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2012 in review

January 1, 2013 Leave a comment

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Categories: Uncategorized

MAST mapping and localization

As part of the Army Collaborative Technology Alliance (CTA) on micro autonomous systems technology (MAST) Georgia Tech has an effort to study simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) across a team of vehicles. Last fall a joint experiment engaging JPL, UPENN and GT setup an experiment to study exploration strategies, mapping and multiple-feature integration. The initial experimental results were reported at the recent SPIE conference in Orlando, and is summarized in a recent GTRI press article. Details available here

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FIRST FRC 2011 Launch

January 8, 2011 Leave a comment

This morning US FIRST announced the design of the competition during the 2011 season. FIRST is an organization that encourages students (K-12 & Highschool) to engage in engineering challenges, such as building robots to develop their analytical / engineering skills. A FIRST team is required to provide all their own support to launch a successful entry. This implies that they need to organize a team, do fundraising to sustain their effort, develop a team website, design a robot, deploy it for the competition, do public relations work to promote their project and preferably do community outreach.

The competitions are designed to have groups of 3 teams compete another group of 3 teams. As part of a game the robot is required to initially do autonomous operation and subsequently it can be tele-operated. The design of the game is each year announced by early January. The teams then have 6 (six!) weeks to design their robot, built it, program it and test it. They are then shipped off the regional competitions. It is a major challenge to design these robots in minimum time and make them robust enough for participation in a significant number of matches. The teams are judged on aspects such as team spirit, sustainability, web design, outreach, … and the bots are judged on engineering inspiration, design, quality, … so there are many aspects to consider in the operations of a team and in the design of a new robot.

This years competition is termed – LOGOmotion – The robots are required to collect “rings” in different colors and mount them on a wall – preferably in the shape of the FIRST logo. At the end of a match they teams are encouraged to launch a mini-robot that can climb a pole to light up a marker. The mini-robots are to be built from parts from the FIRST FTC game. Teams that mentor an FTC teams thus have a serious advantage, and as such there is a promotion of broader engagement in the community. It is going to be very interesting to see how the teams approach this years challenge.

As usual the Georgia FIRST launch was hosted at Georgia Tech and had massive participation with more than 500 people in participation and more than 30 new rookie teams. The Peachtree Regional will take place 17-19 March 2011 at the Gwinett Center. More details at the Georgia FIRST web site

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January 4, 2011 1 comment

Welcome to the new year (2011). My old blog was at using iWeb from Apple. Great package to get you started with blogging, but after a while is it clear that the growth capabilities are fairly limited. Also you have to do all your blogging within iWeb. I travel a far bit and it is then convenient to be able to blog using a number of different platforms from PC/Mac, phone, tablet, netbook, not to mention the occasional web cafe. Most of these do not directly support iWeb. I am thus turning back to my old platform (wordpress).

My blog will continue to circulate around robots, photography, and travel. My main topics will likely be robotics. I have had the privilege to be a core member of the team that has pushed for a new national initiative in robotics. A significant group of people formulated a national roadmap for robotics sponsored by the CCC. The roadmap was presented to Congress May 2009. It has been picked up by a number of agencies such as NSF, NIST, DARPA, … and there is a concerted effort through OSTP to push for an agenda. This is highly encouraging.

As a side effort we are now as a group trying to launch a community based effort to have an American Network on Robotics (AMRON) that provides support for maintenance of a research roadmap, coordination of educational initiatives, liaison with industry and resources for dissemination of information to the broader community.

Categories: Uncategorized

Hello world!

Welcome to the blog of Henrik I Christensen. I am the KUKA Chair of Robotics and also the director of Robotics and Intelligent Machines at Georgia Institutute of Technology. I wanted to start the blog to present/discussĀ  current research and efforts in robotics and intelligent machines (embodied AI) across the local universe at Georgia Tech, the US national scene and efforts worldwide.

I am originally from Denmark (Frederikshavn) and earned my first degree in Mechanical Engineering from a local college. Upon graduation I studied Electrical Engineering (control and vision) at Aalborg University and earned M.Sc. and Ph.D degress from there. I have subsequently worked at Aalborg University (1989 – 1996), Oak Ridge National Laboratories (1988), University of Pennsylvania (1996), Royal Institute of Technology (1996-2006) before joining Georgia Tech.

I was the founding coordinator of the European Robotics Network (EURON) that engaged 200+ universities and institutions across all European countries and was active in research, education and translation coordination for robotics and cognitive systems including the launch of a European program under Framework Program 6 and 7.

My interests are broad across research in robotics, intelligent systems, computer vision, sensory fusion, …

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