i.Drive is an interdepartmental laboratory where AIRLab is the technology provider for robotics.
The laboratory aims at developing inter-disciplinary proficiency required for analysis and modelling of behavioral aspects due to the interaction between driver, vehicle, infrastructure, and environment through:
A fixed structural component based on a virtual realty simulator aimed at the ex-ante test of expected behavioral models, the joined optimization of vehicle and road infrastructure, the increase of ex-post and in-itinere statistical significance ofexperiments carried out on roads;
A mobile component based on an instrumented vehicle aimed at measuring on field performance and reactions of drivers in different driving conditions and at collecting environmental data to be reproduced ex-post by simulation.
The PMK is an add-on for commercial electric wheelchairs that uses robotic technology to provide two new functionalities:
autonomous driving, where the user only has to select her goal and the PMK drives the wheelchair safely to destination;
assisted driving, where the user is in charge of driving and the PMK only intervenes to ensure safety (e.g., slowing down to avoid a collision with a child jumping in front of the wheelchair) or provide help in difficult maneuvers (e.g., while approaching doorways).
The PMK has been developed with the collaboration of disabled people. Its design and implementation are focused on the principle of shared autonomy: the robotic part of the wheelchair only intervenes when this actually makes the user feel more empowered by this intervention, augmenting the user’s autonomy and independence.
This is an example of collaboration between AIRLab and industry for the development of innovative products. In this case, the product is a device for the assisted transportation of hospital beds (with patients) employing robot technology for flexible movement in tight spaces and safety.
This project, a collaboration between AIRLab, Università di Milano – Bicocca and Info Solution SpA financed by Regione Lombardia, led to the development of international patents and a commercial product (BeN).
Sprayin’ with Brain is a line of research projects dealing with applications of Artificial Intelligenge and Robotics to agriculture. Collaboration with external experts (such as researchers in agriculture) and interaction with manufacturers of agricultural machinery and farmers keeps Sprayin’ with Brain focused on real-world problems.
A project for visual 3D reconstruction, where an automatic pipeline models, incrementally, the scene acquired from the images. The pipeline adopts a manifold reconstruction from Structure from Motion point cloud method, a novel mesh merging algorithm and photometric surface evolution.
Subsequent evolution involves improvements to the Multi-View Stereo pipeline, from depth map estimation to mesh refinement by combining classical approaches, such as PatchMatch, with machine learning oriented method, such as geometric deep learning.
GRAPE (Ground Robot for vineyArd Monitoring and ProtEction) explores the use of autonomous robots as means for pesticide-free pest control in vineyards. An robot fitted with an arm and a dispenser of pheromone-coated devices has the task of navigating through the vineyard, find suitable target locations for the devices, and place them in place.