Category Archives: EVENTS

What we can learn from insects: Unveiling insect navigation mechanism

To aid and support the continued collaboration and knowledge exchange of the ULTRACEPT researchers, the consortium hosts online bi-monthly ‘Sandpit Sessions’. The aim of these sessions is to provide researchers an opportunity to share their work in an informal forum where they can raise and discuss issues and challenges in order to gain support and feedback from the group.

Researchers Xuelong Sun, a student of the University of Lincoln, and Dr Qingbing Fu, Postdoc at Guangzhou University, recently hosted an online Sandpit Session on the 14h May 2021. The theme of the session was ‘What we can learn from insect: Unveil insect navigation mechanism’.

What can we learn from insect: Unveil insect navigation mechanism

Sandpit Session 3:  What we can learn from insects: Unveil insect navigation mechanism

  • Date: Friday, 14th May 2021
  • Time: UK 10:00; China 17:00; Germany 11:00; Argentina 06:00; Malaysia 17:00; Japan 18:00.
  • Facilitators: Xuelong Sun, PhD student, University of Lincoln, Qinbing Fu, Postdoc, Guangzhou University (chair)
  • Location: MS Teams
Sandpit Schedule
UK Time Item Presenters
10:00-10:05 Arrival and welcome Qinbing Fu,

Xuelong Sun

10:05-10:35 Insect navigation

Many insects are highly capable navigators, with abilities that rival those of mammals and other vertebrates. I will give a review of insect navigation from the following three aspects: 1) the rich array of insect navigation behaviours, 2) the known brain regions and neuropils related to navigation tasks and 3) computation models aiming to unravel the neural mechanism of insect navigation. Then, from the computation model point of view, I will report our work filling the current gaps of understanding insect navigation especially the visual navigation and optimal cue integration. Thus, the potentially useful role that computation model plays in understanding biology system will be demonstrated, which closes this session and opens the topic to be discussed in next session.

Xuelong Sun
10:35-11:10 Group discussion about the session topic:

What’s the role of computation model and biorobotics in understanding biology system? 

A group discussion where attendees can raise questions and discuss the topic of research and potential cooperation that was presented.

Facilitated by Qinbing Fu and Xuelong Sun
11.10-11.25 Open forum discussion

An opportunity for attendees to ask the group for advice regarding any challenges they are facing with their own research.

Facilitated by Qinbing Fu and Xuelong Sun
11:25-11:30 Final comments & volunteer for a facilitator for the next session

We are planning our next sandpit session for July 2021.

Xuelong Sun

What can we learn from insect: Unveil insect navigation mechanism

You can learn more about Xuelong’s research on his post about his 12 month ULTRACEPT secondment to Guangzhou University.

Workshop 3

Focussing on developments in brain-inspired hazard perception, reporting on multiple modality neural computation for collision detection, developments on neural vision chip structure and miniaturisation of the systems, preliminary results, relevant to WP2, WP3 and WP4.

The ULTRACEPT Workshop Three was hosted as an international conference by ULTRACEPT partner Guangzhou University (GZHU). It took place over two days on Thursday 25th & Friday 26th March 2021. Due to the travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, the workshop was held in person by the research group at GZHU and as an online event using MS Teams.

ULTRACEPT workshop 3
GZHU researchers attending the ULTRACEPT workshop 3
ULTRACEPT workshop 3
ULTRACEPT workshop 3

International Workshop on Bio-Inspired Computation & Bio-Robotics (BICBIR 2021)

ULTRACEPT: Ultra-layered perception with brain-inspired information processing for vehicle collision avoidance: Workshop 3 & Annual Board Meeting

Date: Thursday 25th & Friday 26th March 2021

Location: Guangzhou University, Room 603, Block 2, Innovation Garden, Guangzhou HEMC North, Guangzhou, China 510006 and online MS Teams video conference

Day 1

Date: Thursday, 25 March 2021

Time: UK 10:00; China 18:00; Germany 11:00; Buenos Aires 07:00; Malaysia 18:00; Japan 19:00

Facilitator: Dr Qinbing Fu

UK time/ China time Item Presenters
10:00-10:10/

18:00-18:10

Arrival and welcome

 

Prof Shigang Yue
10:10-11:10/

18:10-19:10

Ant-inspired celestial compass yields new opportunities for localization

40 minutes presentation & 20 minutes Q&A

Julien Serres was born in Aix-en-Provence, France. He obtained a MSc degree in Electronics, Electrotechnics, and Automatic Control Engineering from Paris-Saclay University and the École Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, France, in 2003. In 2003, he joined the Biorobotics Group at the Institute of Movement Sciences, a joint research unit: CNRS and Aix Marseille University, Marseille, France, under the supervision of Dr Nicolas Franceschini. He obtained his Ph.D. degree at the University of Montpellier in 2008.

