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See detailReal-time Model Predictive Control for Aerial Manipulation
Dentler, Jan Eric UL

Doctoral thesis (2018)

The rapid development in the field of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is driven by new applications in agriculture, logistics, inspection and smart manufacturing. The future keys in these domains are the ... [more ▼]

The rapid development in the field of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is driven by new applications in agriculture, logistics, inspection and smart manufacturing. The future keys in these domains are the abilities to autonomously interact with the environment and with other robotic systems. This thesis is providing control engineering solutions to contribute to these key capabilities. The first step of this thesis is to develop an understanding of the dynamic behavior of UAVs. For this purpose, dynamic and kinematic models are presented to describe a UAV's motion. This includes a kinematic model which is suitable for off-the-shelf UAVs and combines full 360° heading operation with a low computational complexity. The presented models are subsequently used to develop a nonlinear model predictive control NMPC strategy. In this context, the performance of several NMPC solvers and inequality constraint handling techniques is evaluated. The real-time capability and NMPC performance are validated with real AR.Drone 2.0 and DJI M100 quadrotors. This includes collision avoidance and advanced tracking scenarios. The design work-flow for the related control objectives and constraints is presented accordingly. As a next step, this UAV NMPC strategy is extended for a UAV with attached robotic arm. For this purpose, the forward kinematics of the robotic arm are developed and combined with the kinematic model of the UAV. The resulting NMPC strategy is validated in a grasping scenario with a real aerial manipulator. The final step of this thesis is the NMPC of cooperating UAVs. The computational complexity of such scenarios conflicts directly with the fast UAV dynamics. In addition, control objectives and system topologies can dynamically change. To address these challenges, this thesis presents the DENMPC software framework. DENMPC provides a computationally efficient central NMPC strategy that allows changing the control scenario at runtime. This is finally stated in the control of a real cooperative aerial manipulation scenario. [less ▲]

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See detailA real-time model predictive position control with collision avoidance for commercial low-cost quadrotors
Dentler, Jan Eric UL; Kannan, Somasundar UL; Olivares Mendez, Miguel Angel UL et al

in IEEE Multi-Conference on Systems and Control (MSC 2016), Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2016 (2016, September 20)

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are the future technology for autonomous fast transportation of individual goods. They have the advantage of being small, fast and not to be limited to the local ... [more ▼]

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are the future technology for autonomous fast transportation of individual goods. They have the advantage of being small, fast and not to be limited to the local infrastructure. This is not only interesting for delivery of private consumption goods up to the doorstep, but also particularly for smart factories. One drawback of autonomous drone technology is the high development costs, that limit research and development to a small audience. This work is introducing a position control with collision avoidance as a first step to make low-cost drones more accessible to the execution of autonomous tasks. The paper introduces a semilinear state-space model for a commercial quadrotor and its adaptation to the commercially available AR.Drone 2 system. The position control introduced in this paper is a model predictive control (MPC) based on a condensed multiple-shooting continuation generalized minimal residual method (CMSCGMRES). The collision avoidance is implemented in the MPC based on a sigmoid function. The real-time applicability of the proposed methods is demonstrated in two experiments with a real AR.Drone quadrotor, adressing position tracking and collision avoidance. The experiments show the computational efficiency of the proposed control design with a measured maximum computation time of less than 2ms. [less ▲]

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See detailRecent developments in CAD/analysis integration
Lian, Haojie; Bordas, Stéphane UL; Sevilla, Rubén

in Computational Technology Reviews (2012), 6

For linear elastic problems, it is well-known that mesh generation dominates the total analysis time. Different types of methods have been proposed to directly or indirectly alleviate this burden ... [more ▼]

