Blog

Latest entries for tag 'event'

Carologistics Organize RoboCup Logistics League Winter School

From December 7th to 11th, the Carologistics Team organized the first RoboCup Logistics League Winter School in Aachen, Germany. Participants of new and existing teams from Germany, Austria, and Japan attended the event. The winter school was held to help new teams to start into the league and existing teams to adapt to the invasive rule changes performed in the past few years.

The content was based on the (pending) full 2015 software stack release of the Carologistics team to better understand and tackle the problems of perception, navigation and self-localization, using and extending the RCLL simulation and the behavior sub-systems like the Lua-based Behavior Engine and the CLIPS agent.

The winter school was supported by Festo Didactic SE and the RoboCup Federation. The feedback of the participants was very positive and the team enjoyed sharing and discussing ideas with the RCLL community at large!

We are currently preparing the material and will release the videos of the talks in January. The slides and information material can be found on the winter school wiki page.

Posted by Tim Niemueller on December 15, 2015 14:00

Carologistics Win RoboCup German Open 2015 in the Logistics League

The Carologistics RoboCup team was successful again this year at the RoboCup German Open 2015.
This year, the league used actual processing stations based on the Festo Modular Production System (MPS) for the first time. Additionally, the machines were placed freely within certain zones on the field (therefore neither the exact position nore orientation was known before the game) and the number of product variants increased from 3 to almost 300.

This made several adjustments necessary to our robot team. Therefore, we switched to the new Robotino Version 3. Robotino 3 can handle higher payloads and allows mounting components at the needed height. The image on the left shows some of the components we mounted on it.

By the end of the tournament we were able to almost complete the exploration phase with only a single machine missing. The robots then executed the first steps for the production phase, but eventually failed as the handling of the machines was not yet precise enough. The robots coordinated to use the stations in the proper order, but the products were not placed properly on the conveyor belt. This is a challenge we will work on on the way towards RoboCup 2015 in Heifei.

Posted by Frederik Zwilling on April 26, 2015 13:00

World Champion in the RoboCup Logistics League 2014 in Brazil

We did it! We won in the RoboCup Logistics League 2014 in João Pessoa, Brazil. In a flawless run through the tournament we won every game and had an exiting final against the title defender Bavarian Bending Units. We participated with the Carologistics team, a joint venture of the Knowledge-based Systems Group, RWTH Aachen University, the IMA/ZLW & IFU Institute Cluster, RWTH Aachen University, and the Department for Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Robotics Group, FH Aachen

A few days after the German national team won the Fifa World Cup, we also went to Brazil to win a title, in our case the RoboCup 2014 Logistics League. We competed with 9 other teams from Germany, Brazil, Japan, Egypt, Mexico, Switzerland and France. After arriving in João Pessoa, a beautiful city at the beach with topical weather and a lot of coconuts to drink from, we could continue with our good performance from the German Open. Nevertheless we faced various challenges, such as changing lightening conditions and recovering from wrong worldmodels after wrong perception results. As we solved these issues and further improved our low level skills, which use the Lua behavior engine, and the high level task decision based on an incremental reasoning approach in CLIPS with improved multi-robot collaboration, we continued to increase our performance.

In the final we won against the Bavarian Bending Units with the score 165:124. The following video shows the final.

In the first phase, the exploration phase, we could successfully detect all light signals to determine the machine types. Even after one robot had to be restarted, it could continue its work because the robot team synchronizes their knowledge about the world.
In the production phase the robot team got randomized orders and had to produce the products according to the production chain and the machine types with the raw material pucks lying on the side of the field. We especially profited from our collision avoidance and multi-robot coordination. The collision avoidance allowed us to get through narrow passages between other robots or take alternative paths. The high level decision making and multi-robot coordination of the CLIPS agent lead to a fast completion of complex products.

We also won multiple technical challenges, namely the navigation challenge and the MPS challenge:

At the RoboCup Symposium we presented our simulation of the RoboCup Logistics League. It is an important tool for rapid prototyping, especially of the high level decision and multi-robot coordination. It features a 3D physics and sensor simulation with real world environment agency because it is controlled by the referee box that also controls the real game.

Posted by Frederik Zwilling on July 24, 2014 18:00

Winner of the RoboCup German Open 2014 Logistics League

We won the RoboCup German Open 2014 Logistics League with the Carologistics team. In the finals we beat the TUMsBendingUnits with 71:30. This is an important milestone on the road to the RoboCup 2014 in Brazil.

