Robotics and Biology Laboratory

Open Theses


Improving In-Hand Manipulation Skills With Constraints Provided by a Second Thumb

The thumb is considered the most important finger for handling objects because it has an exceptional range of motion and can exert various forces. This thesis will investigate and develop various two-thumb designs to improve the manipulation capabilities of the RBO Hand 3. If you are interested in a thesis that involves both algorithmic work and hands-on building, this thesis may be a good fit for you.

Problem Solving using a Multi-Strategy Approach

The mind's toolbox is a paradigm that explains the flexibility and robustness of problem solving in biological agents. In this project we aim to provide a better understanding of the cognitive and computational mechanisms underlying the strategy selection from the mind's toolbox. Our research has the potential to advance our understanding of how the mind works, with practical implications for a wide range of domains, including psychology, biology and robotics.

Exploring Priors for Co-Designing Hardware and Software for Robot Locomotion

Co-design involves jointly programming morphology and control to produce a robot that can robustly solve tasks in a wide range of situations. Automated co-design of hardware and software is a challenge due to the ginormous combined space of morphology and control. To reduce the search space, appropriate inductive biases must be used to guide the search and eliminate portions of the space that are unlikely to contain good solutions.


Distance estimation using fixation and event camera

Humans navigate and interact with the 3D world using only 2D eye sensors and exploiting regularities in 3D space. By using gaze fixation and specific movements, humans are able to extract relevant 3D properties of the world through 2D sensors that measure changes, somewhat like an event camera. In this project, find out how event cameras, can help robots interact with the 3D world as effortlessly as humans.

Active Learning to Manipulate Objects From Human Demonstration Videos

This thesis aims to develop a system that allows robots to acquire manipulation skills directly from human demonstration videos. The novelty of this system is to actively command the robot to perform exploratory actions and gather additional sensory information rather than solely relying on passive observed information from demonstrations.

Active Tactile Localization based on Gradients

This work aims to develop a gradient-based control approach that considers a robot's belief to find good trade-offs between task-fulfillment and uncertainty reduction for an example task, tactile localization. The goal is to explore techniques to tailor gradient-based control for tactile measurements by autonomously determining when and where to seek contact to obtain measurements. The work will be implemented in a simulation and transferred to a real-world robotic system.

Exploring and Exploiting Abstractions and Regularities for Intelligent Behavior in 2D Simulation Environments

This thesis explores how agents use information at different levels of abstraction to perform action selection and how they exploit regularities to achieve intelligent behavior in 2D simulation environments. By identifying different levels of abstractions and investigating their dependence on specific tasks, the thesis aims to understand how agents can choose the most effective course of action. This research has the potential to contribute to the development of more advanced and effective artificial intelligence systems.