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Intelligent Robots and Systems, 1998. Proceedings., 1998 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on

Date 17-17 Oct. 1998

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  • Proceedings - 1998 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems [front matter]

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): i - xxxv
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Author index

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): xxxvii - xliv
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • INSERVUM-a retargetable, intelligent, video-based observation system for service robots

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1840 - 1846 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    In this paper we describe the architecture of a vision-based workspace monitoring system for different kinds of nonautonomous service robots. Based on a hardware system with a movable color CCD-camera, mounted on a linear sledge above the workspace, we are developing a hierarchical, modular software system with a flexible control which is not restricted to a single application. During the initialization a 3D map of the workspace is generated by tracking prominent features like edges and corners while the camera is moved. In the following, regions of interest are determined by means of motion detection and/or color classification. These regions are used for the search of known objects, e.g. humans, the robot itself, etc. After an object is identified, its posture and location is estimated by matching a geometric 3D model of the object with the detected regions. The feasibility of this approach will be proved with two applications. View full abstract»

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  • Fatigue characteristics of McKibben artificial muscle actuators

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1776 - 1781 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (7)
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    The McKibben artificial muscle is a pneumatic actuator whose properties include a very high force to weight ratio. This characteristic makes it very attractive for a wide range of applications such as mobile robots and prosthetic appliances for the disabled. Typical applications often require a significant number of repeated contractions and extensions or cycles of the actuator. This repeated action leads to fatigue and failure of the actuator, yielding a life span that is often shorter than its more common robotic counterparts such as electric motors or pneumatic cylinders. In this paper, we develop a model that predicts the maximum number of life cycles of the actuator based on available uniaxial tensile properties of the actuator's inner bladder. Experimental results, which validate the model, reveal McKibben actuators fabricated with natural latex rubber bladders have a fatigue limit 24 times greater than actuators fabricated with synthetic silicone rubber at large contraction ratios View full abstract»

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  • Analysis of actuation and dynamic balancing for a single-wheel robot

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1789 - 1794 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (11)
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    We develop a dynamic model of the steering and actuation mechanism of Gyrover, a single-wheel robot which can be considered as a single wheel, actuated through a spinning flywheel attached through a two-link manipulator at the wheel bearing and a drive motor. The spinning flywheel acts as a gyroscope to stabilize the robot, and at the same time it can achieve steering. We develop a dynamic model, investigate its motion equation, and nonholonomic constraints, and present a simulation study. The work is significant in understanding this type of dynamically stable but statically unstable system, and in developing automatic control of the system View full abstract»

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  • Ultrasonic data representation: application to mobile robots localisation

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1559 - 1564 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    A method with a new representation of ultrasonic data is proposed in order to calculate the position and the orientation of a robot placed in a room. This representation is based on occupancy grids. Two grids are necessary to locate the robot. The first one is the global map which stores all the information of the environment. The second one is the local map which enables to store the information around the robot obtained by the use of ultrasonic sensors. The two grids are compared to determine their relative translation and rotation. This paper deals with the improvement of occupancy grids by a finest analysis of the cells affected along the arc, those situated simultaneously in two different cones and those included in the robots area. Tests have been achieve to evaluate this discretisation which proves its effectiveness View full abstract»

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  • A learning fuzzy decision tree and its application to tactile image

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1578 - 1583 vol.3
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    Decision trees play important roles in many fields such as pattern recognition and classification It is because they have simple, apparent and fast reasoning process. This paper develops an algorithm to generate a learning fuzzy decision tree. This algorithm firstly collects enough training data for generating a practical decision tree. It then uses fuzzy statistics to calculate fuzzy sets for representing the training data in order to save computing memory and increase generation speed. Finally, this algorithm uses a suboptimal criterion to learn a decision tree from the resultant fuzzy sets. The algorithm is applied to a general-purpose tactile force sensing system. This system uses fuzzy logic to interpolate the force data. Then, the proposed algorithm is used to generate the desired decision tree from the tactile data. Based on the decision tree, the objects can be online recognized precisely View full abstract»

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  • Behavior sampling: a recording mechanism for visually based teleoperation

