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2018


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Instrumentation, Data, and Algorithms for Visually Understanding Haptic Surface Properties

Burka, A. L.

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, August 2018, Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering (phdthesis)

Abstract
Autonomous robots need to efficiently walk over varied surfaces and grasp diverse objects. We hypothesize that the association between how such surfaces look and how they physically feel during contact can be learned from a database of matched haptic and visual data recorded from various end-effectors' interactions with hundreds of real-world surfaces. Testing this hypothesis required the creation of a new multimodal sensing apparatus, the collection of a large multimodal dataset, and development of a machine-learning pipeline. This thesis begins by describing the design and construction of the Portable Robotic Optical/Tactile ObservatioN PACKage (PROTONPACK, or Proton for short), an untethered handheld sensing device that emulates the capabilities of the human senses of vision and touch. Its sensory modalities include RGBD vision, egomotion, contact force, and contact vibration. Three interchangeable end-effectors (a steel tooling ball, an OptoForce three-axis force sensor, and a SynTouch BioTac artificial fingertip) allow for different material properties at the contact point and provide additional tactile data. We then detail the calibration process for the motion and force sensing systems, as well as several proof-of-concept surface discrimination experiments that demonstrate the reliability of the device and the utility of the data it collects. This thesis then presents a large-scale dataset of multimodal surface interaction recordings, including 357 unique surfaces such as furniture, fabrics, outdoor fixtures, and items from several private and public material sample collections. Each surface was touched with one, two, or three end-effectors, comprising approximately one minute per end-effector of tapping and dragging at various forces and speeds. We hope that the larger community of robotics researchers will find broad applications for the published dataset. Lastly, we demonstrate an algorithm that learns to estimate haptic surface properties given visual input. Surfaces were rated on hardness, roughness, stickiness, and temperature by the human experimenter and by a pool of purely visual observers. Then we trained an algorithm to perform the same task as well as infer quantitative properties calculated from the haptic data. Overall, the task of predicting haptic properties from vision alone proved difficult for both humans and computers, but a hybrid algorithm using a deep neural network and a support vector machine achieved a correlation between expected and actual regression output between approximately ρ = 0.3 and ρ = 0.5 on previously unseen surfaces.

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Project Page [BibTex]

2018


Project Page [BibTex]


Robust Visual Augmented Reality in Robot-Assisted Surgery
Robust Visual Augmented Reality in Robot-Assisted Surgery

Forte, M. P.

Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy, July 2018, Department of Electronic, Information, and Biomedical Engineering (mastersthesis)

Abstract
The broader research objective of this line of research is to test the hypothesis that real-time stereo video analysis and augmented reality can increase safety and task efficiency in robot-assisted surgery. This master’s thesis aims to solve the first step needed to achieve this goal: the creation of a robust system that delivers the envisioned feedback to a surgeon while he or she controls a surgical robot that is identical to those used on human patients. Several approaches for applying augmented reality to da Vinci Surgical Systems have been proposed, but none of them entirely rely on a clinical robot; specifically, they require additional sensors, depend on access to the da Vinci API, are designed for a very specific task, or were tested on systems that are starkly different from those in clinical use. There has also been prior work that presents the real-world camera view and the computer graphics on separate screens, or not in real time. In other scenarios, the digital information is overlaid manually by the surgeons themselves or by computer scientists, rather than being generated automatically in response to the surgeon’s actions. We attempted to overcome the aforementioned constraints by acquiring input signals from the da Vinci stereo endoscope and providing augmented reality to the console in real time (less than 150 ms delay, including the 62 ms of inherent latency of the da Vinci). The potential benefits of the resulting system are broad because it was built to be general, rather than customized for any specific task. The entire platform is compatible with any generation of the da Vinci System and does not require a dVRK (da Vinci Research Kit) or access to the API. Thus, it can be applied to existing da Vinci Systems in operating rooms around the world.

