Automation, Robotics and Computer Vision Laboratory (ARVC)
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Research Projects

The research projects detailed here have been developed by the ARVC laboratory, and in some case in colaboration with other research groups and enterprises.

Research Projects

Map Building by Means of Appearance Visual Systems for Robot Navigation

Title: Map Building by Means of Appearance Visual Systems for Robot Navigation

Funded by: CICYT Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación

Duration: 01/01/2017 al 31/12/2019

Description: In order to be truly autonomous, a mobile robot should be capable of navigating through any kind of environment while carrying out a task. In order to do that it is considered necessary that the robot possesses the ability to create a model of its workspace that allows to estimate its position inside it and navigate along a trajectory.
 
Map building and navigation is currently a very active research area, in which a large number of researchers focus on and where very different approaches have emerged based on diverse algorithms and using various kind of sensorial information. To the present days, most of the efforts have been focusing on construction of models of the environment based on a set of significant points extracted from it without considering the global appearance of the scene.
 
Considering the concepts posed above, we propose the improvement and development of new mechanisms that allow an efficient, robust and precise modelling of the environment by making use of omnidirectional vision systems. The research group has experience in the mentioned areas and during the last years has developed different approaches in the areas of map building, localization, exploration and SLAM by means of information gathered by different kind of vision systems installed on the robots. In order to carry out these approaches, an extensive study of the different description methods has been performed, both based on the extraction of significant points and local descriptors and also those methods based on the global appearance of the image, with remarkable results.

Keywords: Mobile robots, autonomous navigation, computer vision, omnidirectional systems

Head Researcher: L. Payá, O. Reinoso

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NAVICOM

Title: Robotic Navigation in Dynamic Environments by means of Compact Maps with Global Appearance Visual Information

Funded by: CICYT Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación

Duration: 01/09/2014 al 31/05/2017

Description: Carrying out a task by a team of mobile robots that move across an unknown environment is one of the open research lines with a higher scope for a large development in the mid-term. In order to accomplish this task it has been proved necessary to possess a highly detailed map of the environment that will allow the localization of the robots as they execute a particular task. During the last years the proposer research team has worked with remarkable results in the field of SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) with teams of mobile robots. The work has considered the use of robots equipped with cameras and the inclusion of the visual information gathered in order to build map models. So far, different kind of maps have been built, including metric maps based on visual landmarks, as well as topological maps base on global appearance-based information extracted from images.
These maps have allowed the navigation of the robots in these maps as well as the performance of high level tasks in the environment. Nonetheless, there exists space for improvement in several areas related to the research carried out so far. Currently, one of the important problems consists in the treatment of the visual information and the updating of this information as the environment changes gradually. In addition, the maps should be created considering the dynamic and static part of the environment (for example when other mobile robots or people move in the environment), thus leading to the creation of more realistic models, as well as strategies to update the maps as changes are detected. A different research line considers the creation of maps that combine simultaneously the information about the topology of the environment, as well as semantic and metric information that will allow a more effective localization of the robot in large environments and, in addition, will enable a hierarchical localization in these maps. The proposed research project considers to tackle the aforementioned lines, thus considering the task of developing dynamic visual maps that will incorporate the semantic and topological structure of the environment, as well as the metric information when the robots perform trajectories with 6 degrees of freedom.

Keywords: Mobile Robots, Visual Maps, Topological and Compact Navigation, Visual SLAM

Head Researcher: A. Gil, O. Reinoso

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Localización y Creación de Mapas Visuales para Navegación de Robots con 6 GDL

Title: Localización y Creación de Mapas Visuales para Navegación de Robots con 6 GDL

Funded by: Generalitat Valenciana

Duration: Enero 2015 - Dic 2016

Description: La realización de tareas por parte de robots móviles que se desenvuelven por un entorno desconocido es una de las líneas de investigación abiertas en la actualidad y que previsiblemente tendrá mayor repercusión a medio plazo. Para ello es necesario poder tener como referencia una información lo más precisa y detallada posible con objeto de que el robot o los robots que se encuentran ejecutando una determinada tarea pueden localizarse dentro del entorno de trabajo. Durante los últimos años se ha trabajado de forma notable y con excelente resultados en esta línea de investigación de creación de mapas de entornos a través de los cuales se pudieran localizar los robots en un proceso conjunto (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping). El grupo de investigación proponente se ha centrado durante los últimos años en esta línea de investigación teniendo como datos de partida para la creación del mapa, la información visual de cada uno de los sistemas de visión con que cuenten los robots. A partir de esta información visual, se extraen mapas métricos con objeto de que los robots puedan localizarse y desarrollar tareas de navegación de una forma lo más precisa posible.
 