For linear elastic problems, it is well-known that mesh generation dominates the total analysis time. Different types of methods have been proposed to directly or indirectly alleviate this burden associated with mesh generation. We review in this paper a subset of such methods centred on tighter coupling between computer aided design (CAD) and analysis (finite element or boundary element methods). We focus specifically on frameworks which rely on constructing a discretisation directly from the functions used to describe the geometry of the object in CAD. Examples include B-spline subdivision surfaces, isogeometric analysis, NURBS-enhanced FEM and parametric-based implicit boundary definitions. We review recent advances in these methods and compare them to other paradigms which also aim at alleviating the burden of mesh generation in computational mechanics. [less ▲]

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See detailReconstruction of Gene Regulatory Networks using an Error Filtering Learning Scheme
Tzortzis, Ioannis; Hadjicostis, Christoforos; Mombaerts, Laurent UL

Scientific Conference (2017)

One of the fundamental and most challenging problems in system biology is the reconstruction of gene regulatory networks from input-output data based on non-linear differential equations. This paper ... [more ▼]

One of the fundamental and most challenging problems in system biology is the reconstruction of gene regulatory networks from input-output data based on non-linear differential equations. This paper presents an approach to estimate the unknown nonlinearities and to identify the true network that generated the data, based on an error filtering learning scheme and a Lyapunov synthesis method. Unknown nonlinearities are modelled by networks using radial basis functions and model validation is performed by taking advantage of the so-called persistency of excitation of input signals, a condition that is shown to play a significant role in the problem of uncovering the true network structure. The proposed methodology and the theoretical results are validated through an illustrative example. [less ▲]

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See detailRecurrent neural network prediction of steam production in a Kraft recovery boiler
Sainlez, Matthieu UL; Heyen, Georges

in E.N. Pistikopoulos, M. C. Georgiadis; Kokossis, A. C. (Eds.) 21st European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering (2011)

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See detailReduced basis Nitsche-based domain decomposition: a biomedical application
Baroli, Davide UL; Beex, Lars UL; Hale, Jack UL et al

Scientific Conference (2017, March 10)

Nowadays, the personalized biomedical simulations demand real-time efficient and reliable method to alleviate the computational complexity of high-fidelity simulation. In such applications, the necessity ... [more ▼]

Nowadays, the personalized biomedical simulations demand real-time efficient and reliable method to alleviate the computational complexity of high-fidelity simulation. In such applications, the necessity of solving different substructure, e.g. tissues or organs, with different numbers of the degrees of freedom and of coupling the reduced order spaces for each substructure poses a challenge in the on-fly simulation. In this talk, this challenge is taken into account employing the Nitsche-based domain decomposition technique inside the reduced order model [1]. This technique with respect to other domain decomposition approach allows obtaining a solution with the same accuracy of underlying finite element formulation and to flexibly treat interface with non-matching mesh. The robustness of the coupling is determined by the penalty coefficients that is chosen using ghost penalty technique [2]. Furthermore, to reduce the computational complexity of the on-fly assembling it is employed the empirical interpolation approach proposed in [3]. The numerical tests, performed using FEniCS[4], petsc4py and slepc4py [5], shows the good performance of the method and the reduction of computation cost. [1] Baroli, D., Beex L. and Bordas, S. Reduced basis Nitsche-based domain decomposition. In preparation. [2] Burman, E., Claus, S., Hansbo, P., Larson, M. G., & Massing, A. (2015). CutFEM: Discretizing geometry and partial differential equations. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, 104(7), 472-501. [3] E. Schenone, E., Beex,L., Hale, J.S., Bordas S. Proper Orthogonal Decomposition with reduced integration method. Application to nonlinear problems. In preparation. [4] A. Logg, K.-A. Mardal, G. N. Wells et al. Automated Solution of Differential Equations by the Finite Element Method, Springer 2012. [5] L. Dalcin, P. Kler, R. Paz, and A. Cosimo, Parallel Distributed Computing using Python, Advances in Water Resources, 34(9):1124-1139, 2011. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2011.04.013 [less ▲]

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See detailA Reduced Order Kalman Filter for Computational Fluid-Dynamics Applications
Introini, Carolina; Cammi, Antonio; Lorenzi, Stefano et al

Poster (2018)

