Research line

Perception and Manipulation Image

The research of PERCEPTION AND MANIPULATION group focuses on enhancing the perception, learning, and planning capabilities of robots to achieve higher degrees of autonomy and user-friendliness during everyday manipulation tasks. Some topics addressed are the geometric interpretation of perceptual information, construction of 3D object models, action selection and planning, reinforcement learning, and teaching by demonstration.

Head of line: Carme Torras Genís

Head of line

Tech. transfer

Our activity finds applications in several fields through collaboration with our technological partners

Research projects

We carry out projects from national and international research programmes.
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Learning by demonstration

We devise methods to learn object-action relations to accomplish tasks at different levels of abstraction, where object models are generated from visual and depth information, and actions, involving manipulation skills, are learned from demonstrations provided by a human using multimodal algorithms that combine vision and haptics.

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Research area 1 of Perception and Manipulation

Planning for perception and manipulation

We are interested in view planning for object modeling, as well as manipulation planning, with special interest in deformable objects. High-level task formulations are integrated with low-level geometry-based methods and simplified physical models, together with an on-line sensory-based treatment of uncertainty, so as to come up with specific sequences of motion commands.

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Research area 2 of Perception and Manipulation

Perception of rigid and non-rigid objects

Our objective is to investigate computer vision algorithms for interpreting and understanding scenes from images, with applications in robotics and medical imaging. In particular, our activities are concentrated on retrieving rigid and non-rigid shape, motion and camera pose from single images and video sequences.

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Research area 3 of Perception and Manipulation

These are the latest research projects of the Perception and Manipulation research line:

These are the most recent publications (2023 - 2022) of the Perception and Manipulation

  • W. Zhang, M. Dimiccoli and B.Y. Lim. Debiased-CAM to mitigate image perturbations with faithful visual explanations of machine learning , 2022 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2022, New Orleans, pp. 1-32, ACM.

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  • J. Pareto, B. Román and C. Torras. Ethics for social robotics: A critical analysis, 2022 The Road to a Successful HRI: AI, Trust and ethicS Workshop, in the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2022), 2022, Sapporo, Japan, pp. 1-3.

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  • G.D. Delmas, P. Weinzaepfel, T. Lucas, F. Moreno-Noguer and G. Rogez. PoseScript: 3D human poses from natural language, 17th European Conference on Computer Vision, 2022, Tel Aviv (Israel), pp. 346-362.

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  • A. Olivares-Alarcos, S. Foix, S. Borgo and G. Alenyà. OCRA – An ontology for collaborative robotics and adaptation. Computers in Industry, 132: 103627, 2022.

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  • A. Agudo. Spline human motion recovery, 2022 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing, 2022, Bordeaux, France, pp. 4138-4142, IEEE.

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  • C. Torras. La ciencia ficción como estímulo del debate ético en robótica. In Robótica, ética y política. El impacto de la superinteligencia en el mundo de las personas, 139-167. Icaria Editorial, 2022.

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  • A. Andriella, C. Torras, C. Abdelnour and G. Alenyà. Introducing CARESSER: A framework for in situ learning robot social assistance from expert knowledge and demonstrations. User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction, 2022.

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  • C. Torras and L. Delicado. Blanco y frío como el Polo Norte y el Polo Sur: Seres humanos y robots. Sociology and Technoscience, 12(1): 257-275, 2022.

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  • A. Alvarez, L. Arroyo, R. Avila, E. Crusellas, M. de la Fuente, L. Martínez, M. Mata, T. Ruiz, M. Ruiz and C. Torras. Les dades obertes i la intel·ligència artificial, eines per a la igualtat de gènere. Volume 7 of Govern Obert. Generalitat de Catalunya, 2022.

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  • S. Izquierdo, G. Canal, C. Rizzo and G. Alenyà. Improved task planning through failure anticipation in human-robot collaboration, 2022 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2022, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, pp. 7875-7880.

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  • E. Caldarelli, A. Colomé and C. Torras. Perturbation-Based stiffness inference in variable impedance control. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 7(4): 8823-8830, 2022.

