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2012


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Towards Multi-DOF model mediated teleoperation: Using vision to augment feedback

Willaert, B., Bohg, J., Van Brussel, H., Niemeyer, G.

In IEEE International Workshop on Haptic Audio Visual Environments and Games (HAVE), pages: 25-31, October 2012 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we address some of the challenges that arise as model-mediated teleoperation is applied to systems with multiple degrees of freedom and multiple sensors. Specifically we use a system with position, force, and vision sensors to explore an environment geometry in two degrees of freedom. The inclusion of vision is proposed to alleviate the difficulties of estimating an increasing number of environment properties. Vision can furthermore increase the predictive nature of model-mediated teleoperation, by effectively predicting touch feedback before the slave is even in contact with the environment. We focus on the case of estimating the location and orientation of a local surface patch at the contact point between the slave and the environment. We describe the various information sources with their respective limitations and create a combined model estimator as part of a multi-d.o.f. model-mediated controller. An experiment demonstrates the feasibility and benefits of utilizing vision sensors in teleoperation.

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DOI [BibTex]

2012


DOI [BibTex]


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Failure Recovery with Shared Autonomy

Sankaran, B., Pitzer, B., Osentoski, S.

In International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, October 2012 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Building robots capable of long term autonomy has been a long standing goal of robotics research. Such systems must be capable of performing certain tasks with a high degree of robustness and repeatability. In the context of personal robotics, these tasks could range anywhere from retrieving items from a refrigerator, loading a dishwasher, to setting up a dinner table. Given the complexity of tasks there are a multitude of failure scenarios that the robot can encounter, irrespective of whether the environment is static or dynamic. For a robot to be successful in such situations, it would need to know how to recover from failures or when to ask a human for help. This paper, presents a novel shared autonomy behavioral executive to addresses these issues. We demonstrate how this executive combines generalized logic based recovery and human intervention to achieve continuous failure free operation. We tested the systems over 250 trials of two different use case experiments. Our current algorithm drastically reduced human intervention from 26% to 4% on the first experiment and 46% to 9% on the second experiment. This system provides a new dimension to robot autonomy, where robots can exhibit long term failure free operation with minimal human supervision. We also discuss how the system can be generalized.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Task-Based Grasp Adaptation on a Humanoid Robot

Bohg, J., Welke, K., León, B., Do, M., Song, D., Wohlkinger, W., Aldoma, A., Madry, M., Przybylski, M., Asfour, T., Marti, H., Kragic, D., Morales, A., Vincze, M.

In 10th IFAC Symposium on Robot Control, SyRoCo 2012, Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 5-7, 2012., pages: 779-786, September 2012 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we present an approach towards autonomous grasping of objects according to their category and a given task. Recent advances in the field of object segmentation and categorization as well as task-based grasp inference have been leveraged by integrating them into one pipeline. This allows us to transfer task-specific grasp experience between objects of the same category. The effectiveness of the approach is demonstrated on the humanoid robot ARMAR-IIIa.

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Video pdf DOI [BibTex]

Video pdf DOI [BibTex]


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Movement Segmentation and Recognition for Imitation Learning

Meier, F., Theodorou, E., Schaal, S.

In Seventeenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, La Palma, Canary Islands, Fifteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics , April 2012 (inproceedings)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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From Dynamic Movement Primitives to Associative Skill Memories

Pastor, P., Kalakrishnan, M., Meier, F., Stulp, F., Buchli, J., Theodorou, E., Schaal, S.

Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 2012 (article)

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Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Inverse dynamics with optimal distribution of contact forces for the control of legged robots

Righetti, L., Schaal, S.

In Dynamic Walking 2012, Pensacola, 2012 (inproceedings)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Vortex dynamics in nonparabolic potentials

Langner, H. H., Kamionka, T., Martens, M., Weigand, M., Adolff, C. F., Merkt, U., Meier, G.

{Physical Review B}, 85(17), 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Micromagnetic simulations on GPU, a case study: Vortex core switcing by high-frequency magnetic fields

Van de Wiele, B, Vansteenkiste, A., Kammerer, M., Van Waeyenberge, B., Dupré, L., De Zutter, D.

