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About

Born at Porto, Portugal, November 7, 1962, graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering  from the University of Porto in 1986. He then pursued graduate studies at the University of Porto, completing a M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering - Systems in 1991 and a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1998. From1986 to 1998 he also worked as an assistant lecturer in the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Porto. He is currently an Associated Professor in Electrical Engineering, developing his research within the Robotic and Intelligent Systems Centre of INESC TEC (Centre Coordinator). His main research areas are Process Control and Robotics.

Interest
Topics
Details

Details

030
Publications

2019

Map-Matching Algorithms for Robot Self-Localization: A Comparison Between Perfect Match, Iterative Closest Point and Normal Distributions Transform

Authors
Sobreira, H; Costa, CM; Sousa, I; Rocha, L; Lima, J; Farias, PCMA; Costa, P; Paulo Moreira, AP;

Publication
Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems: Theory and Applications

Abstract
The self-localization of mobile robots in the environment is one of the most fundamental problems in the robotics navigation field. It is a complex and challenging problem due to the high requirements of autonomous mobile vehicles, particularly with regard to the algorithms accuracy, robustness and computational efficiency. In this paper, we present a comparison of three of the most used map-matching algorithms applied in localization based on natural landmarks: our implementation of the Perfect Match (PM) and the Point Cloud Library (PCL) implementation of the Iterative Closest Point (ICP) and the Normal Distribution Transform (NDT). For the purpose of this comparison we have considered a set of representative metrics, such as pose estimation accuracy, computational efficiency, convergence speed, maximum admissible initialization error and robustness to the presence of outliers in the robots sensors data. The test results were retrieved using our ROS natural landmark public dataset, containing several tests with simulated and real sensor data. The performance and robustness of the Perfect Match is highlighted throughout this article and is of paramount importance for real-time embedded systems with limited computing power that require accurate pose estimation and fast reaction times for high speed navigation. Moreover, we added to PCL a new algorithm for performing correspondence estimation using lookup tables that was inspired by the PM approach to solve this problem. This new method for computing the closest map point to a given sensor reading proved to be 40 to 60 times faster than the existing k-d tree approach in PCL and allowed the Iterative Closest Point algorithm to perform point cloud registration 5 to 9 times faster. © 2018 Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature

2019

Optimal Perception Planning with Informed Heuristics Constructed from Visibility Maps

Authors
Pereira, T; Moreira, A; Veloso, M;

Publication
Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems: Theory and Applications

Abstract
In this paper we consider the problem of motion planning for perception of a target position. A robot has to move to a position from where it can sense the target, while minimizing both motion and perception costs. The problem of finding paths for robots executing perception tasks can be solved optimally using informed search. In perception path planning, the solution when considering a straight line without obstacles is used as heuristic. In this work, we propose a heuristic that can improve the search efficiency. In order to reduce the node expansion using a more informed search, we use the robot Approximate Visibility Map (A-VM), which is used as a representation of the observability capability of a robot in a given environment. We show how the critical points used in A-VM provide information on the geometry of the environment, which can be used to improve the heuristic, increasing the search efficiency. The critical points allow a better estimation of the minimum motion and perception cost for targets in non-traversable regions that can only be sensed from further away. Finally, we show the contributed heuristic with improvements dominates the base PA* heuristic built on the euclidean distance, and then present the results of the performance increase in terms of node expansion and computation time. © 2018 Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature

2019

Boccia game simulator: Serious game adapted for people with disabilities

Authors
Faria, BM; Ribeiro, JD; Paulo Moreira, AP; Reis, LP;

Publication
EXPERT SYSTEMS

Abstract
Integration in the world of sport is one way for individuals with disabilities or motor disorders to feel more socially integrated, independent, and confident. Boccia is a Paralympic sport, which is increasingly getting more attention around the world. These facts have contributed to the objectives of this work. Including it in the serious games category enables to develop and rehabilitate the cognitive capabilities. The main focus was BC3 classification athletes (users with limited motor characteristics that require the use of an assistive device-a ramp, in this case). This paper describes a realistic Boccia game simulator adapted for people with disabilities that integrates a set of features that includes real physics and social features. These features can be used to enhance the interest of nonpractitioners of the sport and to improve the training conditions. The official Boccia regulation was added to the design of the simulator. The usability and approximation to the reality of the simulator were tested and validated based on the tests performed and data collected via a survey of users with no motor or psychological disorders. Realism and usability rating was almost excellent, and good results were achieved at the assessment of the game experience.

2019

Collaborative Welding System using BIM for Robotic Reprogramming and Spatial Augmented Reality

Authors
Tavares, P; Costa, CM; Rocha, L; Malaca, P; Costa, P; Moreira, AP; Sousa, A; Veiga, G;

Publication
Automation in Construction

Abstract
The optimization of the information flow from the initial design and through the several production stages plays a critical role in ensuring product quality while also reducing the manufacturing costs. As such, in this article we present a cooperative welding cell for structural steel fabrication that is capable of leveraging the Building Information Modeling (BIM) standards to automatically orchestrate the necessary tasks to be allocated to a human operator and a welding robot moving on a linear track. We propose a spatial augmented reality system that projects alignment information into the environment for helping the operator tack weld the beam attachments that will be later on seam welded by the industrial robot. This way we ensure maximum flexibility during the beam assembly stage while also improving the overall productivity and product quality since the operator no longer needs to rely on error prone measurement procedures and he receives his tasks through an immersive interface, relieving him from the burden of analyzing complex manufacturing design specifications. Moreover, no expert robotics knowledge is required to operate our welding cell because all the necessary information is extracted from the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), namely the CAD models and welding sections, allowing our 3D beam perception systems to correct placement errors or beam bending, which coupled with our motion planning and welding pose optimization system ensures that the robot performs its tasks without collisions and as efficiently as possible while maximizing the welding quality. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.

2019

New Approach to Supervise Localization Algorithms

Authors
Coelho, FD; Guedes, PM; Guimaraes, DA; Sobreira, HM; Moreira, AP;

Publication
2019 19TH IEEE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AUTONOMOUS ROBOT SYSTEMS AND COMPETITIONS (ICARSC 2019)

Abstract
The localization algorithms have different errors which can impair the robot's navigation. In this way, we propose an approach that will supervise the localization while the robot navigate. Our approach is based on another work present in the literature, where we detected a problem during its analysis. Therefore, this article will present a new method based on the RLS algorithm, to solve the identified problem. Besides, we propose the supervision of two more localization algorithms, being now four the supervised algorithms, namely: Augmented Monte Carlo Localization, Extended Kalman Filter with Beacons, Perfect Match and Odometry. The results show that the robustness and reliability of the system were increased.

Supervised
thesis

2018

Modeling and Control of Heterogeneous Marine Vehicles for Autonomous Intervention

Author
Vítor Hugo Machado Oliveira Pinto

Institution
UP-FEUP

2017

Grasp planning for handoff between robotic manipulators

Author
David Miguel Ribeiro de Sousa

Institution
UP-FEUP

2017

Navegação e controlo de robôs móveis com atrelagem de reboques automática

Author
Francisco Abílio Rodrigues Guerra Ferreira

Institution
UP-FEUP

2017

Boccia Game simulator - Applications for training cerebral palsy patients

Author
José Diogo Machado Ribeiro

Institution
UP-FEUP

2017

Implementação em Chão de Fábrica do Sistema de Corte de Rolos Calandrados

Author
Paulo Miranda Rebelo

Institution
UP-FEUP