Ana Batinovic, Antonella Barisic, Robert Milijas and Marko Krizmancic. Being the robotics laboratory, LARICS decided to do the challenges autonomously.
Read all about LARICS' participation at MBZIRC at http://larics-mbzirc.fer.hr/index.php/mbzirc2020/
Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing had the honour to host a two-day regional workshop 'Space powering the Green Deal and the Digital Economy' that was co-organised with European Space Agency (ESA) and Croatian Ministry of Science and Education. The workshop took place on 5 and 6 March 2020 and welcomed more than 200 participants and national and international experts from the public and private sector that held more than 20 lectures on different topics related to space technologies, Earth observation data, and environmental protection.
This workshop was a unique opportunity for Croatian researchers and interested public to exchange information and ideas with European experts to define further steps in strenghtening cooperation and explore opportunities for Croatian industry to become actively involved in ESA's programs and projects.
Photos are available in the Gallery.
The H2020 project "Twinning coordination action for spreading excellence in Aerial Robotics - AeRoTwin" and Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems - LARICS invite you to the lecture:
"Human-robot collaboration to extend space missions through telerobotics"
Dr. Neal Y. Lii, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
which will be held on 6 March 2020 at 09:40 in the Auditorium Hall at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Zagreb, Croatia. The lecture will be held within European Space Agency (ESA)- Croatia regional workshop 'Space powering the Green Deal and the Digital Economy'.
On Saturday, 1 February 2020, LARICS members Marko Križmančić, Robert Milijaš and Antonella Barišić hosted around 20 second-grade students from the Elementary School Ksaver Šandor Gjalski in the LARICS lab.
The students had the opportunity to see LARICS' robots operate, and to learn about their functionalities in a simple and interesting way. The students also learned about different types of robots, how they move and perceive the world around them. Robot arm Franka was giving out candy and picking up items which caused a lot of excitement.
The students got to operate spheric robots Sphero and walking robots STEMI using a mobile phone application. The students had most fun interacting with the dancing humanoid robot Pepper. They also expressed great interest in UAVs and remote controlling. Everyone learned a lot of new things and the hosts had a difficult task answering all the questions.
Check out photos and students' drawings inspired by the visit in the Gallery.
LARICS members attended the three-day Robotics Fair 2020 in Ljubljana that took place from 11th to 13th February 2020. Robotics is an international trade fair dedicated to industrial robotics and unmanned systems. The event offers the exhibitors a platform for presenting their range of robot technologies in both industrial and service robots sectors.
The Fair was organised by ICM Slovenia. LARICS members attended the event as representatives of three UNIZG FER laboratories: LARICS, LABUST and LAMOR, under the common brand ROBOTICS FER, next to some of the top tech companies in this field. The visitors had an opportunity to learn about current projects of UNIZG FER's laboratories', their research, innovations and equipment.
All the exhibitors also had excellent opportunities to strengthen their image, increase brand awareness and establish new business relationships. The content-rich accompanying programme included roundtable discussions, presentations and workshops.
In the first week of February 2020, Bahadir Basaran from the Imperial College London, together with our own Marko Krizmancic and Antun Ivanovic, worked on experiments as part of collaboration within AeRoTwin project.
The main goal was building a wall with teams of aerial vehicles specialized for spreading infil mixture between brick layers, and brick pickup and placement. The team developed a mission planner for aerial vehicles collaboration and conducted experiments on a mockup scenario.
On 8 January 2020, Ivana Mikolic held an invited talk within the 5th year course Organisation and Management at University of Zagreb Faculty of Economics and Business. Ivana was invited by the Dr. Rebeka Danijela Vlahov together with Andrej Hanzir (LEAP Summit) to share knowledge and experience in managing EU projects. After the introductory presentations, a panel discussion was initiated between the guest lecturers and the students.
On Thursday, 23 January 2020, Prof. Felipe Gonzalez, Associate Professor at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, will give a lecture on “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Artificial Intelligence Revolutionizing Wildlife Monitoring and Conservation”. The lecture will be held at 11 a.m. in room C-09-01.
