Thursday, September 22, 2005

Clawar 2005 Climbing and Walking Robots Congress (London-UK)

From the 12th till the 15th of September 2005 there was in London the Congress of Climbing and Walking Robots CLAWAR 2005. Between the activities of the event they were 120 lectures from scientists of 30 countries, a robotics workshop, a climbing robots competition, visits to the climbing robots laboratory and several robotics exhibitions.

Mr. M. Osman Tokhi, General Chair of the congress in the official opening of the event.
The lectures covered areas of such interest as:
  • Sensing and Sensor fusion
  • Bioengineering and Biological Inspired systems
  • Flexible manipulators
  • Humanoid robots
  • Control of Climbing and Walking robots
  • Locomotion
  • Space applications
  • Modular, Reconfigurable Robots, Modularity
  • Design methodology
  • Software environments
  • Climbing, Navigation & path planning, Gait generation, Manipulation
  • Power, actuation, efficiency
  • Hopping & Legged robots, Analysis, Teleoperation
  • Personal assistance & Industrial applications
  • Security and Surveillance

Between the 14 Spanish participants they were members of IAI (Robotics Automation Institute of Madrid [CSIC]), Robotics Lab (University Carlos III of Madrid), IRI (Instituto de Robotica e Informática Industrial de Cataluña [UPC/CSIC]), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Quark Robotics among others, with a total of 20 papers presented.

Juan González (IEARobotics/UAM) during his lecture about modular robotics

The three Spanish robots presented during the exhibitions where Cube Revolutions and Multicube from Juan González (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) and Melanie-III from Alejandro Alonso Puig (Quark Robotics)

Alejandro Alonso (Quark Robotics) doing a demonstration of Melanie-III. 
Between the other robots showed it was the hexapod Lauron-IV, last creation of FZI Karlsruhe, from Germany. One of this units was bought by Spain for a research project. There is also one unit of the former version Lauron-III at Barcelona, at the IRI (UPC-CSIC), where PhD. Enric Celaya and his team work in advanced research projects.

PhD. Enric Celaya (IRI) and Alejandro Alonso (Quark Robotics)
watching the splendid hexapod Lauron-IV  (FZI)
Juan González (IEArobotics/UAM) trying the visual control system of the robot Lauron-IV . Over the virtual reality glasses there is an inertial unit which identifies the movements of the head of Juan González. At his side is PhD. Enric Celaya (IRI) 

Other interesting robot was the quadruped "AIMEE" from the University of Bremen, Germany, built with high efficiency valued in 500€ each (2005). The robot is able to walk, turn and creep when it has to overcome difficult areas or high ramps. The University of Bremen works in other interesting robotics projects in cooperation with so well known organizations as ESANASA or DARPA.

Quadruped AIMEE of the University of Bremen (Germany)

PhD. Man-Wook Han from the Vienna University of Technology showed his robot for space applications. Part of a project he is doing with ESA (European Space Agency). His robot could walk through a "spider net" in weightlessness.

PhD. Man-Wook Han (TU Vienna) with his robot for space applications. An his side is Alejandro Alonso (Quark Robotics)

The Shadow Robot Company showed their dexterous hand. It is a so realistic design that it has nails. The different joints are activated by artificial pneumatic muscles, composed by elastic structures with muscle shape that compress when they are inflated with air.

Juan González (IEARobotics/UAM) shanking hands with the robotics arm while Armando De La Rosa (The Shadow Robot Company) look with attention. The strength of the hand is really impressive, although adequately controlled.
Also they were very interesting robots in the climbing robots competition, were robots had to climb a vertical wall avoiding obstacles in the path. Some used magnetic methods with other used suction systems.

An undergraduate with his climbing robot

Other climbing robots that competed in the contest
As part of the event there was also a visit to the Climbing Robots Design Laboratory of the South Bank University, were they were different kind of robots, since the first climbing robot developed at Russia, to complex systems for verification of vertical pipes or liquid tanks.

From left to right. Alejandro Alonso (Quark Robotics), PhD. Anton Vitko (Slovak University of Technology) and Juan González (IEARobotics/UAM)

From left to right. Alejandro Alonso (Quark Robotics), Juan González (IEARobotics/UAM), PhD. Antonio Giménez (Robotics Lab UC3M), PhD. Ramón Barber (Robotics Lab UC3M) and Mario R. Arbulú (Robotics Lab UC3M)

Juan González (IEARobotics/UAM) and Alejandro Alonso (Quark Robotics) with Dirk Spenneberg (white shirt) from the University of Bremen and his team.
From left to right. Juan González (IEARobotics/UAM), PhD. Elena García Armada (IAI-CSIC), Samir Nabulsi (IAI-CSIC), PhD. Manuel Armada (IAI-CSIC) and Alejandro Alonso (Quark Robotics) during the conference banquet at the Royal Automobile Club.
From left to right. Alejandro Alonso (Quark Robotics), PhD. Roger D. Quinn (Case Western Reserve University - OH. USA) and Armando De La Rosa (The Shadow Robot Company)
From left to right. William A. Lewinger and Kathryn Daltorio (Case Western Reserve University - OH. USA) and Juan González (IEARobotics/UAM).
From left to right. Alejandro Alonso (Quark Robotics), PhD. Domenico Longo (University of Catania. Italy) and Juan González (IEARobotics/UAM)