{IEEE Transactions on Magnetics}, 48(6):2068-2072, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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On the energetics of transversal and longitudinal fluctuations of atomic magnetic moments

Dietermann, F., Sandratskii, L. M., Fähnle, M.

{Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials}, 324(18):2693-2695, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Gradual softening of Al-Zn alloys during high-pressure torsion

Mazilkin, A. A., Straumal, B. B., Borodachenkova, M. V., Valiev, R. Z., Kogtenkova, O. A., Baretzky, B.

{Materials Letters}, 84, pages: 63-65, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Direct imaging of phase relation in a pair of coupled vortex oscillators

Vogel, A., Drews, A., Weigand, M., Meier, G.

{AIP Advances}, 2, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Encoding of Periodic and their Transient Motions by a Single Dynamic Movement Primitive

Ernesti, J., Righetti, L., Do, M., Asfour, T., Schaal, S.

In 2012 12th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids 2012), pages: 57-64, IEEE, Osaka, Japan, November 2012 (inproceedings)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Force Control Policies for Compliant Robotic Manipulation

Kalakrishnan, M., Righetti, L., Pastor, P., Schaal, S.

In ICML’12 Proceedings of the 29th International Coference on International Conference on Machine Learning, pages: 49-50, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2012 (inproceedings)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Spin wave mediated magnetic vortex core reversal

Stoll, H.

In 8461, San Diego, California, USA, 2012 (inproceedings)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Accurate dosimetry in scanning transmission X-ray microscopes via the cross-linking threshold dose of poly(methyl methacrylate)

Leontowich, A. F. G., Hitchcock, A. P., Tyliszczak, T., Weigand, M., Wang, J., Karunakaran, C.

{Journal of Synchrotron Radiation}, 19(6):976-987, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Biogenic potassium salt particles as seeds for secondary organic aerosal in the amazon

Pöhlker, C., Wiedemann, K. T., Sinha, B., Shiraiwa, M., Gunthe, S. S., Smith, M., Su, H., Artaxo, P., Chen, Q., Cheng, Y., Elbert, W., Gilles, M. K., Kilcoyne, A. L. D., Moffet, R. C., Weigand, M., Martin, S. T., Pöschl, U., Andreae, M. O.

{Science}, 337, pages: 1075-1078, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Metal@COFs: Covalent organic frameworks as templates for Pd nanoparticles and hydrogen storage properties of Pd@COF-102 hybrid material

Kalidindi, S. B., Oh, H., Hirscher, M., Esken, D., Wiktor, C., Turner, S., Van Tendeloo, G., Fischer, R. A.

{Chemistry-a European Journal}, 18(35):10848-10856, VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim, Germany, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Ion beam lithography for direct patterning of high accuracy large area X-ray elements in gold on membranes

Nadzeyka, A., Peto, L., Bauerdick, S., Mayer, M., Keskinbora, K., Grévent, C., Weigand, M., Hirscher, M., Schütz, G.

{Microelectronic Engineering}, 98, pages: 198-201, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Micro- and nanoscale fluid flow on chemical channels

Dörfler, Fabian, Rauscher, Markus, Koplik, Joel, Harting, Jens, Dietrich, S.

{Soft Matter}, 8(35):9221-9234, 2012 (article)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Novel characterization of the adsorption sites in large pore Metal-Organic Frameworks: Combination of X-ray powder diffraction and thermal desorption spectroscopy

Soleimani Dorcheh, A., Dinnebier, R. E., Kuc, A., Magdysyuk, O., Adams, F., Denysenko, D., Heine, T., Volkmer, D., Donner, W., Hirscher, M.

{Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics}, 14(37):12892-12897, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Tunnel contacts for spin injection into silicon: The Si-Co interface with and without a MgO tunnel barrier - A study by high-resolution Rutherford backscattering

Dash, S. P., Goll, D., Kopold, P., Carstanjen, H. D.

{Advances in Materials Science and Engineering}, 2012, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Fast spin-wave-mediated magnetic vortex core reversal

Kammerer, M., Stoll, H., Noske, M., Sproll, M., Weigand, M., Illg, C., Woltersdorf, G., Fähnle, M., Back, C., Schütz, G.