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1753 - 1760 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (2)  |  Patents (1)
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    Proposes a visually based teleoperation with accumulation method and system where the visual and control information sequences are stored and available for syntactically indexed playback. Visually based teleoperation systems heretofore described in the literature unfortunately can only display an instantaneous representation of the control sequence. Past control experience should instead be accumulated and available to facilitate teleoperators. In this paper, the behavior sampling extraction theory and method, the behavior sampling data representation, and portions of the status on demand function-set are introduced. Behavior sampling utilizes semiotic analysis of the teleoperator control behavior to syntactically segment the control motions and the relevant visual objects into a syntactically indexable storage stream. A preliminary system used for manipulating single biological cells under an optical microscope (fitted with a video camera) is described. Repetitive manipulation experiments on Mato fluorescent granular perithelial (FGP) cells show the effectiveness of this enhancement to the visually based control approach View full abstract»

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  • A human-machine interface for teleoperation of arm manipulators in it complex environment

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1590 - 1595 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
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    Discusses the feasibility of using configuration space (C-space) as a means of visualization and control in operator-guided real-time motion of a robot arm manipulator. The motivation is to improve performance of the human operator in tasks involving the manipulator motion in an environment with obstacles. Unlike some other motion planning tasks, operators are known to make expensive mistakes in such tasks, even in a simpler two-dimensional case. Using an example of a two-dimensional arm manipulator, we show that translating the problem into C-space improves the operator performance remarkably, on the order of magnitude compared to the usual work space control View full abstract»

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  • Interaction between creature and robot: development of an experiment system for rat and rat robot interaction

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1975 - 1980 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
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    In this paper, we introduce a trial to realize interaction between creatures and robots. As the first step, rats were selected as an experimental target as a simplified form of interaction between human and humanoid robots. A rat robot was developed. Infrared transmitter, similar outlook of rat's figure and size, front-wheel steering and rear-wheel driving mechanism were equipped to the robot as the main features of the robot. An experiment system was developed to enable interaction between the rat robot and rats. The experiment system is equipped with a color CCD camera which captures and processes images of the rat and the rat robot in real-time. Behavioral experiments were performed with the system. As a result, it was confirmed that behaviors of the rat robot influence the rat's behaviors View full abstract»

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  • Smart sensor snow

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1377 - 1382 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (6)
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    We propose to deploy and exploit a large number of inexpensive sensors to obtain information or trigger actions over a wide geographic area. Sensors may be of diverse physical natures: acoustic, IR, seismic, chemical, magnetic, thermal, etc. We describe three major issues: (1) sensor distribution patterns, (2) local sensor frames, and (3) autonomous robot sensor snow exploitation techniques View full abstract»

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  • The lane-curvature method for local obstacle avoidance

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1615 - 1621 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (22)
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    The lane-curvature method (LCM) presented in this paper is a new local obstacle avoidance method for indoor mobile robots. The method combines curvature-velocity method (CVM) with a new directional method called the lane method. The lane method divides the environment into lanes, and then chooses the best lane to follow to optimize travel along a desired heading. A local heading is then calculated for entering and following the best lane, and CVM uses this heading to determine the optimal translational and rotational velocities, considering the heading direction, physical limitations, and environmental constraints. By combining both the directional and velocity space methods, LCM yields safe collision-free motion as well as smooth motion taking the dynamics of the robot into account View full abstract»

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  • Uniform and complete surface coverage with a robot-mounted laser rangefinder

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1682 - 1688 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
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    Describes a system for automatically digitizing the surfaces of a completely unknown object to a prescribed sampling density. Unlike many available commercial systems (e.g. Cyberware), our system analyzes actively the data and computes sensor trajectories to achieve complete surface coverage taking into account the limitations of the sensor/manipulator. This represents in fact an active approach to the problem of complete object digitization, working directly at the measurement level, as opposed to existing off-line methods that perform post-processing on a fixed data set. We propose a theoretical framework to achieve this goal and we present preliminary results of a laboratory implementation View full abstract»

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  • Parameter estimation of unknown rigid objects moving freely in non-gravity field by stereo vision

