Acronym RoboSoM
Name A Robotic Sense of Movement
Funding Reference EU-FP7-ICT-248366
Dates 2009-12|2013-05

The objective of the project is to investigate new approaches to the design and development of humanoid robots with advanced perception and action capabilities, showing robust, adaptive, predictive and effective behaviour in the real world. The proposed new approaches are strongly based on the concept of human sense of movement by Alain Berthoz, a key partner in this proposal. There are two main ideas related to this concept, which are relevant to robotics: 1) the vestibular unified reference frame, as set by the vestibular system in the centre of the head; 2) Expected Perception (EP), or the capability to make predictions of consequences of actions, which is at the basis of the human predictive behaviour. The expected robot behaviour is the capability to follow a visual target by coordinating eye, head, and leg movements, with head stabilization, walking smoothly and effectively in an unstructured environment, with a robust reactive behaviour, improved by predictions. This behaviour is a fundamental, but quite novel, capability for humanoid robots, and it may result in a truly robust and effective behaviour in many helpful tasks in real-world scenarios.
This project will use the existing and fully operational biped humanoid robotic platform named Sabian, available at SSSA. It is a copy of the Wabian robot developed at WUT. The legs have functional hip and waiste DOF that allow to de-couple the leg and head movements. This unique feature guarantees a truly human-like walking behaviour with head stabilization. IST has developed and has in its lab the same head as the Sabian robot.
It is strong belief of the consortium that the service robotics markets needs a new generation of robotic systems with a better behaviour in real world, in terms of sensory-motor performance, adaptability, robustness, and that understanding the principles underlying the biological brain sense of movement can lead to the design of robots that represent one important step in this direction.

Research Groups Computer and Robot Vision Lab (VisLab)
Project Partners SSSA - Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa (IT), CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (FR), Instituto Superior Técnico (PT), WUT - Waseda University (JP)
ISR/IST Responsible
José Santos-Victor
Alexandre Bernardino
Martim Brandão
Nuno Moutinho
Ricardo Ferreira