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Robotics, Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2016) – 8 articles

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Extracting Semantic Information from Visual Data: A Survey
Robotics 2016, 5(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics5010008 - 02 Mar 2016
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 5064
Abstract
The traditional environment maps built by mobile robots include both metric ones and topological ones. These maps are navigation-oriented and not adequate for service robots to interact with or serve human users who normally rely on the conceptual knowledge or semantic contents of [...] Read more.
The traditional environment maps built by mobile robots include both metric ones and topological ones. These maps are navigation-oriented and not adequate for service robots to interact with or serve human users who normally rely on the conceptual knowledge or semantic contents of the environment. Therefore, the construction of semantic maps becomes necessary for building an effective human-robot interface for service robots. This paper reviews recent research and development in the field of visual-based semantic mapping. The main focus is placed on how to extract semantic information from visual data in terms of feature extraction, object/place recognition and semantic representation methods. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Soft Pneumatic Bending Actuator with Integrated Carbon Nanotube Displacement Sensor
Robotics 2016, 5(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics5010007 - 24 Feb 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 7285
Abstract
The excellent compliance and large range of motion of soft actuators controlled by fluid pressure has lead to strong interest in applying devices of this type for biomimetic and human-robot interaction applications. However, in contrast to soft actuators fabricated from stretchable silicone materials, [...] Read more.
The excellent compliance and large range of motion of soft actuators controlled by fluid pressure has lead to strong interest in applying devices of this type for biomimetic and human-robot interaction applications. However, in contrast to soft actuators fabricated from stretchable silicone materials, conventional technologies for position sensing are typically rigid or bulky and are not ideal for integration into soft robotic devices. Therefore, in order to facilitate the use of soft pneumatic actuators in applications where position sensing or closed loop control is required, a soft pneumatic bending actuator with an integrated carbon nanotube position sensor has been developed. The integrated carbon nanotube position sensor presented in this work is flexible and well suited to measuring the large displacements frequently encountered in soft robotics. The sensor is produced by a simple soft lithography process during the fabrication of the soft pneumatic actuator, with a greater than 30% resistance change between the relaxed state and the maximum displacement position. It is anticipated that integrated resistive position sensors using a similar design will be useful in a wide range of soft robotic systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Application of the Naive Bayes Classifier for Representation and Use of Heterogeneous and Incomplete Knowledge in Social Robotics
Robotics 2016, 5(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics5010006 - 22 Feb 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4942
Abstract
As societies move towards integration of robots, it is important to study how robots can use their cognition in order to choose effectively their actions in a human environment, and possibly adapt to new contexts. When modelling these contextual data, it is common [...] Read more.
As societies move towards integration of robots, it is important to study how robots can use their cognition in order to choose effectively their actions in a human environment, and possibly adapt to new contexts. When modelling these contextual data, it is common in social robotics to work with data extracted from human sciences such as sociology, anatomy, or anthropology. These heterogeneous data need to be efficiently used in order to make the robot adapt quickly its actions. In this paper we describe a methodology for the use of heterogeneous and incomplete knowledge, through an algorithm based on naive Bayes classifier. The model was successfully applied to two different experiments of human-robot interaction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Implementation of a Control System for a Sailboat Robot
Robotics 2016, 5(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics5010005 - 15 Feb 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 6682
Abstract
This article discusses a control architecture for autonomous sailboat navigation and also presents a sailboat prototype built for experimental validation of the proposed architecture. The main goal is to allow long endurance autonomous missions, such as ocean monitoring. As the system propulsion relies [...] Read more.
This article discusses a control architecture for autonomous sailboat navigation and also presents a sailboat prototype built for experimental validation of the proposed architecture. The main goal is to allow long endurance autonomous missions, such as ocean monitoring. As the system propulsion relies on wind forces instead of motors, sailboat techniques are introduced and discussed, including the needed sensors, actuators and control laws. Mathematical modeling of the sailboat, as well as control strategies developed using PID and fuzzy controllers to control the sail and the rudder are also presented. Furthermore, we also present a study of the hardware architecture that enables the system overall performance to be increased. The sailboat movement can be planned through predetermined geographical way-points provided by a base station. Simulated and experimental results are presented to validate the control architecture, including tests performed on a lake. Underwater robotics can rely on such a platform by using it as a basis vessel, where autonomous charging of unmanned vehicles could be done or else as a relay surface base station for transmitting data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sensor Fusion and Autonomy as a Powerful Combination for Biological Assessment in the Marine Environment
Robotics 2016, 5(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics5010004 - 01 Feb 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5613
Abstract
The ocean environment and the physical and biological processes that govern dynamics are complex. Sampling the ocean to better understand these processes is difficult given the temporal and spatial domains and sampling tools available. Biological systems are especially difficult as organisms possess behavior, [...] Read more.
