Knowledge-Based Systems Group — RoboLab

Introduction

The RoboLab of the Knowledge-Based Systems Group hosts our domestic service robots and working space for staff and students on about $55\,\mathrm{m}^2$. About half of the area comprises two rooms separated by divider — a kitchen and a living/dining room. The remaining area is holds seven workplaces for the humans of the team. The lab was founded in 2013 through special funding by RWTH Aachen University. It is currently lead by Tim Niemueller. In the RoboLab typically work two researchers and several student workers.

Research

The RoboLab is used for experimental evaluation and demonstration of on-going research using domestic service robots as an application domain. In particular, the RoboLab is used in the project Hybrid Reasoning for Intelligent Systems (DFG Research Unit 1513).

In November 2014, we gave a demonstration for the C1 robotics sub-project. For this, a PR2 robot of our cooperation partners from the University of Freiburg was a guest to our lab for several weeks.

Our system would reason about whether sufficient information is available (Golog). It will then formulate sub-goals for a PDDL-based planner. If the knowledge is sufficient, the robot can go on with the primary task, e.g., picking up an object. Otherwise, a new perspective is acquired. After each such perspective, the point clouds are merged and the perception can consume the more complete scene. Below, the image shows the solution, where sensor shadows have been explored, data has been filled, and data of hollow objects has been merged (cf. image below).

Teaching

The KBSG holds an annual lab course in the winter term regarding topics of planning and execution in robotics. The lab is used to host weekly meetings and provides the working environments for the students. Some recent lab courses held:

How to get here

The RoboLab is conveniently reachable by car or public transport. The map below shows our location. Click here for routing with Google Maps. It guides you to a marking lot close to the RoboLab.

By Car

Follow the A4 highway towards Heerlen and Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Take the exit to Aachen Laurensberg. Then, turn right after the exit. At the next possibility, turn right onto a ramp. Take the third exit for Aachen Hörn onto another ramp. After the second traffic signal, the parking lot is on your left.

Please use the entrance next to the bike parking lot near the gras area.

Please note that this is a private parking lot. Only registered cars may be parked here. Please ask your host for a temporary parking ID to be placed behind the windshield, or you risk your car being towed away.

By Taxi

If you take a taxi, usually the drivers know the entrance of the Informatikzentrum. It is located in the Mies-van-der-Rohe-Straße (across from house number 35), and there is a fountain in front of the building and a staircase towards the entrance doors. Note that this is a different entrance. To reach the entrance closest to the lab, either have the driver drop you off at the small parking lot adjacent to Halifaxstrasse, or walk around the building uphill (to the left when looking at the entrance) for about 100m. At the crossing turn right, the entrance is after about 50m on the right.

By Public Transit

If you get by train to Aachen you typically exit at Aachen Hauptbahnhof (main station). Please use the service of the local public transport to find a suitable connection for the time of your arrival: Aachen Public Transit. As you start you will probably want to use “Hauptbahnhof (Bus), AC” and as your destination enter “Halifaxstraße”. There are monitors in the busses showing upcoming stops. Please note that you need to press one of the red stop buttons in the bus just before the stop.

The possible bus exits for the stop “Halifaxstrasse” are distributed around the crossing of Ahornstrasse and Halifaxstrasse. First, walk towards the crossing (with a traffic light). Then, follow Halifaxstrasse southbound. After about 50m, you will find a parking lot to your left. Walk past the parking lot and then use the entrance near the bike parking lot.

Inside the Building

When entering the building, turn left through a door. Walk downstairs one level. Students may recognize this as the staircase for lecture halls AH I—III. Our door to room 2U13 is right in the staircase basement lobby.