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News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: www.gizmag.com

Art has always been fundamentally intertwined with technology. New techniques and materials have constantly allowed artists to innovate and create new types of works. In this series we look at the impact of digital technologies on art and how artists are creating entirely novel forms of art using these modern tools. We've previously examined the fields of "datamoshing", ASCII art, BioArt, Minecraft Art and Internet Art. In this instalment we examine a fascinating world where scientists are teaching robots how to paint works of art. Artificial intelligence systems are currently excelling at producing elaborate digitally generated works of art. Every other week we seem to see a new neural network developed to mimic a famous artists' aesthetic or convert a photograph into a painterly image. But what about machines actually mimicking the process a human artist uses to paint on a canvas? That particularly human skill seems to be a lot harder for machines to replicate. In 2016, the RobotArt competition was founded by Stanford educated mechanical engineer Andrew Conru. The competition was designed to stimulate robotic engineers to create new mechanical painting devices. In setting up the competition Conru noted that many of the initial entries were expected to be variations of a simple mechanism where a robotic arm mimics the movements of a human artist, but many teams took the challenge a step further. The competition saw a variety of different entries, from a team using an eye-tracking system to control a robot's movement, to a system that had users remotely control a robot via internet-directed brush stroke commands. All the weird and wonderful results reinforced the question of how truly creative a robotically generated work of art could really be. Below are the recently announced winners of the 2017 RobotArt competition. Be sure to click through to our gallery to get a broader look at each winner's work. From a mechanical engineering team at Colombia University we get the winner of RobotArt 2017, a bot by the name of PIX18. Apparently this is the third generation of a system developed with the goal of creating a robot capable of creating original artwork using the classic medium of oil on canvas. Judging comments applauded this robot's ability to produce "some lovely paintings from sources or scratch" and noted that the work had "brush strokes evocative of Van Gogh". The ReART system uses a haptic recording system to record artists painting a work. The system tracks the position of the brush, the force being exerted and a variety of other data points. A robot then "plays back" the recording, creating a perfectly mimicked ink brush drawing. The project is from the Department of Electrical Engineering at Kasetsart University in Thailand and looks to develop motion control robotics for a variety of industrial and creative uses. CloudPainter is one of the most technically sophisticated projects in the RobotArt competition. Utilizing AI and deep learning systems, the project aims to get the machine to make as many individual creative decisions as possible. According to the creators, currently "the only decision made by a human is the decision to start a painting." More info on their process can be found on their website. One of the judges said of the machine's work, "Spontaneous paint, "mosaicing" of adjacent tones, layering effects and the graphical interplay between paint strokes of varying textures, are all hand/eye, deeply neurally sophisticated aspects of oil painting..." e-David is an evolving robotic painting system that uses a visual feedback loop to constantly record and re-process how the machine is interpreting its recreation of an input image. Using an ordinary industrial welding robot combined with cameras, sensors and a control computer, the system can correct errors as it paints, while also understanding what the makers call "human optimization processes". This is one of our favorite works from the competition. From a student at New York University Shanghai, this project is inspired by the aesthetic of American artist Chuck Close. The system starts with an input image that is converted to a low resolution and painted pixel by pixel using a mobile robot with omni wheels. Each oversized, low-res pixel that is cribbled by the robot is roughly the size of a human hand and each entire artwork is 176 X 176 cm (5.7 x 5.7 ft), or just about as tall as a human being. HEARTalion is a project from Halmstad University in Sweden that attempts to develop a system that can recognize and subsequently depict a person's emotional state. The system captures emotional signals using a Brain-Machine Interface (BCI) and a robot then attempts to convey the emotions visually based on a model that was developed with advice from two local painters in Halmstead, Peter Wahlbeck and Dan Koon. One of the impressed RobotArt judges remarked in reference to HEARTalion, "If this body of work was exhibited at a gallery and I was told that the artist aimed to capture emotion through color, composition, and textures — I would buy." This independent entry from an electronic engineer who put in most of the work after his wife and kids had gone to bed uses a simple XYZ axis painter bot guided by two basic behavioral rules. All of this project's work is from reinterpretations of input images, but because the robot receives no feedback from sensors or cameras, the mixing of colors isn't faithful to the source. However, the novel strength of this project comes from its gorgeous use of watercolor paint. Using the precision of a robotic artist to its advantage, this project created a system that minutely controls the pressure and movement of single brush strokes to create stunning images that a human would struggle to accurately produce. The members of the team describe their process in greater detail here and have also publicly offered up their source code in the hope others will build upon their work. CARP, or Custom Autonomous Robotic Painter, comes from a team at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. The system uses image decomposition techniques to dissemble input images, which are then reconstructed by a robot. Visual feedback systems are also incorporated into the process allowing for dynamic corrections to be applied to the work as it is being created. An experimental project from a team at MIT. This is an evolving robot arm that was saved from an existence as a decorative coat rack and has slowly been given more peripherals, such as an auto-brush cleaner and wireless control via a video game controller. Equipped with machine learning abilities, the robot can grow its skill set from project to project. Take a closer look through some more of the amazing and varied robot painted artworks in our gallery.