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  • A. Suárez, A. Andriella, G. Alenyà and C. Torras. Proactive learning of cognitive exercises with a social robot, 2022 ICRA Workshop on Prediction and Anticipation Reasoning in Human Robot Interaction (PAR-HRI), 2022, Philadelphia, USA, pp. 1-4.

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  • A. San-Miguel, G. Alenyà and V. Puig. Automated off-line generation of stable variable impedance controllers according to performance specifications. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 7(3): 5874-5881, 2022, to appear.

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  • M. Dimiccoli, S. Patni, M. Hoffmann and F. Moreno-Noguer. Recognizing object surface material from impact sounds for robot manipulation, 2022 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2022, Kyoto, pp. 9280-9287.

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  • J. Borràs. Effective grasping enables successful robot-assisted dressing. Science robotics, 7(65): eabo7229, 2022.

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  • A. Rossi, A. Andriella, S. Rossi, C. Torras and G. Alenyà. Evaluating the effect of Theory of Mind on people's trust in a faulty robot, 31st IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, 2022, Napoli, Italy, pp. 477-482.

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  • D.F. Ordoñez, A. Agudo, F. Moreno-Noguer and M. Martin. An adaptable approach to learn realistic legged locomotion without examples, 2022 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2022, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, pp. 4671-4678.

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  • J. Pareto. Social assistive robotics: An ethical approach through the concept of freedom, 2022 Philosophy of Human-Technology Relations, 2022, Copenhagen, pp. 53.

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  • C. Xu, A. Colomé, L. Sentis and C. Torras. Mixtures of controlled Gaussian processes for dynamical modeling of deformable objects, 2022 Learning for Dynamics & Control Conference, 2022, Stanford, CA, USA, pp. 415-426.

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  • J. Pareto. Robótica social asistencial. Implicaciones y desafíos éticos. Brains. Business, Research, Ageing, Innovation, Neurosciences , 2(2): 39-43, 2022.

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  • A. Agudo. Unsupervised 3D reconstruction and grouping of rigid and non-rigid categories. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 44(1): 519-532, 2022.

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  • S. Forgas, R. Huertas, A. Andriella and G. Alenyà. The effects of gender and personality of robot assistants on customers’ acceptance of their service. Service Bussiness, 16: 359–389, 2022.

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  • E. Canas, A.M. Garcia, C. Angulo and A. Garrell Zulueta. Initial test of “BabyRobot” behaviour on a teleoperated toy substitution: Improving the motor skills of toddlers, 2022 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 2022, Sapporo, Japan, pp. 708-712.

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  • F. Coltraro, J. Amorós, M. Alberich-Carramiñana and C. Torras. An inextensible model for the robotic manipulation of textiles. Applied Mathematical Modelling, 101: 832-858, 2022.

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  • G. Canal, C. Torras and G. Alenyà. Generating predicate suggestions based on the space of plans: an example of planning with preferences. User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction, 2022, to appear.

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  • M. Peral, A. Sanfeliu and A. Garrell Zulueta. Efficient hand gesture recognition for human-robot interaction. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 7(4): 10272-10279, 2022.

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  • A. Agudo, V. Lepetit and F. Moreno-Noguer. Simultaneous completion and spatiotemporal grouping of corrupted motion tracks. The Visual Computer, 38(11): 3937–3952, 2022.

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  • J. Laplaza, A. Garrell Zulueta, F. Moreno-Noguer and A. Sanfeliu. Context and intention for 3D human motion prediction: Experimentation and user study in handover tasks, 31st IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, 2022, Napoli, Italy, pp. 630-635.

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  • S. Forgas, R. Huertas, A. Andriella and G. Alenyà. Does the personality of consumers influence the assessment of the experience of interaction with social robots?. International Journal of Social Robotics, 2022.

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  • S. Forgas, R. Huertas, A. Andriella and G. Alenyà. How do consumers' gender and rational thinking affect the acceptance of entertainment social robots?. International Journal of Social Robotics, 14: 973–994, 2022.

