Scientific Papers

Tech United team members regularly publish scientific papers. Topics range from ball handling mechanisms to velocity estimation and surveys of the technological status of the MSL competition. All papers are listed below (latest publication on top).

MSL


Tech United Eindhoven (2017). Tech United Eindhoven Team Description 2017.


In this paper we discuss the progress in mechanical, electrical and software de- sign of our middle size league robots over the past year. The major mechanical development is the introduction of an eight-wheeled robot platform. Recent progress in software includes improvements in strategy algorithms for both offensive and defensive game play. Further- more, a new motion controller, based on cascade control, is implemented to achieve faster and more accurate positioning. Finally a new method, using convolutional neural networks, is developed to distinguish robots from obstacles, in omnivision camera images.

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Lotte de Koning, Juan Pablo Mendoza, Manuela Veloso, René van de Molengraft, (2017), Skills, tactics and plays for decentralized multi-robot control in adversarial environments.


This work presents a pioneering collaboration between two robot soccer teams from different RoboCup leagues, the Small Size League (SSL) and the Middle Size League (MSL). In the SSL, research is focused on fast-paced and advanced team play for a centrally-controlled multi-robot team. MSL, on the other hand, focuses on controlling a distributed multirobot team. The goal of cooperation between these two leagues is to apply teamwork techniques from the SSL, which have been researched and improved for years, in the MSL. In particular, the Skills Tactics and Plays (STP) team coordination architecture, developed for centralized multi-robot team, is studied and integrated into the distributed team in order to improve the level of team play. The STP architecture enables more sophisticated team play in the MSL team by providing a framework for team strategy adaptation as a function of the state of the game. Voting-based approaches are proposed to overcome the challenge of adapting the STP architecture to a distributed system. Empirical evaluation of STP in the MSL team shows a significant improvement in offensive game play when distinguishing several offensive game states and applying appropriate offensive plays.

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Tech United Eindhoven (2016). Tech United Eindhoven, Middle Size League Winner 2016.


In this paper we discuss the progress in mechanical, electrical and software design of our middle-size league robots over the past year. Recent progress in software includes improved perception methods using combined omnivision of different robots and integrating the Kinect v2 camera onto the robots. To improve the efficiency of shots at the opponents goal, the obstacle detection is improved. Furthermore, a new shooting skill is being developed as well as a new visualisation tool.

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Wouter Kuijpers, António J.R. Neves, René van de Molengraft, (2015), Cooperative Sensing for 3D Ball Positioning in the RoboCup Middle Size League 


As soccer in the RoboCup Middle Size League (MSL) starts resembling human soccer more and more, the time the ball is airborne increases. Robots equipped with a single catadioptric vision system will generally not be able to accurately observe depth due to limited resolution. Most teams, therefore, resort to projecting the ball on the field. Within the MSL several methods have already been explored to deter-mine the 3D ball position, e.g., adding a high-resolution perspective camera or adding a Kinect sensor. This paper presents a new method which combines the omnivision camera data from multiple robots through triangulation. Three main challenges have been identified in designing this method: Inaccurate projections, Communication delay and Limited amount of data. An algorithm, considering these main challenges, has been implemented and tested. Performance tests with a non-moving ball (static situation) and two robots show an accuracy of 0.13 m for airborne balls. A dynamic test shows that a ball kicked by a robot could be tracked from the moment of the kick, if enough measurements have been received from two peer robots before the ball exceeds the height of the robots.

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Tech United Eindhoven (2015). Tech United Eindhoven Team Description 2015.


In this paper we discuss the progress in mechanical, electrical and software de- sign of our middle-size league robots over the past year. Recent process in software includes intercepting a lob pass and improvement of 3D ball detection by combining omnivision out- put of different robots. For better localization the distance mapping and mapping center are determined during the game to compensate for tilt variations. To improve the acceleration capabilities and agility of the three-wheeled robot an a-symmetric trajectory planner is de- veloped and implemented. Human-robot interaction is this year further explored by using hand gestures to coach our robots. Finally a simulator link is developed to run a simula- tion with multiple computers which makes it possible to simulate matches of two full teams competing against each other.

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Tech United Eindhoven (2014). Tech United Eindhoven, Winner RoboCup 2014 MSL: Middle Size League.


In this paper we discuss improvements in mechanical, electrical and software design of our middle-size league robots. Regarding hardware and control recent progress includes a prototype design of a ball clamping system, and first steps towards improved passing accuracy via velocity feedback control on the shooting lever. In terms of intelligent gameplay we have worked on creating possibilities for in-game optimization of strategic decisions. Via qr-code detection we can pass coaching instructions to our robots and with a basic machine learning algorithm success and failure after free-kicks is taken into account. In the final part of this paper we briefly discuss progress we have made in designing a four-wheeled soccer robot with a suspension system and on a smartphone application which real-time visualizes robot status and game state.

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Robin Soetens, Andreas Witsch, Stephan Opfer, Tim Kouters, Huimin Lu, Kaihong Huang, Antonio Fernando Ribeiro, Ricardo Dias, Bernardo Cunha, Koen Meessen and René van de Molengraft. Data Model Standardization for Inter-Robot Communication in RoboCup MSL (Under review)

Robin Soetens, René van de Molengraft and Bernardo Cunha. RoboCup MSL - History, Accomplishments, Current Status and Challenges Ahead. RoboCup Symposium Invited Paper on League Progress. 2014.