OpenJaw Technologies Sets Out Expansion Plans Which Will See the Company Double Its Workforce, Following TravelSky Technology Acquisition The jobs announcement was made at OpenJaw’s travel retailing summit at Dublin’s Mansion House, a two day event attended by executives from the world’s leading airlines and travel companies, IDA Ireland, the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Larry Liang, Chairman of the Board of Directors of OpenJaw and General Manager of TravelSky R&D Division as well as other industry experts in travel retailing and technology. OpenJaw delivers eCommerce Technology to the world’s leading travel brands and supports them become online retailers, using OpenJaw’s specialist software. The company is headquartered in Dublin on Ormond Quay and following its acquisition by TravelSky last year, OpenJaw became the only travel tech company to have unique and proprietary access to the Chinese market. OpenJaw’s software also facilitates many of the world’s leading customer loyalty programmes. From startup, (OpenJaw was set up by three Irish entrepreneurs in a one roomed office in 2002), to a business processing an annual gross transaction value of $2bn on the company’s platform, the company has taken advantage of one of the fastest growing trends – travel retail – and one of the fastest growth markets, China. OpenJaw will double its workforce to 450 in the next three years and increase its annual revenues to more than €40m. OpenJaw has over 30 customers globally, including; British Airways, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, Hainan Airlines, Four Seasons Hotels, Avis Budget Europe and Air Miles. The company services its global customer base from regional offices in Galway, Krakow, Madrid and Hong Kong. A major R&D Centre in Dalian, China will commence operations in June of this year. Today’s announcement and expansion project is supported by the Department of Jobs and Innovation through IDA Ireland. Welcoming the announcement Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said “It is a tremendous achievement to be doubling your global workforce so soon after your acquisition by TravelSky last year and and I particularly welcome the additional 50 jobs being created in Dublin and Galway as part of the global expansion. It is a huge endorsement of your product that 30 global travel companies have already become customers. I wish you every success with your expansion both here and In China and I look forward to watching you grow in the coming years.” Kieron Branagan, CEO, OpenJaw Technologies, said: “Our intention to expand our workforce globally, is directly linked to the tremendous growth we are experiencing in Asia, especially in the domestic Chinese market. Our relationship with TravelSky has given us proprietary access to the Chinese market and we’re already live with four Chinese carriers and we have another four in development. Ireland is a great location from which to attract key talent into our business and we are opening a large R&D centre in Dalian, China. As part of this recruitment campaign, we are looking for a wide range of talent including; travel tech specialists and software engineers.” Speaking at the announcement, Martin Shanahan, Chief Executive of IDA Ireland, said: “The decision by OpenJaw to expand here in Ireland and internationally, is a major endorsement of Ireland as a leading location for global software companies. OpenJaw will act as a reference company of IDA Ireland when encouraging Chinese FDI into Ireland.” Recruitment for the positions has already started and OpenJaw intends to fulfil up to half of the roles by the end of 2018, before completing the recruitment drive by the end of 2019. For details of how to apply for these positions, please visit http://careers.openjawtech.com/jobs/ The theme for OpenJaw’s Global Travel Summit is "Re:Inventing Retail" and sets out the opportunity for travel companies in online retailing, using cutting edge software technology. Speakers at the two day Summit, include; Professor David Rogers of Colombia University and best-selling author of the "The Digital Transformation Playbook," Meg Elzea, Industry Manager, Global Travel at Google, Catherine Fitzgerald, Global Client Partner (Travel) at Facebook, as well as British Airways, International Air Transport Association, Cathay Pacific, Skyscanner, Hainan Airlines and Chinese online behemoth, CTrip. Dubin, Ireland, May 25, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Irish travel software company and wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese technology firm TravelSky, OpenJaw Technologies, announced today, plans to double its global workforce from 230 to 450 employees in the next three years, with at least 50 of the jobs being located at the company’s offices in Dublin and Galway.The jobs announcement was made at OpenJaw’s travel retailing summit at Dublin’s Mansion House, a two day event attended by executives from the world’s leading airlines and travel companies, IDA Ireland, the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Larry Liang, Chairman of the Board of Directors of OpenJaw and General Manager of TravelSky R&D Division as well as other industry experts in travel retailing and technology.OpenJaw delivers eCommerce Technology to the world’s leading travel brands and supports them become online retailers, using OpenJaw’s specialist software. The company is headquartered in Dublin on Ormond Quay and following its acquisition by TravelSky last year, OpenJaw became the only travel tech company to have unique and proprietary access to the Chinese market. OpenJaw’s software also facilitates many of the world’s leading customer loyalty programmes.From startup, (OpenJaw was set up by three Irish entrepreneurs in a one roomed office in 2002), to a business processing an annual gross transaction value of $2bn on the company’s platform, the company has taken advantage of one of the fastest growing trends – travel retail – and one of the fastest growth markets, China. OpenJaw will double its workforce to 450 in the next three years and increase its annual revenues to more than €40m.OpenJaw has over 30 customers globally, including; British Airways, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, Hainan Airlines, Four Seasons Hotels, Avis Budget Europe and Air Miles. The company services its global customer base from regional offices in Galway, Krakow, Madrid and Hong Kong. A major R&D Centre in Dalian, China will commence operations in June of this year. Today’s announcement and expansion project is supported by the Department of Jobs and Innovation through IDA Ireland.Welcoming the announcement Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said “It is a tremendous achievement to be doubling your global workforce so soon after your acquisition by TravelSky last year and and I particularly welcome the additional 50 jobs being created in Dublin and Galway as part of the global expansion. It is a huge endorsement of your product that 30 global travel companies have already become customers. I wish you every success with your expansion both here and In China and I look forward to watching you grow in the coming years.”Kieron Branagan, CEO, OpenJaw Technologies, said: “Our intention to expand our workforce globally, is directly linked to the tremendous growth we are experiencing in Asia, especially in the domestic Chinese market. Our relationship with TravelSky has given us proprietary access to the Chinese market and we’re already live with four Chinese carriers and we have another four in development. Ireland is a great location from which to attract key talent into our business and we are opening a large R&D centre in Dalian, China. As part of this recruitment campaign, we are looking for a wide range of talent including; travel tech specialists and software engineers.”Speaking at the announcement, Martin Shanahan, Chief Executive of IDA Ireland, said: “The decision by OpenJaw to expand here in Ireland and internationally, is a major endorsement of Ireland as a leading location for global software companies. OpenJaw will act as a reference company of IDA Ireland when encouraging Chinese FDI into Ireland.”Recruitment for the positions has already started and OpenJaw intends to fulfil up to half of the roles by the end of 2018, before completing the recruitment drive by the end of 2019. For details of how to apply for these positions, please visit http://careers.openjawtech.com/jobs/The theme for OpenJaw’s Global Travel Summit is "Re:Inventing Retail" and sets out the opportunity for travel companies in online retailing, using cutting edge software technology. Speakers at the two day Summit, include; Professor David Rogers of Colombia University and best-selling author of the "The Digital Transformation Playbook," Meg Elzea, Industry Manager, Global Travel at Google, Catherine Fitzgerald, Global Client Partner (Travel) at Facebook, as well as British Airways, International Air Transport Association, Cathay Pacific, Skyscanner, Hainan Airlines and Chinese online behemoth, CTrip. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from OpenJaw Technologies