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1455 - 1460 vol.3
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    In this paper, we discuss the estimation method of physical parameters of an unknown rigid object which moves freely in nongravity field by using stereo vision. The physical parameters cannot be estimated by only observing the change of the position and orientation of the object. A known object is shot to the unknown target object, then the collision happens. The collision changes the movement of unknown and known objects. The physical parameter estimation method, based on the image data of two objects before and after the collision, is proposed. The effectiveness of the proposed method is evaluated by computer simulations View full abstract»

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  • Determination of three dimensional curvature of convex object via active touch

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1652 - 1657 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    In this paper we propose a method of determining the local curvature of a three dimensional convex object using the force and torque information obtained from the active touch of a robot finger. A technique for estimating two dimensional curvature of a convex object are introduced and the way of computing the three dimensional curvature from the two dimensional curvature is presented. Also, we develop an experimental system consisting of a finger and verify the effectiveness of the proposed method experimentally View full abstract»

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  • A micromachined piezoelectric tactile sensor for use in endoscopic graspers

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1503 - 1508 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Present day endoscopic graspers do not have any sensors built in them. Thus the surgeon cannot estimate the amount of pressure being applied to manipulate the tissue safely. The paper reports on the design, fabrication and results of a silicon micromachined piezoelectric tactile sensor which can be integrated on to the tip of the endoscopic grasper. The sensor has a rigid tooth-like surface similar to the present day endoscopic grasper. It consists of upper silicon, a perspex substrate and a patterned polyvinylidene fluoride(PVDF) film, which is sandwiched between the two layer. It is shown that the magnitude and the position of the applied force on the sensor can be found from the magnitude of the output signals from the PVDF sensing elements and the slope of the signal at the position of the application of the force respectively. The sensor exhibits high force sensitivity, large dynamic range and good linearity. The theoretical analysis of the sensor is made and compared with the experimental values. The advantages and limitations of the sensor are also reported. Since the sensor simulates the teeth-like surface of the existing endoscopic grasper, it is possible to integrate the device on to the grasper of the endoscopic surgical instrument View full abstract»

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  • Solder joints inspection using neural network and fuzzy rule-based classification

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1565 - 1570 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
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    In this paper, we described an approach to automation of visual inspection of solder joint defects of SMC (surface mounted components) on PCB (printed circuit board) by using neural network and fuzzy rule-based classification method. Inherently, the surface of the solder joints is curved, tiny and specular reflective; it induces a difficulty of taking good image of the solder joints. The shape of the solder joints tends to vary greatly with soldering condition and the shapes are not identical to each other, even for solder joints belonging to a set of the same soldering quality. This problem makes it difficult to classify the solder joints according to their qualities. Neural network and fuzzy rule-based classification method is proposed to efficiently make human-like classification criteria of the solder joint shapes. The performance of the proposed approach is tested on numerous samples of commercial computer PCB boards and compared with the human inspector's performance View full abstract»

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  • Robot teaching using projection function

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1944 - 1949 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (2)  |  Patents (1)
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    We have proposed a projection function as a method of sharing information between a person and a coexistent robot. The projection function means that an image of the robot's next motion is projected in the task environment to notify the human of what it is going to do and thereby to enable cooperation between the person and the robot. We apply the projection function to teaching the robot the task coordinates. The simulated image on the task floor moves along with the operator's command. The operator can stay apart from the moving robot with the new teaching method. This method requires only the simulation model of the robot itself, while other methods based on virtual reality require a whole model of the task environment View full abstract»

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  • Computation of stereo disparity for space materials

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1461 - 1466 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    One of the challenges facing computer vision systems used in space is the presence of specular surfaces. Such surfaces lead to several adverse effects such as the creation of reflected “virtual” images of objects due to specular reflections. These effects may lead to incorrect measurements and loss of data in the case of sensor saturation or inadequate intensity of the returned laser beams in the case of an active illuminant. In addition, the instruments inside space structures such as satellites may be extremely sensitive to active illuminants such as laser beams or radar signals, and thus passive vision systems which rely on either natural or low-power projection systems are preferred over active sensing technologies. Here we consider the task of recovering the local surface structure of highly specular surfaces such as satellites using passive stereopsis without resulting to the introduction of additional light source View full abstract»

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  • Reinforcement learning of dynamic motor sequence: learning to stand up

