Acronym RBCog-Lab
Funding Reference 01/SAICT/2016 SAICT Proj. 22084
URL http://vislab.isr.ist.utl.pt/rbcog-lab/
Dates 2017-06|2020-05
Summary

The Robotics, Brain and Cognition Lab (RBCogLab) is part of the Portuguese Roadmap of Research Infrastructures. RBCog-Lab supports an integrated multidisciplinary research endeavour (neuroscience, developmental psychology, cognitive science, psychophysics, machine learning and other engineering subjects) not only promoting novel robotic methodologies, but also contributing to a better understanding of the human brain. To be effective and generate a positive impact in the society, this multidisciplinary research needs to be supported by advanced equipment and specialized technical expertise, that might not be available in small research and academic centers with low budgets. The RBCogLab research infrastructure aims at filling this gap by providing the scientific community with a centralized open laboratory resource for robotics experiments and human measurements, offering both state of the art devices and specialized knowhow.

The RBCogLab is centered on the iCub platform, the most sophisticated humanoid robot worldwide in terms of motion degrees of freedom (53) and perceptual capabilities (active stereo vision, whole body sensitive skin, proprioception, force/torque sensing, IMUs), capable of communicating through gestures, facial expressions, imitation and social interaction. The iCub is a unique research tool, partially developed in Portugal in the context of the EU project RobotCub (2005-2010, www.robotcub.org), and present now in more than 25 research centers worldwide: a standard platform where researchers implement and share work in a collaborative community. RBCogLab is the only national instance of this important state of the art platform. Other advanced robotic platforms are available at RBCogLab (e.g. the human friendly wheeled robot Vizzy, two robotic heads with active stereo vision, one NAO robot, one DARWINOP robot) to support research on social human robot interaction, and new robotic systems will be purchased to target collaborative manufacturing, service robotics and dexterous manipulation.

Moreover, RBCogLab features a number of human measurements devices (e.g. eye tracking, motion capture) that permit psychophysics, cognitive and neuroscientific analysis of human subjects; further equipment (portable eye tracking with VR support, EEG cap, haptic dataglove) will be acquired to increase the research possibilities in these areas. Additionally, the lab maintains a small workshop equipped with general purpose tools and a 3D Printer for mechanical and electrical repairs.

RBCog-Lab aims to create the conditions allowing a broader national and international research community to have access to this cutting edge infrastructure

Research Groups Computer and Robot Vision Lab (VisLab)
ISR/IST Responsible
Plinio Moreno
People
Alexandre Bernardino
José Santos-Victor