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Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Haptics and Haptic Interfaces

Kuchenbecker, K. J.

In Encyclopedia of Robotics, (Editors: Marcelo H. Ang and Oussama Khatib and Bruno Siciliano), Springer, May 2018 (incollection)

Abstract
Haptics is an interdisciplinary field that seeks to both understand and engineer touch-based interaction. Although a wide range of systems and applications are being investigated, haptics researchers often concentrate on perception and manipulation through the human hand. A haptic interface is a mechatronic system that modulates the physical interaction between a human and his or her tangible surroundings. Haptic interfaces typically involve mechanical, electrical, and computational layers that work together to sense user motions or forces, quickly process these inputs with other information, and physically respond by actuating elements of the user’s surroundings, thereby enabling him or her to act on and feel a remote and/or virtual environment.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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A virtual reality environment for experiments in assistive robotics and neural interfaces

Bustamante, S.

Graduate School of Neural Information Processing, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (mastersthesis)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Optimal Trajectory Generation and Learning Control for Robot Table Tennis

Koc, O.

Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Distribution-Dissimilarities in Machine Learning

Simon-Gabriel, C. J.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Maschinelles Lernen: Entwicklung ohne Grenzen?

Schökopf, B.

In Mit Optimismus in die Zukunft schauen. Künstliche Intelligenz - Chancen und Rahmenbedingungen, pages: 26-34, (Editors: Bender, G. and Herbrich, R. and Siebenhaar, K.), B&S Siebenhaar Verlag, 2018 (incollection)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Domain Adaptation Under Causal Assumptions

Lechner, T.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Causal Perspective on Deep Representation Learning

Suter, R.

ETH Zurich, 2018 (mastersthesis)

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[BibTex]


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Probabilistic Approaches to Stochastic Optimization

Mahsereci, M.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

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link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning for High-Speed Robotics with Muscular Actuation

Guist, S.

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg , 2018 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Methods in Psychophysics

Wichmann, F. A., Jäkel, F.

In Stevens’ Handbook of Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, 5 (Methodology), 7, 4th, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2018 (inbook)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Transfer Learning for BCIs

Jayaram, V., Fiebig, K., Peters, J., Grosse-Wentrup, M.

In Brain–Computer Interfaces Handbook, pages: 425-442, 22, (Editors: Chang S. Nam, Anton Nijholt and Fabien Lotte), CRC Press, 2018 (incollection)

ei

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Probabilistic Ordinary Differential Equation Solvers — Theory and Applications

Schober, M.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

ei pn

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A machine learning approach to taking EEG-based computer interfaces out of the lab

Jayaram, V.

Graduate Training Centre of Neuroscience, IMPRS, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2010


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Markerless tracking of Dynamic 3D Scans of Faces

Walder, C., Breidt, M., Bülthoff, H., Schölkopf, B., Curio, C.

In Dynamic Faces: Insights from Experiments and Computation, pages: 255-276, (Editors: Curio, C., Bülthoff, H. H. and Giese, M. A.), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, December 2010 (inbook)

ei

Web [BibTex]

2010


Web [BibTex]


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Policy Gradient Methods

Peters, J., Bagnell, J.

In Encyclopedia of Machine Learning, pages: 774-776, (Editors: Sammut, C. and Webb, G. I.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, December 2010 (inbook)

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Bayesian Inference and Experimental Design for Large Generalised Linear Models

Nickisch, H.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, September 2010 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Inferring High-Dimensional Causal Relations using Free Probability Theory

Zscheischler, J.

Humboldt Universität Berlin, Germany, August 2010 (diplomathesis)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Semi-supervised Subspace Learning and Application to Human Functional Magnetic Brain Resonance Imaging Data

Shelton, J.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen, Germany, July 2010 (diplomathesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Quantitative Evaluation of MR-based Attenuation Correction for Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Mantlik, F.

