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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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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)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Domain Adaptation Under Causal Assumptions

Lechner, T.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (mastersthesis)

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[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)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Probabilistic Ordinary Differential Equation Solvers — Theory and Applications

Schober, M.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

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[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]

2009


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Kernel Learning Approaches for Image Classification

Gehler, PV.

Biologische Kybernetik, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany, October 2009 (phdthesis)

Abstract
This thesis extends the use of kernel learning techniques to specific problems of image classification. Kernel learning is a paradigm in the field of machine learning that generalizes the use of inner products to compute similarities between arbitrary objects. In image classification one aims to separate images based on their visual content. We address two important problems that arise in this context: learning with weak label information and combination of heterogeneous data sources. The contributions we report on are not unique to image classification, and apply to a more general class of problems. We study the problem of learning with label ambiguity in the multiple instance learning framework. We discuss several different image classification scenarios that arise in this context and argue that the standard multiple instance learning requires a more detailed disambiguation. Finally we review kernel learning approaches proposed for this problem and derive a more efficient algorithm to solve them. The multiple kernel learning framework is an approach to automatically select kernel parameters. We extend it to its infinite limit and present an algorithm to solve the resulting problem. This result is then applied in two directions. We show how to learn kernels that adapt to the special structure of images. Finally we compare different ways of combining image features for object classification and present significant improvements compared to previous methods.

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PDF [BibTex]

2009


PDF [BibTex]


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Kernel Methods in Computer Vision:Object Localization, Clustering,and Taxonomy Discovery

Blaschko, MB.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, March 2009 (phdthesis)

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PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Motor Control and Learning in Table Tennis

Mülling, K.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Gerrmany, 2009 (diplomathesis)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Hierarchical Clustering and Density Estimation Based on k-nearest-neighbor graphs

Drewe, P.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2009 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning with Structured Data: Applications to Computer Vision

Nowozin, S.

Technische Universität Berlin, Germany, 2009 (phdthesis)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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From Differential Equations to Differential Geometry: Aspects of Regularisation in Machine Learning

Steinke, F.

Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2009 (phdthesis)

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PDF [BibTex]

2008


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Reinforcement Learning for Motor Primitives

Kober, J.

Biologische Kybernetik, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany, August 2008 (diplomathesis)

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PDF [BibTex]

2008


PDF [BibTex]


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Asymmetries of Time Series under Inverting their Direction

Peters, J.

Biologische Kybernetik, University of Heidelberg, August 2008 (diplomathesis)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning an Interest Operator from Human Eye Movements

Kienzle, W.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, July 2008 (phdthesis)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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CogRob 2008: The 6th International Cognitive Robotics Workshop

Lespérance, Y., Lakemeyer, G., Peters, J., Pirri, F.

Proceedings of the 6th International Cognitive Robotics Workshop (CogRob 2008), pages: 35, Patras University Press, Patras, Greece, 6th International Cognitive Robotics Workshop (CogRob), July 2008 (proceedings)

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Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Causal inference from statistical data

Sun, X.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Hochschule Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany, April 2008 (phdthesis)

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Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Pairwise Correlations and Multineuronal Firing Patterns in Primary Visual Cortex

Berens, P.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, April 2008 (diplomathesis)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Development and Application of a Python Scripting Framework for BCI2000

Schreiner, T.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, January 2008 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Efficient and Invariant Regularisation with Application to Computer Graphics

Walder, CJ.

Biologische Kybernetik, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, January 2008 (phdthesis)

Abstract
This thesis develops the theory and practise of reproducing kernel methods. Many functional inverse problems which arise in, for example, machine learning and computer graphics, have been treated with practical success using methods based on a reproducing kernel Hilbert space perspective. This perspective is often theoretically convenient, in that many functional analysis problems reduce to linear algebra problems in these spaces. Somewhat more complex is the case of conditionally positive definite kernels, and we provide an introduction to both cases, deriving in a particularly elementary manner some key results for the conditionally positive definite case. A common complaint of the practitioner is the long running time of these kernel based algorithms. We provide novel ways of alleviating these problems by essentially using a non-standard function basis which yields computational advantages. That said, by doing so we must also forego the aforementioned theoretical conveniences, and hence need some additional analysis which we provide in order to make the approach practicable. We demonstrate that the method leads to state of the art performance on the problem of surface reconstruction from points. We also provide some analysis of kernels invariant to transformations such as translation and dilation, and show that this indicates the value of learning algorithms which use conditionally positive definite kernels. Correspondingly, we provide a few approaches for making such algorithms practicable. We do this either by modifying the kernel, or directly solving problems with conditionally positive definite kernels, which had previously only been solved with positive definite kernels. We demonstrate the advantage of this approach, in particular by attaining state of the art classification performance with only one free parameter.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]