The ocean environment and the physical and biological processes that govern dynamics are complex. Sampling the ocean to better understand these processes is difficult given the temporal and spatial domains and sampling tools available. Biological systems are especially difficult as organisms possess behavior, operate at horizontal scales smaller than traditional shipboard sampling allows, and are often disturbed by the sampling platforms themselves. Sensors that measure biological processes have also generally not kept pace with the development of physical counterparts as their requirements are as complex as the target organisms. Here, we attempt to address this challenge by advocating the need for sensor-platform combinations to integrate and process data in real-time and develop data products that are useful in increasing sampling efficiencies. Too often, the data of interest is only garnered after post-processing after a sampling effort and the opportunity to use that information to guide sampling is lost. Here we demonstrate a new autonomous platform, where data are collected, analyzed, and data products are output in real-time to inform autonomous decision-making. This integrated capability allows for enhanced and informed sampling towards improving our understanding of the marine environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Robotics)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Robotics in 2015
Robotics 2016, 5(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics5010003 - 22 Jan 2016
Viewed by 3532
Abstract
The editors of Robotics would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Coordination of Multiple Biomimetic Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Using Strategies Based on the Schooling Behaviour of Fish
Robotics 2016, 5(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics5010002 - 13 Jan 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4386
Abstract
Biomimetic Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (BAUVs) are Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) that employ similar propulsion and steering principles as real fish. While the real life applicability of these vehicles has yet to be fully investigated, laboratory investigations have demonstrated that at low speeds, the [...] Read more.
Biomimetic Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (BAUVs) are Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) that employ similar propulsion and steering principles as real fish. While the real life applicability of these vehicles has yet to be fully investigated, laboratory investigations have demonstrated that at low speeds, the propulsive mechanism of these vehicles is more efficient when compared with propeller based AUVs. Furthermore, these vehicles have also demonstrated superior manoeuvrability characteristics when compared with conventional AUVs and Underwater Glider Systems (UGSs). Further performance benefits can be achieved through coordination of multiple BAUVs swimming in formation. In this study, the coordination strategy is based on the schooling behaviour of fish, which is a decentralized approach that allows multiple AUVs to be self-organizing. Such a strategy can be effectively utilized for large spatiotemporal data collection for oceanic monitoring and surveillance purposes. A validated mathematical model of the BAUV developed at the University of Glasgow, RoboSalmon, is used to represent the agents within a school formation. The performance of the coordination algorithm is assessed through simulation where system identification techniques are employed to improve simulation run time while ensuring accuracy is maintained. The simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of implementing coordination algorithms based on the behavioural mechanisms of fish to allow a group of BAUVs to be considered self-organizing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Robotics)
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Open AccessArticle
HBS-1: A Modular Child-Size 3D Printed Humanoid
Robotics 2016, 5(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics5010001 - 13 Jan 2016
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 6432
Abstract
An affordable, highly articulated, child-size humanoid robot could potentially be used for various purposes, widening the design space of humanoids for further study. Several findings indicated that normal children and children with autism interact well with humanoids. This paper presents a child-sized humanoid [...] Read more.
An affordable, highly articulated, child-size humanoid robot could potentially be used for various purposes, widening the design space of humanoids for further study. Several findings indicated that normal children and children with autism interact well with humanoids. This paper presents a child-sized humanoid robot (HBS-1) intended primarily for children’s education and rehabilitation. The design approach is based on the design for manufacturing (DFM) and the design for assembly (DFA) philosophies to realize the robot fully using additive manufacturing. Most parts of the robot are fabricated with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) using rapid prototyping technology. Servomotors and shape memory alloy actuators are used as actuating mechanisms. The mechanical design, analysis and characterization of the robot are presented in both theoretical and experimental frameworks. Full article
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