In the last few weeks I was getting started with looking into the projects I am (supposedly) working on during at least the next year here at IDSIA. For the foreseeable future I will focus my attention on mainly two projects, both funded by the European Union’s Framework Programme. The first project is called STIFF and is lead by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), more precisely their section working on biorobotics. The second one is named IM-CLeVeR and the partners include CNR (in Rome), Universities of Ulster and Aberstwyth (UK).
This is the project I am currently spending most of my time on. STIFF is a research project on enhancing biomorphic agility of robot arms and hands through variable stiffness & elasticity (officially named Enhancing Biomorphic Agility Through Variable Stiffness). It is funded by the 7th framework programme of the European Union (grant agreement No: 231576). IDSIA is responsible for learning high-level task-specific controllers based on reinforcement signals for the flexible variable-impedance robot arm developed by DLR, and for extracting cost functions from human behaviours in collaboration with UEDIN (also sometimes referred to as inverse reinforcement learning). I am working here together with Tobias (evolutionary search for cost functions), Jan (Neurocontrollers) and soon Simon.
This project focusses on the iCub robot and how it can learn to interact with its environment. The project is funded by the EU Framework Programme and is officially called Intrinsically Motivated Cumulative Learning Versatile Robots.
As a main outcome, the project will significantly advance the scientific and technological state of the art, both in terms of theory and implementations, in autonomous learning systems and robots. This overall goal will be achieved on the basis of the integrated work of a highly interdisciplinary Consortium involving leading international neuroscientists, psychologists, roboticists and machine-learning researchers.
It is quite a big project here at IDSIA and a lot of work is done to make the iCub perform right now. The main parts I am working on currently are to get the software setup and start on the interface between the Machine Learning (Reinforcement Learning) group and robotics. Right now I am helping to make the iCub see things, that is helping on the computer vision part of the project.
More info can be found on my projects page.