An NRG-affiliated undergraduate senior design team was sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory to design and prototype a device for reducing the size of certain material components. On Friday, April 19th, the team successfully demonstrated the device's ability to safely perform this task while maintaining the ability to account for all of the material. Congratulations to team members Matt Jackson, Darius Bunandar, Steven Karacostas, and Bryan Boyd.
On Friday, February 22nd, Brian O'Neil successfully defended his doctoral disseration, "Object recognition and pose estimation for manipulation in nuclear material handling activities." As a part of this effort, Brian develop the Cylindrical Projection Histgram (CPH) in order to accurately identify objects with high specular reflectivity. Thus it was possible to identify predominantly stainless steel objects in a stainless steel environment such as a glovebox.
Jack Thompson received a Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) Fellowship from the US Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy. Only 31 NEUP fellowships were awarded in 2012, most of which went to students at just seven universities - MIT, UC Berkeley, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A&M. The award, valued at $155,000 over three years, will support his research in human-robot collaboration to improve the safety of nuclear materials handling.
Southwest Research Institute of San Antonio, TX recently presented an interoperability demonstration at Automate 2013 to showcase the ROS Industrial. At the core of the object recognition in this demonstration is the Cylindrical Projection Histogram, a novel point cluster feature devleoped at UT NRG.
This new demo shows the capabilities of our robotic system. It uses fuzzy force feedback and a 400 Hz control rate to carefully hold and transport an egg. Video at:
Joey Hashem and Andy Zelenak had a blast at a local high school career fair, showing off a Geiger counter and some of our robotic technology. Who knows how much the kids absorbed, but we all had a good time.
One of our research group members, Brian O'Neil, travelled to Santiago, Chile to attend the IEEE Robotics and Automation Socity Summer School on Robot Vision and Applications. He presented a poster based on his research entitled"Object Recogntion and Pose Estimation with Cylindrical Projection Histograms" and took 2nd place out of 25 in the student poster competition. This poster competition was judged by some of the world's preeminent researchers in robot and computer vision and included a variety of vision related research from around the world.
Our paper, "Determination of 226Ra, 228Ra and 210Pb in NORM Products from Oil and Gas Exploration: Problems in Activity Underestimation due to the Presence of Heavy Metals and Self-Absorption of Photons", has been accepted to the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. Two of the authors, Joseph Hashem and Cheryl Brabec, are members of the Nuclear Robotics group.
Brian O'Neil, Cheryl Brabec and Mitch Pryor preseted their paper, Hazardous Workspace Modeling for Manipulators using Spatial Hazard Functions, during the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics conference November 5th-8th in College Station, TX.
The IRAD System performed a pick and place task inside a glovebox environment for the first time. For this task, the canister was not placed in a predefined location and tasks were not predetermined. A Kinect sensor device was used to identify locations inside the glovebox environment. Watch the Youtube video here. Dual-arm collision detection and robot-to-camera calibration were integrated for this task.