At the start of July, the ORI’s competition team, Team ORIon, took part in it’s first RoboCup. RoboCup is an annual international robotics competition with the aim of promoting robotics and AI research and pushing the boundaries of scientific research. This year the event was held in Sydney, Australia and there were 13 different leagues with teams from many different countries, making it one of the biggest robotics events in the world. An almost complete team photo before leaving for Sydney. The team previously competed at the World Robot Summit in October and has since expanded it’s membership to include post-docs, PhD students and undergraduate students who have worked tirelessly over the past few months on further developing and testing their Toyota Human Support Robot (HSR) in order to perform at the event. https://twitter.com/TeamORIon7/status/1145667936364875777 Team ORIon sent nine [...]
Last week a group from ORI attended the Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems (TAROS) 2019 Conference. The conference this year was held at the newly build Mile End campus of the Queen Mary University of London. Many interesting papers were presented and TAROS this year had an excellent set of keynote talks delivered from leading researchers from industry and academia. ORI’s Dr. Mathieu Geisert was awarded the Best Paper Award for the paper ‘Contact Planning for the ANYmal Quadruped Robot using an Acyclic Reachability-Based Planner', by M. Geisert, T. Yates, A. Orgen, P. Fernbach, and I. Havoutis. The paper develops a contact and motion planning approach for the ANYmal quadruped. This is increasingly important for environments where the robot needs to explicitly plan footholds, a common theme in everyday environments (stairs, steps, obstacles to step over, etc) built for humans and [...]
This week Oxford Robotics were visited by Stratasys, the 3D printing experts, to install their state-of-the-art J735 printer - an essential research tool for the Soft Robotics Lab. It's "the best polyjet multi material 3D printer on the market", according to Perla Maiolino, head of the Soft Robotics Lab: "This printer can print a wider range of materials and colours with horizontal build layers down to 14 microns. The ability to mix materials together allows us to get desired mechanical properties and colours for any object." Stratasys brought a couple of example pieces with them to demonstrate the potential for life-like colour, variable stiffness parts, and internal channels. The results were certainly impressive! The new multi-material 3D printer is an important piece of research equipment for the Soft Robotics Lab, allowing soft robots to be designed and manufactured with [...]
Oxford Robotics Institute past and present at ICRA 2019 in Montreal! Back Row: Ioannis Havoutis, Matt Gadd, Roberto Aldera, Chris Prahacs, Horia Porav, Paul Newman, Ingmar Posner, Rob Weston, Adrián Peñate Sánchez, Tim Tang Front Row: Marco Camurri, Perla Maiolino, Maurice Fallon, Sarah Cen, Alex Bewley, Will Maddern ORI are regular attendees at ICRA, having sent members as far back as the Millennium Conference in 2000. We love this opportunity to not only engage with the latest research but also to reconnect with our friends in the robotics community. While the editorial board is always innovating the format of the conference, the quality of the proceedings proved no exception to the norm. A battery of fluid poster sessions allowed our researchers to wander through a charged environment and engage in ad hoc style with papers on a range [...]
The ORI Running Group On Sunday the 11th of May, ORI's finest athletes embarked on the Oxford Town and Gown 10 Kilometre race. This motley bunch consisted of Bruno, Oiwi, Simon V and Stephen K. It was a fine May morning and it appeared that the masses would be out for the spectacle and sunshine. So as to give the crowds (and ourselves) something to enjoy, we decided we would each try and achieve a personal best time. Bruno and Stephen set their goal at below 55 minutes while I myself (ever the optimist) decided to try and get below 45 minutes. Knowing what times we wanted to achieve and a few choice words of wisdom from me, we each lined up in the relevant starting area. Before we knew it the starting gun sounded and we were off! The first part [...]
Oliver Groth, a 2nd year PhD student at ORI, was invited to give a talk in Berlin at @KIT19, an annual German conference about legal aspects of IT development. This year’s issue was hosted by Google and focused on the ramifications of self-learning and autonomous systems once they are released into the public space. Oliver presented an overview of state-of-the-art applications of deep learning like real-time object detectors, chatbots or GANs to raise awareness about the capabilities and weaknesses of current deep learning technology and allude to related societal and legal issues like dataset bias, bot accountability and authenticity of digital content.