We are opening a postdoctoral stipend for research on realtime physics-based computer vision for crane manipulators.
Industrial crane manipulators are widely used in mining, marine and forest environments and are used for heavy and dangerous operations associated with the extraction, transport and processing of raw materials and for various rescue operations. The electro-hydraulic and mechanical properties of large industrial manipulators make them difficult to control for both operators and using conventional control methods developed for industrial robots. Fast and stable motion control and semi-autonomous functions has emerged only recently in commercial systems. The lack of robust computer vision, however, severely limits the development of higher level autonomy, for example, ability to grip and move objects and to plan and predict the outcome of movements in unstructured environments.
This project is targeting model-based vision of objects in the manipulator's operating environment, such as tree logs, chains, pipes or rocks and boulders. The idea is to combine camera techniques for computer vision with real-time physics simulation. By fusing the data streams from cameras and other sensors with data from multiple parallel simulations the physically impossible interpretations can be excluded and object tracking become robust. When the input is insufficient, the crane manipulator can perturb the environment to generate a dynamic response that reveal additional information about the objects' geometry and physical nature. Scientific methods in the project can include physics-based simulation, computer graphics, computer vision, machine learning and logic-based methods for reasoning and decision-making.
The project is part of a major effort including eight postdoctoral stipends in autonomous systems. For more information, see the following http://www.umu.se/english/about-umu/news-events/grants/6-2285-16
Each stipend is for two years with a starting date to be negotiated. The stipend, provided by the Kempe Foundations, amounts to 300 000 SEK per year. The stipend is not subject to tax.