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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]


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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.

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Colloidal Chemical Nanomotors

Alarcon-Correa, M.

Colloidal Chemical Nanomotors, pages: 150, Cuvillier Verlag, MPI-IS , June 2018 (phdthesis)

Abstract
Synthetic sophisticated nanostructures represent a fundamental building block for the development of nanotechnology. The fabrication of nanoparticles complex in structure and material composition is key to build nanomachines that can operate as man-made nanoscale motors, which autonomously convert external energy into motion. To achieve this, asymmetric nanoparticles were fabricated combining a physical vapor deposition technique known as NanoGLAD and wet chemical synthesis. This thesis primarily concerns three complex colloidal systems that have been developed: i)Hollow nanocup inclusion complexes that have a single Au nanoparticle in their pocket. The Au particle can be released with an external trigger. ii)The smallest self-propelling nanocolloids that have been made to date, which give rise to a local concentration gradient that causes enhanced diffusion of the particles. iii)Enzyme-powered pumps that have been assembled using bacteriophages as biological nanoscaffolds. This construct also can be used for enzyme recovery after heterogeneous catalysis.

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Model-based Optical Flow: Layers, Learning, and Geometry

Wulff, J.

Tuebingen University, April 2018 (phdthesis)

Abstract
The estimation of motion in video sequences establishes temporal correspondences between pixels and surfaces and allows reasoning about a scene using multiple frames. Despite being a focus of research for over three decades, computing motion, or optical flow, remains challenging due to a number of difficulties, including the treatment of motion discontinuities and occluded regions, and the integration of information from more than two frames. One reason for these issues is that most optical flow algorithms only reason about the motion of pixels on the image plane, while not taking the image formation pipeline or the 3D structure of the world into account. One approach to address this uses layered models, which represent the occlusion structure of a scene and provide an approximation to the geometry. The goal of this dissertation is to show ways to inject additional knowledge about the scene into layered methods, making them more robust, faster, and more accurate. First, this thesis demonstrates the modeling power of layers using the example of motion blur in videos, which is caused by fast motion relative to the exposure time of the camera. Layers segment the scene into regions that move coherently while preserving their occlusion relationships. The motion of each layer therefore directly determines its motion blur. At the same time, the layered model captures complex blur overlap effects at motion discontinuities. Using layers, we can thus formulate a generative model for blurred video sequences, and use this model to simultaneously deblur a video and compute accurate optical flow for highly dynamic scenes containing motion blur. Next, we consider the representation of the motion within layers. Since, in a layered model, important motion discontinuities are captured by the segmentation into layers, the flow within each layer varies smoothly and can be approximated using a low dimensional subspace. We show how this subspace can be learned from training data using principal component analysis (PCA), and that flow estimation using this subspace is computationally efficient. The combination of the layered model and the low-dimensional subspace gives the best of both worlds, sharp motion discontinuities from the layers and computational efficiency from the subspace. Lastly, we show how layered methods can be dramatically improved using simple semantics. Instead of treating all layers equally, a semantic segmentation divides the scene into its static parts and moving objects. Static parts of the scene constitute a large majority of what is shown in typical video sequences; yet, in such regions optical flow is fully constrained by the depth structure of the scene and the camera motion. After segmenting out moving objects, we consider only static regions, and explicitly reason about the structure of the scene and the camera motion, yielding much better optical flow estimates. Furthermore, computing the structure of the scene allows to better combine information from multiple frames, resulting in high accuracies even in occluded regions. For moving regions, we compute the flow using a generic optical flow method, and combine it with the flow computed for the static regions to obtain a full optical flow field. By combining layered models of the scene with reasoning about the dynamic behavior of the real, three-dimensional world, the methods presented herein push the envelope of optical flow computation in terms of robustness, speed, and accuracy, giving state-of-the-art results on benchmarks and pointing to important future research directions for the estimation of motion in natural scenes.

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Official link DOI 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)

ei

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)

ei

[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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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)

ei

[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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Tactile perception by electrovibration

Vardar, Y.

