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2020


Combining learned and analytical models for predicting action effects from sensory data
Combining learned and analytical models for predicting action effects from sensory data

Kloss, A., Schaal, S., Bohg, J.

International Journal of Robotics Research, September 2020 (article)

Abstract
One of the most basic skills a robot should possess is predicting the effect of physical interactions with objects in the environment. This enables optimal action selection to reach a certain goal state. Traditionally, dynamics are approximated by physics-based analytical models. These models rely on specific state representations that may be hard to obtain from raw sensory data, especially if no knowledge of the object shape is assumed. More recently, we have seen learning approaches that can predict the effect of complex physical interactions directly from sensory input. It is however an open question how far these models generalize beyond their training data. In this work, we investigate the advantages and limitations of neural network based learning approaches for predicting the effects of actions based on sensory input and show how analytical and learned models can be combined to leverage the best of both worlds. As physical interaction task, we use planar pushing, for which there exists a well-known analytical model and a large real-world dataset. We propose to use a convolutional neural network to convert raw depth images or organized point clouds into a suitable representation for the analytical model and compare this approach to using neural networks for both, perception and prediction. A systematic evaluation of the proposed approach on a very large real-world dataset shows two main advantages of the hybrid architecture. Compared to a pure neural network, it significantly (i) reduces required training data and (ii) improves generalization to novel physical interaction.

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arXiv pdf link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Learning Sensory-Motor Associations from Demonstration
Learning Sensory-Motor Associations from Demonstration

Berenz, V., Bjelic, A., Herath, L., Mainprice, J.

29th IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (Ro-Man 2020), August 2020 (conference) Accepted

Abstract
We propose a method which generates reactive robot behavior learned from human demonstration. In order to do so, we use the Playful programming language which is based on the reactive programming paradigm. This allows us to represent the learned behavior as a set of associations between sensor and motor primitives in a human readable script. Distinguishing between sensor and motor primitives introduces a supplementary level of granularity and more importantly enforces feedback, increasing adaptability and robustness. As the experimental section shows, useful behaviors may be learned from a single demonstration covering a very limited portion of the task space.

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


Transient coarsening and the motility of optically heated Janus colloids in a binary liquid mixture
Transient coarsening and the motility of optically heated Janus colloids in a binary liquid mixture

Gomez-Solano, J., Roy, S., Araki, T., Dietrich, S., Maciolek, A.

Soft Matter, 16, pages: 8359-8371, Royal Society of Chemistry, August 2020 (article)

Abstract
A gold-capped Janus particle suspended in a near-critical binary liquid mixture can self-propel under illumination. We have immobilized such a particle in a narrow channel and carried out a combined experimental and theoretical study of the non-equilibrium dynamics of a binary solvent around it – lasting from the very moment of switching illumination on until the steady state is reached. In the theoretical study we use both a purely diffusive and a hydrodynamic model, which we solve numerically. Our results demonstrate a remarkable complexity of the time evolution of the concentration field around the colloid. This evolution is governed by the combined effects of the temperature gradient and the wettability, and crucially depends on whether the colloid is free to move or is trapped. For the trapped colloid, all approaches indicate that the early time dynamics is purely diffusive and characterized by composition layers travelling with constant speed from the surface of the colloid into the bulk of the solvent. Subsequently, hydrodynamic effects set in. Anomalously large nonequilibrium fluctuations, which result from the temperature gradient and the vicinity of the critical point of the binary liquid mixture, give rise to strong concentration fluctuations in the solvent and to permanently changing coarsening patterns not observed for a mobile particle. The early time dynamics around initially still Janus colloids produces a force which is able to set the Janus colloid into motion. The propulsion due to this transient dynamics is in the direction opposite to that observed after the steady state is attained.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


How to Train Your Differentiable Filter
How to Train Your Differentiable Filter

Alina Kloss, G. M. J. B.

In July 2020 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In many robotic applications, it is crucial to maintain a belief about the state of a system. These state estimates serve as input for planning and decision making and provide feedback during task execution. Recursive Bayesian Filtering algorithms address the state estimation problem, but they require models of process dynamics and sensory observations as well as noise characteristics of these models. Recently, multiple works have demonstrated that these models can be learned by end-to-end training through differentiable versions of Recursive Filtering algorithms.The aim of this work is to improve understanding and applicability of such differentiable filters (DF). We implement DFs with four different underlying filtering algorithms and compare them in extensive experiments. We find that long enough training sequences are crucial for DF performance and that modelling heteroscedastic observation noise significantly improves results. And while the different DFs perform similarly on our example task, we recommend the differentiable Extended Kalman Filter for getting started due to its simplicity.

