The week-long PR2 Workshop in Freiburg was a success!
Approximately 40 people participated in the workshop, which primarily consisted of a hackathon. Participants were divided into six teams with people from multiple different institutions. Teams tackled a variety of problems related to the ICRA sushi challenge (coming to ICRA this year!).
The sushi challenge presents a number of interesting and tricky problems. A comprehensive solution would have to deal with a multitude of uncertainties. Here are a few of the challenges that the teams at the workshop focused on:
– How to avoid collisions and determine grasps for objects on a moving platter
– How to stack objects when clearing away a table
– How to detect reflective or opaque objects, such as metal cutlery
– How to unstack objects from stacks, such as cups and plates
– How to lay a table
Check out the video of Stephen’s team’s achievements:
The forthcoming wrapup from Willow Garage will provide a comprehensive overview of all that was achieved. Watch this space!
Below are a few photos from the hackathon. Check out our flickr album for even more!
This week, most of the group is in Freiburg, Germany for the PR2 Workshop, graciously hosted by Wolfram Burgard’s group. This workshop is mostly a hackathon for the ICRA 2012 Sushi Boat Mobile Manipulation Challenge. Participant from various research groups were split into six teams to explore different approaches and aspects of the challenge, with people from Brown Robotics on five of these teams. Stephen’s group had a nice dish stacking demo working by the end of the second day.
However, Stephen might be more famous for this video:
We’ve fully implemented an SLU to ROS pipeline using rosbridge. Inference is done in SLU and the results are piped to ROS. The following video shows the PR2 successfully following natural language commands (no cost function has been implemented yet).
This week, Brown robotics is teaming up with Stefanie Tellex from MIT to produce a natural language processing block manipulator. The hackathon is seen as an incorporation of Stefanie’s work into our previous hackathon, the PR2 Castle Builder.
Trevor strikes again with another great rosbridge tutorial.
In helping to prepare for a demo in Washington last week, Trevor was able to quickly hack together a simple web page that used rosbridge for accelerometer-based robot teleop. He had the following video up-and-working within an hour or two.
It is worth noting this is a zero-install demo. The iPhone uses Safari to navigate to the page Trevor created, and it just works.
If you are interested in how this works, Trevor’s rosbridge/iPhone tutorial goes over the basics of creating a web page that can access the iPhone’s accelerometry and connect to rosbridge. Go to 13:10 to see the demo that results from the tutorial.
Tom and I were fortunate enough to get invites to the “Impact of NITRD” Symposium last week. There were hugely inspiring talks from the people that founded the Internet and made it a reality. It was especially enlightening to hear Vint Cerf and The Honorable Al Gore talk about the challenges they faced in realizing something that we now take for granted. We were invited by the NSF to give demo of low-cost robot platforms (i.e., the Turtlebot) that are accessible to a variety of citizen scientists. Thanks to Willow Garage their person follower that worked great, and Trevor for hacking some quick code for Turtlebot teleop with iPhone and Wiimotes.
Charlie Kemp’s Healthcare Robotics Lab at Georgia Tech does great work in pushing the frontiers of robotics for assisting the physically disabled. Their robotics work in helping people with ALS and the elderly has been great to see, as well as the entertaining videos of the Dusty robot. One of their more inspiring projects is the Robots for Humanity project with Willow Garage. This project has created various interfaces and packages (such as assistive_teleop using rosbridge) to enable disabled users to control a PR2 and perform various daily living tasks.