Organisation: Gustavo Stefanini Advanced Robotics Research Center (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna)
Address: Via Valdilocchi 15, 19136 La Spezia (Italy)
Contact: Dr. Massimo Satler (Tel: +39 050 8753655, massimo.satler(at)sssup.it)
- Paolo Tripicchio (Centro Gustavo Stefanini)
- Matteo Unetti (Centro Gustavo Stefanini)
- Nicola Giordani (Centro Gustavo Stefanini)
- Alessandro Di Fava (PERCRO Lab)
The team is formed by an interdisciplinary group of people being part of two Labs: Perceptual Robotics (PERCRO) Laboratory and the Gustavo Stefanini advanced robotics research Center (CGS). PERCRO Lab. works in the field of human-robot interaction since 1991. The main research focus is related to the design of haptic interfaces and the employment of such a technology for virtual environments exploration as well as for teleoperation tasks. PERCRO’s objective is to conceive and develop Advanced Interaction Concepts and Technologies for improving the communication between the humans and the reactive environment, with special attention to Virtual Environments and Tele-Robotic Systems. PERCRO is part of the Institute of Communication, Information and Perception Technologies (TECIP) of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy. PERCRO’s headquarters is in Pisa and two other branches are in La Spezia (Centro Gustavo Stefanini) and Livorno (PERCRO SEES).
CGS works on the field of mobile robotics since 2005. During the years, many applications focused on the localization, navigation and control of ground and aerial vehicles have been realized. Lately, a great interest in the integration of heterogeneous robots coalitions has grown in order to solve complex tasks requiring the collaboration among different units to accomplish a mission.
The team is composed by motivated PhD students, research collaborators and post-Doc members. Team members have been selected in order to cover expertise in vision, navigation, mapping, control of flying vehicles, as well as software architecture and code optimization for real-time applications.
All members have previous experience in autonomous systems in the air and land domains. In particular the members are usually involved in European and National research projects focusing on autonomous robots, cooperation of heterogeneous units, computer vision and machine learning techniques.
Recently, the need for robots able to carry out high-risk service tasks, such as the inspection of power plants and/or power lines, is growing. CGS designed, within a national project, novel human-in-the-loop control architectures for an advanced generation of aerial service robots. In particular it has been developed a system composed by a flying vehicle and a control ground station consisting of an architecture that allows an operator to remotely supervise an aerial service robot while performing a complex service task. Basically, the human operator does not need to be a skilled pilot to operate the aerial robot, but an expert in the required service task. The addressed task consisted in the visual inspection of confined spaces in a power plant and hence it has been required to develop a control system able to localize and navigate the vehicle based on the on-board sensors only and the on-board computer unit .
Most of the team members have been involved in the previously outlined project, where they acquired field experience related to the complexity/constraints of the task/environment and knowledge of the correlated problems. We added to those members, senior engineers and post-Docs experienced in vision algorithms and bilateral teleoperation control architecture aiming to successfully participate to the challenge. Starting from the gained field experience, the idea is to apply artificial intelligence components, computer vision algorithms both for localization/mapping purpose (by means of sensor fusion techniques) and operator inspection aids, cognitive reasoning and semantic identification in order to perform local obstacle avoidance, local path planning, following of structure, device homing, etc.
- Satler et al. “Towards an autonomous flying robot for inspections in open and constrained spaces”, 2014 11th International Multi-Conference on Systems, Signals & Devices (SSD)