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pdf [BibTex]


Interface-mediated spontaneous symmetry breaking and mutual communication between drops containing chemically active particles
Interface-mediated spontaneous symmetry breaking and mutual communication between drops containing chemically active particles

Singh, D., Domínguez, A., Choudhury, U., Kottapalli, S., Popescu, M., Dietrich, S., Fischer, P.

Nature Communications, 11(2210), May 2020 (article)

Abstract
Symmetry breaking and the emergence of self-organized patterns is the hallmark of com- plexity. Here, we demonstrate that a sessile drop, containing titania powder particles with negligible self-propulsion, exhibits a transition to collective motion leading to self-organized flow patterns. This phenomenology emerges through a novel mechanism involving the interplay between the chemical activity of the photocatalytic particles, which induces Mar- angoni stresses at the liquid–liquid interface, and the geometrical confinement provided by the drop. The response of the interface to the chemical activity of the particles is the source of a significantly amplified hydrodynamic flow within the drop, which moves the particles. Furthermore, in ensembles of such active drops long-ranged ordering of the flow patterns within the drops is observed. We show that the ordering is dictated by a chemical com- munication between drops, i.e., an alignment of the flow patterns is induced by the gradients of the chemicals emanating from the active particles, rather than by hydrodynamic interactions.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Excursion Search for Constrained Bayesian Optimization under a Limited Budget of Failures
Excursion Search for Constrained Bayesian Optimization under a Limited Budget of Failures

Marco, A., Rohr, A. V., Baumann, D., Hernández-Lobato, J. M., Trimpe, S.

2020 (proceedings) In revision

Abstract
When learning to ride a bike, a child falls down a number of times before achieving the first success. As falling down usually has only mild consequences, it can be seen as a tolerable failure in exchange for a faster learning process, as it provides rich information about an undesired behavior. In the context of Bayesian optimization under unknown constraints (BOC), typical strategies for safe learning explore conservatively and avoid failures by all means. On the other side of the spectrum, non conservative BOC algorithms that allow failing may fail an unbounded number of times before reaching the optimum. In this work, we propose a novel decision maker grounded in control theory that controls the amount of risk we allow in the search as a function of a given budget of failures. Empirical validation shows that our algorithm uses the failures budget more efficiently in a variety of optimization experiments, and generally achieves lower regret, than state-of-the-art methods. In addition, we propose an original algorithm for unconstrained Bayesian optimization inspired by the notion of excursion sets in stochastic processes, upon which the failures-aware algorithm is built.

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arXiv code (python) PDF [BibTex]


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Axisymmetric spheroidal squirmers and self-diffusiophoretic particles

Pöhnl, R., Popescu, M. N., Uspal, W. E.

Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 32(16), IOP Publishing, Bristol, 2020 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Tracer diffusion on a crowded random Manhattan lattice

Mej\’\ia-Monasterio, C., Nechaev, S., Oshanin, G., Vasilyev, O.

New Journal of Physics, 22(3), IOP Publishing, Bristol, 2020 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Wetting transitions on soft substrates

Napiorkowski, M., Schimmele, L., Dietrich, S.

{EPL}, 129(1), EDP Science, Les-Ulis, 2020 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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A Real-Robot Dataset for Assessing Transferability of Learned Dynamics Models

Agudelo-España, D., Zadaianchuk, A., Wenk, P., Garg, A., Akpo, J., Grimminger, F., Viereck, J., Naveau, M., Righetti, L., Martius, G., Krause, A., Schölkopf, B., Bauer, S., Wüthrich, M.

IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2020 (conference) Accepted

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Project Page PDF [BibTex]

Project Page PDF [BibTex]


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Blessing and Curse: How a Supercapacitor Large Capacitance Causes its Slow Charging

Lian, C., Janssen, M., Liu, H., van Roij, R.

Physical Review Letters, 124(7), American Physical Society, Woodbury, N.Y., 2020 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Interplay of quenching temperature and drift in Brownian dynamics

Khalilian, H., Nejad, M. R., Moghaddam, A. G., Rohwer, C. M.

EPL, 128(6), EDP Science, Les-Ulis, 2020 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Fractal-seaweeds type functionalization of graphene

Amsharov, K., Sharapa, D. I., Vasilyev, O. A., Martin, O., Hauke, F., Görling, A., Soni, H., Hirsch, A.

Carbon, 158, pages: 435-448, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2020 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Effective pair interaction of patchy particles in critical fluids

Farahmand Bafi, N., Nowakowski, P., Dietrich, S.

The Journal of Chemical Physics, 152(11), American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, N.Y., 2020 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Cassie-Wenzel transition of a binary liquid mixture on a nanosculptured surface

Singh, S. L., Schimmele, L., Dietrich, S.

Physical Review E, 101(5), American Physical Society, Melville, NY, 2020 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Adopting the Boundary Homogenization Approximation from Chemical Kinetics to Motile Chemically Active Particles

Popescu, M. N., Uspal, W. E.

