Active perception by an automated movement of the 3D sensor mounted on a robot arm is essential for exploration of the scene and the object that needs to be manipulated. It is also a prerequisite for development of novel concepts for robotic automation and application of these in industries working with compliant objects such is the marine industry. Applications such as robotic sorting and manipulation involve a robot being able to interact (e.g. by grasping ) with compliant objects which are fragile and easy deformable. These objects may typically move or deform when interaction and manipulation is attempted. Given a 3D image acquired by a depth camera, one can compute the interaction vector (e.g. for the grasp), for the object of interest. Once interaction has begun, the object may become partially occluded and begin to move and deform. To both initiate the robot manipulation as well as the interaction phase, an active perception with robot by means of 3D visual servoing is necessary. Active perception enables a complete overview of the 3D structure of the object and makes possible to handle occlusion and deformation due to manipulation or movement. Research activity in activeVISION is therefore aimed at giving a robot the kind of interaction intelligence that human workers have, in order to enable robots to 'see' the scene and correctly identify and localize the objects of interest to be manipulated.
By initiating this collaboration between INRIA Rennes-Bretagne Atlantique and SINTEF Ocean we aim a long-term collaboration and joint work towards novel concepts in active perception applicable and relevant for industries in France and Norway. Collaboration will be pursued in developing joint project applications for both H2020 program, financed by the EU commission, as well as relevant Norwegian national programs financed by the Research Council of Norway.