Parekh M.,Colombia University | Tolessa T.B.,St Paul Millennium Medical College | Sherman C.B.,Brown University | Ethel J.C.,Brown University | Schluger N.W.,Colombia University
Ethiopian Medical Journal | Year: 2015

Background: Pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) is one of the most common infectious diseases worldwide, and contributes significantly to morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Despite availability of effective treatment, a significant number of patients suffer from permanent lung damage, which predisposes patients to numerous pulmonary complications. Objective: To assess chronic sequelae of patients treated for PTB in a chest clinic at Tikur Anbessa Hospital Methods: This was a retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of patients registered in a clinical database at the chest clinic of Tikur Anbessa specialized Hospital between January and December 2013. Patients with a history of pulmonary tuberculosis treatment were identified and included in the analysis. Results: Among all patients having follow-up at the chest clinic of TASH during the study period, 134 (18.5%) presented with chronic pulmonary complications of TB. Seventy two patients (54%) were male, and the mean and median ages were 40 and 37 years, respectively. Of the study population, 83 (61.9%) patients had clinically significant parenchymal scarring and fibrosis, 40 (29.9%) had bronchiectasis, 5(3.7%) had Aspergilloma, 4(3%) had granuloma/calcification, one patient (0.7%) had pleural thickening, and one patient (0.7%) underwent pneumonectomy during the study period. Conclusions: Fibrosis and bronchiectasis were the most common pulmonary complications of tuberculosis among patients encountered at the TASH chest clinic during the study period. This demonstrates the impact of pulmonary tuberculosis is beyond management of active disease.


News Article | November 23, 2016
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

-- Concordia is een mondiale instelling die publiek-private samenwerkingsverbanden in staat stelt om aan een welvarender en duurzamere toekomst te bouwe NEW YORK, 23 november, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Nicholas Logothetis en Matthew Swift, medeoprichters van Concordia, maakten de organisatie van Concordia Europa bekend. Een topbijeenkomst die bedoeld is om het potentieel te bespreken voor een doeltreffende samenwerking tussen ondernemingen, overheden en non-profitorganisaties en een oplossing te zoeken voor de belangrijkste problematiek in de regio. De Top wordt gehouden in Athene, Griekenland, en zal gewijd zijn aan onderwerpen, zoals de vluchtelingencrisis, de doelstellingen voor duurzame ontwikkeling, de veiligheid in de regio, Brexit en de toekomst van de Europese Unie. Tijdens Concordia Europe zullen politieke leiders en toonaangevende personen uit het zakenleven en de non-profitsector vanuit heel Europa en de hele wereld samenkomen. In een reactie op de introductie van Concordia Europe, zei Matthew Swift, medeoprichter, voorzitter en CEO het volgende: "Concordia werd opgericht in de overtuiging dat samenwerking tussen de verschillende sectoren een enorme invloed kan hebben op de dringendste sociale en economische vraagstukken van nu. We staan aan het begin van het zesde jaar van ons actieve bestaan en, gezien de agenda voor het komende jaar, zal dat een jaar zijn van groei voor Concordia. We hopen dat ons krachtige platform in 2017 ook buiten de grenzen van de VS een rol van betekenis zal kunnen spelen. We willen dit bewerkstelligen door grote denkers samen te brengen, gezamenlijke waarden en normen onder de aandacht te brengen en te streven naar een positieve impact op het leven in gemeenschappen in Zuid-Amerika en Europa." Tijdens de top in New York afgelopen september, organiseerde Concordia het Private Sector Forum on Migration and Refugees. Een forum inzake migratie en vluchtelingen dat leiders uit de meest uiteenlopende sectoren samenbracht om gezamenlijk met een antwoord op de huidige crisis te komen. Het Private Sector Forum werd georganiseerd in samenwerking met de Hoge Commissaris voor Vluchtelingen van de Verenigde Naties, het Global Policy Initiative van de Colombia University en de Internationale Organisatie voor Migratie. Voor het International Rescue Committee waren David Miliband en Giorgos Kaminis, de burgemeester van Athene, aanwezig. Daarnaast maakte George Soros van Open Society Foundations bekend een bedrag van $500 miljoen ten behoeve van de vluchtelingencrisis te zullen doneren. Concordia Europa wil het momentum van deze strategische dialogen kracht bijzetten en verder discussiëren om oplossingen te vinden voor kwesties, zoals menselijke mobiliteit, connectiviteit, werk en ontwikkeling, transit, hervestiging etc. Tijdens de eerste Europese Top zal eveneens aandacht worden besteed aan recente casestory's van Concordia gebaseerd op onderzoek naar de Brexit en de prioriteiten van de verschillende sectoren voor wat betreft de toekomst van de Europese Unie. De sessies tijdens de New York Top werden georganiseerd in samenwerking met Atlantische Raad en vonden plaats in aanwezigheid van o.a. Nicos Anastasiades, de president van Cyprus, Joseph Muscat, de premier van Malta, Frans Timmermans, de Eerste Vicevoorzitter en van Kristalina Geogieva, de Vicevoorzitter van de Europese Commissie. Er werd gesproken over het stimuleren van regionale leiders om meer betrokken te zijn bij burgerzaken, voorrang te geven aan structurele hervormingen en aan het aanpassen aan de toegenomen onderlinge afhankelijkheid, ten gevolge van de globalisering en de veranderende behoefte van hun bevolking. Naar aanleiding van de recente resultaten van de Amerikaanse verkiezingen, zal tijdens de Europese Top ook gesproken worden over de toegenomen druk op het internationale monetaire beleid en de regionale veiligheid. Volg Concordia op Twitter @ConcordiaSummit en Facebook via: facebook.com/TheConcordiaSummit for upcoming Summit news and highlights and further details of Concordia Europe in Athens. Over Concordia Concordia is een geregistreerde 501(c)(3) non-profitorganisatie die publiek-private samenwerkingsverbanden in staat stelt om een welvarender en duurzamere toekomst te realiseren. In de rol van coördinator, campagnevoerder en denktank creëert Concordia een nieuw model dat laat zien dat een onpartijdige en non-profitbenadering een wereldwijde impact kan hebben. Kijk voor meer informatie op: www.concordia.net


