Recapitulating the ERL tournament

The day before yesterday PAL Robotics published a video of the European Robotics League tournament on their blog together with an article about the “rewaring tournament”. Nice to see the environment again where we were working and meeting other teams and robots for one week.
ERL Tournament Barcelona

The full article you can read here

TIAGo is doing well during the first competition day

Today were the Getting to know my home, the Navigation and the Speech benchmark task up.

First was Getting to know my home, where a person assists the robot in the creation in a semantic map. Objects and furniture are randomly positioned in the apartment and should be learned by the robot during the task. The two first rounds where full of bad luck but after in the next two rounds it was working close to perfect. TIAGo learned unknown objects and was able to put them on unknown moved furniture positions including grasping and placement. Wow and that within a month of having the robot.

Raphael teaching TIAGo the locations of the objects
Raphael teaching TIAGo the locations of the objects.

Yesterday we also did a hand-eye calibration, where the robot takes a chessboard pattern and moves the pattern randomly. When moved it takes pictures and aligns the camera and the arm more precise.

TIAGo while charging batteries
TIAGo while charging batteries.

The navigation task was okish. Once we had a localization error but in the first round the robot was able to reach all three targets inside the apartment.

We are waiting for the Speech Benchmark results and are preparing and testing tomorrows tasks.

homer goes European Robotics League in Barcelona

This week an European wide event called European Robotics Week takes place around Europe. Meaning there are around 600 events related to robotics. One of them is at the facilities of PAL Robotics in Barcelona where we will attend an tournament of the European Robotics League. The first time we will use a TIAGo robot that we got sponsored for a year.

Testing the object recognition
Testing the object recognition.

Last week we hold a hackaton to get TIAGo up to the capabilities of Lisa. Not everything is fine now but we achieved a lot last week.

The ERL holds multiple tasks called:

  • Getting to know my home - There the robot has to create a semantic map and manipulate objects where the initial locations are unknown and need to be trained during the run.
  • Catering for Granny Anny - In this task the robot has to serve an elder woman. Granny Anny gives commands by speech. This could be moving somewhere. Get the glasses or controlling a smart home i.e. closing the blinds or switching on and off the lights.
  • Welcoming visitors - In this task the robot controls who enters the apartment. This could be either a doctor, a delivery service, a postal service or if the robot handles it wrong even a thief.
  • General purpose service robot - In this task the robot get complex commands by natural language and has to execute these tasks. These tasks also could be combined and could be bringing an randomly object, looking for persons, answering questions, following a person and ….
  • Visit my home - This task shows the abilities to navigate in an changing environment. In the end the robot also has to follow and open a door.

Today we are going to Barcelona and maybe for one of the first times we can travel in a convenient way because we don’t have suitcases full with robots in our suitcases.

Stay tuned, we will report during the week.

PAL Robotics TIAGo just moved in

Early Christmas for us. This is the transport box with a new robotic toy
Early Christmas for us. This is the transport box with a new robotic toy.

From now on Lisa and Marge have an attractive male companion. As a result of the success in the last season of the European Robotics League we were awarded with a free loan of a PAL Robotics TIAGo robot. On Tuesday our new friend TIAGo finally moved in, after it took the universities administration quite a while to finalize all the contract work.

This is a perfect timing for us, as the new Robbie practical course just started and we will now concentrate on the development with Lisa and TIAGo Within the first day we were already able to navigate, create a map and talk. Now we are working on the vision and manipulation functionalities. On the first sight we are really impressed and our expectations were fulfilled. We unpacked the robot from the transport box, used the key for enabling the power and within no time the robot was able to move. The next step was to connect an external laptop, remap some topics and voila within half an hour the robot was able to navigate using our software.

The first steps into our lab
The first steps into our lab.

Yesterday Lisa and TIAGo already were recorded by SAT.1 and will end up in television soon.

On the second day TIAGo already felt very comfortable and interviewed Raphael for SAT. 1 like a professional
On the second day TIAGo already felt very comfortable and interviewed Raphael for SAT. 1 like a professional.

The visit of TIAGo will not mean that Lisa will end up in a dark corner of our lab. We plan to let both robots cooperate and are now able to run most of our functionalities on different robots by just exchanging the model information. Lisa did improve a lot through the hard work of students.