Dr. Gonzalez interest is in creating aerial robots, drones or UAVs that possess a high level of cognition using efficient on-board computer algorithms using advanced optimization and game theory approaches that assist us to understand and improve our physical and natural world. Dr. Gonzalez lead the Airborne Sensing Lab at QUT. He is the co-author of several books in UAV based remote sensing and UAV based design based on evolutionary optimization and game strategies and as of 2018 has published nearly 130 refereed papers. He is also a Chartered Professional Engineer, Engineers Australia – National Professional Engineers Register (NPER), a Member Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), The IEEE, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Holder of a current Australian Private Pilot Licence (CASA PPL) and a Remote Pilot Licence (RePL from CASA).
On 2 January 2020, Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji list published an article on project Specularia (Structurized Ecological Cultivation with Autonomous Robots in Indoor Agriculture). Project team members Ivana Mikolić, Bruno Marić, Antun Ivanović, Matko Orsag and Marsela Polić explained in a nutshell the objectives of the project and its scientific, technical and implementational aspects.
- Robotic systems can help small farms with farmland that is difficult for a family to cultivate. One of agricultural critical issues is lack of workforce, young people interested in ariculture. Robotics is a lifeline for our economy, said Project Coordinator Dr. Matko Orsag.
You can read the article (in Croatian) here.
ROBOWEEK activites have been successfully finalized – Sunday (Dec 15, 19) ROBOBAND concert at KSET; Wednesday (Dec 18, 19) lecture "Real-World Robotics: From Swarms to Entrepreneurship" held by Prof. Daniel Lofaro (University of George Mason) and Prof. Neil Dantam (Colorado School of Mines); ROBOTIC FOOD COURT and ROBOFUN interactive workshops on Thursday (Dec 19, 19). Supported by the U. S. Embassy Zagreb, these events served to popularize robotics and spread holiday cheer, all for a good cause. The raised donations will be given to the Association for improving the quality of life of poor and neglected children "Mali zmaj".
Check out photos in the Gallery.
The H2020 project "Twinning coordination action for spreading excellence in Aerial Robotics - AeRoTwin" and Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems - LARICS invite you to the lecture: "Real-World Robotics: From Swarms to Entrepreneurship" by Daniel Lofaro, George Mason University, which will be held on 18th December 2019 at 12:00 in the Gray Hall of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Zagreb, Croatia.
The lecture is organized under the programme Robotics Food Court which is supported by the U. S. Embassy in Croatia.
More about the speaker and the talk can be found in the detailed news content or here.
The new project “AERIAL Cognitive Integrated Multi-task Robotic System with Extended Operation Range and Safety (AERIAL-CORE)”, which commenced on December 1, 2019 , is another joint project of FER (LARICS) and their AeRoTwin partners - University of Sevilla, which has taken up the role of the project coordinator in this project, and Technological Corporation of Andalusia (CTA), among others.
The main objective of AERIAL-CORE is the development of core technology modules and an integrated aerial cognitive robotic system that will have unprecedented capabilities on the operational range and safety in the interaction with people, or Aerial Co-Workers (ACW), for applications such as the inspection and maintenance of large infrastructures.
The project will integrate aerial robots with different characteristics to meet the requirements of:
- Long range (several kilometres) and local very accurate (subcentimetre) inspection of the infrastructure capability;
- Maintenance activities based on aerial manipulation involving force interactions; and
- Aerial co-working safely and efficiently helping human workers in inspection and maintenance.
In November 2019, two LARICS PhD students, Marsela Polic and Marko Car visited the Aerial Robotics Laboratory at the ICL. The students first participated in the training activity, during which they had a guided laboratory visit. They also attended a guest lecture from prof. Masayuki Inaba from the University of Tokio and participated in an origami robotics workshop.
Following the training activity, the students continued their visit to the ARL within the short-term visit, during which they worked on a joint research project proposal together with Dr. Hai-Nguyen Nguyen (post-doc) and Chuqian Lou (PhD student), under the supervision of Dr. Mirko Kovac (laboratory director). The research proposal investigates the possibility of integration of soft robotics paradigm into the UAV control scheme using the origami robotic structures. During the visit, compliant force sensing origami prototypes were designed and tested on mechanical, hardware and software level. An origami casing for UAV mechanical compliance was designed, including both micro origami repeating pattern and macro structure with UAV mounting. Available state of the art micro depth cameras were tested, and the optimal one was chosen. The raw data acquisition was implemented and tested. A long-term timeline for the project progress was defined, during which the origami structure will be manufactured, tested, and implemented. The compliant sensing capabilities will be realized using machine learning and deep learning techniques.