The RoboCup Middle-Size League (MSL) is one of the founding leagues of the annual RoboCup competition. Ever since its birth it has been a league where development of hard- and software happens simultaneously in a real-world decentralized multi-robot soccer setting. Over the years the MSL achieved scientific results in robust design of mechatronic systems, sensor-fusion, tracking, world modelling and distributed multi-agent coordination. Because of recent rule changes which actively stimulate passing, matches in RoboCup MSL have become increasingly appealing to a general audience. Approximately five thousand spectators were present during last years final match. In this paper we present our plan to build on this momentum to further boost scientific progress and to attract new teams to the league. We also give a historical overview and discuss the current state of the MSL competition in terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

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M.J.G. van de Molengraft and O. Zweigle, Guest editors of the Special issue on "Advances in intelligent robot design for the Robocup Middle Size League" , IFAC Mechatronics, in print, (2011)

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J.J.T.H. de Best, M.J.G. van de Molengraft, M. Steinbuch, A Novel Ball Handling Mechanism for the RoboCup Middle Size League, Mechatronics, 21(2), -, (2011) 
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Meessen, K.J., Paulides, J.J.H., Lomonova, E. (2010). A football kicking high speed actuator for a mobile robotic application. Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, IECON 2010, 7-10 November 2010, Glendale, Arizona. (pp. 1659-1664)
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R.J.E. Merry, M.J.G. van de Molengraft, M. Steinbuch,Velocity and acceleration estimation for optical incremental encoders, Mechatronics, 2010 
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K.J. Meessen, J.J.H. Paulides, E.A.Lomonova, Analysis and design of a slotless tubular permanent magnet actuator for high acceleration applications, Journal of Applied Physics, 2009 
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Jeroen de Best, René van de Molengraft, An active ball handling mechanism for robocup, Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision.(pp. 2060-2065). IEEE, 2008 
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Roel Merry, René van de Molengraft, Maarten Steinbuch, Error modeling and improved position estimation for optical incremental encoders by means of time stamping, American Control Conference, 2007 
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Dennis Bruijnen, Jeroen van Helvoort, René van de Molengraft, Realtime motion path generation using subtargets in a changing environment, Robotics and Autonomous systems, 2007 
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Dennis Bruijnen, Wouter Aangenent, Jeroen van Helvoort, René van de Molengraft, From vision to realtime motion control for the RoboCup domain, 2007 IEEE Conference on Control Applications, (pp. accepted).
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Dennis Bruijnen, René van de Molengraft, Maarten Steinbuch, Optimization aided loop shaping for motion systems,American Control Conference. (pp. 4243-4248). United States, Minneapolis, 2006 
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@Home

Elfring, J.; Appeldoorn, R.; van den Dries, S.(2016) ; Kwakkernaat, M. Effective World Modeling: Multisensor Data Fusion Methodology for Automated Driving. Sensors 2016, 16, 1668.
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J. J. M. Lunenburg; S. A. M. Coenen; G. J. L. Naus; M. J. G. van de Molengraft; M. Steinbuch, (2016) "A Recipe to Select a Motion Planner for Navigation Tasks of Mobile Robots," in IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine , vol.PP, no.99, pp.1-1
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Janssen, R., van Meijl, E., Di Marco, D., van de Molengraft, R., Steinbuch, M. (2013). Integrated planning and execution for ROS enabled service robots using hierarchical action representations. 16th International Conference on Advanced Robotics (ICAR).
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Jansen, R., Molengraft, M.J.G. van de, Bruijninckx, H. & Steinbuch, M. (2015). Cloud based centralized task control for human domain multi-robot operations. Intelligent Service Robotics, January 2016, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 63-77. 
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Elfring, J., Molengraft, M.J.G. van de & Steinbuch, M. (2014). Learning intentions for improved human motion prediction. Robotics and Autonomous Systems62(4), 591-602.
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Elfring, J., Molengraft, M.J.G. van de & Steinbuch, M. (2014). Semi-task-dependent and uncertainty-driven world model maintenance. Autonomous Robots, 38(1), 15p.
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Coenen, S.A.M., Lunenburg, J.J.M., Molengraft, M.J.G. van de & Steinbuch, M. (2014). A representation method based on the probability of collision for safe robot navigation in domestic environments. IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, art. no. 6943151, 4177-4183.
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Elfring, J., Jansen, S., Molengraft, M.J.G. van de & Steinbuch, M. (2014). Active object search exploiting probabilistic object-object relations. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 8371 LNAI, 13-24.
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Janno Lunenburg, René van de Molengraft and Maarten Steinbuch, Minimizing the number of iterations when computing a base pose for manipulation by mobile base inclusion in the inverse kinematics. Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Advanced Robotic, 2013.
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Lunenburg, J.J.M., Soetens, R.P.T., Schoenmakers, F.B.F., Metsemakers, P.M.G., Molengraft, M.J.G. van de & Steinbuch, M. (2013). Sharing Open hardware through ROP, the Robotic Open Platform. RoboCup Symposium special track on open-source hard- and software.
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Elfring, J., Dries, S. van den, Molengraft, M.J.G. van de & Steinbuch, M. (2013). Semantic world modeling using probabilistic multiple hypothesis anchoring. Robotics and Autonomous Systems61(2), 95-105.
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Elfring, J., Dries, S. van den, Molengraft, M.J.G. van de & Steinbuch, M. (2012). Task-based world model verification. Proceedings of the workshop semantic perception and mapping for knowledge-enabled service robotics (ICRA 2012), May 18, 2012, Saint Paul, USA, IEEE Service Center.
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Dries, S. van den, Elfring, J., Molengraft, M.J.G. van de & Steinbuch, M. (2012). World modeling in robotics : probabilistic multiple hypothesis anchoring. Abstract presented at the Workshop on semantic perception and mapping for knowledge-enabled service robotics (ICRA 2012), May 2012, Saint Paul, USA,
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J. Elfring, S. van den Dries, M.J.G. van de Molengraft and H. Bruyninckx, "Knowledge-Driven World Modeling", www.iros2011.org (2011)
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