After spending 8 years as teacher in Applied Physics (from 2006 to 2014) at the French Department of Education for training qualified technicians (2 years technical degree in Electrotechnics after the A level), he is at present a senior lecturer at the Biorobotics Group.

He is the author or co-author of 90 publications, including 1 patent and 20 indexed journal papers (h-index WoS = 10; h-index Google Scholar = 15). He has already co-supervised 8 PhD students, and his current research interests include biorobotics, bio-inspired visual sensors, insects’ ethology, and the development of bio-inspired autopilot aimed at equipping autonomous robots.

Dr Julien Serres
11:10-11:25/

19:10-19:25

Break: Non-ULTRACEPT attendees to please leave the session in preparation for the ULTRACEPT board meeting commencing.
11:25-11:55/

19:25-19:55

ULTRACEPT annual board meeting: Review of period 1 activities

Attendees: ULTRACEPT board members

Prof Shigang Yue
11:55-12:50/

19:55-20:50

ULTRACEPT annual board meeting: Round table discussion

Attendees: ULTRACEPT board members and EU Project Officer, Irina Tiron.

All
12:50-13:00/

20:50-21:00

ULTRACEPT annual board meeting: Final comments All
The meeting was opened with an introduction by Prof Shigang Yue, the ULTRACEPT project Coordinator from the University of Lincoln (UoL). Following this was a presentation by guest speaker Dr Julien Serres from the University of Montpellier. Dr Serres presented ‘Ant-inspired celestial compass yields new opportunities for localization’.
Julien Serres presenting at ULTRACEPT workshop 3
Julien Serres presenting at ULTRACEPT workshop 3

Following Dr Serres presentation was the annual ULTRACEPT board meeting where the group was joined by the EU Project Officer, Irina Tiron.

Day 2

Date: Friday, 26 March 2021

Time: UK 10:00; China 18:00; Germany 11:00; Buenos Aires 07:00; Malaysia 18:00; Japan 19:00

Facilitator: Dr Qinbing Fu

UK time/ China time Item Presenters
10:00-10:10/

18:00-18:10

 

Arrival and welcome

 

Prof Jigen Peng & Prof Shigang Yue
10:10-11:10/

18:10-19:10

 

Stereoscopic vision with an insect brain. How the praying mantis estimates depth.

40 minutes presentation & 20 minutes Q&A

Ronny Rosner is guest researcher at the Biosciences Institute of Newcastle University, United Kingdom, and member of the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution. In 2003 he received a Diploma in Biology from Rostock University, Germany, where he participated in the development of Biosensorchips for drug testing. He then switched fields to basic research in neurobiology. Ronny studies the small but sophisticated brains of insects.

In 2009 Ronny received his PhD from Bielefeld University, Germany. In the laboratories of Professor Martin Egelhaaf and Anne Kathrin Warzecha he worked on the variability of information processing for motion vision in blowflies. He discovered that visual processing for gaze stabilisation depends largely on the behavioural state of the animals.

After completion of his thesis, Ronny worked as a research associate and university teacher at the University of Marburg, Germany. With Prof Uwe Homberg, Ronny studied the neuronal substrate for long range navigation in locusts. He discovered that neurons in a major brain area for spatial orientation, the central complex, are not only sensitive to polarised light but also to visual motion. He also discovered that the activity of these neurons changes when the animals are walking as opposed to when they are standing still.

In 2014 Ronny went on to Newcastle University where he worked as a research associate in the group of Prof Jenny Read. There, he established neurophysiology and worked on the neuronal substrate for stereoscopic vision in praying mantids. He discovered the first neurons for stereoscopic vision in an invertebrate. The achievement was recognized in scientific and public media internationally. Ronny is also member of the community that establishes the Drosophila connectome, a map of all neurons in the fruit fly brain including all synaptic connections. More recently Ronny became interested in translating findings from insect neurobiology to machine vision.