{Physical Review B}, 86(13), 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Deformation-driven formation of equilibrium phases in the Cu-Ni alloys

Straumal, B. B., Protasova, S. G., Mazilkin, A. A., Rabkin, E., Goll, D., Schütz, G., Baretzky, B., Valiev, R. Z.

{Journal of Materials Science}, 47, pages: 360-367, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Nanosponges for hydrogen storage

Schlichtenmayer, M., Hirscher, M.

{Journal of Materials Chemistry}, 22, pages: 10134-10143, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Magnetic and electronic properties of the interface between half metallic Fe3O4 and semiconducting ZnO

Brück, S., Paul, M., Tian, H., Müller, A., Kufer, D., Praetorius, C., Fauth, K., Audehm, P., Goering, E., Verbeeck, J., Van Tendeloo, G., Sing, M., Claessen, R.

{Applied Physics Letters}, 100, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Amorphous interlayers between crystalline grains in ferromagnetic ZnO films

Straumal, B. B., Protasova, S. G., Mazilkin, A. A., Baretzky, B., Myatiev, A. A., Straumal, P. B., Tietze, T., Schütz, G., Goering, E.

{Materials Letters}, 71, pages: 21-24, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Quadratic programming for inverse dynamics with optimal distribution of contact forces

Righetti, L., Schaal, S.

In 2012 12th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids 2012), pages: 538-543, IEEE, Osaka, Japan, November 2012 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this contribution we propose an inverse dynamics controller for a humanoid robot that exploits torque redundancy to minimize any combination of linear and quadratic costs in the contact forces and the commands. In addition the controller satisfies linear equality and inequality constraints in the contact forces and the commands such as torque limits, unilateral contacts or friction cones limits. The originality of our approach resides in the formulation of the problem as a quadratic program where we only need to solve for the control commands and where the contact forces are optimized implicitly. Furthermore, we do not need a structured representation of the dynamics of the robot (i.e. an explicit computation of the inertia matrix). It is in contrast with existing methods based on quadratic programs. The controller is then robust to uncertainty in the estimation of the dynamics model and the optimization is fast enough to be implemented in high bandwidth torque control loops that are increasingly available on humanoid platforms. We demonstrate properties of our controller with simulations of a human size humanoid robot.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Model-free reinforcement learning of impedance control in stochastic environments

Stulp, Freek, Buchli, Jonas, Ellmer, Alice, Mistry, Michael, Theodorou, Evangelos A., Schaal, S.

Autonomous Mental Development, IEEE Transactions on, 4(4):330-341, 2012 (article)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Accelerated diffusion and phase transformations in Co-Cu alloys driven by the severe plastic deformation

Straumal, B. B., Mazilkin, A. A., Baretzky, B., Schütz, G., Rabkin, E., Valiev, R. Z.

{Special Issue on Advanced Materials Science in Bulk Nanostructured Metals}, 53(1):63-71, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Unusual flux jumps above 12 K in non-homogeneous MgB2 thin films

Treiber, S., Stahl, C., Schütz, G., Albrecht, J.

{Superconductor Science \& Technology}, 25, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Ferromagnetism of nanostructured zinc oxide films

Straumal, B. B., Mazilkin, A. A., Protasova, S. G., Straumal, P. B., Myatiev, A. A., Schütz, G., Goering, E., Baretzky, B.

{The Physics of Metals and Metallography}, 113(13):1244-1256, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Frequencies and polarization vectors of phonons: Results from force constants which are fitted to experimental data or calculated ab initio

Illg, C., Meyer, B., Fähnle, M.

{Physical Review B}, 86(17), Published by the American Physical Society through the American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, NY, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Grain boundary wetting by a second solid phase in the Zr-Nb alloys

Straumal, B. B., Gornakova, A. S., Kucheev, Y. O., Baretzky, B., Nekrasov, A. N.

{Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance}, 21(5):721-724, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Grain boundary wetting in the NdFeB-based hard magnetic alloys

Straumal, B. B., Kucheev, Y. O., Yatskovskaya, I. L., Mogilnikova, I. V., Schütz, G., Nekrasov, A. N., Baretzky, B.