This year LARICS team members are organizing again a robotic charity event, together with KSET and professors from the University George Mason (USA), with the goal to raise funds for the Association for improving the quality of life of poor and neglected children “Mali zmaj”. All the planned activities are taking place between December 15 and 19, 2019 at KSET and in the Faculty’s lobby. The programme of the ROBOWEEK is the following:
- on Sunday, December 15, 2019, from 8 to 11 p.m., on KSET’s stage, the visitors will have the opportunity to attend a unique performance of the ROBOBAND! Robots will be warming up the audience and spreading holiday cheer by playing different instruments, accompanied by FER’s professors and students;
- on Monday, December 16, 2019, professors from the University George Mason (USA) will hold a lecture for FER’s graduate and postgraduate students, and a lecture for the general public to present their science popularization projects;
- on Thursday, December 19, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in FER’s lobby, at the ROBOTIC FOOD COURT, our well-known little robotic helpers Pepper, Franka and Baxter will be serving warm drinks and cookies, while primary and secondary school students will have a chance to attend interactive ROBOFUN workshops.
The co-organizers of the event, University of George Mason professors are planning to hold a similar event in April 2020 at their University.
We wholeheartedly invite you to join us in doing a good deed and spreading joy!
LARICS, LABUST and LAMOR did a great job representing UNIZG-FER at the University of Zagreb Fair 2019 held between November 21 and 23, 2019 at the Student Centre Zagreb, and at the Open Door Day at FER on Saturday, November 23, 2019. Future students and visitors had the opportunity to talk to the members of our laboratories, check the equipment, interact with Pepper, compete against Baxter in solving a Rubik’s cube, and try out navigating the autonomous surface platform H20mniX in an indoor pool! The visitors were also able to learn about the laboratories’ current projects, activities, and prospects of studying at FER.
Check the photos in the Gallery.
LARICS' PhD students Antonella Barišić and Marko Car are currently attending the 2019 International Workshop on Research, Education and Development on Unmanned Aerial Systems, RED-UAS 2019, held in Cranfield, UK, at the Cranfield University taking place from 25 to 27 November 2019. They have presented the following papers:
Barisic, A., Car, M., Bogdan, S., (2019), Vision-Based System for a Real-Time Detection and Following of UAV
Turkovic, K., Car, M., Orsag, M., (2019), End-Effector Force Estimation Method for an Unmanned Aerialmanipulator
The Faculty Council of FER awarded LARICS (Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems) with the Science Award for achieving internationally recognised results in the field of robotics in the past year. Head of Laboratory Prof. Zdenko Kovačić was honoured to receive this special award on behalf of LARICS.
In the week November 11-15, 2019 Stjepan Bogdan, Ivana Mikolić, Matko Orsag, Marsela Polić and Marko Car (UNIZG FER) visited Imperial College London and attended training organised by Mirko Kovac (ICL) within the know-how exchange project activity. The general aim was to give participants hands-on on-site training of bio-inspiration and how to design bio-inspired aerial platform by using CAD tools, 3D printers and novel soft materials.
The first training session was focused on the overview of facilities and testing setups, current work and new results, and planning of joint work and discussion about technical challenges, followed by a discussion on technical methodology and integration focus including system design choices and material selection.
The second session was on sensor selection (Intel reasense, TerraBee, Mint etc) and self-perception for robotic systems. Additionally, AeRoTwin project members Marko Car and Marsela Polić attended a seminar talk by Prof. Masayuki Inaba (University of Tokyo) on robot design including networking with group members about soft robot design. The last activity was training on robot tracking and sensor fusion, including option to integrate the robot in the Gazebo simulation.
During the last morning session, training on soft component manufacturing and design choices for structure took place. The final training was focused on soft material modelling using FEM methods and soft material simulation software approaches.
Check out our photos in our Gallery.
On 14 November 2019 Project Coordinators Prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Ivana Mikolić together with Matko Orsag, Marsela Polić and Marko Car (UNIZG FER) met with their project partners from the Imperial College London and held a project meeting.
Dr. Mirko Kovač and his students hosted UNIZG FER team for an overview of the activities conducted in the first year of the project implementation and to discuss the workplan for the second year. LARICS’ project members also used this opportunity to visit laboratories of their partners' institution.