Dr Ronny Rosner
11:10-11:40/

19:10-19:40

A versatile vision-pheromone-communication platform for swarm robotics

University of Lincoln

–          20 minutes presentation & 10 minutes Q&A

Tian Liu
11:40-11:55/

19:40-19:55

Break
11:55-12:25

19:55-20:25

Pan-sharpening of Remote Sensing Images Based on Deep Neural Networks

Guangzhou University

–        20 minutes presentation & 10 minutes Q&A

Dr Changsheng Zhou
12:25-12:55/

20:25-20:55

Implementing Refractoriness in LGMD Model: Challenges, Methods and Results

University of Lincoln

–          20 minutes presentation & 10 minutes Q&A

Mu Hua
12:55-13:10/

20:55-21:10

Final comments Prof Jigen Peng & Prof Shigang Yue
Day 2 of the ULTRACEPT Workshop 3 was headed by a presentation from Dr Ronny Rosner from the University of Newcastle (UNEW) who discussed ‘Stereoscopic vision with an insect brain. How the praying mantis estimates depth’.
Ronny Rosner presenting at ULTRACEPT workshop 3
Ronny Rosner presenting at ULTRACEPT workshop 3

Following Dr Rosner’s presentation was Tian Liu from UoL who presented on ‘A versatile vision-pheromone-communication platform for swarm robotics’.

ULTRACEPT workshop 3
Tian Liu presenting at the ULTRACEPT workshop 3
Tian Liu presenting at ULTRACEPT workshop 3
Tian Liu presenting at ULTRACEPT workshop 3

Dr Changsheng Zhou from host GZHU presented next with ‘Pan-sharpening of Remote Sensing Images Based on Deep Neural Networks’.

ULTRACEPT workshop 3
Dr Changsheng Zhou from host GZHU presenting at the ULTRACEPT Workshop 3
Dr Changsheng Zhou presenting at ULTRACEPT workshop 3
Dr Changsheng Zhou presenting at ULTRACEPT workshop 3

The final presentation for the day was from UoL researcher Mu Hua. Mu is currently on an ULTRACEPT secondment at GZHU and presented his research ‘Implementing Refractoriness in LGMD Model: Challenges, Methods and Results’.

Mu Hua presenting at ULTRACEPT workshop 3
Mu Hua presenting at ULTRACEPT workshop 3

Universität Hamburg Hosts ULTRACEPT Sandpit Session – Robotic Grasping based on Deep Learning: Towards the Robust Perception

To aid and support the continued collaboration and knowledge exchange of the ULTRACEPT researchers, the consortium hosts online bi-monthly ‘Sandpit Sessions’. The aim of these sessions is to provide researchers an opportunity to share their work in an informal forum where they can raise and discuss issues and challenges in order to gain support and feedback from the group.

Researchers Hongzhuo Liang and Shuang Li from the Universität Hamburg (UHAM) recently hosted a Sandpit Session on the 5th March 2021. The theme of the session was Robotic Grasping based on Deep Learning: Towards the Robust Perception. 28 attendees across the consortium participated.

Universität Hamburg Hosts ULTRACEPT Sandpit Session - Robotic Grasping based on Deep Learning: Towards the Robust Perception
Hongzhuo Liang presenting at the ULTRACEPT Sandpit Session

Sandpit Session 2: Robotic Grasping based on Deep Learning: Towards the Robust Perception

  • Date: Friday, 5th March 2021
  • Time: UK 10:00; China 18:00; Germany 11:00; Argentina 07:00; Malaysia 18:00; Japan 19:00.
  • Facilitators: Hongzhuo Liang, PhD student, Universität Hamburg and Shuang Li, PhD student, Universität Hamburg
  • Location: MS Teams
Sandpit Schedule
UK Time Item Presenters
10:00-10:05 Arrival and welcome

 

Shuang Li
10:05-10:35 Robotic Grasping based on Deep Learning: Towards the Robust Perception

Autonomous robotic grasping is a challenging task, which includes many respects of research areas, e.g., perception, robotics, and psychology. In this talk, I will review the state of art in robotic grasping. Then, I will report the current working progress of my grasping work: from two-finger grasping to multi-finger grasping based on deep learning methods. This session will encourage an open-minded way for facilitating quick idea-exchanging.

Hongzhuo Liang
10:35-11:10 Group discussion about the session topic

How do bio-inspired methods help to design a better robotic grasping agent?