{Journal of Materials Science}, 47(24):8352-8359, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Towards Associative Skill Memories

Pastor, P., Kalakrishnan, M., Righetti, L., Schaal, S.

In 2012 12th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids 2012), pages: 309-315, IEEE, Osaka, Japan, November 2012 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Movement primitives as basis of movement planning and control have become a popular topic in recent years. The key idea of movement primitives is that a rather small set of stereotypical movements should suffice to create a large set of complex manipulation skills. An interesting side effect of stereotypical movement is that it also creates stereotypical sensory events, e.g., in terms of kinesthetic variables, haptic variables, or, if processed appropriately, visual variables. Thus, a movement primitive executed towards a particular object in the environment will associate a large number of sensory variables that are typical for this manipulation skill. These association can be used to increase robustness towards perturbations, and they also allow failure detection and switching towards other behaviors. We call such movement primitives augmented with sensory associations Associative Skill Memories (ASM). This paper addresses how ASMs can be acquired by imitation learning and how they can create robust manipulation skill by determining subsequent ASMs online to achieve a particular manipulation goal. Evaluation for grasping and manipulation with a Barrett WAM/Hand illustrate our approach.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Template-based learning of grasp selection

Herzog, A., Pastor, P., Kalakrishnan, M., Righetti, L., Asfour, T., Schaal, S.

In 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pages: 2379-2384, IEEE, Saint Paul, USA, 2012 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The ability to grasp unknown objects is an important skill for personal robots, which has been addressed by many present and past research projects, but still remains an open problem. A crucial aspect of grasping is choosing an appropriate grasp configuration, i.e. the 6d pose of the hand relative to the object and its finger configuration. Finding feasible grasp configurations for novel objects, however, is challenging because of the huge variety in shape and size of these objects. Moreover, possible configurations also depend on the specific kinematics of the robotic arm and hand in use. In this paper, we introduce a new grasp selection algorithm able to find object grasp poses based on previously demonstrated grasps. Assuming that objects with similar shapes can be grasped in a similar way, we associate to each demonstrated grasp a grasp template. The template is a local shape descriptor for a possible grasp pose and is constructed using 3d information from depth sensors. For each new object to grasp, the algorithm then finds the best grasp candidate in the library of templates. The grasp selection is also able to improve over time using the information of previous grasp attempts to adapt the ranking of the templates. We tested the algorithm on two different platforms, the Willow Garage PR2 and the Barrett WAM arm which have very different hands. Our results show that the algorithm is able to find good grasp configurations for a large set of objects from a relatively small set of demonstrations, and does indeed improve its performance over time.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning with Sequences of Motion Primitives for Robust Manipulation

Stulp, F., Theodorou, E., Schaal, S.

IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 2012 (article)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Probabilistic depth image registration incorporating nonvisual information

Wüthrich, M., Pastor, P., Righetti, L., Billard, A., Schaal, S.

In 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pages: 3637-3644, IEEE, Saint Paul, USA, 2012 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we derive a probabilistic registration algorithm for object modeling and tracking. In many robotics applications, such as manipulation tasks, nonvisual information about the movement of the object is available, which we will combine with the visual information. Furthermore we do not only consider observations of the object, but we also take space into account which has been observed to not be part of the object. Furthermore we are computing a posterior distribution over the relative alignment and not a point estimate as typically done in for example Iterative Closest Point (ICP). To our knowledge no existing algorithm meets these three conditions and we thus derive a novel registration algorithm in a Bayesian framework. Experimental results suggest that the proposed methods perform favorably in comparison to PCL [1] implementations of feature mapping and ICP, especially if nonvisual information is available.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Magnetic proximity effect in YBa2Cu3O7 / La2/3Ca1/3MnO3 and YBa2Cu3O7 / LaMnO3+δsuperlattices

Satapathy, D. K., Uribe-Laverde, M. A., Marozau, I., Malik, V. K., Das, S., Wagner, T., Marcelot, C., Stahn, J., Brück, S., Rühm, A., Macke, S., Tietze, T., Goering, E., Frañó, A., Kim, J., Wu, M., Benckiser, E., Keimer, B., Devishvili, A., Toperverg, B. P., Merz, M., Nagel, P., Schuppler, S., Bernhard, C.