Check our photos in the Gallery.
AeRoTwin project members Stjepan Bogdan, Ivana Mikolić, Matko Orsag, Marko Car and Marsela Polić (UNIZG FER) participated in the Commercial UAV Show in London that was held on November 12 and 13, 2019. This UAV Show is Europe's largest conference and exhibition for the civilian UAV community. The project members participated in the show within the AeRoTwin WP3 objective with the intention to improve UNIZG-FER quality of innovation management and technology transfer by strengthening links to aerial robotics with the industry and end-users. The group presented laboratory LARICS (UNIZG FER) and AeRoTwin activities and progess.
In the scope of the UAV Show, AeRoTwin Coordinator Prof. Stjepan Bogdan also held a lecture on “Autonomous Inspection of Wind Turbine Blades by an UAV“.
AeRoTwin Coordinators prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Ivana Mikolić participated at the national Horizon 2020 Info Day on Spreading excellence and widening participation programme on 24th October 2019. Stjepan presented Twinning project AeRoTwin as an example of excellent written proposal and implemented project.
Stjepan and Ivana then participated in a Q&A session with representatives from other faculties and institutes in order to share their knowledge and experience and increase proposal submission from Croatia.
Ivana Mikolić held an invited lecture "Managing EU scientific-research projects" at the University of Dubrovnik on 10th of October 2019. More than 30 University's teaching and administrative staff participated in the lecture. The lecture was organized in the scope of AeRoTwin project and by the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society University of Zagreb Student Branch Chapter.
The lecture presented in detail all phases of the projects - from proposal writing, to project implementation, and to evaluation. The possibilities of using EU funds from different programmes were presented. Project preparation and management were elaborated through practical examples. All project phases were presented from a technical, managerial, financial and administrative perspective. The aim of the lecture was to gain a better understanding of EU projects, proposals and calls, as well as the tools used to manage them.
ICL team held a live drone demonstration at the Great Exhibition Road Festival held from 28th to 30th June 2019 at the ICL premises in London, UK.
The Great Exhibition Road Festival is a new three-day celebration of curiosity, discovery and exploration in South Kensington. The Festival is a collaboration between 19 cultural institutions including Imperial College London, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the V&A and the Royal Albert Hall.
Join us for a weekend that brings together science and the arts in a unique programme of creative workshops, talks, exhibitions and performances - all in the spirit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s vision for the Great Exhibition, 200 years on from when they were born.
The event was coordinated by the team behind Imperial’s own Festival, which attracted over 20,000 members of the public for its seventh iteration in 2018.
Mirko Kovac (ICL) presented a poster and held two invited talks at the Robotics: Science and Systems that was held from 22nd to 26th June 2019 at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Freiburg, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. The Robotics: Science and Systems has a long history of bringing together researchers in all areas of robotics from around the world for an engaging and focused week of single-track presentations, workshops, poster sessions, tutorials, and fun!
LARICS' PhD students Barbara Arbanas and Ana Batinović spent four weeks (June 2019) at the University of Seville, Spain, as a part of Aerotwin staff exchange programme.
They were interns at Department for Systems and Automatic Engineering under supervision of professor Jose Ramiro Martinez de Dios. The main focus was on integrating SLAM, obstacle avoidance algorithm and a mission planner for UAV-UGV cooperative teams. Barbara worked on a new task allocation algorithm and Ana on both static and dynamic obstacle avoidance algorithm based on potential fields. Moreover, results will be presented as a joint conference paper and future collaboration.
Within NATO SfP project MORUS and EU project AeRoTwin, Lovro Marković and Marko Car attended the European Control Conference from 25th to 28th of June, 2019 in Naples, Italy. At the conference Lovro presented their paper titled Geometric Tracking Control of Aerial Robots Based on Centroid Vectoring.
Their paper focuses on presenting the concept of geometric tracking control for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) based on variations in centerof gravity (CoG). The proposed UAV model has the ability to exploit its dynamic CoG as a means of stabilization and control. A mathematical model of such a system is used as a base for developing the nonlinear geometric tracking controller on the special Euclidean group SE(3). Finally, two unique UAV models, presented with a trajectory tracking problem, are simulated in a realistic simulation environment. Performance of the selected control terms is analyzed based on relevant simulation results.