A group discussion where attendees can raise questions and discuss the topic of research and potential cooperation that was presented.

Facilitated by Shuang Li
11.10-11.25 Open forum discussion

An opportunity for attendees to ask the group for advice regarding any challenges they are facing with their own research.

Facilitated by Shuang Li

 

11:25-11:30 Final comments & volunteer for a facilitator for the next session

We are planning our next sandpit session for May 2021.

Shuang Li
Universität Hamburg Hosts ULTRACEPT Sandpit Session - Robotic Grasping based on Deep Learning: Towards the Robust Perception
Hongzhuo Liang and Shuang Li discussing their research ideas with the attendees

More detailed information about Hongshuo Liang’s research publications and code can be found on his website.

To find out more about the fascinating work being carried out by the team at UHAM, check out their YouTube channel TAMS UHAM.

ULTRACEPT Consortium Holds Its First Sand Pit Session

To aid and support the continued collaboration and knowledge exchange of the ULTRACEPT researchers, the consortium has commenced online bi-monthly ‘Sandpit Sessions’. The aim of these sessions is to provide researchers an opportunity to share their work in an informal forum where they can raise and discuss issues and challenges in order to gain support and feedback from the group.

As the session is facilitated by a researcher, it also provides them with a professional development opportunity to gain experience in facilitating an international group workshop.

The first session was held 27th November 2020 and hosted on MS Teams and facilitated by UoL researcher Dr Qinbing Fu. Dr Fu’s session focused on Past, Present, and Future Modelling on Bio-Inspired Collision Detection Visual Systems: Towards the Robust Perception. 23 attendees across the consortium participated.

Dr Fu presents at ULTRACEPT's First Sand Pit Session
Dr Fu presents at ULTRACEPT’s First Sand Pit Session

Sandpit Session 1: Past, Present, and Future Modelling on Bio-Inspired Collision Detection Visual Systems: Towards the Robust Perception

  • Date: Friday, 27th November 2020
  • Time: UK 10:00; China 18:00; Germany 11:00; Argentina 07:00; Malaysia 18:00; Japan 19:00.
  • Facilitator: Dr Qinbing Fu, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Lincoln
  • Location: MS Teams
Sandpit Schedule
UK Time Item Presenters
10:00-10:05 Arrival and welcome

 

Qinbing Fu
10:05-10:35 Past, Present, and Future Modelling on Bio-Inspired Collision Detection Visual Systems: Towards the Robust Perception

In this talk, I report on past, present, and future modelling on bio-inspired collision detection visual systems towards the robust perception in real-world challenging scenarios, from my perspective. The emphasis of this talk is firstly laid on a brief review on the development of such visual systems in the recent decades, specifically the typical insect-inspired collision sensing visual systems. After that, I will articulate the current challenges, to discuss with you promising solutions and worthwhile future effort on improving the modelling, consolidating the link between neuroscience and computational modelling. This session will encourage an open-minded way for facilitating quick idea-exchanging.

Qinbing Fu
10:35-11:00 Group discussion about the session topic

A group discussion where attendees can raise questions and discuss the topic of research that was presented.

Facilitated by Qinbing Fu
11.00-11.25 Open forum discussion

An opportunity for attendees to ask the group for advice regarding any challenges they are facing with their own research.

Facilitated by Qinbing Fu

 

11:25-11:30 Final comments & volunteer for a facilitator for the next session

We are planning our next sandpit session for January 2021.

Qinbing Fu

The session was scheduled for 1.5 hours and focused on the topic ‘Past, Present, and Future Modelling on Bio-Inspired Collision Detection Visual Systems: Towards the Robust Perception’.

Dr Fu presents at ULTRACEPT's First Sand Pit Session
Dr Fu presents at ULTRACEPT’s First Sand Pit Session

Following Dr Fu’s presentation was a group discussion on the subject matter then and open forum discussion which provided attendees an opportunity for Q&A.

These Sandpit sessions enable the consortium members to continue their collaborative working and knowledge exchange, particularly during the COVID-19 travel restrictions where all activities have needed to be virtual.

Guangdong ‘Zhongchuang Cup’ Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition

The 2019 Guangdong “Zhongchuang Cup” Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition was held from 18th to 19th  September 2019 in Jiangmen, China.

