News

Congratulations to the Robotic Transverse Profiler (RTP) team members: Michael Stanley, Logan Vesty, Kee Ching Tee, Richard Chen supervised by Dr Chao CHEN on the nomination for the Research-Industry Partnership Award at this year “National Transport Research Awards”. RTP is an instrumental robot for high precision pavement measurement developed by LMGA under a collaboration project the Nanocomm hub and ARRB. The robot maintains in active service since its commissioning in 2016.

Congratulations to Hanwen, Hugh & Xing for their research paper, “Real-Time Fruit Recognition and Grasping Estimation for Robotic Apple
Harvesting”, accepted for publication in Sensors. This paper proposed a light-weight one stage instance segmentation network to perform fruit detection and instance segmentation. Besides, a modified PointNet network was designed and implemented to perform fruit modeling and grasping estimation with point clouds from an RGB-D camera. The aforementioned two networks were applied to the design and build of an accurate robotic system towards autonomous fruit harvesting. Robotic harvesting experiments in both indoor and outdoor conditions are also included to validate the performance of the developed harvesting system. Experimental results show that the developed vision method can perform highly efficient and accurate to guide robotic harvesting.

Keenan presented his work on New family of Translational Parallel Manipulators with Scissor Mechanisms in the 4th International Conference on Fundamental Issues, Applications and Future Research Directions for Parallel Mechanisms/Manipulators/Machines.

Congratulations to Dr Hanwen Kang for completing his PhD thesis, with the title of Deep-Learning in Fruit Detection and Segmentation for Harvesting Robots. This thesis investigates the most advanced computer vision techniques which are used in object detection, tracking and image segmentation. These techniques are further studied and applied in a robotic harvesting robot, which can perform automatic target recognition, working space understanding, and crop harvesting.

Congratulations to Xing Wang and Aarjav Khara for their research paper, “A soft pneumatic bistable reinforced actuator bioinspired by Venus Flytrap with enhanced grasping capability”, published on Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. This paper proposes a novel soft pneumatic bistable reinforce actuator (PBRA) design, which is bio-inspired by Venus Flytrap’s bistable mechanism allowing for the storage of elastic energy. The proposed design consists of two asymmetric 3D-printed chambers that are attached to a central prestressed steel shell to achieve bistability. By applying this bio-inspired bistable property into the soft pneumatic actuator, the performance in terms of the actuation speed, blocked tip force, load-carry capacity and stiffness has been significantly improved. A two-finger soft robotic gripper is finally designed, manufactured and experimentally validated to demonstrate its performance in grasping the objects with different contours and weights.

Congratulations to Xi Ao for his latest research paper, ” Stability Control of a Biped Robot on a Dynamic Platform Based on Hybrid Reinforcement Learning  “, published on Sensors. The paper proposes a Hybrid Reinforcement Learning scheme and applies it to a biped robot to maintain balance on a rotating platform. This novel reinforcement learning (RL) scheme successfully establishes a serial connection between the model-based and model-free RL framework. In the beginning, a model-based estimator is utilized to predict the dynamics model of the system and provide initial control input, after which the reduced action space is obtained by minimizing the immediate cost of reaching the desired stable state. Finally, a model-free optimizer based on DQN(λ) is introduced to fine tune the policy. The proposed approach successfully reduced the computational load and improved the sample efficiency. Simulation results show that the biped robot is able to maintain balance on a rotating platform and adapt to different rotating magnitudes and frequencies.

Congratulation to Xi Ao for his new research paper, “Walking Control of a Biped Robot on Static and Rotating Platforms Based on Hybrid Reinforcement Learning”, published on IEEE Access. The paper introduces a Hybrid Reinforcement Learning framework and applies it to a biped robot to generate stable walking gaits on both static and rotating platforms. The framework consists of a Hierarchical Gaussian Processes based model-based reinforcement learning part as the off-line Estimator, an Actor Network Pre-training scheme, and a Deep Deterministic Policy Gradient based model-free policy optimizer. The proposed framework improves sample efficiency during the learning process and guarantees the adaptability of the biped robot to platforms with different angles, different magnitudes, and different frequencies.

Congratulations to the Monash Nova Rover Team to win the second place out of 132 teams in NASA Challenge!

 

   

Congratulate Hanwen & Hugh for the publication of “Visual Perception and Modelling for Autonomous Apple Harvesting” in  IEEE Access.

Congratulate Hanwen for the publication of “Fruit Detection, Segmentation and 3D Visualisation of Environments in Apple Orchards” in Computers and Electronics in Agriculture.

Celebration of the end of 2019 and all achievements by LMGA members!

Congratulate Hanwen for the publication of “Fast Implementation of Real-time Fruit Detection in Apple Orchards” in Computers and Electronics in Agriculture.