{Physical Review Letters}, 108, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Noble gases and microporous frameworks; from interaction to application

Soleimani Dorcheh, A., Denysenko, D., Volkmer, D., Donner, W., Hirscher, M.

{Microporous and Mesoporous Materials}, 162, pages: 64-68, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Note: Unique characterization possibilities in the ultra high vacuum scanning transmission x-ray microscope (UHV-STXM) "MAXYMUS" using a rotatable permanent magnetic field up to 0.22 T

Nolle, D., Weigand, M., Audehm, P., Goering, E., Wiesemann, U., Wolter, C., Nolle, E., Schütz, G.

{Review of Scientific Instruments}, 83(4), 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]


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Microstructure and superconducting properties of MgB2 films prepared by solid state reaction of multilayer precursors of the elements

Kugler, B., Stahl, C., Treiber, S., Soltan, S., Haug, S., Schütz, G., Albrecht, J.

{Thin Solid Films}, 520, pages: 6985-6988, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]

2010


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Reinforcement learning of full-body humanoid motor skills

Stulp, F., Buchli, J., Theodorou, E., Schaal, S.

In Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), 2010 10th IEEE-RAS International Conference on, pages: 405-410, December 2010, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Applying reinforcement learning to humanoid robots is challenging because humanoids have a large number of degrees of freedom and state and action spaces are continuous. Thus, most reinforcement learning algorithms would become computationally infeasible and require a prohibitive amount of trials to explore such high-dimensional spaces. In this paper, we present a probabilistic reinforcement learning approach, which is derived from the framework of stochastic optimal control and path integrals. The algorithm, called Policy Improvement with Path Integrals (PI2), has a surprisingly simple form, has no open tuning parameters besides the exploration noise, is model-free, and performs numerically robustly in high dimensional learning problems. We demonstrate how PI2 is able to learn full-body motor skills on a 34-DOF humanoid robot. To demonstrate the generality of our approach, we also apply PI2 in the context of variable impedance control, where both planned trajectories and gain schedules for each joint are optimized simultaneously.

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link (url) [BibTex]

2010


link (url) [BibTex]


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Relative Entropy Policy Search

Peters, J., Mülling, K., Altun, Y.

In Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pages: 1607-1612, (Editors: Fox, M. , D. Poole), AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA, USA, Twenty-Fourth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-10), July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Policy search is a successful approach to reinforcement learning. However, policy improvements often result in the loss of information. Hence, it has been marred by premature convergence and implausible solutions. As first suggested in the context of covariant policy gradients (Bagnell and Schneider 2003), many of these problems may be addressed by constraining the information loss. In this paper, we continue this path of reasoning and suggest the Relative Entropy Policy Search (REPS) method. The resulting method differs significantly from previous policy gradient approaches and yields an exact update step. It works well on typical reinforcement learning benchmark problems.

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PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Reinforcement learning of motor skills in high dimensions: A path integral approach

Theodorou, E., Buchli, J., Schaal, S.

In Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010 IEEE International Conference on, pages: 2397-2403, May 2010, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Reinforcement learning (RL) is one of the most general approaches to learning control. Its applicability to complex motor systems, however, has been largely impossible so far due to the computational difficulties that reinforcement learning encounters in high dimensional continuous state-action spaces. In this paper, we derive a novel approach to RL for parameterized control policies based on the framework of stochastic optimal control with path integrals. While solidly grounded in optimal control theory and estimation theory, the update equations for learning are surprisingly simple and have no danger of numerical instabilities as neither matrix inversions nor gradient learning rates are required. Empirical evaluations demonstrate significant performance improvements over gradient-based policy learning and scalability to high-dimensional control problems. Finally, a learning experiment on a robot dog illustrates the functionality of our algorithm in a real-world scenario. We believe that our new algorithm, Policy Improvement with Path Integrals (PI2), offers currently one of the most efficient, numerically robust, and easy to implement algorithms for RL in robotics.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Inverse dynamics control of floating base systems using orthogonal decomposition

Mistry, M., Buchli, J., Schaal, S.

In Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010 IEEE International Conference on, pages: 3406-3412, May 2010, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Model-based control methods can be used to enable fast, dexterous, and compliant motion of robots without sacrificing control accuracy. However, implementing such techniques on floating base robots, e.g., humanoids and legged systems, is non-trivial due to under-actuation, dynamically changing constraints from the environment, and potentially closed loop kinematics. In this paper, we show how to compute the analytically correct inverse dynamics torques for model-based control of sufficiently constrained floating base rigid-body systems, such as humanoid robots with one or two feet in contact with the environment. While our previous inverse dynamics approach relied on an estimation of contact forces to compute an approximate inverse dynamics solution, here we present an analytically correct solution by using an orthogonal decomposition to project the robot dynamics onto a reduced dimensional space, independent of contact forces. We demonstrate the feasibility and robustness of our approach on a simulated floating base bipedal humanoid robot and an actual robot dog locomoting over rough terrain.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Fast, robust quadruped locomotion over challenging terrain

Kalakrishnan, M., Buchli, J., Pastor, P., Mistry, M., Schaal, S.

In Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010 IEEE International Conference on, pages: 2665-2670, May 2010, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a control architecture for fast quadruped locomotion over rough terrain. We approach the problem by decomposing it into many sub-systems, in which we apply state-of-the-art learning, planning, optimization and control techniques to achieve robust, fast locomotion. Unique features of our control strategy include: (1) a system that learns optimal foothold choices from expert demonstration using terrain templates, (2) a body trajectory optimizer based on the Zero-Moment Point (ZMP) stability criterion, and (3) a floating-base inverse dynamics controller that, in conjunction with force control, allows for robust, compliant locomotion over unperceived obstacles. We evaluate the performance of our controller by testing it on the LittleDog quadruped robot, over a wide variety of rough terrain of varying difficulty levels. We demonstrate the generalization ability of this controller by presenting test results from an independent external test team on terrains that have never been shown to us.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Policy learning algorithmis for motor learning (Algorithmen zum automatischen Erlernen von Motorfähigkigkeiten)

Peters, J., Kober, J., Schaal, S.

Automatisierungstechnik, 58(12):688-694, 2010, clmc (article)

Abstract
Robot learning methods which allow au- tonomous robots to adapt to novel situations have been a long standing vision of robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive sciences. However, to date, learning techniques have yet to ful- fill this promise as only few methods manage to scale into the high-dimensional domains of manipulator robotics, or even the new upcoming trend of humanoid robotics. If possible, scaling was usually only achieved in precisely pre-structured domains. In this paper, we investigate the ingredients for a general ap- proach policy learning with the goal of an application to motor skill refinement in order to get one step closer towards human- like performance. For doing so, we study two major components for such an approach, i. e., firstly, we study policy learning algo- rithms which can be applied in the general setting of motor skill learning, and, secondly, we study a theoretically well-founded general approach to representing the required control structu- res for task representation and execution.

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link (url) [BibTex]


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A Bayesian approach to nonlinear parameter identification for rigid-body dynamics

Ting, J., DSouza, A., Schaal, S.

Neural Networks, 2010, clmc (article)

Abstract
For complex robots such as humanoids, model-based control is highly beneficial for accurate tracking while keeping negative feedback gains low for compliance. However, in such multi degree-of-freedom lightweight systems, conventional identification of rigid body dynamics models using CAD data and actuator models is inaccurate due to unknown nonlinear robot dynamic effects. An alternative method is data-driven parameter estimation, but significant noise in measured and inferred variables affects it adversely. Moreover, standard estimation procedures may give physically inconsistent results due to unmodeled nonlinearities or insufficiently rich data. This paper addresses these problems, proposing a Bayesian system identification technique for linear or piecewise linear systems. Inspired by Factor Analysis regression, we develop a computationally efficient variational Bayesian regression algorithm that is robust to ill-conditioned data, automatically detects relevant features, and identifies input and output noise. We evaluate our approach on rigid body parameter estimation for various robotic systems, achieving an error of up to three times lower than other state-of-the-art machine learning methods.

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link (url) [BibTex]