Annual Retreat

Annual Retreat

2019 Annual Retreat Starling Hotel, 13th September:Detailed agenda available soon.Please note that this will be a full day event. NCCR Robotics Pavilion EPFL, 14 & 15th SeptemberPI’s and people responsible for… Read more

Exoskeletons

Exoskeletons

Orthoses, or exoskeletons as they’re more commonly known, are a method to either assist those with reduced mobility in certain parts of their body, or to completely reintroduce function… Read more

Field Tests

Field Tests

As part of our commitment to developing robots for use in real world applications, we organise annual practice sessions with professionals from the search and rescue community and take our… Read more

Press Pack

Press Pack

For a summary of our activities please download our info pack. Need more information?

EPFL opens new research center for educational science

EPFL inaugurated on Wednesday, October 10 2018 the LEARN Center for Learning Sciences. The Center will promote innovation in teaching and help formulate responses to the challenges being created by our society’s digital transformation. Its head, Francesco Mondada, and its co-founder, Pierre Dillenbourg, are both NCCR Robotics professors. EPFL has created a unique ecosystem of …

Dronistics: new NCCR Robotics spin-off

The NCCR Robotics Spin Fund committee has granted Przemyslaw Kornatowski the Spin Fund for Dronistics. Dronistics is the 11th NCCR Robotics Spin-off and is hosted at Floreano Lab.

Swiss Robotics Industry Day 2018 – register now with the early bird rate

The 4th of the Swiss Robotics Industry Day is taking place at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre, Lausanne, Switzerland, on 1st of November 2018. It is designed for industry professionals to experience technologies from the labs of NCCR Robotics and the SMEs of the Swiss Robotics ecosystem. It is a unique opportunity for the industry to gain …

NCCR Robotics drones showcased at VivaTech 2018 in Paris

Several drones were provided by NCCR Robotics to be exhibited at VivaTech 2018 in Paris last May, including a Dronistics drone. L’Agefi published a special “Home of Drones” magazine in support of this event, which features NCCR Robotics director Dario Floreano, as well as some of our spin-offs (Flyability, Foldaways Haptics and Fotokite).   You …

New Master in Robotics at EPFL

Program’s Objectives This program provides education on the theory, technology and practice of intelligent robots, such as mobile robots, wearable robots, robotic manipulators, autonomous and brain-interfaced robots. In addition to classes spanning from electromechanical systems to advanced artificial intelligence, the program offers a large set of hands-on activities where students learn by designing, prototyping and …

Over 1000 teachers trained to use Thymio in Switzerland

Over the past 4 years over 1000 teachers in Switzerland have been trained to use Thymio in the classroom, more than half of them were trained last year alone, showing the rapid growth in interest.

A foldable cargo drone

The field of drone delivery is currently very much in the public eye. However, the reason that your internet shopping doesn’t yet arrive via drone is that current flying robots are difficult to transport and store and can prove a safety risk to people. A team from Floreano Lab, NCCR Robotics and EPFL presents a new type of cargo drone …

