Distinguished Lecture Series on
Informatics for Robotics
at the Faculty of Informatics
TU Vienna

Informatics for Robotics

Distinguished Lecture Series at the Faculty of Informatics

The development of autonomous robotic systems has experienced a remarkable boost within the last years. Away from stationary manufacturing units, current robots have grown up into autonomous, mobile systems that not only interact with real world environments, but also fulfill mission critical tasks in collaboration with human individuals on a reliable basis. Typical fields of application are unmanned vehicles for exploration but also for transportation, reconnaissance and search-and-rescue in hazardous environments, and ambient assisted living for elderly or disabled people. These achievements and further progress seem unimaginable without the contribution of informatics.

The complexity of such systems will be further fast growing. Numerous actuators and sensors have to be controlled simultaneously. Complex actions have to be performed via timed parallel execution of multiple instruction streams on distinct electronic control units. Autonomy, especially long term autonomy as required by deep-sea or space exploration missions, necessitates features of fault-tolerance, error recovery, or at least well-defined fallbacks. Due to the physical interaction of robots with the real world, safety violations are extremely harmful, in the worst-case they might lead to severe damage and even to casualties. Consequently, robotic software typically exacts guaranteed safety in order to protect human life.

Informatics will continue to have a vital role in robotics. Its contributions for controlling and mastering the complexity of such systems will be crucial for the further development of the field. For all these reasons, the Faculty of Informatics at TU Vienna organizes a series of distinguished lectures. Each of these lectures shall investigate and highlight the role and the contribution of informatics to robotics from a specific angle and identify the scientific challenges in theory and practice robotics has for informatics.


10:00 Uhr
SR Zemanek
Von Hadrian zum Telemax - die kleine Welt der Entschärfungsroboter (in German)
John Eberhardt - BKA, BMI, Austria
17:00 Uhr c.t.
EI 10
Visual perception system for human-robot interaction and mobile robotic navigation
Dr. Antonio Bandera - University of Malaga, Spain

Von Hadrian zum Telemax - die kleine Welt der Entschärfungsroboter

John Eberhardt - Bundeskriminalamt, BMI, Austria
  1. Kurze Darstellung der Tätigkeit des Entschärfungsdienstes und die möglichen Einsatzgebiete von Robotertechnik
  2. Geschichtlicher Rückblick der Robotertechnik im Bereich der Entschärfungstaktik
  3. Praktische Anwendung diverser Robotersysteme und die damit verbundenen Vor- und Nachteile
  4. Wünsche an die Entwickler aus Sicht der Anwender
Zur Person:
Ing. John Eberhardt ist 1983 unmittelbar nach der Matura (Elektrotechnik - Elektronik an der HTBL Pinkafeld) in den Polizeidienst eingetreten und nach der Grundausbildung in den technischen Dienst gewechselt, zuerst als Funktechniker sowie in die Entwicklung von Sondereinsatzmitteln, 1988 zum Entschärfungsdienst. Als technischer Referent und Entschärfer ist er zuständig für die Technik des Referates, beginnend von der technischen Begleitung der Beschaffung über die Instandsetzung und Wartung bis hin zu Eigenentwicklungen und Einsatztaktik der technischen Einsatzgeräte. Er ist Gerichtl. beeideter Sachverständiger für Sprengwesen, Pyrotechnik und Elektrotechnik, und nebenberuflich selbstständiger Entwickler von Zündsystemen für Sonderanwendungen.

Visual perception system for human-robot interaction and mobile robotic navigation

Dr. Antonio Bandera - University of Malaga, Spain

A key area in robotics research is concerned with developing social robots for assisting people in everyday tasks. Now that robots are moving into public places or homes, they must interact with people in an intuitive manner at the same time that they are developing other tasks. To achieve this intuitive interaction, it is interesting that the robot will be able to perceive the real world in a similar way that people do, extracting from the sensed data a set of internal representations which will be consistent with the human representations.

In this talk, we will focus on the study of the robot.s visual perception system. The central part of this system will be an attention mechanism which must be able to discriminate, from all the information provided by the robot.s sensors, the most relevant elements needed to carry out the currently executed tasks. Typically, this is conducted generating a map for each sensed feature, which contains high values for interesting regions and lower values for other regions. In our case, feature maps will be also weighted by the currently executed tasks. Thus, the importance of a sensed feature not only depends on its own value into the corresponding map, but also on the tasks to carry out. The perception system will allow the robot to detect distinguished visual landmarks in an initially unknown environment, generating a hierarchical map which fuses these landmarks into a high-level topological map and to detect and capture the upper-body motion of people interested in interact with the robot, providing information about who is the person and what gesture is the person doing. Both mid-level sources of information will allow the robot to perceive the surrounding environment, and it will be acquired and updated at different rates depending on the sequence of executed tasks. However, mobile cognitive social robots not only need to have these internal representations to be useful. Thus, for a social robot it is also crucial that its internal representations will be consistent with the human representations. An on-line learning process will be conducted to incorporate to the internal representations of the robot the information that is given by a human instructor.

Short bio:

Dr. Antonio Bandera has developed his research activities in the fields of computer vision, robotics and pattern recognition. He has published more than 45 papers in international journals (27 cited in the Journal Citation Report), and has got more than 60 contributions on national or international conferences. Nowadays, he is the main researcher of two projects funded by the Spanish Government, and of an integrated action with the PRIP of TU Vienna. Finally, he is the academic coordinator of a Master course on Electronic Technologies for Smart Environments, organized by the Malaga University.

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