So, my university provided me and Cmc with opportunity to go to ICAR (INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ADVANCED ROBOTICS) 2011 for free. Yai for awesome. It started on 20. June with workshops. I chose workshop titled "Performance Measures for Quantifying Safe and Reliable Operation of Professional Service Robots in Unstructured, Dynamic Environments". Behind the scary and long title was series of interesting lectures. Most of them were about industrial robots, which as turned out - is about only topic simple enough for me to understand.
The second day started with some talks. First one was about human sensors and how human fuses its sensor readings together. Very fascinating was to listen analysis of human sensors like humans were robots. They discussed how humans find out the error percent of all of their sensors and how they measured all those constants.
The second talk was about robot companions (http://robotcompanions.eu/). Its a long term project to make robots for home use and prepare humans and robots for cooperation. Again, pretty interesting. After the talk it got funny questions, like "Won't robots replace humans?" and the answer was something like "We need to overcome these kind of perception." in short and blunt - "Yes, so what". You got to love robotics.
Then was some research opportunities talks, some interesting stuff but way out of my league/interest. And then - 15 minute oral sessions. So, many good topics and bad performers, typical nerds. Papers I remember form there were "Background Elimination Technique in the Structured Light Systems for Dynamic Environments" - about how to eliminate background from moving projector/camera systems. The example of this would be kinect. Another interesting one was "Robust Localization of Furniture Parts by Integrating Depth and Intensity Data Suitable for Range Sensors with Varying Image Quality" - a paper showing ways to localize furniture, useful for future service robots.
After lectures we went to Centre for Biorobotics. They showed female Fits.me robot, UAV and some robot fish. Most of the tour time we just hang out in electronic lab and talked about microcontrollers..
It ended with Interactive session/reception. Finally something on my level and something innovative. I talked with couple of people there (noticed that my English is awful). One of the most interesting papers was named "Magnetic field-based SLAM method for solving the localization problem in mobile robot floor-cleaning task". Basically it showed that indoor magnetic fields are good enough to do mapping using them. The sensor for this is low cost and can be integrated with cheap odometry and cheap low-range distance sensors, creating localisation good enough for most of indoor robots. Very fascinating, the larger scale mapping device was the thing missing from low end indoor robots.
Also worth mentioning is paper "Localization of Intelligent Ground Vehicles In Outdoor Urban Environment Using Stereovision and GPS Integration.", about integration of optical flow and GPS (if you already have 3d map). Also "Navigation strategy and path planning for autonomous road crossing by outdoor robots" - the first mentioning of smaller mobile robots in urban environment, a field that sounds very interesting to me. Also couple of interesting devices, described in papers "Development of an intelligent object for grasp and manipulation research" - small cylinder with massive amounts of tactile sensors and "Vibrotactile Display for Hand-held Devices and Its Preferable Pattern Generation" - the first step towards touchscreens with touch feedback.
This is very awesome convention, it is funny to read paper names what are longer than ten words. Also the specialization of the papers, its mad. I'm sure I will get more used to all this academic world but for now, I'm still first year student.