The CogX Spring School 2011 was held at the Automation and Control Institute (ACIN) at Vienna University of Technology from April 28th to May 4th, 2011.
As with previous CogX Spring Schools the emphasis was on hands-on project work. Four invited talks by Justus Piater, Renaud Detry, Fiona McNeill and Horst Bischof were followed by 5 days of project work for the twenty five participants. In the past this concept has proved to be very successful in driving integration of hard- and software and providing all CogX partners with a focused learning experience in terms of newly developed system components. That was also true this year, where the focus was on mobile manipulation. Spring school participants were organised into four teams to solve the task of retrieving various pre-trained objects and delivering them to a drop-off zone, using a Pioneer 3-DX platform equipped with a Neuronics Katana arm, a stereo rig and a Microsoft Kinect.
Three of the four teams participated in the final task, and two were finally able to return objects. One of the teams placed a strong emphasis on relentlessly testing the robot in the arena, which led to a remarkably robust system running for hours. The winning teams decisive advantage was their use of the pan-tilt head, which drastically reduced search times. This allowed the winning team to locate all 3 objects and pick up and return 2 of them to the drop-off zone.