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Past Events

Date/Time Event Description
3 May 2019
11:45 am – 2:00 pm
2nd NCCR Robotics Women in Research Lunch
ETH Zurich, HG G3, Zurich
Date: Friday, 3 May 2019 Time: 11:45 – 14:00 Location: ETH Zürich, room ML E 13 Guest: Prof. Dr. Heike Valléry, TU Delft Registration: https://ethz.doodle.com/poll/qxet6yvyw7qpui94 by 20 April at the...
3 Dec – 4 Dec 2018
All Day
BMI Symposium 2018 "Controlling behavior"
EPFL, Lausanne Suisse
Prof. Pavan Ramdya, Prof. Carl Petersen & Prof. Auke Ijspeert (NCCR Robotics PI) invite you to the 2018 BMI Symposium on "Controlling behavior". With this one and a half day symposium, we...
1 Nov 2018
All Day
Swiss Robotics Industry Day 2018
SwissTech Convention Center, Ecublens
The next Swiss Robotics Industry Day will take place on November 1st, 2018 at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre, in Lausanne. All information on the event can be found here: http://swissroboticsindustry.ch
18 Oct – 19 Oct 2018
All Day
SNSF Site Visit 2018 The 2018 SNSF Site Visit will take place in Bern, on October 18 and 19th. More information will be provided closer to the dates.
26 Jun 2018
All Day
Seminar: Bioinspired Robotics
EPFL, Lausanne Suisse
  EPFL Bioinspired Platform invites you to their next Research & Industry Seminar on the topic of Bioinspired Robotics. Join them to learn how researchers and companies and are getting...
21 May – 25 May 2018
All Day
ICRA 2018, Brisbane, Australia
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Center, South Brisbane
Roland Siegward, NCCR Robotics PI, will be a member of the Industry Forum Chairs Committee at ICRA 2018, in Brisbane, Australia. Margarita Chli, NCCR Robotics PI, will give a keynote...
23 Apr – 27 Apr 2018
All Day
Hannover Messe
Deutsche Messe, Hannover
NCCR Robotics has a booth within the Swiss Innovation Pavillion and will be accompanied by 2 two of our spin-offs:  MyoSwiss and Foldaway Haptics and the project "MIRobotics". For more information...
13 Mar – 15 Mar 2018
All Day
European Robotics Forum
Tampere Hall, Tampere
The European Robotics Forum (ERF) 2018 hosted over 900 participants this year in Tampere, Finland from 13 to 15th March. NCCR Robotics was present with a booth, hosting two of...
8 Mar – 9 Mar 2018
All Day
NCCR Robotics Annual Retreat
Hotel Ambassador, Bern
The 2018 NCCR Robotics Annual Retreat (Bern, 8-9th March) was very successful, not only in bringing the community together but in achieving its targets in preparation for the next phase...
12 Sep – 15 Sep 2017
All Day
11th Conference on Field and Service Robotics
ETH Zurich, Zurich
For more details and to register please see: https://www.fsr.ethz.ch/
6 Sep – 8 Sep 2017
All Day
European Conference on Mobile Robotics
Paris, Paris
Prof. Davide Scaramuzza will be a keynote speaker at this years European Conference on Mobile Robotics in Paris.
1 Sep – 3 Sep 2017
All Day
EPFL Drone Days
EPFL, Lausanne Suisse
From 1 to 3 September 2017, EPFL's Ecublens campus will host the first-ever EPFL Drone Days. This event, which will include the Swiss drone racing championship, a robotics showcase and...
5 Jul 2017
12:00 am
RSS 2017 Workshop: Challenges in Dynamic Legged Locomotion
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
The performance of modern legged robots still pales in comparison to their biological counterparts in terms of speed, robustness, versatility, and efficiency. The technical challenges that fuel this gap touch...
21 Jun 2017
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Talk by Prof. Harmut Geyer (CMU) on neuromechanical modeling of human locomotion
ME D1 1518, ecublens Suisse
Research at CMU’s Legged Systems Group Prof. Harmut Geyer, Carnegie Mellon University https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~hgeyer/ Abstract: Research at CMU’s legged systems group focuses on three questions: What are the principles of legged...
5 Jun – 10 Jun 2017
All Day
Summer School on Rehabilitation Robotics
Biomedical Engineering School, Shanghai
Organised by the Riener Lab, ETH Zurich. For more information please see: http://www.sms.hest.ethz.ch/news-and-events/sms-news-channel/2017/01/summer-school-on-rehabilitation-robotics.html          
2 Jun 2017
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
ICRA Workshop on Event-based vision
sands expo and convention centre, Singapore 018971
Tobi Delbruck and Davide Scaramuzza are confirmed speakers. For more information please see: http://rpg.ifi.uzh.ch/ICRA17_event_vision_workshop.html  
18 Mar – 19 Mar 2017
All Day
CoWriter project presented at GES, Dubai
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai
16 Mar 2017
10:00 am – 11:00 am
Talk by Prof. Eric Tytell (Tufts University), Quantifying responses to perturbations during locomotion in fish
MED 115 18, EPFL, Lausanne
6 Mar – 9 Mar 2017
All Day
R4L @HRI2017
Aula der Wissenschaft – Hall of Science, Vienna
http://r4l.epfl.ch/HRI2017
13 Feb 2017
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Talk by Dr Diego Pardo (ETHZ) Legged Robots: Stepping out of the continuous and differentiable zone.
EPFL, Lausanne
16 Dec 2016
3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
Talk: MIT Cheetah: new design paradigm shift toward mobile robots, ETH Distinguished Lecture in Robotics, Systems & Control - Sangbae Kim
ETH Zurich, HG G3, Zurich
19 Nov 2016
3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
Talk: Insect-inspired technologies for civilian drones by Dario Floreano
ETH Zurich, HG G3, Zurich
9 Nov 2016
10:00 am – 11:00 am
Talk: Rehabilitation robotics - Cristina Santos, Universidade do Minho, Portugal; Dealing with uncertainty in robot grasping - Alexandre Bernardino, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal; Locomotion with the Walkman humanoid robot - Nikos Tsagarakis, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy.
MED 115 18, EPFL, Lausanne
23 Oct – 27 Oct 2016
All Day
International Symposium on Safety, Security and Rescue Robotics (SSRR 16)
EPFL, Lausanne Suisse
Please see http://ssrrobotics.org/index.html
23 Sep 2016
3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
Talk: Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technologies by Dr. Raj Madhavan
ETH Zurich, HG G3, Zurich
13 Jul – 15 Jul 2016
All Day
Workshop on Dynamic Locomotion and Manipulation (DLMC2016)
ETH Zurich, Zurich
Please see the website http://www.dlmc2016.ethz.ch/