Biologische Kybernetik, Universität Mannheim, Germany, March 2010 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning Continuous Grasp Affordances by Sensorimotor Exploration

Detry, R., Baseski, E., Popovic, M., Touati, Y., Krüger, N., Kroemer, O., Peters, J., Piater, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, pages: 451-465, Studies in Computational Intelligence ; 264, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
We develop means of learning and representing object grasp affordances probabilistically. By grasp affordance, we refer to an entity that is able to assess whether a given relative object-gripper configuration will yield a stable grasp. These affordances are represented with grasp densities, continuous probability density functions defined on the space of 3D positions and orientations. Grasp densities are registered with a visual model of the object they characterize. They are exploited by aligning them to a target object using visual pose estimation. Grasp densities are refined through experience: A robot “plays” with an object by executing grasps drawn randomly for the object’s grasp density. The robot then uses the outcomes of these grasps to build a richer density through an importance sampling mechanism. Initial grasp densities, called hypothesis densities, are bootstrapped from grasps collected using a motion capture system, or from grasps generated from the visual model of the object. Refined densities, called empirical densities, represent affordances that have been confirmed through physical experience. The applicability of our method is demonstrated by producing empirical densities for two object with a real robot and its 3-finger hand. Hypothesis densities are created from visual cues and human demonstration.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Imitation and Reinforcement Learning for Motor Primitives with Perceptual Coupling

Kober, J., Mohler, B., Peters, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, pages: 209-225, Studies in Computational Intelligence ; 264, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
Traditional motor primitive approaches deal largely with open-loop policies which can only deal with small perturbations. In this paper, we present a new type of motor primitive policies which serve as closed-loop policies together with an appropriate learning algorithm. Our new motor primitives are an augmented version version of the dynamical system-based motor primitives [Ijspeert et al(2002)Ijspeert, Nakanishi, and Schaal] that incorporates perceptual coupling to external variables. We show that these motor primitives can perform complex tasks such as Ball-in-a-Cup or Kendama task even with large variances in the initial conditions where a skilled human player would be challenged. We initialize the open-loop policies by imitation learning and the perceptual coupling with a handcrafted solution. We first improve the open-loop policies and subsequently the perceptual coupling using a novel reinforcement learning method which is particularly well-suited for dynamical system-based motor primitives.

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots

Sigaud, O., Peters, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, pages: 1-12, Studies in Computational Intelligence ; 264, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
The number of advanced robot systems has been increasing in recent years yielding a large variety of versatile designs with many degrees of freedom. These robots have the potential of being applicable in uncertain tasks outside wellstructured industrial settings. However, the complexity of both systems and tasks is often beyond the reach of classical robot programming methods. As a result, a more autonomous solution for robot task acquisition is needed where robots adaptively adjust their behaviour to the encountered situations and required tasks. Learning approaches pose one of the most appealing ways to achieve this goal. However, while learning approaches are of high importance for robotics, we cannot simply use off-the-shelf methods from the machine learning community as these usually do not scale into the domains of robotics due to excessive computational cost as well as a lack of scalability. Instead, domain appropriate approaches are needed. In this book, we focus on several core domains of robot learning. For accurate task execution, we need motor learning capabilities. For fast learning of the motor tasks, imitation learning offers the most promising approach. Self improvement requires reinforcement learning approaches that scale into the domain of complex robots. Finally, for efficient interaction of humans with robot systems, we will need a form of interaction learning. This chapter provides a general introduction to these issues and briefly presents the contributions of the subsequent chapters to the corresponding research topics.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Real-Time Local GP Model Learning