Ravnskov U.,Magle Stora Kyrkogata 9 | Diamond D.M.,University of South Florida | Hama R.,Japan Institute of Pharmacovigilance | Hamazaki T.,University of Toyama | And 14 more authors.
BMJ Open | Year: 2016

It is well known that total cholesterol becomes less of a risk factor or not at all for all-cause and cardiovascular (CV) mortality with increasing age, but as little is known as to whether low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), one component of total cholesterol, is associated with mortality in the elderly, we decided to investigate this issue. Setting, participants and outcome measures: We sought PubMed for cohort studies, where LDL-C had been investigated as a risk factor for all-cause and/or CV mortality in individuals ≥ 60 years from the general population. Results: We identified 19 cohort studies including 30 cohorts with a total of 68 094 elderly people, where all-cause mortality was recorded in 28 cohorts and CV mortality in 9 cohorts. Inverse association between allcause mortality and LDL-C was seen in 16 cohorts (in 14 with statistical significance) representing 92% of the number of participants, where this association was recorded. In the rest, no association was found. In two cohorts, CV mortality was highest in the lowest LDL-C quartile and with statistical significance; in seven cohorts, no association was found. Conclusions: High LDL-C is inversely associated with mortality in most people over 60 years. This finding is inconsistent with the cholesterol hypothesis (ie, that cholesterol, particularly LDL-C, is inherently atherogenic). Since elderly people with high LDL-C live as long or longer than those with low LDL-C, our analysis provides reason to question the validity of the cholesterol hypothesis. Moreover, our study provides the rationale for a re-evaluation of guidelines recommending pharmacological reduction of LDL-C in the elderly as a component of cardiovascular disease prevention strategies. © Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited.


Bruner E.,National Research Center sobre la Evolucion Humana | Grimaud-Herve D.,French Natural History Museum | Wu X.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | de la Cuetara J.M.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Holloway R.,Colombia University
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

The taxonomic debate on the phylogenetic coherence of Homo erectus as a widespread intercontinental species is constantly put forward, without major agreements. Differences between the African and Asian fossil record as well as differences between the Chinese and Indonesian groups (or even within these two regions) have frequently been used to propose splitting taxonomical alternatives. In this paper, we analyze the endocranial variation of African and Asian specimens belonging to the hypodigm of H. erectus sensu lato, to assess whether or not these groups can be characterized in terms of traditional endocranial metrics. According to the basic endocast proportions, the three geographic groups largely overlap in their phenotypic distribution and morphological patterns. The morphological affinity or differences among the specimens are largely based on brain size. As already evidenced by using other cranial features, traditional paleoneurological metrics cannot distinguish possible independent groups or trends within the Afro-Asiatic H. erectus hypodigm. Endocranial features and variability are discussed as to provide a general perspective on the paleoneurological traits of this taxon. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Edwards D.P.,Princeton University | Edwards D.P.,James Cook University | Woodcock P.,University of Leeds | Edwards F.A.,University of Leeds | And 5 more authors.
Ecological Applications | Year: 2012

