Prof. Aude Billard awarded ERC Advanced Grant

Congratulations to Prof. Aude Billard who has been awarded with an ERC Advanced Grant for her proposal entitled: Skill Acquisition in Humans and Robots.

News and results from ERC: https://erc.europa.eu/news/erc-advanced-grants-540-million-euros-eu-231-senior-researchers

List of all selected researchers (alphabetical order): https://erc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/document/file/ERC-2016-AdG-results-pe.pdf


Open source code for load share estimation

The SecondHands EPFL team has released open source code for wrench decomposition and load share estimation during physical interaction. The repository can be found at https://github.com/epfl-lasa/load-share-estimation. This ROS package is used to compute the load share of an object being supported by a robot and a third party (such as a person). The load share is the proportion of the object’s weight supported by the robot, and varies during cooperative tasks such as manipulation or handovers. This code is one of the main components enabling fluid handovers between the SecondHands robot assistant and its human partners. You can see a demo of how it works in this video


Ocado Technology is looking to expand its Robotics Research Team

If you are interested in the SecondHands project, Ocado Technology is looking to expand its Robotics Research Team to include someone that is based in Hatfield, UK, but is happy to travel as necessary to integrate cutting edge research work and turn it into working systems that provide real-world demonstrations of significant advances in the understanding of the principles of robotics and human-robot interfaces. Initially much of this work will be part of the SecondHands project, but the work of the team extends beyond this covering a number of topics ranging from production applications to more speculative pursuits. The post will persist beyond the duration of the SecondHands project.

More details of this vacancy and how to apply can be found at: http://careers.ocado.com/VacancyInformation.aspx?VId=26129


EuroHaptics 2016

Ocado Technology is proud to announce its support to the EuroHaptics 2016, which will be held in London (UK) on July 4 – 7, 2016. The conference will take place in central London at Imperial College, close to Hyde Park, between the Royal Albert Hall and the Natural History Museum.

The conference topics are:

  • Affective haptics
  • Art & design applications
  • Biomechanics and motor control
  • Control system design and analysis
  • Haptic HCI
  • Haptic collaboration and telerobotics
  • Haptic device design and dynamics
  • Haptic interfaces design
  • Haptic rendering and modeling
  • Human-robot haptic interaction
  • Medical applications
  • Multimodal interaction
  • Neuroscience of touch
  • Psychophysics and perception
  • Virtual reality.

european Robotics Forum 2016

Prof Tamim Asfour (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) was one of the organisers of the Transfer of Cognitive Robotics Research to Industrial Applications workshop held during the European Robotics Forum in Ljublijana, Slovenia in March 2016.

Dr Graham Deacon (Ocado Technology) gave a talk at the workshop entitled Some Cognitive Robotics Applications and Challenges at Ocado, which included a summary of the SecondHands project, whilst Prof Asfour gave a talk that relayed some of the experiences learned from the EU funded projects PACO+ and Xperience.

Read more on the ERF2016’s website here.


Effects of automation on the UK’s workforce (POSTnote)

Joseph Ennis, a postgraduate researcher at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) who is covering the effects of automation on the UK’s workforce, asked Dr Graham Deacon, head of Robotics Research, to provide a short briefing for a forthcoming POSTnote.

The event took place on 20th of May, 2016. The results will be published in August this year. Previous POSTnote summaries are available on the UK Parliament’s website here.