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Seeger, M., Peters, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, 264, pages: 193-207, Studies in Computational Intelligence, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
For many applications in robotics, accurate dynamics models are essential. However, in some applications, e.g., in model-based tracking control, precise dynamics models cannot be obtained analytically for sufficiently complex robot systems. In such cases, machine learning offers a promising alternative for approximating the robot dynamics using measured data. However, standard regression methods such as Gaussian process regression (GPR) suffer from high computational complexity which prevents their usage for large numbers of samples or online learning to date. In this paper, we propose an approximation to the standard GPR using local Gaussian processes models inspired by [Vijayakumar et al(2005)Vijayakumar, D’Souza, and Schaal, Snelson and Ghahramani(2007)]. Due to reduced computational cost, local Gaussian processes (LGP) can be applied for larger sample-sizes and online learning. Comparisons with other nonparametric regressions, e.g., standard GPR, support vector regression (SVR) and locally weighted proje ction regression (LWPR), show that LGP has high approximation accuracy while being sufficiently fast for real-time online learning.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Machine Learning Methods for Automatic Image Colorization

Charpiat, G., Bezrukov, I., Hofmann, M., Altun, Y., Schölkopf, B.

In Computational Photography: Methods and Applications, pages: 395-418, Digital Imaging and Computer Vision, (Editors: Lukac, R.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA, 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
We aim to color greyscale images automatically, without any manual intervention. The color proposition could then be interactively corrected by user-provided color landmarks if necessary. Automatic colorization is nontrivial since there is usually no one-to-one correspondence between color and local texture. The contribution of our framework is that we deal directly with multimodality and estimate, for each pixel of the image to be colored, the probability distribution of all possible colors, instead of choosing the most probable color at the local level. We also predict the expected variation of color at each pixel, thus defining a non-uniform spatial coherency criterion. We then use graph cuts to maximize the probability of the whole colored image at the global level. We work in the L-a-b color space in order to approximate the human perception of distances between colors, and we use machine learning tools to extract as much information as possible from a dataset of colored examples. The resulting algorithm is fast, designed to be more robust to texture noise, and is above all able to deal with ambiguity, in contrary to previous approaches.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Finding Gene-Gene Interactions using Support Vector Machines

Rakitsch, B.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2010 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Accurate Prediction of Protein-Coding Genes with Discriminative Learning Techniques

Schweikert, G.

Technische Universität Berlin, Germany, 2010 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]


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Structural and Relational Data Mining for Systems Biology Applications

Georgii, E.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany , 2010 (phdthesis)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Population Coding in the Visual System: Statistical Methods and Theory

Macke, J.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2010 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Bayesian Methods for Neural Data Analysis

Gerwinn, S.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2010 (phdthesis)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Clustering with Neighborhood Graphs

Maier, M.

Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010 (phdthesis)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Approaches Based on Support Vector Machine to Classification of Remote Sensing Data

Bruzzone, L., Persello, C.

In Handbook of Pattern Recognition and Computer Vision, pages: 329-352, (Editors: Chen, C.H.), ICP, London, UK, 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
This chapter presents an extensive and critical review on the use of kernel methods and in particular of support vector machines (SVMs) in the classification of remote-sensing (RS) data. The chapter recalls the mathematical formulation and the main theoretical concepts related to SVMs, and discusses the motivations at the basis of the use of SVMs in remote sensing. A review on the main applications of SVMs in classification of remote sensing is given, presenting a literature survey on the use of SVMs for the analysis of different kinds of RS images. In addition, the most recent methodological developments related to SVM-based classification techniques in RS are illustrated by focusing on semisupervised, domain adaptation, and context sensitive approaches. Finally, the most promising research directions on SVM in RS are identified and discussed.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Detecting the mincut in sparse random graphs

Köhler, R.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2010 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A wider view on encoding and decoding in the visual brain-computer interface speller system

Martens, S.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2010 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

2000


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An Introduction to Kernel-Based Learning Algorithms

Müller, K., Mika, S., Rätsch, G., Tsuda, K., Schölkopf, B.

In Handbook of Neural Network Signal Processing, 4, (Editors: Yu Hen Hu and Jang-Neng Hwang), CRC Press, 2000 (inbook)

ei

[BibTex]

2000


[BibTex]