ICL displayed drone at the AI summit which is the world’s largest AI event for business.
AI was held from 12th to 13th June 2019 in London, UK, and was visited by more than 20000+ visitors from academia, industry but also general audience.
The 53nd Air Show was held from 17 to 23 June 2019 with 2,453 exhibitors from 49 countries over 125,000 m2 (1,350,000 sq ft) of exhibition space for 140 aircraft shown including the recently certified Airbus A330neo and Boeing KC-46, Bombardier Global 7500, Embraer Praetor 600 and soon to be certified Cessna Citation Latitude; it saw 316,470 unique visitors (for more than 500,000 entries): 139,840 professional from 185 countries and 176,630 from the general Public plus 2,700 journalists from 87 countries and announcements for $140 billion worth of orders.
A dozen Andalusian companies of the aeronautical sector attended the event: Sofitec, Aerotecnic Metallic, Skylife Engineering, Carbures Aerospace & Defense, Alestis Aerospace, Andalucía Aerospace, Grabysur and UMI Aeronáutica; and the Malaga Mades and Aertec Solutions. Silvia de los Santos (CTA), Aerospace and Productive processes sector attended as well in order to conduct some networking that could bring valuable opportunities for consortium members.
The paper titled Centroid vectoring control using aerial manipulator: Experimental results was presented by Antun Ivanović at the international conference IEEE International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems within projects Specularia and AeRoTwin. The conference was held 11-14 June 2019 in Atlanta, USA.
This paper addresses the issues of aerial manipulation and its dynamic center of mass variations by deriving a control principle capable of exploiting this disturbance as a means to stabilize the UAV. The UAV utilizes both rotors variations and centroid vectoring for attitude control and the control structure was further augmented with position control. The main focus is on experimental validation of the system.
ICL participated in Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition with drone display and live demonstration. Exhibition was held in London, UK, from 1st to 7th of June 2019.
It is a week-long festival celebrating the cutting edge of UK science. With a packed programme of thought-provoking talks, jaw-dropping demonstrations and entertaining performances alongside 22 exhibits of hands-on science and technology, there was something for all ages.
On 20-24 May 2019, the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2019) was held in Montreal, Canada, and three of our Lab's members took part in it. Prof. Stjepan Bogdan went to the conference to take part in the workshop titled "The Future of Aerial Robotics: Challenges and Opportunities" as a speaker on the topic of “Full Autonomy in Aerial Manipulation”, while Barbara Arbanas and Goran Vasiljević presented their work and the results of the subCULTron project within the Marine Robotics section of the event.
The 6th edition of Global Robot Expo (GR-EX), the main European technology and innovation fair, was hold its first international edition in Feria de Madrid on 8th and 9th of May 2019. This distinction, granted by the Ministry of Industry, is awarded in recognition of this event’s capacity to bring together companies from around twenty countries, transforming Madrid into the epicentre of the main sectors related to the industry.
With the aim of finding synergies and new business opportunities, 200 robotics companies and over 12,000 visitors will visit the 10,000 m2 exhibition space taken by GR-EX, which is 20% more than in the last edition. GR-EX has four essential spaces, focusing on different business areas.
Silvia de los Santos (CTA), head of the Aerospace and Productive Processes sector, attended the event and used the networking space to spread the word about AeRoTWIN consortium and specially LARICS capabilities.
The 2019 IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft 2019) was held in Seoul, Korea, 14-18 April 2019. Mirko Kovac from ICL visited RoboSoft and presented his two papers.
Soft robotics is a recent exciting trend of robotics, taking the challenge of using soft materials and deformable structures for building robots, with high potential for impact in science and in applications. Given the young and fast growing area and the lively interdisciplinary community that grew around soft robotics, the RoboSoft international conference aims at presenting recent progresses in this field, for discussing new science, new technologies and new opportunities for applications.
The first edition of the two-day end-user aerial vehicles workshop DroneDays, held at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb, Croatia, on 26 and 27 March 2019, was a great success and exceeded all expectations. Over 200 participants listened to 17 lectures by aerial robotics experts from 7 countries, there were 9 demonstrations in the flying zone, and some 2000 visitors came to the company expo to learn about aerial vehicles and their applications. DroneDays was organized by AeRoTwin partner UNIZG-FER and LARICS as part of the EU H2020 project AeRoTwin. Read more about the exciting event in the detailed news.