After some mayor rule changes the competing teams had to play in a shared factory space. Here we benefited from your flexible navigation and collision avoidance. The collision avoidance was ported to Fawkes from the AllemaniAcs Team in the RoboCup@Home league and uses an occupancy grid, A* search and a collision free triangle to find trajectories on the planned path. Our performance was also boosted by a closer multi-robot coordination, which allowed the robot team to produce ordered goods more quickly. The robots could perform small sub-steps of a larger production task in parallel and could continue with the work of another robot. For the development of the agent, the component responsible for the task reasoning and multi-robot coordination, we used a Gazebo based simulation of the Logistics League, which allowed rapid prototyping. Furthermore we used more robust techniques for visual perception of light signals and pucks by using colour filters and geometrical clues.

Posted by Frederik Zwilling on April 5, 2014 12:00

Carologistics at RoboCup 2013

We participated with the Carologistics Team at the RoboCup 2013 in Eindhoven, Netherlands. After a promising performance in the round-robin phase we reached the small finals. To achieve this we had to solve many technical challenges, such as task planning, where we used an incremental reasoning approach and visual perception of light signals and pucks.

In the Open Technical Challenge we gave an interesting demo of a Robotino performing a pick-and-place task with a mounted Jaco Arm from Kinova.

Posted by Frederik Zwilling on June 30, 2013 16:00

MongoDB Logging presented at ROSCon 2013

Last weekend some of us went to ROSCon 2013 to listen to all the great stuff happening in the ROS eco system and present some of our own work.

The item which probably gained most attention was the presentation and announcement of the MoveIt release. It's definitely something to look into and a platform to consider in the future for doing mobile manipulation. Another interesting presentation was on the Robot Web Tools. While the presentation's balance leaned a bit from technical to fancy (probably a web people thing) it showed some very nice integration possibilities. Depending on how platform agnostic it is it could be re-used for Fawkes. Another thing to look into is tf2. It seems to finally get rolled out in ROS, making it worthwhile to consider it for integration again.

A particular thing that was talked much about was ROS 2.0, the magic next version which solves everything and makes all dreams come true -- sort of. It shows a lot of promise and the open process by which its design decisions should be made is appealing. Some of the things that were discussed indicate that ROS 2.0 might be much easier to integrate with other non-ROS software.

On our end Ingo Lütkebohle (Bielefeld University) and Tim Niemueller(RWTH Aachen University) presented data recording and evaluation techniques. The MongoDB-based logging received quite some attention. It seems to be time to backport the advancements we made on the Fawkes logger version back to ROS. Additionally the RobotMetaLogger was presented that might benefit by supporting the MongoDB-logger as an input source.

On-line Use of Recorded Data from Database

On particular example we presented is the use of data recording to remember point clouds and other data. Certain times of observation points are recorded during a run. Then later the data and associated transforms is restored and the point clouds are merged to fill shadows and occlusions in the data for a complete perception run. Below are some screenshots of the visualization documenting the process. You can find a video of the process in our recent video on deliberative active perception employing hybrid reasoning.

Posted by Tim Niemueller on May 16, 2013 13:36

Workshop at European Robotics Forum 2013

There will be a working session on Infrastructure for Robot Analysis and Benchmarking at the European Robotics Forum 2013 next week in Lyon, France. With this workshop we try to create a community bringing together interested people from academia and industry to discuss methods, tools, and ideas about systematically evaluating robot systems. As part of this workshop a member of the Fawkes development team will present state of the art data acquisition technologies of contemporary frameworks such as ROS or Fawkes. One of the shown possibilities will be our work for MongoDB-based data logging.

If you are interested please join us on March 21st (third and last day of the forum) at 8:30. If you want to meet and chat please do not hesitate to contact Tim Niemueller.

There will also be a presentation at ROSCon 2013 on similar topics and we are currently preparing an IROS workshop.

Posted by Tim Niemueller on March 15, 2013 17:28

Robotino Hackathon 2013

The IMA/ZLW & IFU Institute Cluster, RWTH Aachen University, the Knowledge-based Systems Group, RWTH Aachen University, and the Department for Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Robotics Group, FH Aachen participate in the RoboCup Logistics League Sponsored by Festo (LLSF) as a joint team.

