Congratulations to Meng Cheng Lau, who successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis, Betty: A Portrait Drawing Humanoid Robot Using Torque Feedback and Image-based Visual Servoing. This work involves upper-body coordination, hand-eye coordination, and workspace management for humanoid robots, and uses a drawing domain to evaluate the work.
Videos of this work are available on MC's YouTube Channel, and the thesis itself is available in the 2014 publications section of this website.
Our FIRA HuroCup robotics competition team - the SnoBots - has won the kid-size division of the 2013 HuroCup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. FIRA is the oldest robotics competition in the world, and the HuroCup is one of the most challenging competitions in existence: a single humanoid robot must compete in an octathalon that consists of a sprint, marathon, lift-and-carry, obstacle run, weight lifting, basketball free-throws, soccer penalty kicks, and a climbing wall. These collectively challenge a robotics team in a broad range of skills central to humanoid motion, complex motion planning, and human-robot interaction. Our team came in first place in climbing, first place in weightlifting, second in United Soccer (where the robot must join with other competitors to form a soccer team), fourth in sprinting, and fifth in soccer penalty kicks. Based on the score across all events, the team won the highly-coveted all around event: the King's class at HuroCup. The students traveling to Kuala Lumpur were Chris Iverach-Brereton and Josh Jung, and the faculty involved with the team are the directors of the Autonomous Agents Lab, Jacky Baltes (who also travelled to Kuala Lumpur) and John Anderson. The team also relies on a range of people who spent time coding over the course of the year, including Diana Carrier, Tiago Martins Araujo, Geoff Nagy, Meng Cheng Lau, and Andrew Winton. Congratulations to everyone and thank you for the hard work!
Update: We put together a youtube playlist of videos from the competition and preparations. A gallery of pictures should be available shortly.
We just returned from RoboCup-2013, in Eindhoven, Netherlands, where we competed in the Humanoid League and had a paper in the RoboCup Symposium. We made it past the first round in the soccer events, and came in third in the technical challenge. As a side highlight, we also met Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.
Check out more pictures in the associated Gallery - there are some competition videos available too (see the video link in the left sidebar). We're now currently preparing for the FIRA robotics competition, in Malaysia in August.
Jennifer and the UofM Humanoids team competed at the IRC Robot World in Seoul, Korea. Robot World is the largest robotics event in Korea with 12,000 participants and spectators. Jennifer won 3rd place in the sprint event and in the marathon. There were 12 teams total and new world records in both events. The team's Firefly hats were also apparently a big media hit.