Level 3 Training: Robocademy Network Training

Robocademy will establish a high-quality training programme for the ITN fellows. This programme will consist of a scientific training programme, a number of network events, practical training through secondments, and a complementary soft-skills training programme.  

Scientific Training  Programme

The objectives of this training programme are a.) to provide advanced training in topics that are of relevance to robotics in general, and to underwater robotics and maritime technologies in particular, and  b.) to give each fellow the opportunity to visit the other network partner institutes and to meet the other ITN fellows frequently.

The training programme will consist of a number of block seminars that take place at the different partner institutes (Figure 1). The seminars are clustered at the beginning phase of the project because benefits for the fellows will then be optimal, while work-load in the PhD projects will still be uncritical. Nevertheless, to optimize travel and absence times, we will try to organize the seminars around conferences and other network events. 

 

Figure 1: Robocademy training units are offered at all participating sites


To bridge the geographic distances between the partner institutes efficiently Robocademy will organize a number of online-training courses. This will include a directed reading e-course on Advanced Principles of Robotics (NT-1), a Research Paper Reading Circle (NT-9), and regular scientific colloquia per videoconference (DFKI Graduiertenkolleg).

Robocademy network events will start with a administrative kick-off meeting and, after the first part of the recruitment phase, with an official network kick-off meeting and workshop. Status workshops bringing together all ITN fellows, supervisors and other stakeholders are planned annually (summer).

ITN fellows will generally be encouraged to present their work on international conferences and competitions. In fact, the individual career development plans will require at least one publication per year, and one journal submission during a 36 engagement. The training programme will therefore be complemented by the participation in the annual SAUCE-E autonomous underwater robotics student competition (typically in July) with up to 3 Robocademy teams, and the organization of Robocademy conference workshops at three international robotics / marine systems conferences in the last three years of the project (Oceans 2013, Maritime Systems & Technologies 2014, Oceans 2015).

The Robocademy homepage will provide status reports of each project, a Wiki site covering all approaches and methods used, and a user forum for discussion that also serves as a repository of methods, certain skills, and events.