Koc University, 2018 (phdthesis)

Abstract
One approach to generating realistic haptic feedback on touch screens is electrovibration. In this technique, the friction force is altered via electrostatic forces, which are generated by applying an alternating voltage signal to the conductive layer of a capacitive touchscreen. Although the technology for rendering haptic effects on touch surfaces using electrovibration is already in place, our knowledge of the perception mechanisms behind these effects is limited. This thesis aims to explore the mechanisms underlying haptic perception of electrovibration in two parts. In the first part, the effect of input signal properties on electrovibration perception is investigated. Our findings indicate that the perception of electrovibration stimuli depends on frequency-dependent electrical properties of human skin and human tactile sensitivity. When a voltage signal is applied to a touchscreen, it is filtered electrically by human finger and it generates electrostatic forces in the skin and mechanoreceptors. Depending on the spectral energy content of this electrostatic force signal, different psychophysical channels may be activated. The channel which mediates the detection is determined by the frequency component which has a higher energy than the sensory threshold at that frequency. In the second part, effect of masking on the electrovibration perception is investigated. We show that the detection thresholds are elevated as linear functions of masking levels for simultaneous and pedestal masking. The masking effectiveness is larger for pedestal masking compared to simultaneous masking. Moreover, our results suggest that sharpness perception depends on the local contrast between background and foreground stimuli, which varies as a function of masking amplitude and activation levels of frequency-dependent psychophysical channels.

hi

Tactile perception by electrovibration [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]


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XMCD investigations on new hard magnetic systems

Chen, Y.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2018 (phdthesis)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Beyond bounded rationality: Reverse-engineering and enhancing human intelligence

Lieder, F.

University of California, Berkeley, 2018 (phdthesis)

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[BibTex]


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High-Resolution X-ray Ptychography for Magnetic Imaging

Bykova, I.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2018 (phdthesis)

mms

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

2005


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Extension to Kernel Dependency Estimation with Applications to Robotics

BakIr, G.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, November 2005 (phdthesis)

Abstract
Kernel Dependency Estimation(KDE) is a novel technique which was designed to learn mappings between sets without making assumptions on the type of the involved input and output data. It learns the mapping in two stages. In a first step, it tries to estimate coordinates of a feature space representation of elements of the set by solving a high dimensional multivariate regression problem in feature space. Following this, it tries to reconstruct the original representation given the estimated coordinates. This thesis introduces various algorithmic extensions to both stages in KDE. One of the contributions of this thesis is to propose a novel linear regression algorithm that explores low-dimensional subspaces during learning. Furthermore various existing strategies for reconstructing patterns from feature maps involved in KDE are discussed and novel pre-image techniques are introduced. In particular, pre-image techniques for data-types that are of discrete nature such as graphs and strings are investigated. KDE is then explored in the context of robot pose imitation where the input is a an image with a human operator and the output is the robot articulated variables. Thus, using KDE, robot pose imitation is formulated as a regression problem.

ei

PDF PDF [BibTex]

2005


PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Geometrical aspects of statistical learning theory

Hein, M.

Biologische Kybernetik, Darmstadt, Darmstadt, November 2005 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Implicit Surfaces For Modelling Human Heads

Steinke, F.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen, September 2005 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Machine Learning Methods for Brain-Computer Interdaces

Lal, TN.

Biologische Kybernetik, University of Darmstadt, September 2005 (phdthesis)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Liver Perfusion using Level Set Methods

Nowozin, S.

Biologische Kybernetik, Shanghai JiaoTong University, Shanghai, China, July 2005 (diplomathesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Discriminative Methods for Label Sequence Learning

Altun, Y.

Brown University, Providence, RI, USA, May 2005 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Efficient Adaptive Sampling of the Psychometric Function by Maximizing Information Gain

Tanner, TG.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, May 2005 (diplomathesis)

Abstract
A common task in psychophysics is to measure the psychometric function. A psychometric function can be described by its shape and four parameters: offset or threshold, slope or width, false alarm rate or chance level and miss or lapse rate. Depending on the parameters of interest some points on the psychometric function may be more informative than others. Adaptive methods attempt to place trials on the most informative points based on the data collected in previous trials. A new Bayesian adaptive psychometric method placing trials by minimising the expected entropy of the posterior probabilty dis- tribution over a set of possible stimuli is introduced. The method is more flexible, faster and at least as efficient as the established method (Kontsevich and Tyler, 1999). Comparably accurate (2dB) threshold and slope estimates can be obtained after about 30 and 500 trials, respectively. By using a dynamic termination criterion the efficiency can be further improved. The method can be applied to all experimental designs including yes/no designs and allows acquisition of any set of free parameters. By weighting the importance of parameters one can include nuisance parameters and adjust the relative expected errors. Use of nuisance parameters may lead to more accurate estimates than assuming a guessed fixed value. Block designs are supported and do not harm the performance if a sufficient number of trials are performed. The method was evaluated by computer simulations in which the role of parametric assumptions, its robustness, the quality of different point estimates, the effect of dynamic termination criteria and many other settings were investigated.

