The University of Innsbruck has a long tradition that goes back to its foundation in 1669. It offers a complete set of academic curricula and currently counts 25,000 students and 3,500 faculty and staff. Particular emphasis is placed on interdisciplinary research and research-driven teaching. The Institute for Computer Science was founded in 2001 and is part of the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics. Professor Justus Piater joined the Institute in the fall of 2010 and founded a new research group in Intelligent and Interactive Systems. In addition, there are research groups in Computational Logic, Databases and Information Systems, Distributed and Parallel Systems, Quality Engineering, and Semantic Technologies. The institute is currently involved in about 15 externally-funded research projects (worth more than 6 Mio. Euros over the last three years) and totals about 60 researchers and doctoral students, which entails a remarkably high ratio of graduate to undergraduate students.
What motivates us
In our lab, we developed a way of learning how to position a gripper with respect to objects of known shape in order to grasp them, and associating the likelihood of grasp success with these object models such that flexible grasping options can be implicitly inferred as the object's pose is estimated in a scene. This was initially an entirely academic exercise in the context of a research project. In this experiment, a core objective is the adaptation and evaluation of this mechanism within an industrial bin-picking scenario, which may lead to an industrial bin picker that learns to improve its grasping capabilities with growing experience. This prospect of seeing our method adopted outside of academia and deployed in practice is exciting.