Swiss Robotics Industry Day 2018 (official video)

Posted on: November 26, 2018
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Looking for publications? You might want to consider searching on the EPFL Infoscience site which provides advanced publication search capabilities.

A low-cost, actuated passive dynamic walker kit for accessible research and education

  • Authors: Robertson, Matthew Aaron; Paik, Jamie; Ijspeert, Auke; Wu, Amy

A low-cost bipedal walking robot kit with limited actuation and sensing capabilities was designed and built to achieve actively powered, passive dynamic walking locomotion over level ground. The walking system is composed of readily available parts and materials totaling less than $50 and can be assembled either from plans or pre-fabricated parts in less than a day. Indeed, the very first (and only) prototype was conceived and built in one day, and capable of walking within two more. In place of components utilized for the prototype shown and demonstrated, alternative parts and materials can be substituted and accommodated by relatively simple design changes, allowing this robot construction to be adapted to different resource availability, in some cases key to the success of research or education.

Posted on: October 16, 2017

A review: Can robots reshape K-12 STEM education?

  • Authors: Karim, Mohammad Ehsanul; Lemaignan, Séverin; Mondada, Francesco

Can robots in classroom reshape K-12 STEM education, and foster new ways of learning? To sketch an answer, this article reviews, side-by-side, existing literature on robot-based learning activities featuring mathematics and physics (purposefully putting aside the well-studied field of "robots to teach robotics") and existing robot platforms and toolkits suited for classroom environment (in terms of cost, ease of use, orchestration load for the teacher, etc.). Our survey suggests that the use of robots in classroom has indeed moved from purely technology to education, to encompass new didactic fields. We however identified several shortcomings, in terms of robotic platforms and teaching environments, that contribute to the limited presence of robotics in existing curricula; the lack of specific teacher training being likely pivotal. Finally, we propose an educational framework merging the tangibility of robots with the advanced visibility of augmented reality.

Posted on: June 25, 2015

Advances in Real-World Applications for Legged Robots

Authors: Bellicoso, C. D.; Bjelonic, M.; Wellhausen, L.; Holtmann, K.; Günther, F.; Tranzatto, M.; Fankhauser, P.; Hutter, M.

 

This paper provides insight into the application of the quadrupedal robot ANYmal in out-door missions of industrial inspection (ARGOS Challenge) and search and rescue (EuropeanRobotics League (ERL) Emergency Robots). In both competitions, the legged robot hadto autonomously and semi-autonomously navigate in real-world scenarios to complete high-level tasks such as inspection and payload delivery. In the ARGOS competition, ANYmalused a rotating LiDAR sensor to localize on the industrial site and map the terrain and ob-stacles around the robot. In the ERL competition, additional Real-Time Kinematic (RTK)-Global Positioning System (GPS) was used to co-localize the legged robot with respect toa Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) that creates maps from the aerial view. The high mobilityof legged robots allows overcoming large obstacles, e.g. steps and stairs, with statically anddynamically stable gaits. Moreover, the versatile machine can adapt its posture for inspec-tion and payload delivery. The paper concludes with insight into the general learnings fromthe ARGOS and ERL challenges

Reference

Posted on: April 23, 2019

Bringing robotics into formal education using the Thymio open source hardware robot

  • Authors: Mondada, Francesco; Bonani, Michael; Riedo, Fanny; Briod, Manon; Pereyre, Léa; Rétornaz, Philippe; Magnenat, Stéphane

Reference

Posted on: November 21, 2016

Distributed Particle Swarm Optimization for limited-time adaptation with real robots

