ICRA 2022 USA edition: legged robots, robots in the workplace and more

The event ICRA 2022 about Robotics and Automation

PAL Robotics at ICRA 2022 – Legged robots and Platforms of the future

We were delighted to take part last week in The International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2022)– the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s flagship conference. The 39th ICRA took place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, USA, and PAL Robotics’ team exhibited there together with our TIAGo robot. 

Many important developments in robotics and automation have been first presented at ICRA, and this year was no exception! PAL Robotics has a long tradition of taking part in ICRA and has participated for a number of consecutive years, meeting with friends and partners.

Discover PAL Robotics at the previous editions:

The event includes workshops and tutorials, presentations, forums, competitions, and networking events on the state of the art in robotics.  Workshops and tutorials at the 2022 event included topics such as Tools for Robotic Reinforcement Learning, Exploring the Roles of Robots for Embodied Mediation, Collaborative Robots and the Work of the Future, and Modular Self-reconfigurable Robots. The team at PAL Robotics also participated in various event workshops and presentations, including Legged Robots and New frontiers of Parallel Robotics to share our latest developments to the jumping robot, Kangaroo, read on to find out more.  

PAL Robotics' team with TIAGo robot at ICRA 2022

Future of Work Forum – automation and the future of employment

PAL Robotics’ CEO, Francesco Ferro joined other guest panelists for this session on the impact of automation on the future of employment. The forum looked at themes such as how technology and new investment connect to job growth or the reduction in employment, and the relationship between investments and new jobs.

This session was chaired by Henrik Christensen (UCSD) and included panelists: Jeff Burnstein (A3), Erik Brynjolfsson (Stanford University), Moshe Y. Vardi (Rice University), Michael Lotito  (Littler Law), Cecilia Laschi (National University of Singapore), and Ioana Marinescu (University of Pennsylvania). Find out more about the forum

The 6th Workshop on Legged Robots

Most of the environments surrounding us are rough, unstable, and unstructured, which is dangerous and difficult for humans to access – and in these environments, legged robots have obvious advantages in locomotion.

The workshop was organised by Shamel Fahmi (MIT), Dimitrios Kanoulas (UCL), Marko Bjelonic (ETH), Navinda Kottege (CSIRO Data61), and Krzysztof Walas (Poznan University of Technology) aimed to investigate the technological ingredients missing for an effective widespread deployment of legged robots. Find out more about the workshop.

At this workshop, PAL Robotics’ Senior Researcher, Enrico Mingo Hoffman and CTO, Luca Marchionni presented the team’s research and latest humanoid robot in development – the humanoid legged robot Kangaroo and the robot’s Hardware Design and Control Architecture. Kangaroo is a new humanoid bipedal robot designed by PAL Robotics for research on agile and dynamic locomotion. 

The research presented included actuation mapping – and for example, the non-linear relationship between joint and actuator that is implemented as a ros_control transmission, and QP-Based OSID with closed linkage, as well as jump planning and stabilization. 

New frontiers of Parallel Robotics (second edition)

Over the past decade, innovation has resulted in new types of parallel robotic devices such as soft/continuum robots, flying robots, cable-driven robots, underactuated robots, and multi-finger hands.

This workshop aimed to bring together researchers from distinct communities with common interest in parallel robotics to share their experiences and develop collaboration to investigate the challenges arising from the new frontiers in parallel robotics. Find out more about the workshop.

The session organisers were Sébastien Briot (LS2N / CNRS), Jessica Burgner-Kahrs (University of Toronto), Marco Carricato (Bologna University), Giuseppe Loianno (New York University) and Sven Lilge (University of Toronto). 

In this session, PAL Robotics’ Enrico Mingo Hoffman and Luca Marchionni presented their research on Whole-Body Kinematics Modeling in presence of Closed-Linkages and Application to the Kangaroo Biped Robot. Kangaroo’s closed linkages have multiple advantages with regards to open-kinematic chains – including the actuator relocation to achieve better mass and inertia distribution, superior stiffness, and high robustness.

PAL Robotics kangaroo robot for running and jumping 

Kangaroo featured in this year’s workshops and is our latest bipedal development. The robot has a lightweight design with low moving inertia in the legs for enabling highly dynamic motion such as jumping and running. The design takes advantage of nonlinear linkage mechanisms to place all the actuators close to the trunk, making the biped robot research platform closer to classical template models.

Read more about the latest development to Kangaroo robot.

Competitions including racing robots, Sim2Real challenges and lego 

ICRA 2022 included a number of competitions – such as:

  • The BARN Challenge: evaluating state-of-the-art autonomous navigation systems to move robots through highly constrained environments – navigating as quickly as possible without any collision.
  • RoboMaster University Sim2Real Challenge: The goal of the challenge was optimizing the system performance in perception, navigation and manipulation without access to the real-world robot.
  • 10th F1TENTH Autonomous Grand Prix: The teams participating in 10th F1TENTH Grand Prix at ICRA 2022 built 1:10 scaled autonomous race cars according to a given specification and wrote software to fulfill the objectives for the competition.
  • DodgeDrone: Vision-Based Agile Drone Flight: Teams had the chance to develop perception and control algorithms to navigate a drone in both static and dynamic environments.
  • RoboJawn: FIRST LEGO League Challenge: This year’s challenge, CARGO CONNECT, invites teams to explore the ways that goods are transported around the world. In addition to the robot missions, teams completed innovation projects related to the season theme.

PAL Robotics’ TIAGo – the robotic partner for research

Our team attended ICRA together with TIAGo the mobile manipulator robot, who joined us from local partner, The University of Louisville. TIAGo is one of the most used robots for research in universities and research institutions all over the world, including for robotics competitions. TIAGo is a versatile platform suitable for many areas of research including manipulation, grasping, navigation and HRI. As with all of our robotic solutions TIAGo is fully ROS Based. To help do more we also have an omnidirectional drive available and various new end effectors. 

Let’s collaborate! 

We would like to thank the ICRA 2022 organisers and workshop hosts of ICRA 2022 once again for what was a great event! We look forward to seeing you all at ICRA 2023 in London! To find out more about PAL Robotics visit our blog on robotics.

If you are interested about robots, you can check our other platforms such as:

If you’re searching for project partners don’t hesitate to ask us more – we are passionate about the value of collaborative projects for sharing expertise and for innovation and we are always looking for new opportunities to collaborate! This may be within Horizon Europe, through other frameworks, or simply with other organisations directly. Contact us today to find out more.

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