Dr Chen was invited to give a plenary talk in the second ANZ Smart Farms and AgTech Forum.
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Congratulations to our Monash Nova Rover team for achieving the 9th position among the 36 final teams at the Mars Desert Research Centre, and 86 teams participating this challenge around the world. The achievement was reported by ABC News, Channel9 News, and BBC News.

The full story can be found at: https://www.monash.edu/engineering/about-us/news-events/latest-news/articles/2019/nova-rover-team-take-on-the-university-rover-challenge

The Monash LMGA Team made a great successful show of our developed Apple Harvesting Robot in the Global AI Product and Application EXPO in Suzhou, China. Our work was reported by the CCTV News.

  

The Monash Nova Rover Team and Dr Chen, the Academic Supervisor of the team, are heading to the International University Rover Challenges at Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. The event was reported by Channel 9 News. The full story of the Rover Team is available here:

Prof Liu, the Director of CAS at UTS, visited the LMGA at Monash and gave a talk

Welcome Prof Jorge Angeles at McGill to visit Monash University and LMGA.

Congratulations! Godfrey Keung’s provisional patent enters PCT phase.

Mr Ao Xi successfully passed his PhD confirmation exam.

Mr YangJunJie Wang successfully passed his research master confirmation exam.

Year 8 ChallENGe workshop hosted by LMGA of the humanoid robot programming workshop for the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

 

Congratulations to our Nova Rover’s success in the 2018 Global Rover Challenge in Utah.

Welcome Prof Antony Hodgson at UBC to visit the LMGA.

Mr Godfrey Keung successfully conducts the experiment of knee exoskeleton on the treadmill.

 Welcome Prof Stephane Caro and Prof Maxime Gautier at Laboratory of Digital Sciences in Nantes to visit LMGA.

Congratulations to Ms Zixi Liu for her award of The Excellence in Robotics!

Dr Shao Liu successfully completed and validated analysis of a four-state epicyclic gearbox based on constraint analysis approach.

Ms Zixi Liu successfully developed the gait intention/phase detection criterion for level ground walking, stairs ascent and stairs descent under normal walking speed.

Mr Michael Stanley successful passed his PhD confirmation exam.

Ms Zijun Chen Successfully 3D printed a linkage-based finger.

Mr Hanwen Kang Successful experiments of new algorithm on Lumbar Vert model.

Mr Keenan Peter Granland  successfully detect apples by means of neural network.

Mr Godfrey Keung successfully passed mid-candidature review.

Mr Hanwen Kang successfully passed first-year confirmation.

Monash LMGA successfully organised the Summer Summit of Screw Theory at Clayton Campus with University of Genova under the sponsorship of IEEE and ARC Nanocomm ITRH.

Our paper, Path planning and assemly mode changes of 6-DOF Stewart-Gough-type parallel manipulators, is now published in Mechanism and Machine Theory.

Congratulations to Shao for passing his pre-submission seminar: Design and Modelling of Robots for Minimally Invasive Surgery.

Our paper, A cable linkage with remote centre of motion, is now published in Mechanism and Machine Theory.

A robot for assessing road surfaces has been successfully developed.

A new research paper of path planning in distorted configuration space is published in Robotica.

Our paper, A Sekeletal Prototype of Surgical Arm Based on Dual-Triangular Mechanism by S Liu, L Harewood, B Chen and C Chen, is now accepted by Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics.

Congratulations to Wesley for his new post-doc fellowship at UTS.

Our paper, Inverse dynamic modelling of a three-legged six-degree-of-freedom parallel mechanism by S Abeywardena and C Chen, is now published by Multibody System Dynamics.

Thanks to Shao and Wesley, the workshops in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering for students from John Monash Science School were successfully run.

Dinner for celebrating Wesley’s thesis submission.

Congratulations to Wesley for submitting his PhD thesis: Path Planning of Parallel Manipulators in Conguration Space.

Thanks to Shao, the Year 8 ChallENGe workshops in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering were successfully run.

Congratulations to Sajeeva for receiving his PhD with his thesis: The Monash Epicyclic Parallel Manipulator: A Novel Six Degree of Freedom Impedance-Type Haptic Device.

Congratulations to Sajeeva for the submission of his thesis: The Monash Epicyclic Parallel
Manipulator: A Novel Six Degree of Freedom Impedance-Type Haptic Device.

Thanks to Shao and Wesley, the workshops in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering for students from John Monash Science School were successfully run.

The prototype of the RCM surgical arm was completed by Shao and Richard.

Thanks to the efforts of all graduate students in LMGA, the first teaching experimental lab in MEC4456/TRC4800 was successfully conducted today.

Congratulation to Wesley for the paper of “Generation of the Global Workspace Roadmap of the 3-RPR Using Rotary Disk Search” being accepted by Theory of Machines and Mechanisms!

Congratulation to Stanley for the award of PhD!

Congratulation to Jiabin for the paper of “Power analysis of two-dof epicyclic gear transmission and experimental validation” being accepted by the international gear conference.