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See detailReduced order modelling: towards tractable computational homogenisation schemes
Kerfriden, Pierre; Goury, Olivier; Akbari, Ahmad et al

Presentation (2014, May 15)

Towards rationalised computational expense for simulating fracture over multiple scales The project focuses on the numerical simulation of the failure of complex, heterogeneous structures. The simulation ... [more ▼]

Towards rationalised computational expense for simulating fracture over multiple scales The project focuses on the numerical simulation of the failure of complex, heterogeneous structures. The simulation of such physical phenomena is of particular interest to practitioners as it enables to limit the number of destructive tests required to design and assess structures, and, ultimately, to decrease the safety factors used in design. In such heterogeneous media, the description of crack or damage initiation and propagation must be done at the scale of the inhomogeneities (e.g. aggregates in a concrete structure) in order for the results to be predictive. If one uses such a fine-scale material model to simulate structures at an engineering scale (e.g. an aircraft composite panel or a concrete beam), very large numerical problems need to be solved. In addition, there is a strong need for engineers to run their models numerous times, for different sets of the design parameters (e.g. loading conditions, geometry or material properties). Tackling such parametric multiscale problems is prohibitively expensive when using brute force parallel computing. However, one can use the fact that solutions to parametric problems usually evolve in a relatively coarse space: solutions to nearby parameter sets are usually close in a certain sense. This idea is classically used in Model Order Reduction, which proposes to reduce the size of the initial problem by several order of magnitude by simply reusing the information generated when solving the initial problem for several different sets of parameters. However, in the case of fracture, the information provided by the initial problem is most of the time insufficient to describe the behaviour of the system for arbitrary parameters. Crack paths, defects, and subsequent ultimate strengths are strongly influenced by an even slight variation in the parameter set. Fortunately, we showed in our previous research that this characteristic only affects a local region surrounding the structural defects, whilst the behaviour far from these regions is remains relatively unchanged for a wide range of parameter values. The proposed project will make use of this observation in a generic way, by coupling Reduced Order Modeling and Domain Decomposition. The structure will be divided in smaller subcomponents, on which Reduced Order Modeling will be applied separately. The consequence will be that the computational efforts will be greatly decreased in the regions that are far away from the damaged zone. Within the process zone itself, the substructuring framework will allow us to automatically switch to classical direct solvers. In this sense, the research aims at rationalising the computational costs associated to the simulation of parametrised multiscale fracture simulations, by concentrating the numerical effort where it is most required and with minimal intervention of the user. [less ▲]

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See detailReducing non-linear PDEs using a reduced integration proper orthogonal decomposition method
Schenone, Elisa; Hale, Jack UL; Beex, Lars UL et al

Scientific Conference (2016)

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See detailReducing the Mesh-burden and Computational Expense in Multi-scale Free Boundary Engineering Problems
Bordas, Stéphane UL; Kerfriden, Pierre; Hale, Jack UL et al

Presentation (2014, May 12)

We present recent results aiming at affording faster and error-controlled simulations of multi scale phenomena including fracture of heterogeneous materials and cutting of biological tissue. In a second ... [more ▼]

We present recent results aiming at affording faster and error-controlled simulations of multi scale phenomena including fracture of heterogeneous materials and cutting of biological tissue. In a second part, we describe methodologies to isolate the user from the burden of mesh generation and regeneration as moving boundaries evolve. Results include advances in implicit boundary finite elements, (enriched) isogeometric boundary elements and extended finite element methods for multi-crack propagation. ABOUT THE PRESENTER In 1999, Stéphane Bordas joined a joint graduate programme of the French Institute of Technology (Ecole Spéciale des Travaux Publics) and the American Northwestern University. In 2003, he graduated in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics with a PhD from Northwestern University. Between 2003 and 2006, he was at the Laboratory of Structural and Continuum Mechanics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 2006, he became permanent lecturer at Glasgow University’s Civil Engineering Department. Stéphane joined the Computational Mechanics team at Cardiff University in September 2009, as a Professor in Computational Mechanics and directed the institute of Mechanics and Advanced Materials from October 2010 to November 2013. He is the Editor of the book series “Advances in Applied Mechanics” since July 2013. In November 2013, he joined the University of Luxembourg as a Professor in Computational Mechanics. The main axes of his research team include (1) free boundary problems and problems involving complex geometries, in particular moving boundaries and (2) ‘a posteriori’ discretisation and model error control, rationalisation of the computational expense. Stéphane’s keen interest is to actively participate in innovation, technological transfer as well as software tool generation. This has been done through a number of joint ventures with various industrial partners (Bosch GmbH, Cenaero, inuTech GmbH, Siemens-LMS, Soitec SA) and the release of open-source software. In 2012, Stéphane was awarded an ERC Starting Independent Research Grant (RealTcut), to address the need for surgical simulators with a computational mechanics angle with a focus on the multi-scale simulation of cutting of heterogeneous materials in real-time. [less ▲]