In Chemical Kinetics, pages: 517-540, World Scientific, New Jersey, NJ, 2020 (incollection)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Safe and Fast Tracking on a Robot Manipulator: Robust MPC and Neural Network Control
Safe and Fast Tracking on a Robot Manipulator: Robust MPC and Neural Network Control

Nubert, J., Koehler, J., Berenz, V., Allgower, F., Trimpe, S.

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2020 (article) Accepted

Abstract
Fast feedback control and safety guarantees are essential in modern robotics. We present an approach that achieves both by combining novel robust model predictive control (MPC) with function approximation via (deep) neural networks (NNs). The result is a new approach for complex tasks with nonlinear, uncertain, and constrained dynamics as are common in robotics. Specifically, we leverage recent results in MPC research to propose a new robust setpoint tracking MPC algorithm, which achieves reliable and safe tracking of a dynamic setpoint while guaranteeing stability and constraint satisfaction. The presented robust MPC scheme constitutes a one-layer approach that unifies the often separated planning and control layers, by directly computing the control command based on a reference and possibly obstacle positions. As a separate contribution, we show how the computation time of the MPC can be drastically reduced by approximating the MPC law with a NN controller. The NN is trained and validated from offline samples of the MPC, yielding statistical guarantees, and used in lieu thereof at run time. Our experiments on a state-of-the-art robot manipulator are the first to show that both the proposed robust and approximate MPC schemes scale to real-world robotic systems.

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arXiv PDF DOI [BibTex]

arXiv PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Energy storage in steady states under cyclic local energy input

Zhang, Y., Holyst, R., Maciolek, A.

Physical Review E, 101(1), American Physical Society, Melville, NY, 2020 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Numerical simulations of self-diffusiophoretic colloids at fluid interfaces

Peter, T., Malgaretti, P., Rivas, N., Scagliarini, A., Harting, J., Dietrich, S.

Soft Matter, 16(14):3536-3547, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2020 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]

2012


Towards Multi-DOF model mediated teleoperation: Using vision to augment feedback
Towards Multi-DOF model mediated teleoperation: Using vision to augment feedback

Willaert, B., Bohg, J., Van Brussel, H., Niemeyer, G.

In IEEE International Workshop on Haptic Audio Visual Environments and Games (HAVE), pages: 25-31, October 2012 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we address some of the challenges that arise as model-mediated teleoperation is applied to systems with multiple degrees of freedom and multiple sensors. Specifically we use a system with position, force, and vision sensors to explore an environment geometry in two degrees of freedom. The inclusion of vision is proposed to alleviate the difficulties of estimating an increasing number of environment properties. Vision can furthermore increase the predictive nature of model-mediated teleoperation, by effectively predicting touch feedback before the slave is even in contact with the environment. We focus on the case of estimating the location and orientation of a local surface patch at the contact point between the slave and the environment. We describe the various information sources with their respective limitations and create a combined model estimator as part of a multi-d.o.f. model-mediated controller. An experiment demonstrates the feasibility and benefits of utilizing vision sensors in teleoperation.

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DOI [BibTex]

2012


DOI [BibTex]


Failure Recovery with Shared Autonomy
Failure Recovery with Shared Autonomy

Sankaran, B., Pitzer, B., Osentoski, S.

In International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, October 2012 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Building robots capable of long term autonomy has been a long standing goal of robotics research. Such systems must be capable of performing certain tasks with a high degree of robustness and repeatability. In the context of personal robotics, these tasks could range anywhere from retrieving items from a refrigerator, loading a dishwasher, to setting up a dinner table. Given the complexity of tasks there are a multitude of failure scenarios that the robot can encounter, irrespective of whether the environment is static or dynamic. For a robot to be successful in such situations, it would need to know how to recover from failures or when to ask a human for help. This paper, presents a novel shared autonomy behavioral executive to addresses these issues. We demonstrate how this executive combines generalized logic based recovery and human intervention to achieve continuous failure free operation. We tested the systems over 250 trials of two different use case experiments. Our current algorithm drastically reduced human intervention from 26% to 4% on the first experiment and 46% to 9% on the second experiment. This system provides a new dimension to robot autonomy, where robots can exhibit long term failure free operation with minimal human supervision. We also discuss how the system can be generalized.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


Task-Based Grasp Adaptation on a Humanoid Robot
Task-Based Grasp Adaptation on a Humanoid Robot

Bohg, J., Welke, K., León, B., Do, M., Song, D., Wohlkinger, W., Aldoma, A., Madry, M., Przybylski, M., Asfour, T., Marti, H., Kragic, D., Morales, A., Vincze, M.