IDTitleOrganizersDateDurationLocation# Participants
NT-1Advanced principles of robotics HWU, SeeByte M9 to M4836 months
(8 Points)
e-course15
This course will introduce the students to the principles of robotics on an advanced level. The course will be organized as a guided reading course over the Internet. The students will be provided with learning material through the Robocademy web-page. Learning material will be, to a certain extent, adapted to the pre-existing knowledge of the ITN fellows and synchronized with the content of the other training units offered in the network. Learning results will be tested through written on-line tests and discussed at a 1-day event at the second status WS to be held in M25 in Edinburg Throughout the course, support will be provided via online contact with the supervisors.
NT-2Autonomous underwater roboticsUDGM10 1 week
(4 Points)
UdG
Girona
30
The Computer Vision and Robotics research group of the University of Girona will offer a course about the basics theories in underwater robotics. The course will be taught by professors from the University of Girona and also expert guest lecturers in underwater robotics. The contents of this course will be: Localization (grid and map-based localization, SLAM, Monte Carlo Localization) and control architectures (path planning, learning and mission control). The course will have theoretical lectures and also laboratory activities.
NT-3Machine Learning for autonomous robotsDFKI, ATLASM141 week
(4 Points)
DFKI
Bremen
30
In the first part, this block course will cover the principles and the most commonly used methods of AI-based machine learning. In the second part of the course, we will focus on the benefits of machine learning methods to enable mobile (underwater) robots to operate autonomous in dynamic and disturbed environments. We will discuss the state-of-the-art and present methods and solutions that are particularly relevant for robotics in general and underwater robotics in particular. The course will conclude with hands-on experiments with machine learning tools in the DFKI computing cluster.
NT-4Visual PerceptionUDG, HWUM231 week
(4 Points)
UDG
Girona
30
The Computer Vision and Robotics research group of the University of Girona will offer a course about the basics theories in computer vision with special emphasis to underwater vision. The course will be taught by professors from the University of Girona and also expert guest lecturers in underwater computer vision. The contents of this course will be: projective transformation, camera modeling, correspondence problem, scene reconstruction methods. The course will have theoretical lectures and also laboratory activities.
NT-5Robotic Motion Planning for Non-holonomic & Multi-Agent SystemsNTUAM331 week
(4 Points)
NTUA
Athens
20
Traditional robotic motion planning has assumed that robotic systems can (locally) move at every direction, something not true for a large scale of real world systems such all mobile and most of the marine & aerial / space vehicles, etc. This requires a new set of motion planning algorithms which are of discrete (and sometimes of time-varying) nature. The same type of algorithms can be appropriately used for multi-agent systems control in applications such as swarming, flocking, rendezvous, dispersion and connectivity preservation. The proposed course assumes an introductory background on robotics and control theory.
NT-6Fluid dynamics workshop and experimental methodologyTUT M161 week
(4 Points)
TUT
Tallinn
20
The workshop introduces the basics of computational and experimental fluid dynamics and experimental methodology in robot development. It comprises theoretical basics of computational fluid dynamics and experimental validation of results as well as a hands-on workshop where students are required to set up tests in a simulated environment using the OpenFoam multiphysics software tool and validate the test results experimentally in a test tank.
NT-7Operation of UW vehicles  GTM232 days
(2 Points)
GT
Genova
15
The first day this workshop will first introduce the ITN fellows to the mechatronic characteristics of UUVs (e.g. the FOLAGA underwater vehicles manufactured by GT). We will visit the GT facilities in Genova and see how the UUVs are manufactured. On the second day, the students will then have the opportunity to see the UUVs in action. Operating principles and practical experience with UUVs will be presented by GT operators and scientists. Finally, in a field excursion off the coast of Genova, the students will have the opportunity to obtain hands-on experience in the handling and operation of the equipment.
NT-8Underwater sensing and vehicle operation  CMRE, GTM355 days
(2 Points)
CMRE
La Spezia
15
The objective of this workshop is to give a theoretical and practical introduction to underwater sensing and underwater vehicle operation. Each day will be split in a theoretical part (morning) and practical exercises in the CMRE facilities (afternoon). The ITN fellows will have to opportunity to use the research vessels and underwater equipment available at CMRE for practical tests and hands-on experience. The course is complementary to the WS offered by Graal Tech as it covers different underwater vehicles and has a focus on sensors.
Nt-9Research paper reading circleTUT M13 to M4836 months
(4 Points)
TUT
Tallinn
15
The Robocademy research paper colloquium will provide, based on the need of the fellows in their research projects, selected research papers representing the current state of the art. Research papers will be distributed via the Robocademy web-page (approx. 1 paper per month). The papers will be discussed in a joint Skype conference each month. 

 

Network Events

In addition to the scientific and soft-skills network training programmes, status workshops will be held each summer to give the ITN fellow and supervisors the opportunity to present their research approaches and project results and to discuss them with other experts in the ITN (Table 2).

IDTitleOrganizersDateDration (days)Location# Participants
AD-KOAdministrative  Kick-OffDFKIM 12DFKI
Bremen

# Participants
SB, PB, EU project officer
Project kick-off meeting for to officially start the first project phase, to answer questions related to the financial and operative project management, and to optimize and coordinate strategies for recruitment, training, research collaboration.
NW-KONetwork Kick-OffDFKIM 73DFKI
Bremen

ITN fellows
SB, PB, EU project officer
A three-day workshop in which all new  ITN fellows will be able to present themselves, meet the other ITN fellows and supervisors, and be introduced to the training and research programme of Robocademy. 
SW-1First Status WS HWUM193HWU
Edinburgh
ITN fellows
SB, PB
A three-day workshop in which the ITN fellows will be able to present their research approaches and first project results, as well as meet other ITN fellows and supervisors.
SW-2Second   Status WSUDGM303UDG
Girona

ITN fellows
SB, PB, EU project officer
A three-day workshop in which the ITN fellows will be able to present their research approaches and interim project results, as well as meet other ITN fellows and supervisors.
SW-3Thirdl Status WSHWU/DFKIM433 (7)TBDITN fellows
SB, PB,
FFinal MeetingDFKIM481DFKI
Bremen

ITN fellows
SB, PB, EU project officer
All ITN fellows are invited to lead entries in their local institution to the SAUC-E student AUV competition. This contest is open for students from institutions from across Europe to compete with home-build AUVs on a competition course. In parallel to the contest, a 3-day workshop will be held where all ITN fellows have the opportunity to present their research and project results and future work.