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1721 - 1726 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (10)
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    We propose a learning method for implementing human-like sequential movements in robots. As an example of dynamic sequential movement, we consider the “stand-up” task for a two-joint, three-link robot. In contrast to the case of steady walking or standing, the desired trajectory for such a transient behavior is very difficult to derive. The goal of the task is to find a path that links a lying state to an upright state under the constraints of the system dynamics. The geometry of the robot is such that there is no static solution; the robot has to stand up dynamically utilizing the momentum of its body. We use reinforcement learning, in particular, a continuous time and state temporal difference (TD) learning method. For successful results, we use 1) an efficient method of value function approximation in a high-dimensional state space, and 2) a hierarchical architecture which divides a large state space into a few smaller pieces View full abstract»

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  • A robust eigenspace method for high-speed massively parallel vision systems

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1795 - 1800 vol.3
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    Image processing systems, each consisting of massively parallel photodetectors and digital processing elements on a monolithic circuit, are being developed by several researchers. This approach is promising for applications in robot vision and visual inspection. Some early vision-like processing algorithms, such as edge-detection, smoothing and thinning, are installed in the vision systems. However, they are not sufficient for applications because their output is in the form of pattern information, so that, in order to respond to input, some feature values are required to be extracted from the pattern. We propose a method for extracting feature values associated with images in a massively parallel vision system. The feature can be a complex one, such as the rotation angle of an object, if the feature value changes continuously as the image changes. The method is based on the eigenspace method, but modified to be robust. In addition, we propose some computation accelerating methods and report some experimental results View full abstract»

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  • A study on estimation wire obstacle using ultrasonic sensors and planning for avoidance

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1622 - 1627 vol.3
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    The authors studied the planning for wire obstacle avoidance by manipulators. It is difficult to know the location and direction of an obstacle with an ultrasonic sensor, since distance is the only information provided by the sensor. The authors propose here a method for estimating the location and direction of a wire obstacle by using multiple items of information on distance. The authors report the results of simulation of path modification by detecting wire obstacles based on the proposed method View full abstract»

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  • Reduced-dimension representations of human performance data for human-to-robot skill transfer

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1956 - 1961 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
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    Despite the large amount of research currently directed toward programming robots by demonstration, a significant problem with this method of human-to-robot skill transfer has not yet been addressed: developing representations of human performances which isolate the intrinsic dimensions of the performances (and thus the skills which guide them) within high-dimensional, raw human performance data. In this paper we propose the use of three methods for representing high-dimensional human performance data within lower-dimensional spaces: principal component analysis (PCA), nonlinear principal component analysis (NLPCA), and sequential nonlinear principal component analysis (SNLPCA). We compare the appropriateness of these methods for modeling a simple human grasping operation View full abstract»

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  • Tight cooperative working system by multiple robots

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1405 - 1410 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    The purpose of this study is to realize a multiple robot system which can be easily developed and managed. In order to perform robust cooperative work, it is necessary that multiple robots can achieve not only a high level of cooperation without communication but also simple cooperation with communication, and then switch between modes according to the situation. We call such cooperative work “tight cooperation”. To achieve such cooperation, there must be an integrated concept in the system about structure in a robot and whole system. We propose a method for the construction of such a multiple robot system based on this concept. We constructed a cooperative working system called ICRoS and implemented it on two hexapod robots with parallel processors. We verified the effectiveness of this multiple robot system with four different experiments involving the cooperative lifting of a box View full abstract»

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  • Human-machine cooperative teleoperation of Fitts task using uncertain sensor and model data

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 1602 - 1608 vol.3
    Cited by:  Papers (11)
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    Inadequacies in sensor and image processing technology have limited the capabilities of autonomous robotics in complex environments. However, the tedium and fatigue commonly encountered in manual teleoperation has prompted research in the area of sensor and computer assisted teleoperation. A method of sensor assisted teleoperation consisting of automatic selection of variable velocity mapping parameters based on sensor accuracy is briefly reviewed. The application of variable velocity mapping to the execution of Fitts task is described, and the theoretically predicted increase in performance compared with the actual increases shown. The experimental results are used to support a method of choosing mapping parameters to provide the optimal assistance when there are known inaccuracies in the available sensor data according to the initially described concept View full abstract»

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