TechTalks from event: Technical session talks from ICRA 2012

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Animation & Simulation

  • Conditions for Uniqueness in Simultaneous Impact with Application to Mechanical Design Authors: Seghete, Vlad; Murphey, Todd
    We present a collision resolution method based on momentum maps and show how it extends to handling multiple simultaneous collisions. Simultaneous collisions, which are common in robots that walk or climb, do not necessarily have unique outcomes, but we show that for special configurations—--e.g. when the surfaces of contact are orthogonal in the appropriate sense—--simultaneous impacts have unique outcomes, making them considerably easier to understand and simulate. This uniqueness helps us develop a measure of the unpredictability of the impact outcome based on the state at impact and is used for gait and mechanism design, such that a mechanism’s actions are more predictable and hence controllable. As a preliminary example, we explore the configuration space at impact for a model of the RHex running robot and find optimal configurations at which the unpredictability of the impact outcome is minimized.
  • Dynamics Simulation for the Training of Teleoperated Retrieval of Spent Nuclear Fuel Authors: Cornella, Jordi; Zerbato, Davide; Giona, Luca; Fiorini, Paolo; Sequeira, Vitor
    This paper addresses the problem of training of operators for telemanipulation tasks. In particular it describes the development of a physics based virtual environment that allows a user to train in the control of an innovative robotic tools designed for the retrieval of spent nuclear fuels. The robotic device is designed to adapt to very different environments, at the cost of an increased complexity in its control. The virtual environment provides realistic simulation of robot dynamics. The two most challenging tasks related to robot control have been identified and implemented in the simulation, leading to an effective tool for the training. The developed application is described in details and the outcome of one simulated intervention is proposed and analyzed in terms of user interaction and realism.
  • Putting the Fish in the Fish Tank: Immersive VR for Animal Behavior Experiments Authors: Butail, Sachit; Paley, Derek; Chicoli, Amanda
    We describe a virtual-reality framework for investigating startle-response behavior in fish. Using real-time three-dimensional tracking, we generate looming stimuli at a specific location on a computer screen, such that the shape and size of the looming stimuli change according to the fish's perspective and location in the tank. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the setup through experiments on Giant danio and compute the success rate in eliciting a response. We also estimate visual startle sensitivity by presenting the stimulus from different directions around the fish head. The aim of this work is to provide the basis for quantifying escape behavior in fish schools.
  • Design and Implementation of Dynamic Simulators for the Testing of Inertial Sensors Authors: allotta, benedetto; Becciolini, Lorenzo; Costanzi, Riccardo; Giardi, Francesca; Ridolfi, Alessandro; Vettori, Gregorio
    Many dynamic simulators have been developed in the last thirty years for different types of vehicles. Flight simulators and drive simulators are very well known examples. This paper describes the design and implementation of a dynamic simulator for the testing of inertial sensors devoted to vehicle navigation through a Hardware-In-The-Loop test rig composed of an industrial robot and a commercially available Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). The authors are developing an innovative localization algorithm for railway vehicles which integrates inertial sensors with tachometers. The opportunity to set up a testing simulator capable of replicating in a realistic fashion the dynamic effects of the vehicle motion on inertial sensors allows to avoid expensive on board acquisitions and to speed up algorithm tuning. The real-time control architecture featured by the available industrial robot allows to precisely specify and execute motion trajectories with tight path and time law constraints required by the application at hand.
  • Automatic Data Driven Vegetation Modeling for Lidar Simulation Authors: Deschaud, Jean-Emmanuel; Prasser, David; Dias, M. Freddie; Browning, Brett; Rander, Peter
    Traditional lidar simulations render surface models to generate simulated range data. For objects with well-defined surfaces, this approach works well, and traditional 3D scene reconstruction algorithms can be employed to automatically generate the surface models. This approach breaks down, though, for many trees, tall grasses, and other objects with fine-scale geometry: surface models do not easily represent the geometry, and automated reconstruction from real data is difficult. In this paper, we introduce a new stochastic volumetric model that better captures the complexities of real lidar data of vegetation and is far better suited for automatic modeling of scenes from field collected lidar data. We also introduce several methods for automatic modeling and for simulating lidar data utilizing the new model. To measure the performance of the stochastic simulation we use histogram comparison metrics to quantify the differences between data produced by the real and simulated lidar. We evaluate our approach on a range of real world datasets and show improved fidelity for simulating geo-specific outdoor, vegetation scenes.
  • Simulation of Tactile Sensors Using Soft Contacts for Robot Grasping Applications Authors: Moisio, Sami; Leon, Beatriz; Korkealaakso, Pasi; Morales, Antonio
    In the context of robot grasping and manipulation, realistic simulation requires accurate modeling of contacts between bodies and, in a practical level, accurate simulation of touch sensors. This paper addresses the problem of simulating a tactile sensor considering soft contacts and full friction description. The developed model consists of a surface contact patch described by a mesh of contact elements. For each element, a full friction description is built considering stick-slip phenomena. The model is then implemented and used to perform typical tasks related to tactile sensors. The performance of the simulated sensor is then compared to a real one. It is also demonstrated how it can be integrated on the simulation of a complete robot grasping system.