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IIT and UdG work with new capabilities to perform a robust valve Turning

From the 28th of November to the 5th of December, researchers from Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) came to the University of Girona (UdG) to do different tests to develop a successful valve turning.

NTUA, IIT and UdG  working at the CIRS facilities.

NTUA, IIT and UdG working at the CIRS facilities.

During this short period of time the two teams have worked together in two different tasks: First, the integration and testing of the new end-effector. Second, testing the Reactive Fuzzy Decision Maker (RFDM) to evaluate the safety of the valve turning.

New end-effector designed to improve the quality of the grasping and equipped with a camera in hand and a Force Torque sensor.

New end-effector designed for the valve turning.

The new end-effector has been designed in three different parts: First the shape of the passive gripper to grasp the valve handle, second a camera installed inside the center of the end-effector to see the manipulated elementa and third a Force/Torque sensor to evaluate the quality of the grasping and the torque needed to turn the valve.

Valve turning scenario  with the perturbation system installed

Valve turning scenario with the perturbation system installed

An external thruster has been install in the valve turning scenario in order to add perturbations during the manipulation task. The perturbations effect the valve turning and thus allow to detect the parameters to evaluate the safety. Furthermore, the communication between the RFDM and the Learning by Demonstration reproductor has been tested.

Water Jet Control using the Girona500 AUV

From the 14th to the 21st of June, researchers from NTUA came to the University of Girona to do some tests with the Girona500 equipped with the manipulator.

Arnau Carrera (UdG), Narcís Palomeras (UdG), George Karras (NTUA) and Charalampos (Babis) Bechlioulis (NTUA) during the experiments in the UdG water tank
Arnau Carrera (UdG), Narcís Palomeras (UdG), George Karras (NTUA) and Charalampos (Babis) Bechlioulis (NTUA) during the experiments in the UdG water tank

During this period of time, the NTUA and UdG teams worked together and redesigned the control of the manipulator, obtaining a new, more precise and smooth controller. Additionally, the water jet was installed on top of the manipulator, and the control algorithm to keep the robot stable in front of the panel was improved, so as to be used while the water jet is working and being moved using the arm.

Teleoperated valve turning using Girona500 AUV

From the 3rd to the 7th of June, members of the team at IIT came to the University of Girona to do some tests with the Girona500 equipped with a manipulator.

Arnau Carrera (UdG), Matte Leonetti (IIT) and Nawid Jamal (IIT) during the experiments in the UdG water tank
Arnau Carrera (UdG), Matte Leonetti (IIT) and Nawid Jamali (IIT) during the experiments in the UdG water tank

In this short space of time, the two teams worked on integrating a haptic device to teleoperate the Girona500 AUV and the manipulator. Once the integration was completed, several trials were performed to demonstrate the task. These experiments have highlighted some weak points in the first theoretical approach and provides the opportunity to improve on this work.

There was also discussion relating to the integration of the force torque sensor, and a decision was made to add a camera to the hand on the manipulator. Furthermore, some experiments involving thruster failures in the Girona500 AUV were performed.

Presentation of the Valve Panel and the new Robotic Arm

The robotic arm which will be installed in the Girona500 arrived last week. This will be used to manipulate the valve panel. This arm has 4 Degrees of Freedom(DoF)(slew, elevation, elbow, jaw rotation), and also the opening and close of the jaw. The arm has arrived without a proper control software and some time will be needed to perform the integration of the arm in the Girona500.

robotic arma E5

On the other hand, the valve panel has been built and is ready to start working with it in the water tank at CIRS. The first steps will be focus on the visual detection of the valve panel and the valves positions. Also, the valve panel in the simulator has been updated to match the one built.

robotic arma E5

In this video we want to show the speed and kind of movement which the robotic arm is capable of. The movement will be quite different from the one done when the arm is installed in the robot because the control of the arm will have also take in consideration the DoF of the robots, which can make more movements possible. To control the arm for this video we have used the commercial software provided by the manufacturer.

Collaboration Between UdG and IIT

Istituti Italiano di TecnologiaIstituti Italiano di Tecnologia

Arnau Carrera, a PhD student at the University of Girona (UdG), completed a 3 month stay at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) from March to June 2012. During this visit Arnau worked with Petar Kormushev, Reza Ahmadzadeh, Matteo Leonetti and other members of the Advanced Robotics group at IIT. The aim of this visit was to begin collaboration between UdG and IIT and start to share expertise between the two groups.

Experimental Enviroment

At the end of this three month visit, we obtained a first approach to the valve turning problem performed with an aerial robotic arm. Several different techniques to resolve the problem with the desired robustness have been used, the most important technique being Imitation Learning which is used to teach the task to the robot.

The results can be seen in the video and in the Article in the AIMSA-2012 Workshop