AeRoTwin team member LARICS' project manager Ivana Mikolić went on 29th March 2019 to the LEAP Summit in Zagreb, Croatia, where she held a lecture at the EU & ME Stage titled "Increasing robotics research excellence with the EU". Ivana talked about her experiences in managing EU and Croatian projects, why they are important and how they can be used to advance our scientific and technological potential. Ivana also gave some recent examples of LARICS projects, such as AeRoTwin and DroneDays, to show how EU funding can successfully be applied in the context of robotics in Croatia and the EU.
Members of the AeRoTwin project team went to Bucharest, Romania, from 19 to 24 March, to take part in the European Robotics Forum 2019. There they attended lectures and workshops, presented their work and some of the robots they work on, and brought their work closer to the public and the robotics community. Project team members who went to ERF2019 representing their institutions and AeRoTwin are the following: Mirko Kovac (Imperial College London), Anibal Ollero (University of Seville), Zdenko Kovačić, Matko Orsag, Ivana Mikolić, Antun Ivanović, Barbara Arbanas and Bruno Marić (UNIZG-FER LARICS). The event's programme can be found here.
Professor Stjepan Bogdan of LARICS went to Abu Dhabi to take part in the 2019 International Symposium on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence on March 10 and 11, where he held a lecture in the Aerial and Underwater Systems session. The lecture was titled "Aerial Robotics – manipulation and interaction with the environment", dealing with the topic of present results in aerial robotics done in LARICS, particularly when it comes to the problem of controlling the force of interaction between an aerial vehicle equipped with a dexterous manipulator and the environment. You can find more info on the event, as well as a book of abstracts, by following this link.
LARICS team member asst. prof. Matko Orsag appeared on 7th March 2019 as a guest speaker for the Croatian National Television's show Dobar Dan, Hrvatska ("Good Day, Croatia") to talk about technological advancements in robotics, particularly aerial robotics, and to introduce the public to the upcoming two-day end-user workshop on aerial robotics, DroneDays, which is organized by the laboratory as part of the project AeRoTwin. The show also featured a segment on the laboratory and what LARICS members do for this field of technology. Prof. Pero Škorput from the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, who will appear at DroneDays as an invited lecturer, was also a guest in the show to talk about the future of traffic and transport. The whole show can be seen via the HRTi service (in Croatian; registration is necessary).
LARICS team members took part in the European Robotics League Emergency Local Tournament on 18-23 February in Seville, Spain, where they achieved great results - they won first place overall, as well as best ground team. During the five days of the competition, they worked on developing their ground and aerial robots, making them work together autonomously in various environments, and they also took part in the 1st AeRoTwin Training and 1st AeRoTwin Short Term Visit with project partners from the University of Seville and Technological Corporation of Andalusia. You can find a gallery from the tournament here.
During the ERL Local Emergency Tournament in Seville, LARICS Project Manager and AeRoTwin Project Coordinator Ivana Mikolić met with project partner CTA Aerospace Technical Officer Silvia de los Santos and consultant Marta Macías for the first AeRoTwin Short Term Visit, where she learned about the CTA model of innovation cluster and technological transfer. Ivana, Silvia and Marta visited the CTA facilities, talked to Silvia about their business and research strategies, and found out more about their equipment, projects etc. and visited the Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies (CATEC). This was the first in a line of short term management-oriented visits which will help LARICS improve the laboratory's R&D capacities, as is the goal of the AeRoTwin project.
This month, the LARICS team will be going to Seville, Spain, to take part in the European Robotics League Emergency Local Tournament 2019! Their team has been pre-selected for this competitive and interesting event, which means that they will have to combine their knowledge of ground and aerial robots to make them work together. They will have to be as autonomous as possible, capable of coordinating through both indoor and outdoor environments and will have to perform specific advanced tasks. LARICS members are working very hard for this competition and are looking forward to taking part in it!
