I’m currently visiting the SSRR 2007 workshop. We had quite a time here in Rome.
Together with Alexander Kleiner and Christian Dornhege, I was showing a demonstration of RFID SLAM-based cooperative pedestrian indoor localization. I collected quite some pedestrian data by walking around the campus of ISA Campus in Rome. Unfortunately, the data recording and processing did not work out as planned so we did not have any conclusive results yet, but we will try to use some of the data later on.
The SSRR workshop program this year is a very good mix of robotics research and information from the application side of safety, security and rescue robotics. Espechially the talk by Robin Murphy illustrated the problems occuring when using a simple robot system for a search-and-rescue operaton. Of the 9 possible failures they anticipated, they faced 6 during the operation.
Peter Corke’s keynote on robots used in mining was also very interesting, concluding in the end that using robotics technology before an accident happens in order to prevent people from working in dangerous situations might be much more beneficial than building robots for search and rescue operations.
There are two talks by Johann Borenstein. The first one, a keynote, showed research results from building snake robots. An interesting conclusion was that there is a lot of room for AI research to support operators of such robots, as currently, 3 trained operators are needed to operate a single 7-segment snake robot and even then, they need a lot of time to coordinate their control commands to make the robot behave the way they want. However, the capabilities of the robot were very impressive, including the robot going up an “inverted J” type air inlet like you would find on ships and in bunkers.
The second talk he gave was on personal dead reckoning, the techniques presented are quite similar to Stephane’s research. He reports a distance error of less than 2% of the distance traveled. That’s impressive…