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See detailReflective Practice: Lessons Learnt by Using Board Games as a Design Tool for Location-Based Games
Jones, Catherine UL; Konstantinos, Papangelis

in Kyriakidis, P; Hadjimitsis, D; Skarlatos, D (Eds.) et al Geospatial Technologies for Local and Regional Development (2019)

Location-based gaming (LBG) apps present many challenges to the design process. They have very different requirements compared to games that are aspatial in nature. They take place in the wild and this ... [more ▼]

Location-based gaming (LBG) apps present many challenges to the design process. They have very different requirements compared to games that are aspatial in nature. They take place in the wild and this brings unique challenges to the practicalities of their design. There is a need to balance the core game play with the spatial requirements of location-aware technologies as well as considering the overall theme and objectives of the game together with the motivations and behaviours of players. We reflect upon this balancing act and explore an approach to creative paper prototyping through the medium of board games to co-design LBG requirements. We examine two case studies of location-based games with different goals. The first case study discusses the CrossCult Pilot 4 app built to trigger reflection on historical stories through thoughtful play. Whilst the second case study uses the City Conquerer app designed and played in Suzhou, China with a view to exploring notions of territoriality. The paper considers how spatial, social and interaction metaphors are used to simulate location-based games in a board game and discusses the lessons learned when transforming the paper game into a digital prototype. It forms part of a thinking by doing approach. By comparing the board games to the technical counterparts, we consider how effective are the features and activities implemented in the technology prototypes. We propose a set of 11 design constraints that developers must be mindful of when transitioning from paper to digital prototypes. [less ▲]

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See detailRegions of stability for limit cycle oscillations in piecewise linear systems
Goncalves, Jorge UL

in IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control (2005), 50(11), 1877-1882

Oscillations appear in numerous applications from biology to technology.However, besides local results, rigorous stability and robustness analysis of oscillations are rarely done due to their intrinsic ... [more ▼]

Oscillations appear in numerous applications from biology to technology.However, besides local results, rigorous stability and robustness analysis of oscillations are rarely done due to their intrinsic nonlinear behavior. Poincarémaps associated with the system cannot typically be found explicitly and stability is estimated using extensive simulations and experiments. This paper gives conditions in the form of linear matrix inequalities (LMIs) that guarantee asymptotic stability in a reasonably large region around a limit cycle for a class of systems known as piecewise linear systems (PLS). Such conditions, based on recent results on impact maps and surface Lyapunov functions (SuLF), allow a systematic and efficient analysis of oscillations of PLS or arbitrarily close approximations of nonlinear systems by PLS. The methodology applies to any locally stable limit cycle of a PLS, regardless of the dimension and the number of switching surfaces of the system, and is illustrated with a biological application: a fourth-order neural oscillator, also used in many robotics applications such as juggling and locomotion. [less ▲]

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See detailRegions of Stability for Limit Cycles of Piecewise Linear Systems
Goncalves, Jorge UL

in Proceedings of the 42th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (2003)