Table 2: Robocademy Network Events

 

Secondments

The ESRs in Robocademy will work on personalized research projects in close cooperation with other partners in the network.  According to his/her individual career development plan, each ESR will be required to spend a minimum of 4 months at the institute of the co-supervisor (primary secondments). ESRs is also advised to spend some time at the other participating (full or associated) partners (secondary secondments). The duration of the secondary secondments depends on the progress of the research project. Table 3 gives a preliminary secondment plan, which will be updated (secondments added or shortened) by the Progress Board according to the ESRs development during the project.

ESRHostPlaceLengthPurpose
1DFKITUT
ATLAS
4 Months
3 Months
Learn advanced flow simulation techniques
Apply simulation to object recognition
2DFKIHWU
Subsea7
6 Months
2 Months
Work with  ESR4 on autonomy algorithms + testing
Work in AUV development project 
3HWUTUT
ATLAS
5 Months
3 Months
Learn about FILOSE project and UW flow-sensor developed there
Implement biosonar in ATLAS AUV system
4HWUDFKI
BP
6 Months
2 Months
Work with ESR2 on autonomy algorithms, simulation + testing
Participate in AUV modification project
5TUTDFKI
MSI
6 Months
2 Months
Learn simulation techniques, integrate flow sensor in DFKI test AUV
Learn about UW simulation and  flow simulation
6UDGNERC
CMRE
BAE
4 Months
3 Months
2 Months
Evaluate on optical mapping algorithms in NOC lab
Work with ESR8 on optical mapping
Implement optical mapping on BAE test platform
7NERCUDG
SeeByte
6 Months
3 Months
Work on robust long-term autonomy with ESR6 and ESR2
Implement long range navigation algorithm on AUV
8CMREUDG
NERC
BAE
4 Months
2 Months
2 Months
Work with ESR6 on disturbance rejection
Integrate dist. reject. with long range navigation (ESR7)
Implement disturbance rejection on AUV system
9NTUADFKI
ATLAS
6 Months
3 Months
Simulate, implement, test low-level control on DFKI AUV
Implement disturbance rejection control on ATLAS AUV
10ATLASDFKI
SARTI
8 Months
2 Months
Learn UW object recognition methods and evolutionary algorithms
Work on seabed tracking project
11SeeByteHWU
AWI
8 Months
2 Months
Work on autonomy project and learn sensor fusion approaches
Participate in subsea exploration project
12HWUHWU
MSI
8 Months
2 Months
Participate in autonomy project and learn object recognition alg.
Use object recognition in oceanographic exploration
13GTCMRE
SARTI
8 Months
2 Months
Learn principles of 4-D mapping, part.  in optical mapping project
Work on seabed tracking project

Table 3: List of Secondments

 

Soft-Skills Training Programme

Because training in soft-skills is seen as a crucial part of the Career Development Plan of each ESR in Robocademy, comprehensive soft-skill training programme will be established by the level 1 partners (Table 4). This programme contains mandatory and optional courses that are offered within the project for all ITN fellows at different locations. To minimize the travel and time expenses needed to attend these course, they will be organized – if possible - as block courses (1 to 3 days) in conjunction with other network events (e.g. status workshops, scientific training courses. 

Soft SkillsMandatoryCredit PointsOffered byWhen?Where?
Presentation skills


Yes
1HWU Staff Development M7-12Edinburgh
1DFKI GraduiertenkollegContinuousweekly events via Videoconference
Communication skillsYes1HWU Staff DevelopmentM7-12Edinburgh
Research gov. and organization2Researcher Development & Graduate CentreM7-12Southampton
Scientific writingYes1UDG Soft Skills ProgrammeM19-24Girona
Project managementYes2DFKI Staff Development M7-12Bremen
Time managementYes1HWU Staff DevelopmentM37-42Edinburgh
Creative problem SolvingYes1TUT Innovation and Creative Problem SolvingM16-18Tallinn
Team managementYes2ATLAS Staff Development M31-36Bremen
Cost management1ATLAS Staff Development M31-36Bremen
Negotiation Skills1HWU Staff DevelopmentM37-42Edinburgh
Publishing in high-impact journals1UDG Soft Skills ProgrammeM19-24Girona

 Table 4: Robocademy Soft-Skills Training Programme

 

In addition to the courses described above, all Level 1 and most Level 2 partners offer additional soft-skill training to local ITN fellows through their respective staff development programmes.

© DFKI GmbH
last updated 10.10.2014
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