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  • P. Estevez and A. Agudo. Uncalibrated, unified and unsupervised specular-aware photometric stereo, 2022 ICPR Workshop on Towards a Complete Analysis of People: From Face and Body to Clothes, 2022, Montreal (Canada), to appear.

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  • A. Boix, S. Foix and C. Torras. Garment manipulation dataset for robot learning by demonstration through a virtual reality framework, 24th Catalan Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2022, Sitges, pp. 199-208, IOS Press.

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  • X. Xu, H. Chen, F. Moreno-Noguer, L. Jeni and F. De la Torre. 3D human pose, shape and texture from low-resolution images and videos. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 2022.

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  • I. Garcia-Camacho, J. Borràs and G. Alenyà. Knowledge representation to enable high-level planning in cloth manipulation tasks, 2022 ICAPS Workshop on Knowledge Engineering for Planning and Scheduling, 2022, Singapore (Virtual), pp. 9.

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  • A. Andriella, R. Huertas, S. Forgas, C. Torras and G. Alenyà. “I know how you feel” The importance of interaction style on users’ acceptance in an entertainment scenario. Interaction Studies: Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems, 23(1): 21-57, 2022.

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  • A. Pérez and A. Agudo. Matching and recovering 3D people from multiple views, 2022 IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision, 2022, Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA, pp. 1184-1193, IEEE.

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  • I. Garcia-Camacho, J. Borràs, B. Calli, A. Norton and G. Alenyà. Cloth manipulation and perception competition, 2022 ICRA Workshop on Representing and Manipulating Deformable Objects, 2022, Philadelphia, pp. 4.

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  • N. Ugrinovic, A. Pumarola, A. Sanfeliu and F. Moreno-Noguer. Single-view 3d body and cloth reconstruction under complex poses, 17th International Conference on Computer Vision Theory and Applications, 2022, Online.

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  • A. Agudo. Safari from visual signals: Recovering volumetric 3D shapes, 2022 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing, 2022, Singapore, pp. 2495-2499.

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  • M. Alberich-Carramiñana, J. Amorós, F. Coltraro, C. Torras and M. Verdaguer. Morse cell decomposition and parametrization of surfaces from point clouds, 2022 Encuentros de Álgebra Computacional y Aplicaciones, 2022, Castellón, Spain, to appear.

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  • A. Andriella, C. Torras and G. Alenyà. Implications of robot backchannelling in cognitive therapy, 14th International Conference on Social Robotics, 2022, Florence, Italy, to appear.

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  • P. Jiménez. Learning in autonomous and intelligent systems: Overview and biases from data sources. Arbor - Ciencia, Pensamiento y Cultura, 197(802): a627, 2022.

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  • F. Coltraro, J. Amorós, M. Alberich-Carramiñana and C. Torras. An inextensible model for the robotic manipulation of textiles, 2022 Congreso de ecuaciones diferenciales y aplicaciones XXVII, 2022, Zaragoza, Spain, pp. 87-87.

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  • C. Torras. Cervells artificials: ciència o ficció?. In Cervell(s), 48-55. Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), 2022.

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Perception and Manipulation Laboratory

The Perception and Manipulation Laboratory is the main facility devoted to experimentation on the topics of the research line. It occupies 142 m² in the second floor of the Faculty, and a large part hosts a life-scale mock-up of a (quite) small apartment (35 m²). Two PAL one-armed mobile TIAGo robots dwell within the apartment, but are occasionally taken out for experimentation elsewhere. There is also a manipulation area equipped with two WAM robot arms and a KINOVA manipulator, and workplaces are distributed along the perimeter. Next to the laboratory, with a direct view through a window, there is the Scientific and Technical Lab support office.

The Laboratory is further equipped with commercial and self-developed grippers, sensing devices, and augmented reality appliances. Laboratory service offers quick experimental setup, several standardized software tools, and expertise in robot control and perception algorithms. It also hosted the Humanoids Lab Initiative in the past, and we still keep 15 small humanoid robots for educational or promotional purposes.

Perception and Manipulation Laboratory
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