Es en este ámbito donde se centra el presente proyecto de investigación, en el que a partir de los resultados alcanzados hasta el momento se plantea acometer nuevas líneas de investigación consistentes en desarrollar mapas visuales dinámicos teniendo en cuenta la información semántica y topológica aportada por los sistemas de visión todo ello en entornos de 6 grados de libertad.

Keywords: Visual SLAM applied to 6DOF robotics

Head Researcher: L.M. Jiménez

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Topological mapping using the global appearance of a set of images

Title: Topological mapping using the global appearance of a set of images

Funded by: Generalitat Valenciana

Duration: 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2016

Description: Cuando un robot móvil desarrolla una tarea dentro de un entorno determinado, necesita tener cierto conocimiento del mismo para poder acometer de forma efectiva dicha tarea. Generalmente los entornos por los que se desenvuelven los robots son no estructurados, complejos y cambiantes. De este modo, resulta crucial crear modelos de estos entornos a partir de la información y observaciones que capturen los robots dentro del mismo, con objeto de que la localización sea efectiva. Es en este ámbito donde se centra la propuesta del proyecto.
 
El objetivo principal que planteamos consiste en resolver el problema de creación de mapas de un entorno desconocido, teniendo como entrada la información aportada por un sistema de visión instalado sobre el robot que explora dicho entorno. La alternativa tradicional para resolver este tipo de problemas consiste en la extracción de características locales de las escenas y la creación de mapas métricos en los que es posible estimar la posición del robot respecto a un sistema de referencia global salvo un determinado error asociado. Frente a esta filosofía, nosotros planteamos hacer uso de la información de apariencia global de las escenas para crear mapas topológicos, que contienen información de las localizaciones que componen el entorno y las relaciones de conectividad entre ellas. Se trata de alternativas más recientes  y computacionalmente eficientes que, sin embargo, necesitan un estudio profundo en tareas de creación de mapas robustos  de entornos extensos y con características dinámicas.

Keywords: Omnidirectional vision, global appearance, topological map, hierarchical localization

Head Researcher: L. Payá

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VISCOBOT II

Title: Integrated Exploration of Enviroments by means of Cooperative Robots in order to build 3D Visual and Topological Maps intended for 6 DOF Navigation

Funded by: CICYT Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación

Duration: 01/01/2011 al 31/12/2013

Description: While a group of mobile robots carry out a task, they need to find their location within the environment. In consequence a precise map of a general and undetermined environment has to be known by the robots. During the last decade a series of methods have been developed that allow the construction of the map by a mobile robot. These algorithms consider the case in which the vehicle moves along the environment, constructs the map while, simultaneously, computes its location within the map. As a result, this problem has been named Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). This research project focusses thus on the construction of visual maps in 3D general unknown environments by using a team of mobile robots equipped with vision sensors. In this sense, we propose to undertake, among others, the following lines: 6 DOF cooperative visual SLAM, in which the robots move following general trajectories in the environment (with 6 degrees of freedom) instead of the classical trajectories in which it is assumed that the robots navigates on a two-dimensional plane; integrated exploration, where the exploration paths of the robots consider to maximize the knowledge of the environment and, at the same time, take into account the uncertainty in the maps created by the robot(s); map alginment and map fusion of local maps created by different robots; and finally, the creation of maps using the information based in the visual appearance that allows the construction of high-level topological maps.

Keywords: Robotics, Visual SLAM, Cooperative Exploration

Head Researcher: O. Reinoso

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VISCOBOT: Percepction

Title: Cooperative Mobile Visual Perception Systems as support for tasks performed by means Robot Networks

Funded by: CICYT Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación

Duration: 1/10/2007 - 30/09/2010

Description: Performing tasks in a coordinated manner by means of a team of robots is a topic of great interest and allows to improve the results compared to the single-robot case. The current research project focuses on this particular field and proposes the need to use different vision systems distributed along the mobile agent network that gather a precise and complete description of the environment. To cope with the proposed goals it will be necessary to tackle with different research lines, in consequence, we are working on the following subjects: Cooperative map building and localization using particle filters, Visual landmark modelling: Improving data association in visual SLAM, development of cooperative exploration strategies using the information provided by each robot, cooperative reconstruction of environments using appearance based methods.