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Support Vector Classification of Images with Local Features

Blaschko, MB.

Biologische Kybernetik, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, May 2005 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Efficient Pattern Selection for Support Vector Classifiers and its CRM Application

Shin, H.

Biologische Kybernetik, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, February 2005 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Kernels: Regularization and Optimization

Ong, CS.

Biologische Kybernetik, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 2005 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF GZIP [BibTex]

PDF GZIP [BibTex]


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Bruder sein das ist nicht schwer, Schwester sein dagegen sehr?" - Geschlechtsspezifische Betrachtungsweisen zur Situation von Geschwistern behinderter Kinder und Jugendlicher

Wirzberger, M.

Protestant University of Applied Sciences, Bochum, 2005 (thesis)

Abstract
Die Diplomarbeit beschäftigt sich mit der Lebenssituation von Geschwistern behinderter Kinder und Jugendlicher und berücksichtigt hier besonders den Aspekt des Geschlechts. Nach einer Darstellung familiensoziologischer Grundlagen erläutert die Verfasserin den hohen Stellenwert von Geschwisterbeziehungen innerhalb der Familie, sowie deren Entwicklung und Veränderung im Laufe des Lebens. Der Schwerpunkt liegt dabei auf dem Kindes- und Jugendalter. Anschließend werden Grundlagen, Prozesse und Mechanismen geschlechtsspezifischer Sozialisation, und die Auswirkungen des Geschlechts auf die Geschwisterbeziehung thematisiert. Kapitel 3 beschäftigt sich zunächst mit dem Begriff der Behinderung mit Bezug auf das SGB IX und die ICF. Danach beschreibt die Verfasserin, mit welchen spezifischen Belastungen sich die Eltern behinderter Kinder und Jugendlicher konfrontiert sehen. Die Auswirkungen einer Behinderung auf die Geschwister stehen im Mittelpunkt dieser Arbeit und werden anhand von Studien von HACKENBERG und GROSSMAN, sowie Aussagen von ACHILLES ausführlich dargestellt, wobei auch hier der Aspekt des Geschlechts detailliert in die Schilderung der Situation einbezogen wird. Um eine Verbindung von Theorie und Praxis zu gewährleisten, werden zusammenfassende Hypothesen formuliert und anhand von drei Fallgeschichten exemplarisch überprüft. Abschließend erläutert die Verfasserin die Konsequenzen ihrer Diplomarbeit für die heilpädagogische Arbeit.

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DOI [BibTex]


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Adaptation of Central Pattern Generators to Preexisting Mechanical Structure

Spröwitz, A.

Technische Universität Ilmenau, Ilmenau, 2005 (mastersthesis)

dlg

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Untersuchung über die Grenzflächenmagnetisierung an (FM) Kobalt- und (AFM) Eisen-Mangan-Schichten

Harlander, M.

Stuttgart, Universität Stuttgart, 2005 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

1999


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Some Aspects of Modelling Human Spatial Vision: Contrast Discrimination

Wichmann, F.

University of Oxford, University of Oxford, October 1999 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

1999


[BibTex]


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Apprentissage Automatique et Simplicite

Bousquet, O.

Biologische Kybernetik, 1999, In french (diplomathesis)

ei

PostScript [BibTex]

PostScript [BibTex]


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Machine Learning and Language Acquisition: A Model of Child’s Learning of Turkish Morphophonology

Altun, Y.

Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, 1999 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

1998


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Eine beweistheoretische Anwendung der

Harmeling, S.

Biologische Kybernetik, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Münster, May 1998 (diplomathesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

1998


PDF [BibTex]


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Qualitative Modeling for Data Miner‘s Requirement

Shin, H.

Biologische Kybernetik, Hong-Ik University, Seoul, Korea, February 1998, Written in Korean (diplomathesis)

ei

ZIP [BibTex]

ZIP [BibTex]


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Support Vector Machines for Image Classification

Chapelle, O.

Biologische Kybernetik, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, 1998 (diplomathesis)

ei

GZIP [BibTex]

GZIP [BibTex]