On February 18 and 19, 2019, the LARICS team will be coming to Seville to take part in the first AeRoTwin training with the title Drone Localization and Mapping. The training will be held at the Robotics, Vision and Control Group (GRVC) Lab premises in Seville, Spain, and the lecturers are experienced members of this lab and the AeRoTwin project team, who will help LARICS members learn about drone localization and mapping, the newest developed techniques and technology, the theoretical background and practical applications. You can find out more about the content of the training, the lecturers and related institution by following this link.
The first edition of DroneDays is soon approaching, so the organizers of the event, Ivana Mikolić, Stjepan Bogdan, Matko Orsag and Frano Petric (LARICS and UNIZG-FER team members) told us more about what visitors can expect at the workshop. The interview was published on the DroneDays website and you can read it in the detailed news content. Registrations for the event are now open - register by following this link.
DroneDays is a two-day workshop focused on unmanned aerial vehicles which will be held on 26th and 27th March 2019 at UNIZG-FER in Zagreb, Croatia. The programme consists of keynote lectures, an exhibition area, as well as a flying zone, and is focused on unmanned aerial vehicle applications and end-user industries. It will serve as a meeting place for experts from the industry and academia, end-users, as well as regulatory bodies from the region.
On December 29, LARICS and AeRoTwin team members Matko Orsag and Frano Petric took one of the Laboratory's NAO robots to the Advent in Maksimir, where they participated in an art workshop titled "Overcoming the barriers of autism - together", organized by the Autism Association Zagreb. During the workshop, visitors had the opportunity to meet members of the Association, learn about their activities and take a look at the crafts they exhibited, as well as to get to know the NAO robot and learn about its role in diagnosing autism. Read some more about the event here (in Croatian) and take a look at some of the Association's photos here. This activity was in part sponsored by the AeRoTwin project.
On Wednesday, 19th December, the LARICS team held a fund-raising event for the Autism Association Zagreb, where the robots from their Laboratory worked together to serve visitors with chocolate waffles, brownies and tea or mulled wine. This innovative event was visited by over 2000 people and some 700 orders were taken and served, which resulted in a wonderful amount of over 13 thousand kuna (almost €2000) in donations, all of which will be given to the Autism Association Zagreb.
As part of the AeRoTwin project, the first edition of DroneDays, a two-day workshop focused on unmanned aerial vehicles and their end-users, will be held in Zagreb at UNIZG-FER on 26th and 27th March 2019. The programme of the event will consist of keynote lectures, an exhibition area and a flying zone, and the event will serve as a meeting place for experts from the fields of industry and academia, end-users, as well as regulatory bodies from the region. All end-users, aerial vehicle operators, members of academia and the industry, particularly from the local region, are invited to save the date for the first edition of DroneDays, as there is a lot in store for the event. For more up-to-date information, please visit the official DroneDays website.
The AeRoTwin project will be presented at the "Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation. Pasado, Presente y Futuro" event organized by the Spanish Ministry of Science with the participation of the European Commission. The event will be held on 10 December 2018 in Seville and project team member Silvia de los Santos from CTA will present the audience and general public with AeRoTwin as an example of a successful project proposal and implementation.
From the 5th to the 7th of December, 2018, the project's first Innovation Management Training will be held in Zagreb, Croatia, at UNIZG-FER, hosted by LARICS. The title of the event is "EU and Business R&D Project Management", and the goal of the three-day training is for the attendees to gain a better understanding of EU projects, proposals and calls, as well as the tools used to manage them, with special focus on Horizon 2020 projects. The training will be led by four speakers: Vesna Torbarina from the Croatian Chamber of Economy, Manuel Jiménez Díaz from the Morera&Vallejo Group, Silvia de los Santos from the Technological Corporation of Andalusia and Matko Barišić from ABB AS Norway. The full agenda can be found at this link.
During the week from the 19th to the 23rd of November, 2018, the AeRoTwin Project Coordinator Yiannis Vacondios was in Zagreb for a study visit organized by the European Commission to learn more about Croatian ministries and institutions, and to explore the impact joining the European Union has so far had on Croatia. Three LARICS team members used this chance to meet with him for lunch on Friday, 23rd November, and discuss current ideas and plans for the project, as well as what is in store for the future of the project.
For this year's European Robotics Week, LARICS participated in two events in Zagreb - the University of Zagreb Fair (22nd to 24th November) and University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering Open Day (24th November) with the brand firstname.lastname@example.org and together with two more robotics laboratories from the faculty - LABUST and LAMOR. Both the events were very successful!