This year selected students participated in focused development activities regarding computer vision and task coordination. The vision's group task was to create a vision application using the omni-directional camera of the Carologistics Robotino to detect active signal lights on the field. The task of the coordination group was to develop a CLIPS-based agent that would plan for appropriate actions to roam the field to search for these activated signals. Once found, it was to move close to the signal. This forms the base system to perform the "Whack-A-Mole" technical challenge specified in this year's LLSF rules.

As last year it allowed the students to excel at their capabilities and it was a lot of fun. Many of the students decided to stay with the team and are now helping in the preparations for the RoboCup German Open 2013.

Posted by Tim Niemueller on March 1, 2013 12:00

Carologistics at RoboCup 2012

The IMA/ZLW & IFU Institute Cluster, RWTH Aachen University, the Knowledge-based Systems Group, RWTH Aachen University, and the Department for Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Robotics Group, FH Aachen founded the new Carologistics robot team to participate in the Festo RoboCup Logistics League

The team is about to set out for their journey to Mexico City to take part in the competition. During a Hackathon students were trained and selected to take part in the competition and developed the crucial software components required for the competition. They have developed, adapted, ported, and integrated software to perform self localization, navigate the Robotino on the playing field avoiding obstacles, visually detect pucks and lights, and behavior code to tie it all together. They use a mix of Fawkes and ROS to power their robots and to get a tightly integrated system which fits the platform short in terms of computing power. If you are interested about Fawkes and at RoboCup 2012 you are welcome to visit us and have a chat!

Posted by Tim Niemueller on June 14, 2012 01:24

Robotino Hackathon 2012

The IMA/ZLW & IFU Institute Cluster, RWTH Aachen University, the Knowledge-based Systems Group, RWTH Aachen University, and the Department for Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Robotics Group, FH Aachen founded a new joined team to participate in the Festo RoboCup Logistics League

To kick off the team, and as a preparation for RoboCup 2012 in Mexico City, there will be a Hackathon from May 28th to June 1st (excursion week). The goal of this Hackathon is to integrate a robotics system based on the Robotino robot, that can complete certain logistics task in a restricted environment.

Who can participate?

Any student of the RWTH Aachen University or the FH Aachen can participate. Because of constraints in room and advisers participants will be selected among the applicants. Strong applications including good qualifying information is preferred.

Participants should be fluent in C++ programming. A background in robotics (lectures, programming experience etc.) is preferred but not required. Students must be eager to learn about new mathematical and programming concepts and to work in small groups on a particular topic.

What do we offer?

We can offer first-hand knowledge and experience in robot research and application development from an experienced team of robotics researchers. There will be introductory talks on the first day introducing the topics. On the following days small groups will work on the development an integration of modules on robot self-localization, navigation, computer vision, point cloud processing, behavior design, etc.

Some students will be selected to join us for the participation in RoboCup 2012 in Mexico City based on their work and team cooperation. There will be free Pizza and soft drinks throughout the Hackathon.

Background Info

The RoboCup Logistics League is a brand-new league sponsored by the German industrial manufacturer Festo. The goal is to solve problems in logistics with autonomous mobile robots in a competitive environment. Three Robotino robots per team have the task to transport material between production locations within the field of play.

When will the Hackathon take place?

The Hackathon will be held from May 28th 2012 to June 1st 2012. This is the excursion week at the RWTH Aachen University and there will be no lectures during that time. The Hackathon will be held daily from 9:00 to 18:00. Should you apply participation on each day for the full time is expected (exceptions could be negotiated, state in your application).

How to participate

To participate you will need to apply by email until May 13th 2012. Applicants will be notified by May 20th of acceptance or rejection. There are only a limited number of slots available. Applications will be selected based on the documentation handed in with the application.

To apply send an email to Tim Niemueller including information regarding your studies, semester, and about your background in (C++) programming, robotics, and relevant lectures.

Posted by Tim Niemueller on May 16, 2012 15:20

RoboCup German Open 2011

The AllemaniACs RoboCup Team has arrived in Madgeburg to participate in the RoboCup German Open 2011. This time they will participate in the RoboCup@Home service robot competition.

The robot Caesar is powered by the current version of Fawkes, in combination with an older software system called RCSoftX. Most teams are now employing Kinect cameras. For the AllemaniACs, support for OpenNI has landed in Fawkes just in time.

You are welcome to visit us in Hall 1 of the Messe Magdeburg to see robots helping in a household or to ask questions about Fawkes.

Posted by Tim Niemueller on March 30, 2011 12:38