Keywords: Robots Cooperativos, SLAM visual, Exploración cooperativa, Reconstrucción basada en apariencia

Head Researcher: O. Reinoso

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Cooperative Robotics

Title: Collaborative Teleoperation Tools. Application to cooperative robot control

Funded by: CICYT Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia

Duration: 12/2004 - 11/2007

Description: The present project is devoted to the development of advanced teleoperation tools focused in three main goals: a collaborative control scheme allowing one or more users to participate in the execution of tasks; cooperative control techniques for multiple robots so that they work simultaneously and helping each other; and a general, non-structured environment where there may be several moving objects whose dynamics may affect the execution of the task. Research is performed in several technological areas in order to cover the project objectives. The following developments are proposed: efficient dialog techniques between users, between robots and between both agents; cooperative control strategies, both generic and adapted to particular test-bed tasks; sensor fusion techniques in charge of the management of the data provided by the different sensors and the users; 3D scene recognition from the data acquired by each robot from a different point of view; and visual control to adapt the robot movements to the changing environment.

Keywords: cooperative robots, collaborative control, teleoperation

Head Researcher: O. Reinoso

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Aidico-DISCO

Title: Study and analysis of disc-based cutting of natural stone by means monitoring the process

Funded by: Generalitat Valenciana

Duration: 1/1/2004 - 31/12/2005

Keywords: Stone Cutting

Head Researcher: O. Reinoso


ATTEND

Title: Modelling of Virtual enviroments for training in teleoperated systems for dynamic enviroments

Funded by: CICYT Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia

Duration: 28/12/2001 - 27/12/2004

Description: This research project is a continuation of a previous one (Automatic and Remote-Control Architectures Learning Systems) in which diverse tools were developed that let carry out tasks in a remote environment by means of advanced interfaces incorporation. From the designed architecture in the previous project, we have developed in the current one new research lines which focus on dynamic virtual environments incorporation to remote-control systems with the purpose that the operator can simulate the resultant effect of realise an specific action on the dynamic environment, before these actions really carry out in the remote environment.

Keywords: Teleoperation, robotics, learning, haptics, visual control

Head Researcher: O. Reinoso

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AYILTH

Title: Multiaxial test system fort area yield improvement in the fabrication of leather, enhancing leather characteristics and diminishing enviromental impact

Funded by: U.E.CRAFT- Programa GROWTH

Duration: 8/2001 - 7/2003

Description: The goals of this project are Development of an appropriate mechanical device for stretching the leather and a watertight container, to carry out the thermal treatments and trials in order to determine the conditions of the water thermal treatment that gives maximum area yield (in many cases higher than 10%) on standard leather fabrication.

Keywords: Test, leather manufacturing

Head Researcher: L.M. Jiménez

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TREPA: Palmtree Climbing Teleoperated Robot

Title: Climbing robot for plamtree and cilyndrical structures maintenance

Funded by: CICYT Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia

Duration: 1/1/2000 - 31/12/2001

Description: This project proposes the application of parallel plataforms as climbing robots, considering the great load capacity these mechanic structures own and the flexibility to evolve in a tight work space. A theoretical framework of analysis of kinematics and dynamics of this sort of robotic structures has been studied, and its applications as climbing robots.

Keywords: Teleoperation, robotics, learning, haptics, visual control

Head Researcher: O. Reinoso

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Teleoperated Robot Control

Title: Automatic Learning systems in control architectures for Teleoperation

Funded by: CICYT Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia

Duration: 11/1998 - 12/2000

Description: This project proposes the development of a teleoperated system with a high degree of automatization which learns tasks previously done by an operator. The need of learning of task capabilities shows up from the consideration of operation in non-structured and unknown environments. In this way, in the first stage, will be the operator who shows the way a remote task must be done, and afterwards, the system must learn the specific relations that define such execution in order to repeat that task in similar conditions.