On Thursday, 15th November, PhD students who are members of LARICS and the AeRoTwin project team attended a workshop in Zagreb, Croatia, which was organized by the Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ) as part of the institution's project that aims to further develop the careers of young researchers and PhD students in Croatia. At the workshop, they learned about what their possibilities and duties are, how they file reports, work with the system etc. This is one of many such initiatives which will help them reach the goals of the project, particularly the goals of Work Package 1 - Know-how exchange.
The LARICS management team attended an Innovation Management Training with the title "Disruptive Business Models and cracking the code of Financial Forecasting". It was held on 16th November by Helena Deane from WestBIC, Ireland, as part of the EXCELLABUST H2020 Twinning project coordinated by LABUST, another robotics laboratory from UNIZG-FER. The attendees learned about what disruptive business models are, why they are important and how they could be applied in the context of our scientific efforts within the project, as well as outside it.
On November 15, 2018, LARICS members Matko Orsag and Ivana Mikolić took part in the daily tv programme "Dobro jutro, Hrvatska" (Good morning, Croatia, Croatian Radiotelevision) as guests, where they talked about the European Robotics Week 2018 and how it will be manifested in Croatia. Matko is the National Coordinator for the Robotics Week and together with Ivana, his assistant for this event and LARICS project coordinator and manager, they talked about the events organized in Croatia.
S-Moving is an international forum devoted to pooling the technologies applied to smart, autonomous, connected and unmanned mobility by land, sea and aerospace and its infrastructures. It took place in Malaga, Spain from 17 until 18 October 2018. This meeting has a transversal and multi-sectoral nature; thus participants can establish synergies, network, find business opportunities and discover the latest trends in these sectors.
On Thursday, October 18th, 2018 LARICS members Prof. Bogdan and Prof. Kovačić attended the 3rd International Workshop on Advanced Cooperative Systems at UNIZG-FER. The Workshop was organised by ACROSS and DATACROSS, with the intention to bring international and Croatian researchers and industry professionals who have interest in strategic research domains of robotics, big data technologies, renewable energy sources, and control methods.
Prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Ivana Mikolić, AeRoTwin project coordinators, are currently in Brussels attending the TWINNING Coordinators Day organized by the European Commission. They will attend presentations, meet experts in this area and learn about how they can work on and improve the project in the future. They also used this opportunity to meet the AeRoTwin Project Officer in Brussels.
Continuing with the trend of the Lab being very active, the LARICS team went to Biograd na Moru, where the tenth edition of Breaking the Surface was held from 30th September until 7th October. LARICS team went to lectures, visited demonstrations, took part in tutorials and visited a workshop. The event programme and more details about the lectures, tutorials etc. can be found by following this link.
LARICS members went to Madrid to attend another International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) to present their own and the Lab's work. Five of LARICS members, Matko Orsag, Marsela Polić, Frano Petric, Marko Car, and Antun Ivanović were in Spain from 1st to 5th October and actively participated in the conference.
It's been a very active time for UNIZG-FER LARICS, as their members went to Rijeka, Croatia, to present their work and particularly equipment at the Rijeka Nautic Show as part of the new AeRoTwin project. Three of LARICS members were there, prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Marko Car and Lovro Marković, and they presented the UAV designed during the MORUS project.
The Kick-off meeting was held on September 26th, 2018 in Zagreb, at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb, Croatia. The meeting was attended by members from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Seville, Imperial College London and the Technological Coropration of Andalusia, as well as a member of the Advisory Board, and there was a lot to talk about. Not only that, but Mirko Kovač's lecture was also a success.
The H2020 project "Twinning coordination action for spreading excellence in Aerial Robotics - AeRoTwin" and Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems - LARICS invite you to the lecture: "Bioinspired Aerial Robots for Infrastructures" by Mirko Kovač, Imperial College London, which will be held on 27th September 2018 at 09:00 in the Seminar Room of the Department of Control and Computer Engineering on the 9th floor of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Zagreb, Croatia.
More about the speaker and the talk can be found in the detailed news content or here.
The project's Kick-Off Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 26 September 2018 at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb, Croatia, starting at 9 AM. The project partners, coordinator and Advisory Board members will use this chance to introduce themselves, discuss project details, and to make plans for the first year of the project.