  • Authors: Di Mario, Ezequiel; Martinoli, Alcherio

Evaluative techniques offer a tremendous potential for online controller design. However, when the optimization space is large and the performance metric is noisy, the overall adaptation process becomes extremely time consuming. Distributing the adaptation process reduces the required time and increases robustness to failure of individual agents. In this paper, we analyze the role of the four algorithmic parameters that determine the total evaluation time in a distributed implementation of a Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm. For an obstacle avoidance case study using up to eight robots, we explore in simulation the lower boundaries of these parameters and propose a set of empirical guidelines for choosing their values. We then apply these guidelines to a real robot implementation and show that it is feasible to optimize 24 control parameters per robot within 2 h, a limited amount of time determined by the robots’ battery life. We also show that a hybrid simulate-and-transfer approach coupled with a noise-resistant PSO algorithm can be used to further reduce experimental time as compared to a pure real-robot implementation.

Posted on: November 29, 2013

Haptic-Enabled Handheld Mobile Robots: Design and Analysis

  • Authors: Ozgur, Ayberk; Johal, Wafa; Mondada, Francesco; Dillenbourg, Pierre

The Cellulo robots are small tangible robots that are designed to represent virtual interactive point-like objects that reside on a plane within carefully designed learning activities. In the context of these activities, our robots not only display autonomous motion and act as tangible interfaces, but are also usable as haptic devices in order to exploit, for instance, kinesthetic learning. In this article, we present the design and analysis of the haptic interaction module of the Cellulo robots. We first detail our hardware and controller design that is low-cost and versatile. Then, we describe the task-based experimental procedure to evaluate the robot’s haptic abilities. We show that our robot is usable in most of the tested tasks and extract perceptive and manipulative guidelines for the design of haptic elements to be integrated in future learning activities. We conclude with limitations of the system and future work.

Posted on: January 17, 2017

IniRobot : a pedagogical kit to initiate children to concepts of robotics and computer science

  • Authors: Roy, Didier; Oudeyer, Pierre-Yves; Magnenat, Stéphane; Riedo, Fanny; Gerber, Gordana; Chevalier, Morgane Solène Denise; Mondada, Francesco

We present the IniRobot pedagogical kit, conceived and deployed within French and Swiss primary schools for the initiation to robotics and computer science. It provides a microworld for learning, and takes an enquiry-based educational approach, where kids are led to construct their understanding through practicing an active investigation methodology within teams. It is based on the use of the Thymio II robotic platform. The paper presents the detailed pedagogical objectives and a first measure of results showing that children acquired several robotics-related concepts.

Posted on: April 21, 2015

Pedagogical Uses of Thymio II: How Do Teachers Perceive Educational Robots in Formal Education?

  • Authors: Chevalier, Morgane; Riedo, Fanny; Mondada, Francesco

Reference

Posted on: June 10, 2016

R2T2 : Robotics to Integrate Educational Efforts in South Africa and Europe

  • Authors: Mondada, Francesco; Bonnet, Evgeniia; Davrajh, Shaniel; Johal, Wafa; Stopforth, Riaan

This paper presents the first cross-continental collaborative robotic event based around education. It was entitled R2T2 and it involved more than 100 children from Europe and Africa. Based on remote programming, video streaming feedback, and a scenario of collaborative space rescue, R2T2 focused on pedagogical elements that are fundamentally different than those characterizing classic robotic competitions. The value of these educational actions is shown through the results of a survey conducted among the participants; the working methodologies by the African students were significantly enhanced and there was a broad inclusion in general, despite the fact that some gender issues lingered. This paper’s contribution is to demonstrate an approach to implementing a north-south collaboration to get school students excited about robotics and the problem-solving skills required in engineering.

Posted on: June 10, 2016

Real-Time High-Accuracy 2D Localization with Structured Patterns

  • Authors: Hostettler, Lukas Oliver; Ozgur, Ayberk; Lemaignan, Séverin; Dillenbourg, Pierre; Mondada, Francesco

Building over algorithms previously developed for digital pens, this article introduces a novel 2D localization technique for mobile robots, based on simple printed patterns. This method combines high absolute accuracy (below 0.3mm), unlimited scalability, low computational requirements (the presented open-source implementation runs at above 45Hz on a low-cost microcontroller) and low cost (below 30 Euros per device at prototype stage). The article first presents the underlying algorithms and localization pipeline. It then describes our reference hardware and software implementations, and finally evaluates the performance of this technique for mobile robots.

Posted on: March 3, 2016