DeCoRo Blog



Wednesday 9th of November 2016

    Exhibit at the India-UK Tech Summit.


The DeCoRo project was present at the high-level India-UK Tech Summit. The exhibit included the GummiArm shaking hands with the crowd, through visual and tactile sensing. The hand-shake was soft, showcasing the variable stiffness embodiemnt that makes the arm interesting for developmental learning. Was also a lot of fun!



     GummiArm at the India-UK Tech Summit

Tuesday 18th of October 2016

    Second arm completed.


The second clone of the GummiArm has been built, and will now be shipped to India for the India-UK Tech summit. This arm is featuring advanced plastics like Nylon and PET, making for an even more robust design. The arm was built with funding for a Plymouth University Proof Of Concept grant, based on the GummiArm developed for the DeCoRo project.



     The second GummiArm.

Wednesday 5th of October 2016

    "Co-Exploring Actuator Antagonism and Sensorimotor Learning in a Printable Robot Arm"


I presented this poster at the Neuromechanics 2016 Symposium in Heidelberg Germany. A great event, and a lot of good feedback on the project. Also gave an invited talk at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, organized by Prof. Jochen Triesch.



     Poster at Neuromechanics 2016.

Friday 2nd of September 2016

    Thanks to summer intern Brice.


Thanks to summer intern Brice Denoun, a covolutional neural network architecture was developed for the DeCoRo project. As a start, the nertwork was trained to recognize hands, to enable the GummiArm to give high-fives. The results were presented at the ICDL-Epirob 2016 workshop: "How do infants and robots learn the structure of their bodies? The development of knowledge in humans and machines".



     Brice giving high-five to GummiArm.



Wednesday 24th of August 2016

    Presented at SAB 2016.


I presented a paper on the GummiArm at SAB 2016. See link below. Also had the chance to see a bunch of nice talks, like the one from Stefano Nolfi, see image.


https://pearl.plymouth.ac.uk//handle/10026.1/6711


     SAB 2016.

Tuesday 23rd of August 2016

    LocoKit tutorial!


I participated in the LocoKit tutorial at the SAB 2016 conference. Was a lot of fun, and we got the quadrupeds running around after only a couple of hours of assembly!



     The LocoKit at SAB 2016.

Wednesday 25th of May 2016

    Invited talk on DeCoRo in Berlin.


I gave an invited talk to the BCCN in Berlin, after participating in Mathias Schmerling's Master defence. Great job Mathias! The talk was organized by Prof. Verena Hafner.



     Invited talk at BCCN.

Friday 26th of February 2016

    GummiSkin v0.1!


Over the last month we have had the privilege of having two Italian electronics teachers with us in the lab, Marios Douroukis and Giuseppe Russo. Both work at the Instituto Técnico Tecnológico (ITT) in Trento. While here in Plymouth they have designed and built a prototype of a light, low-cost and robust tactile skin for the GummiArm. We ended up with a predictable name - GummiSkin.

The project (though still very much in the early prototype stage) will soon be published on Github, so stay tuned for updates!



     Marios and Guiseppe with GummiSkin

Wednesday 24th of February 2016

    Hackathon with saltash.net


Got a visit from Angus Reith and his students from saltash.net for a hackathon. Plenty of robots, LEDs, Raspberry Pis, and Python coding, and most of all - fun! Thanks to everyone for participating, including Ricardo, Vincenzo and Quentin from Plymouth!



     Hackathon with Saltash.net

Thursday 18th of February 2016

    v2 of the GummiArm released.


Checkout the latest version of the arm, now with 7DOF, an aluminium stand, and a Kinect on a pan mechanism! In terms of HW we are currently working on integrating a first hand and a tactile skin prototype. More on this soon!

There is also a new website for the arm here: http://mstoelen.github.io/GummiArm/



    

Monday 15th of February 2016

    Invited talk at the 1st UK Robot Manipulation Workshop.


Gave an invited talk on the GummiArm and the DeCoRo project at this very nice event in Birmingham. Was a great collection of talks and people, thanks to Prof. Jeremy Wyatt and the other organizers! See link to flyer for event here:

http://www.pacman-project.eu/perch/resources/uk-manipulation-workshop-flyer-1.pdf



    

Thursday 15th of October 2015

    Publicity for GummiArm and DeCoRo.


Great to see the projects being showcased online:

IEEE Spectrum Automation blog (9th October): http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/video-friday-robot-phone

Trossen Robotics blog: http://blog.trossenrobotics.com/

gadgetify.com: http://www.gadgetify.com/gummiarm/

robocraft.ru: http://robocraft.ru/blog/projects/3436.html


     GummiArm on gadgetify.com


Monday 28th of September 2015

    v1 of the GummiArm released.


Just released a 6 DOF prototype of the GummiArm, including all printables (.FCStd and .stl files) and all code (Python and ROS-based). This version is using the Arbotix-M microcontroller from Trossen Robotics. Hope to have a 7 DOF arm, and a depth camera on a pan mechanism, ready by the end of October. Will then start using it for my current experiments on sensorimotor learning in rich sensory contexts.

https://github.com/mstoelen/GummiArm/releases

     GummiArm v1

Monday 27th of July 2015

    WS presentation in London.


A week ago I had the chance to participate in, and give a talk at, a nice workshop on context aware cognitive systems. The workshop was in London, and was sponsored by the British Machine Vision Association (BMVA) and the Poeticon++ project. See details here:

http://personal.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/N.Pugeault/ContextWorkshop/

    

Tuesday 14th of July 2015

    Thanks to Erasmus+ student Mathias!


For the last 3 months I have had the pleasure of having Mathias Schmerling visiting the lab. He has done great work on Slow Feature Analysis (SFA) on the simulated and real iCub while here. Wish him all the best for the completion of his Master thesis!

    

Wednesday 24th of June 2015

    GummiArm.


Checkout the GummiArm project, a printable "soft" arm I have been working on:

https://github.com/mstoelen/GummiArm

We have decided to complete the arm, and to make use of it for the DeCoRo project. Hoping it will allow me to "break out" of simulations and into the real world. The (variable) passive compliance and easy maintenance will be a great help!

     GummiArm

Tuesday 27th of January 2015

    DeCoRo on Github.


I have created an open GitHub repository for the DeCoRo project:

https://github.com/mstoelen/DeCoRo

Will start using this as the main repository for C++ code, at least.

    

Thursday 20th of November 2014

    Computing power.


Finally received the new computer, a beast weighing in at something like 20 kg. It has a nice 8-core Intel i7 overclocked to 4.4 GHz, and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (with space and power for more). Ready for both serial and parallel computations, in other words. This power will be sorely needed for the experiments we are planning for this project. That is, we would like to do online learning (and prediction) of physical manipulation tasks on a non-trivial robot platform, using a very high-dimensional sensory context. First task - unwrap it...

     Computing power

Wednesday 1st of October 2014

    Project blog created.


Welcome to the blog for the DeCoRO project. Stay tuned for updates!


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