This paper starts by presenting local stability conditions for limit cycles of piecewise linear systems (PLS), based on analyzing the linear part of Poincare maps. Local stability guarantees the existence ... [more ▼]

This paper starts by presenting local stability conditions for limit cycles of piecewise linear systems (PLS), based on analyzing the linear part of Poincare maps. Local stability guarantees the existence of an asymptotically stable neighborhood around the limit cycle. However, tools to characterize such neighborhood do not exist. This work gives conditions in the form of LMIs that guarantee asymptotic stability of PLS in a reasonably large region around a limit cycle, based on recent results on impact maps and surface Lyapunov functions (SuLF). These are exemplified with a biological application: a 4th-order neural oscillator, also used in many robotics applications like, for example, juggling and locomotion. [less ▲]

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See detailRemoving the saturation assumption in Bank-Weiser error estimator analysis in dimension three
Bulle, Raphaël UL; Chouly, Franz; Hale, Jack UL et al

in Applied Mathematics Letters (2020), 107

We provide a new argument proving the reliability of the Bank-Weiser estimator for Lagrange piecewise linear finite elements in both dimension two and three. The extension to dimension three constitutes ... [more ▼]

We provide a new argument proving the reliability of the Bank-Weiser estimator for Lagrange piecewise linear finite elements in both dimension two and three. The extension to dimension three constitutes the main novelty of our study. In addition, we present a numerical comparison of the Bank-Weiser and residual estimators for a three-dimensional test case. [less ▲]

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See detailRepeated anticipatory network traffic control using iterative optimization accounting for model bias correction
Huang, Wei; Viti, Francesco UL; Tampere, Chris

in Transportation Research. Part C : Emerging Technologies (2016)

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See detailRepresenting Structure in Linear Interconnected Dynamical Systems
Yeung, Y.; Goncalves, Jorge UL; Sandberg, H. et al

in The proceedings of the 49th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC) (2010)

Interconnected dynamical systems are a pervasive component in our modern world's infrastructure. One of the fundamental steps to understanding the complex behavior and dynamics of these systems is ... [more ▼]

Interconnected dynamical systems are a pervasive component in our modern world's infrastructure. One of the fundamental steps to understanding the complex behavior and dynamics of these systems is determining how to appropriately represent their structure. In this work, we discuss different ways of representing a system's structure. We define and present, in particular, four representations of system structure-complete computational, subsystem, signal, and zero pattern structure-and discuss some of their fundamental properties. We illustrate their application with a numerical example and show how radically different representations of structure can be consistent with a single LTI input-output system. [less ▲]

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See detailA rheological interface model and its space-time finite element formulation for fluid-structure interaction
Legay, A.; Zilian, Andreas UL; Janssen, C.

in International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering (2011), 86(6), 667-687

This contribution discusses extended physical interface models for fluid-structure interaction problems and investigates their phenomenological effects on the behavior of coupled systems by numerical ... [more ▼]

This contribution discusses extended physical interface models for fluid-structure interaction problems and investigates their phenomenological effects on the behavior of coupled systems by numerical simulation. Besides the various types of friction at the fluid-structure interface the most interesting phenomena are related to effects due to additional interface stiffness and damping. The paper introduces extended models at the fluid-structure interface on the basis of rheological devices (Hooke, Newton, Kelvin, Maxwell, Zener). The interface is decomposed into a Lagrangian layer for the solid-like part and an Eulerian layer for the fluid-like part. The mechanical model for fluid-structure interaction is based on the equations of rigid body dynamics for the structural part and the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations for viscous flow. The resulting weighted residual form uses the interface velocity and interface tractions in both layers in addition to the field variables for fluid and structure. The weak formulation of the whole coupled system is discretized using space-time finite elements with a discontinuous Galerkin method for time-integration leading to a monolithic algebraic system. The deforming fluid domain is taken into account by deformable space-time finite elements and a pseudo-structure approach for mesh motion. The sensitivity of coupled systems to modification of the interface model and its parameters is investigated by numerical simulation of flow induced vibrations of a spring supported fluid-immersed cylinder. It is shown that the presented rheological interface model allows to influence flow-induced vibrations. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [less ▲]

