Intelligent Robotics Forward-looking New Technologies
New Initiatives for Academia/Industry Cooperation
The "Three Year Development Plan for forward-looking technologies of intelligent Robots" of the Ministry of Economic Affairs was respectively hosted by NTU Department of Electrical Engineering Professor Dr. Ren C. Luo, Department of Information Engineering Professor Dr. Li-Chen Fu, Department of Mechanical Engineering Professor Dr. Han-Pang Huang, and Department of Electrical Control Engineering Professor Dr. Kai-Tai Song of Chiao-Tung University. Dr. Ren C. Luo is responsible for integrating the results of the various research projects.
The said Plan integrates four aspects of robotics, which are: robot's motion planning and control, robot's human/machine interface, computer imaging technology and intelligent interaction. The Plan so far has completed its hardware preparation. The intelligent robotics platform can provide an archetypal framework for the robots to carry out navigation and security tasks, whereas the mechanical arm is dexterous and easy to control, and can be integrated with any robot platform to adapt to human's fickle and uncertain working environment, and can be applied to carry out all kinds of tasks, such as family service, entertainment, education, and security. Where recognition of human face is concerned, through the use of one single PTZ camera, the robot can track multiple targets at the same time, unaffected by the lighting condition or complex backgrounds. This technology can be applied to control systems, video conferences, distance teaching, or human/machine interaction. The intelligent Zigbee wireless sensor modules can be deployed in the environment to form a Zigbee wireless senor network, which can be used in security surveillance, or can be worn by the human body to serve as a module for the prognostication of human postures. The latter can be applied to the care-taking of elderly people. In addition, insofar as softwares are concerned, the GUI human/machine interface has been constructed which can serve many interaction functions.
This exchange seminar hopes that the academic research units can display the results of their intelligent robotics research (either the whole robot or the partial technical modules) to the industrial members, so that both industry and academia can benefit from the exchange. Through the exchange, technical sophistication can be promoted and future cooperation between academia and industry can be expected.
The technical team led by Department of Electrical Engineering Professor Li-Chen Fu was able to develop many computer imaging technologies that are related to robotics application and design. For instance, the camera mounted on the robot can track the human face, and allows the robot to interact with the movement of the user. It can also do face recognition and gesture analysis, and the robot can accept the gestural commands of the legitimate user. If the user is found to be a thief or an intruder, the robot can command the camera that is hidden somewhere in the environment, and track the position of the intruder.
In addition to the general monitoring and face recognition capabilities, the imaging technologies of the technical team can be applied to assisting the navigation and cruising of the robot, telling the robot to grab objects by its arm, and video transmission, etc. On top of all these, the technical team also uses computer imaging technology to develop the control techniques for human/machine interaction, which uses a single camera to track the gestures and postures of human beings without having to wear other sensors or don special outfits, thus making the mode of human/machine interaction simpler and more natural.