Lab visit in York Unversity at the Tsotsos lab

As we hit Toronto on our way back to Germany we took our chance to visit the active and attentive vision lab at York university in Toronto. The special thing about this group is that they attempt to solve computer vision problems like humans do. Meaning they focus on research on monocular or stereo camera solutions instead of RGB-D cameras. Markus Solbach, an old study friend of Raphael is currently pursuing his PhD. there and spontaneously organized a lab visit including talks of the group members and integrated us as well. So we gave a short talk about what we do for RoboCup and what our research focusses on. After the talks we were invited to join a panel discussion about robotics. What an amazing day!

Group picture of all attendees
Group picture of all attendees.

This morning we were in a sports bar and saw the soccer match.

Raphael giving a talk about robotic competitions we took place in as well as our research
Raphael giving a talk about robotic competitions we took place in as well as our research.

Currently we are waiting at the Toronto airport to fly bag. Our luggage pieces with Lisa inside are already checked in. When you want to see Lisa in action head to the Visual Computing day on Friday. There we show Lisa and TIAGo, if he arrives in time.

And the title goes to

Homer! After being very close to the Pumas before the finals it was obvious to get a very tough match between Pumas from Mexico and us. And in the end we made it with a demo that turned out to run just like expected. We showed that Lisa can observe a human while fulfilling a task and imitate the action that was just observed, further the observed action was transferred to TIAGo which then also was able to execute the action by speech with exchanged parameters. We plan to prepare a video of the finals once we are back home. Now we are going to celebrate with the other teams during the banquet.

We on stage
We on stage.
Lisa and Tiago waiting before the final for their big entrance
Lisa and Tiago waiting before the final for their big entrance.
Celebrating at the banquet
Celebrating at the banquet.

We want to thank PAL Robotics for the sponsoring of a TIAGo robot and the organization of the transport which supported us massively. And we want to thank our supporters namely the University of Koblenz-Landau, the EINST e.V., Stiftung Zukunft Sparkasse as well as SHD.

We are in the finals

So Stage 2 results are given, we are still leading followed closely by Pumas. Meaning there battle for the first price between both of our teams. Mexico may won the soccer match last time at the worlcup against Germany but we are putting much effort that this won’t happen in the RoboCup finals. The finals will take part later so we don’t have time to write long posts … and instead are going back to testing.

Here are some pictures:

scores scores scores scores scores

We are leading

The first competition day ended. Good news: We are leading currently, followed by Pumas from Mexico and the SocRob team from Portugal. After the initial troubles that mostly were influenced externally we are running well. First we scored best in the Speech and Person Recognition task. Lisa recognized by a high margin the most speech commands and questions. In the Speech And Person task the speech recognition and understanding capabilities are evaluated. First the robot analyzes a crowd consisting of a mixture of females and males, waving, pointing, lying, sitting and standing people. The robot analyzes the crowd by it’s gender and pose and summarizes. People, like the audience standing outside the arena need to be filtered out. After tests the knowledge of the robot by speech. A huge variety of questions, related to trivia, the environment and even the analyzed crowd could be asked. Lisa did well. She understood most questions and answered them properly and even estimated the direction from which the question was given to answer it to the correct person.

The Kids and TIAGo
The Kids and TIAGo.

Next up was the help me carry task. In this task, the robot has to support a person in carrying in the groceries which are stored at a bag in a car. So first the robot needs to follow a person from inside the apartment to the wild, where somewhere a car is parked. The car location is previously unknown as well as the environment outside the arena. This means the robot creates a map during the following stage. Once the car is reached the person hands over a bag, which the robot should bring inside on it’s own, with the newly generated knowledge about the outside of the arena. Once the robot is back inside , a person that want’s to be guided outside is waiting. On the way back there will also be hard to see objects that need to be avoided like some groceries that dropped down or cloth hanger that magically will appear in the robot’s path or a door that will be shut and needs to be opened then. Lisa wasn’t fit for that after the Speech and Person recognition task. In two from three runs she lost the operator but in one she managed to follow the operator up to the car.

Any second now lisa will turn around and look at the crowd to analyse it (The spech and person recognition task)
Any second now lisa will turn around and look at the crowd to analyse it (The spech and person recognition task).

As the last task for today there was the Storing Groceries task, where the robot is supposed to put random groceries from a table into the right location of a cupboard. Right means i.e. that drinks from the table should be stored to drinks in the cupboard. And to make it even more complex, there will also be unknown objects of each class that should be stored correctly. And of course the cupboard door is closed initially and the table position is just known coarsely. TIAGo did well in opening the door all the time but faced some problem during the gripping.

Testing and repairing in the arena
Testing and repairing in the arena.

So after all we are quite happy about our achievements from today. And are looking for tomorrow’s tasks, namely the General Purpose task and the Open Challenge.