Many RAIN researchers were at the Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems (TAROS) Conference held in London in July this year. The conference was held at the newly built Mile End campus of the Queen Mary University of London. Many interesting papers were presented, including by RAIN researchers from Oxford Robotics Institute (ORI) and the University of Manchester. Delegates this year particularly enjoyed an excellent set of keynote talks delivered from leading researchers from industry and academia, covering topics including machine learning, robotic manipulation and an overview of robotics at Google DeepMind.
ORI’s Dr. Mathieu Geisert was awarded the Best Paper Award for the paper ‘Contact Planning for the ANYmal Quadruped Robot using an Acyclic Reachability-Based Planner,’ by M. Geisert, T. Yates, A. Orgen, P. Fernbach, and I. Havoutis. The paper develops a contact and motion planning approach for the ANYmal quadruped. This is increasingly important for environments where the robot needs to explicitly plan footholds, a common theme in everyday environments (stairs, steps, obstacles to step over, etc) built for humans and legs. This further extends the capabilities developed by the Dynamic Robot Systems (DRS) group towards autonomous monitoring and inspection of facilities with mobile legged robots.
The work was supported by the UKRI/EPSRC ‘Robotics and AI in Nuclear’ (RAIN) Hub and the ERC H2020 ‘Memory of Motion’ (memmo) project.