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See detailRhythmic regulation of Ca2+ signalling networks
Gardner, M.; Hotta, C.; Hubbard, K. et al

Scientific Conference (2006)

The circadian clock is the internal timekeeper of plants. This clock regulates most aspects of plant physiology providing considerable competitive advantage. We are investigating the role for oscillations ... [more ▼]

The circadian clock is the internal timekeeper of plants. This clock regulates most aspects of plant physiology providing considerable competitive advantage. We are investigating the role for oscillations in the cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]cyt) in the circadian control of cellular physiology. We have previously demonstrated that circadian oscillations of [Ca2+]cyt encode photoperiodic information but the precise role of circadian [Ca2+]cyt oscillations remain obscure. We have been taking a systems wide approach to determine the origin and function of circadian oscillations of [Ca2+]cyt. Using pharmacology, bioinformatics and biochemical tools we have new evidence that oscillations of [Ca2+]cyt are generated by the small signalling intermediate, cADPR. Positioning the oscillations of [Ca2+]cyt with respect to the molecular oscillator using reverse genetics indicates that [Ca2+]cyt is an output of the clock. Using a whole genome transcriptional profile we have identified over 1800 circadian-regulated transcripts, many of which encode for Ca2+ signalling elements. The function of circadian-regulated transcripts encoding signalling components is being investigated by reverse genetic screens with automated imaging. Using our extensive data sets describing the circadian regulation of [Ca2+]cyt in different backgrounds and conditions we have constructed a mathematical model. This is being validated using mutant analysis and refined by introducing complexity to the model. Our data and models suggest that [Ca2+]cyt acts an output of the clock that regulates diverse aspects of physiology and has the potential to form a feedback loop with the molecular components of the oscillator. [less ▲]

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See detailRisk-averse Stochastic Nonlinear Model Predictive Control for Real-time Safety-critical Systems
Sajadi Alamdari, Seyed Amin UL; Voos, Holger UL; Darouach, Mohamed

in The 20th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control, IFAC 2017 World Congress, Toulouse, France, 9-14 July 2017 (2017, July 11)

Stochastic nonlinear model predictive control has been developed to systematically find an optimal decision with the aim of performance improvement in dynamical systems that involve uncertainties. However ... [more ▼]

Stochastic nonlinear model predictive control has been developed to systematically find an optimal decision with the aim of performance improvement in dynamical systems that involve uncertainties. However, most of the current methods are risk-neutral for safety-critical systems and depend on computationally expensive algorithms. This paper investigates on the risk-averse optimal stochastic nonlinear control subject to real-time safety-critical systems. In order to achieve a computationally tractable design and integrate knowledge about the uncertainties, bounded trajectories generated to quantify the uncertainties. The proposed controller considers these scenarios in a risk-sensitive manner. A certainty equivalent nonlinear model predictive control based on minimum principle is reformulated to optimise nominal cost and expected value of future recourse actions. The capability of proposed method in terms of states regulations, constraints fulfilment, and real-time implementation is demonstrated for a semi-autonomous ecological advanced driver assistance system specified for battery electric vehicles. This system plans for a safe and energy-efficient cruising velocity profile autonomously. [less ▲]

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See detailRobotic assistants in factory routines - the ethical implications
Klecker, Sophie UL; Hichri, Bassem UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in RACIR 2019 (2019)

This paper is concerned with the problems which arise when humans are working alongside robotic assistants. The main question which appears is how to define the difference between humans and robots in ... [more ▼]

This paper is concerned with the problems which arise when humans are working alongside robotic assistants. The main question which appears is how to define the difference between humans and robots in terms of characteristics, similarities or differences and how to consequently treat humans and robots in the factory routine. Based on a literature analysis, a common ground for the treatment of human and robotic workforce in the manufacturing industry is established. Subsequently, a framework for their cooperation is deduced and an implementation of the solution suggested. [less ▲]

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