[robotics-worldwide] June 2011 TC on Mobile Manipulation Newsletter

Dmitry Berenson dberenso at cs.cmu.edu
Tue Jun 14 16:08:12 PDT 2011

Editor's Note:
It is my pleasure to bring to your the second newsletter of our
technical committee. The newsletter is a brief snapshot of the ongoing
projects and opportunities in our area. If you would like your
announcement to appear in the next newsletter, simply send me an email
(dberenso at cs.cmu.edu). Thanks to all the contributors!

Technical Committee on Mobile Manipulation Newsletter (June 2011)

1. New Robot Videos
2. New Project Websites
3. New Code Releases
4. Announcements


--Check out the latest videos of the DARPA ARM:
http://www.youtube.com/theARMrobot (From Natalie M. Salaets)

--A new video of HERB dancing!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfHqHkQoG7Y (From Siddhartha Srinivasa)
[submitted to http://robotfilmfestival.com/]

--Shadow Robot's reactive approach to the manipulation stack:
automatic pick and place of a Coke can, with a simulated robot and
real data coming from a Kinect:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr3ooH4ay6E (From Ugo Cupcic)

--New video from a real-world industrial demonstration with the mobile
manipulator "Little Helper":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4L0hC0FcHc  (From Mads Hvilshøj)

--An integrated and fully autonomous eye-in-hand system for 3D object
modeling. Integration of next best view, exploring the environment,
and sensor-based path planning.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpAK00pS2Cw  (From Liila Torabi)

--Robotic roommates shopping for and preparing Bavarian breakfast!
(From Dejan Pangercic)


--The Canadian and French companies Kinova and Robosoft recently
merged their respective expertise in manipulation and service robotics
for the new collaboration project COROBO. COROBO integrates the robot
companion KOMPAÏ with the 6 DOF lightweight robot arm JACO to create a
complete and unique mobile manipulation R&D platform.  The first
pictures of this realisation are available on this website:
(From François Boucher)

--SynTouch LLC is a start-up technology business that develops and
manufactures tactile sensors for mechatronic systems.  Our mission is
to produce tactile sensors that mimic the human hand.  SynTouch has
been recently begun work on two Phase 2 Small Business Innovative
Research (SBIR) Grants: one from the NIH for prosthetic hand
integration (automated grip adjustment reflexes and conscious tactile
feedback) and one from DARPA to develop haptic exploration and object
discrimination robots. SynTouch is also building a BioTac interface
kit for the Barrett and Shadow Robot hand, which will be available by
Fall, 2011: http://www.syntouchllc.com/home.htm (From Nick Wettels)


--The Kavraki Lab (http://kavrakilab.org) is pleased to announce the
initial release of the Open Motion Planning Library (OMPL). OMPL is a
lightweight, thread-safe, easy to use, and extensible library for
sampling-based motion planning. The code is written in C++, includes
Python bindings and is released under the BSD license. OMPL is
available at http://ompl.kavrakilab.org. (From Mark Moll)

--We are releasing the Constrained Manipulation Planning Suite
(CoMPS), which consists of three openrave plugins and associated data
files. CoMPS includes an implementation of the Constrained
Bi-directional RRT (CBiRRT), an iterative IK solver, and a set of
useful openrave functions for manipulation. The planning and inverse
kinematics algorithms in this suite are designed for articulated
robots like robotic arms and humanoids. The algorithms in CoMPS allow
robots to perform motion with a variety of simultaneous constraints
including constraints on balance, closed-chain kinematics, and
task-space constraints defined as Task Space Region (TSRs) and TSR
Chains. Download the code at
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dberenso/software.html (From Dmitry Berenson)

--The DARPA Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program is
developing software that enables robots, given only high-level
direction, to autonomously grasp, manipulate and perform complex tasks
in unstructured environments.  Recently, an ARM robot known as
“Robbie” was featured in an interactive exhibit at the Smithsonian
National Museum of American History to give the public unique insight
into robotics development firsthand.  DARPA is also offering the
public the ability to develop and test code to perform tasks in the
robot simulator, then upload that code to the actual ARM robot and
watch it execute the task in real-time via the web.  For more
information, please visit http://www.theARMrobot.com. Join our
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/theARMrobot (From Natalie M.

--MOPED is a real-time Object Recognition and Pose Estimation system.
It recognizes objects from point-based features (e.g. SIFT, SURF) and
their geometric relationships extracted from rigid 3D models of
objects. The code is structured in two modules: first, a ROS-agnostic
library called libmoped, in which all code for the 7-step algorithm is
implemented; and second, ROS-enabled wrapper code that utilizes
libmoped to read images from the network and to publish the detected
objects. (From Siddhartha Srinivasa)

--Shadow Robot's manipulation stack
(http://www.ros.org/wiki/shadow_robot) is now released as an ubuntu
package as part of ROS. The package contains a simulated interface to
our Arm and Hand. We also have a tutorial here:
(From Ugo Cupcic)


--The International Summer Course on Robot Programming in Java will be
at the Aegean seaside and just after RoboCup'11 istanbul. The course
is half theory and half laboratory work, comprising in total 14 x 3
hours, from 13 July till 19 August 2011. Further particulars are
available at the course web site:
http://arf.iyte.edu.tr/~bkumova/teaching/RobotBehav (From Bora Kumova)


Dmitry Berenson
Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University

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