In 10th IFAC Symposium on Robot Control, SyRoCo 2012, Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 5-7, 2012., pages: 779-786, September 2012 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we present an approach towards autonomous grasping of objects according to their category and a given task. Recent advances in the field of object segmentation and categorization as well as task-based grasp inference have been leveraged by integrating them into one pipeline. This allows us to transfer task-specific grasp experience between objects of the same category. The effectiveness of the approach is demonstrated on the humanoid robot ARMAR-IIIa.

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Video pdf DOI [BibTex]

Video pdf DOI [BibTex]


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Movement Segmentation and Recognition for Imitation Learning

Meier, F., Theodorou, E., Schaal, S.

In Seventeenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, La Palma, Canary Islands, Fifteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics , April 2012 (inproceedings)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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From Dynamic Movement Primitives to Associative Skill Memories

Pastor, P., Kalakrishnan, M., Meier, F., Stulp, F., Buchli, J., Theodorou, E., Schaal, S.

Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 2012 (article)

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Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Structure and aggregation of colloids immersed in critical solvents

Mohry, T. F., Maciolek, A., Dietrich, S.

Journal of Chemical Physics, 136(22), 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Ewald sum for hydrodynamic interactions with periodicity in two dimensions

Bleibel, J.

Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 45(22), 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Nanodroplets at topographic steps

Bartsch, H.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2012 (mastersthesis)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Patchy worm-like micelles: solution structure studied by small-angle neutron scattering

Rosenfeldt, S., Luedel, F., Schulreich, C., Hellweg, T., Radulescu, A., Schmelz, J., Schmalz, H., Harnau, L.

Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 14, pages: 12750-12756, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Time correlations and persistence probability of a Brownian particle in a shear flow

Chakraborty, D.

European Physical Journal B, 85(8), Springer-Verlag Heidelberg, Heidelberg, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Local theory for ions in binary liquid mixtures

Bier, M., Gambassi, A., Dietrich, S.

The Journal of Chemical Physics, 137(3), American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, N.Y., 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Effect of ions on confined near-critical binary aqueous mixture

Pousaneh, F., Ciach, A., Maciolek, A.

Soft Matter, 8(29):7567-7581, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Janus particles in critical liquids

Labbe-Laurent, M.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2012 (mastersthesis)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Surface integration approach: a new technique for evaluating geometry dependent forces between objects of various geometry and a plate

Dantchev, D., Valchev, G.

Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 372(1):148-163, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Phase equilibria of binary liquid crystals

Klöss, Hans-Christian

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2012 (mastersthesis)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Pinning of drops at superhydrophobic surfaces

Daschke, Lena

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2012 (mastersthesis)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Stability of thin wetting films on chemically nanostructured surfaces

Checco, A., Ocko, B. M., Tasinkevych, M., Dietrich, S.

Physical Review Letters, 109(16), American Physical Society., Woodbury, N.Y., etc., 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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The structure of fluids with impurities

Bier, M., Harnau, L.

Zeitschrift f\"ur physikalische Chemie, 226(7-8):807-814, Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, Frankfurt am Main, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Impedance spectroscopy of ions at interfaces

Reindl, A.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2012 (mastersthesis)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Stepwise swelling of a thin film of lamellae-forming poly(styrene-b-butadiene) in cyclohexane vapor

Di, Zhenyu, Posselt, Dorthe, Smilgies, Detlef-M., Li, Ruipeng, Rauscher, Markus, Potemkin, Igor I., Papadakis, Christine M.

Macromolecules, 45(12):5185-5195, 2012 (article)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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A close look at proteins: submolecular resolution of two- and three-dimensionally folded cytochrome c at surfaces

Deng, Z., Thontasen, N., Malinowski, N., Rinke, G., Harnau, L., Rauschenbach, S., Kern, K.

Nano Letters, 12, pages: 2452-2458, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Field-induced breakup of emulsion droplets stabilized by colloidal particles

Kim, E. G., Stratford, K., Clegg, P. S., Cates, M. E.

Physical Review E, 85(2), 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Surface of an evaporating liquid

Arnold, Daniel

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2012 (mastersthesis)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Precursor films in wetting phenomena

Popescu, M. N., Oshanin, G., Dietrich, S., Cazabat, A. M.

Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 24, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Statics and dynamics of critical Casimir forces

Tröndle, M.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2012 (phdthesis)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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First passages in bounded domains: When is the mean first passage time meaningful?

Mattos, Thiago G., Mejia-Monasterio, Carlos, Metzler, Ralf, Oshanin, Gleb

Physical Review E, 86(3), Published by the American Physical Society through the American Institute of Physics, Melville, NY, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Gelation, phase behavior, and dynamics of beta-lactoglobulin amyloid fibrils at varying concentrations and ionic strengths

Bolisetty, S., Harnau, L., Jung, J., Mezzenga, R.

Biomacromolecules, 13, pages: 3241-3252, 2012 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]