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Laboratory of Robotics and Automation/

Department of Production and Management Engineering


Democritus University of Thrace (DUTH) was founded in 1973, with the School of Law in Komotini, Greece and the School of Engineering in Xanthi. Today it consists of 21 departments located in four different towns of Thrace, Northeastern Greece. The university research committee, via its special account, will be responsible for the financial management of the project. The special account consists of 40 specialized personnel and possesses a contemporary accounting information system. During the last 5 years the special account has managed a gross of about 70M€ of funded projects from several funding sources, (including EC, ESA, National resources, Industry, etc).

The School of Engineering is located in Xanthi and consists of five departments, located into two campuses. The School is particularly well equipped with computer facilities and possesses an integrated computing centre. The computer and network administration centre offers all modern network services. The School of Engineering has well equipped laboratories and halls for teaching and workshop facilities. The library of the School provides all the University members with direct network access to all the related major publishers including IEEE, Elsevier, Springer-Verlag, Taylor and Fransis, etc.

The proposed work will be carried out in the Laboratory of Robotics and Automation (LRA) at the Department of Production and Management (DPM) in collaboration with the Laboratory of Electronics (LE), Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (DECE). LRA, deals the educational and research activities of automation, robotics, vision and intelligent systems. It is particularly equipped with several robotic systems and several sets of cameras and sensors, including a 4DOF stereo robotic head, a NAO humanoid robot, two ERA-mobi Mobile Robot Platforms, a pan-tilt mechanism & bumblebee2 stereo camera, an altera FPGA development board; also it is equiped with development software (Matlab, MS Visual studio).

During the past 7 years the Laboratory has been a contractor to 5 EC and 1 ESA funded projects related mostly to robotics and security themes, namely RESCUER (FP6-IST-511492), ACROBOTER (FP6-IST-2006-045530), VIEW-FINDER (FP6-IST-2006-045541), INFRA (FP7-ICT-SEC-2007-1-225272), SPARTAN (AO/1-6512/10/NL/EK) and AVERT (FP7-SEC-2011-1- 285092). In RESCUER project the LRA team was responsible for the development of the stereo vision system of a civil protection teleoperated robot, the real-time control of a 4 dof stereo head, as well as the video compression, packaging and transmission. In ACROBOTER, LRA implemented the vision system of the project, responsible for several tasks such as the 3D reconstruction of the working space, the object recognition and the pose estimation of a swinging mechatronic platform. In VIEFINDER, LRA team undertook the stereo vision and mapping, done by several mobile robotic units, to establish whether the ground can be entered safely by human emergency workers. In INFRA project, LRA team developed novel navigation technologies to a personal digital support system as part of an integral, secure emergency management system to support First Responders in crises occurring in Critical Infrastructures under all circumstances. In SPARTAN project LRA develops visual odometry and SLAM algorithms for the navigation of the Exomars rover that is planned to be sent to Mars by ESA about 2017. Finally, in AVERT project, LRA is responsible for the visual 3D reconstruction of the terrain to rapidly deploy, extract and remove both blocking and suspect vehicles from vulnerable positions, thereby enhancing bomb disposal response speed and safety.