Keywords: Teleoperation, robotics, learning, computer vision

Head Researcher: O. Reinoso

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Robot application for automatic finishing of plastic inyection products

Title: Automatic Finishing System

Funded by: IMPIVA - en colaboración con INESCOOP

Duration: 9/1998 - 9/1999

Description: The process of shot casting generates remains (curls) caused by the division among tools that affect the final quality of the manufactured product. After this process is necessary to continue with a trimming that eliminates these previously generated remains. So, we use a robotized arm with visual sensors that makes the suitable treatment for the different tools in production possible.

Keywords: Robotics

Head Researcher: O. Reinoso

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Subpixel Image Procesing

Title: Subpixel techniques for border Detection

Funded by: Generalitat Valenciana

Duration: 1/1/1999 - 31/12/1999

Description: One of the main problems in artificial vision is the need to increase the spatial resolution of the object images that are studied. We propose a system which is enable to detect zones of interest for the analysis inside an image and to increase the resolution in such areas.

Keywords: Computer vision, Subpixel

Head Researcher: O. Reinoso

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Technical Assistance

GRASS: Artificial Grass Pavements

Title: Criteria generation for the development of damping bases applied to artificial grass floorings

Funded by: Euro Grass 2002 S.L.

Duration:

Keywords:

Head Researcher: O. Reinoso


Essay A&CN (I)

Title: Development of an acquisition system for impact absorption and deformation essays covering normative UNE 4158 IN

Funded by: Automatica & Control Numérico (A&CN)

Duration: 1/2007 - 1/2008

Keywords:

Head Researcher: O. Reinoso


Essay A&CN (II)

Title: Analysis and deployment of a Mechanical System or Sporting Pavement covering normative UNE 4158 IN

Funded by: Automática & Control Numérico (A&CN)

Duration: 4/2007 - 1/2008

Keywords:

Head Researcher: O. Reinoso


PICUDO

Title: Computer Vision System for tracking nad recording of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus

Funded by: Ayuntamiento de Elche - Estación PHOENIX

Duration: 4/2006 - 7/2007

Description: The goal of this project is to design and build a visual recording system that allows studying the behaviour of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus in the proximity of palm trees and traps. The system is designed to work in extreme conditions of humidity and lighting, night and day. The system includes a computer vision detector in order to perform automated recordings.

Keywords: Computer Vision, Surveyance

Head Researcher: O. Reinoso


MetaleX

Title: Design and implementation of electronic search system for normative in the metal sector: "Metalex"

Funded by: FEMPA

Duration: 1 año

Description: Contrato para actividades de apoyo tecnológico entre la Universidad Miguel Hernández y la Federación de Empresarios del Metal de la Provincia de Alicante (FEMPA) para el diseño e implementación de buscador electrónico de normativa en el sector del metal: "MetaleX"

Keywords: metalex, fempa

Head Researcher: D. Ubeda


Inter-Univesity Collaboration Projects

AutomatL@bs

Title: AutomatL@bs: remote laboratory network for education in Control Theory

Funded by: Red E-Automatica CICYT

Duration: 2007-08

Description: The AutomatL@bs project is a network of virtual and remote laboratories for teaching and learning of control engineering. It is based on the integration of the hardware/software/human resources provided for the university groups taking part into this project. Shortly, AutomatL@bs provides to students two elements: web-based tools for booking time-slots in order to carry on the practical experiences and a working environment purposefully designed to ease the learning process. However, the network of remote laboratories in control engineering, AutomatL@bs, is not only the sum of its parts but it must be appreciated as a laboratory with a uniform structure regardless where the location of the physical processes is. To work in AutomatL@bs, all that a student needs is a Java-enabled browser and to be registered into the system. So, AutomatL@bs must not be considered just the simple juxtaposition of the different remote laboratories of each university taking part into the project. All the laboratories share a common working scheme and the learning materials have been carefully designed to allow students make the practical experiences in an autonomous way at their own pace. The project is coordinated by Professor Sebastian Dormido Bencomo of the Department of Computer Science and Automatic Control of the Spanish University of Distance Learning (UNED).

Keywords: Remote Laboratories, Control Systems, Education on Automation

Head Researcher: O. Reinoso

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