The aim of this post-doctoral innovation competition is to transform potential scientific research into business by developing doctoral talents. There were close to 400 attendees at the event which included the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Guangdong Provincial Department of Human Resources and Social Security, relevant leaders of Jiangmen City, expert judges, and postdoctoral talents.

Cheng Hu from the University of Lincoln, who is currently on secondment at Guangzhou University, competed at the event where he showcased the Colias robot platform.

Cheng Hu at the Guangdong 'Zhongchuang Cup' Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition
Cheng Hu at the Guangdong ‘Zhongchuang Cup’ Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition

The postdoctoral innovation competition attracted 476 projects from six strategic emerging industries including biomedicine and general health, electronic information, new energy, energy conservation and environmental protection, new materials, the Internet and mobile Internet, and advanced manufacturing.

Out of the initial 476 projects, 328 entered the preliminary round. Of these, 60 outstanding projects advanced to the semi-finals, which included Cheng. As a result of advancing to the semi-finals, Cheng was invited to participate in innovative counseling training delivered by the National Postdoctoral Innovation (Jiangmen) Demonstration Center and Guangzhou Leading Human Resources Development Co. Ltd. Training included “Business Plan Writing” and “Business Project Roadshow Training”

Award winners at the Guangdong 'Zhongchuang Cup' Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition
Award winners at the Guangdong ‘Zhongchuang Cup’ Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition

From these 60 semi-finalists, 24 elite projects reached the finals. Cheng achieved an outstanding result and received the “winning award” ranking 12 of 30 in the semi-final, and 9 of 12 in the final.

Cheng Hu receiving award at the Guangdong 'Zhongchuang Cup' Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition
Cheng Hu receiving award at the Guangdong ‘Zhongchuang Cup’ Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition

Guangdong (Foshan) Doctoral and Postdoctoral Talent Exchange and Technology Project Matchmaking Conference

Whilst on secondment at ULTRACEPT partner Guangzhou University, Xuelong Sun and Dr Cheng Hu from the University of Lincoln attended the Guangdong (Foshan) Doctoral and Postdoctoral Talent Exchange and Technology Project Matchmaking Conference.

Each city of Guangdong province is provided a space in which to display their best innovation and entrepreneurship examples of 2019. As one of the city-governed universities, Guangzhou University was asked to select its most attractive and novel research to showcase at the event. Xuelong and Cheng were recommended by Guangzhou University to give a demonstration of their ColCOSΦ, system and Colias robot platform.

The event was hosted by the Guangdong Provincial Department of Human Resources and Social Security and the Foshan Municipal People’s Government. It was held on November 18, 2019 at the Tanzhou International Convention and Exhibition Center  in Foshan, China in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Nearly 1,200 people from all over the world gathered in Foshan to participate. The opening ceremony was chaired by Qiao Yu, deputy mayor of the Foshan Municipal Government.

Xuelong Sun and Cheng Hu at the Guangdong Doctoral and Postdoctoral Talent Exchange and Technology Project Matchmaking Conference
Xuelong Sun and Cheng Hu at the Guangdong Doctoral and Postdoctoral Talent Exchange and Technology Project Matchmaking Conference
Xuelong Sun presenting his exhibit at the Guangdong Doctoral and Postdoctoral Talent Exchange and Technology Project Matchmaking Conference
Xuelong Sun showcasing and demonstrating the ColCOSΦ, system and Colias robot platform at the Guangdong Doctoral and Postdoctoral Talent Exchange and Technology Project Matchmaking Conference

The conference lasted two days, with the theme of “bringing talents from all over the world and creating a talent bay area”, with the key aim of “promoting exchange and cooperation of post-doctoral talents and serving the transformation of post-doctoral scientific and technological achievements”.

At the event, Xuelong and Cheng gave a demonstration of their ColCOSΦ, system and the Colias robot platform to the esteemed delegates and to the wider community of the Robotics and AI. They also exchanged some knowledge, ideas and interests concerning Robotics and AI with researchers from the related fields. Xuelong added  “It was a great chance to let more people know our platforms and researching supported by EU H2020 project”.

Xuelong Sun presenting his exhibit at the Guangdong Doctoral and Postdoctoral Talent Exchange and Technology Project Matchmaking Conference
Xuelong Sun presenting his exhibit at the Guangdong Doctoral and Postdoctoral Talent Exchange and Technology Project Matchmaking Conference