A key driver of rain forest degradation is rampant commercial logging. Reduced-impact logging (RIL) techniques dramatically reduce residual damage to vegetation and soils, and they enhance the long-term economic viability of timber operations when compared to conventionally managed logging enterprises. Consequently, the application of RIL is increasing across the tropics, yet our knowledge of the potential for RIL also to reduce the negative impacts of logging on biodiversity is minimal. We compare the impacts of RIL on birds, leaf-litter ants, and dung beetles during a second logging rotation in Sabah, Borneo, with the impacts of conventional logging (CL) as well as with primary (unlogged) forest. Our study took place 1-8 years after the cessation of logging. The species richness and composition of RIL vs. CL forests were very similar for each taxonomic group. Both RIL and CL differed significantly from unlogged forests in terms of bird and ant species composition (although both retained a large number of the species found in unlogged forests), whereas the composition of dung beetle communities did not differ significantly among forest types. Our results show little difference in biodiversity between RIL and CL over the short term. However, biodiversity benefits from RIL may accrue over longer time periods after the cessation of logging. We highlight a severe lack of studies investigating this possibility. Moreover, if RIL increases the economic value of selectively logged forests (e.g., via REDD, a United Nations program: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries), it could help prevent them from being converted to agricultural plantations, which results in a tremendous loss of biodiversity. © 2012 by the Ecological Society of America.


Houlsby N.M.T.,Google | Blei D.M.,Colombia University
Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems | Year: 2014

Stochastic variational inference (SVI) uses stochastic optimization to scale up Bayesian computation to massive data. We present an alternative perspective on SVI as approximate parallel coordinate ascent. SVI trades-off bias and variance to step close to the unknown true coordinate optimum given by batch variational Bayes (VB). We define a model to automate this process. The model infers the location of the next VB optimum from a sequence of noisy realizations. As a consequence of this construction, we update the variational parameters using Bayes rule, rather than a hand-crafted optimization schedule. When our model is a Kalman filter this procedure can recover the original SVI algorithm and SVI with adaptive steps. We may also encode additional assumptions in the model, such as heavy-tailed noise. By doing so, our algorithm outperforms the original SVI schedule and a state-of-the-art adaptive SVI algorithm in two diverse domains.


Mahler J.,University of California at Berkeley | Patil S.,University of California at Berkeley | Kehoe B.,University of California at Berkeley | Van Den Berg J.,Google | And 3 more authors.
Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation | Year: 2015

Computing grasps for an object is challenging when the object geometry is not known precisely. In this paper, we explore the use of Gaussian process implicit surfaces (GPISs) to represent shape uncertainty from RGBD point cloud observations of objects. We study the use of GPIS representations to select grasps on previously unknown objects, measuring grasp quality by the probability of force closure. Our main contribution is GP-GPIS-OPT, an algorithm for computing grasps for parallel-jaw grippers on 2D GPIS object representations. Specifically, our method optimizes an approximation to the probability of force closure subject to antipodal constraints on the parallel jaws using Sequential Convex Programming (SCP). We also introduce GPIS-Blur, a method for visualizing 2D GPIS models based on blending shape samples from a GPIS. We test the algorithm on a set of 8 planar objects with transparency, translucency, and specularity. Our experiments suggest that GP-GPIS-OPT computes grasps with higher probability of force closure than a planner that does not consider shape uncertainty on our test objects and may converge to a grasp plan up to 5.7×faster than using Monte-Carlo integration, a common method for grasp planning under shape uncertainty. Furthermore, initial experiments on the Willow Garage PR2 robot suggest that grasps selected with GP-GPIS-OPT are up to 90% more successful than those planned assuming a deterministic shape. Our dataset, code, and videos of our experiments are available at http://rll.berkeley.edu/icra2015grasping/. © 2015 IEEE.

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