Quentin Rouxel

Ph.D Student in Computer Science and Robotics, under the supervision of Olivier Ly and Hugo Gimbert

ATER (Temporary Lecturer and Research Assistant) at Bordeaux INP (engineering school).

LaBRI computer science laboratory at University of Bordeaux
LaBRI, batiment A30, 351, cours de la Libération, 33405 Talence

Member of Team Rhoban

Last update: 12/2016
labri university of bordeaux institut polytechnique de bordeaux rhoban

Research

My research activities are mainly led by the participation of the Rhoban team to the RoboCup competition. The many open problems currently limiting the humanoid robot performances can be divided in two topics. The first one is related to the perception of the robot's own state and environment. The second one to the motion intelligence needed to improvise, control and stabilize complex and highly dynamic movements as the game continuously evolve. My work mostly belong to this second point, especially focused on small low cost humanoid robots where the actual dynamic behaviour is hight dissimilar from their rigid body theoretical models.

My past and current activities sum up as follows:

RoboCup

The RoboCup is an international Robotics competition (about 3000 participants) running several leagues. The Humanoid Kid-Size league is a football tournament where two teams of small fully autonomous humanoid robots (40-90cm) are playing against each other's. The declared goal is to slowly eventually reach the level of professional human players.

The Rhoban Team is participating each year since 2011 to the RoboCup competition in the Humanoid Kid-Size league. I have participated with the Rhoban Football Club to the RoboCup 2013 Einhoven (Netherland), 2014 Joao Pessoa (Brazil), 2016 Hefei (China) and 2017 Leipzig (Germany). This last years, the team has kept improving and reached the quarters final in 2014, the third place in 2015 and won the Kid-Size competition in 2016 in Humanoid League.

Publications

Authors Title Year Proceedings Link
Hofer, Ludovic and Rouxel, QuentinAn Operational Method Toward Efficient Walk Control Policies for Humanoid Robots
acceptedICAPS 2017PDF
Optimizing policies for real-time control of humanoid robots is a difficult task due to the continuous and stochastic nature of the state and action spaces. In this paper, we propose a learning procedure to train a predictive motion model and RFPI, a solver for continuous-state and action MDP. We use the predictive model as a transition model to train policies for a robot soccer. Our method requires no external hardware, a small amount of human work and manages to outperform the expert policy used by our team Rhoban winning the last 2016 edition of the Robocup in kid-size soccer league. Moreover, the proposed method is able to adapt to non-holonomic robots more efficiently than the expert approach. Our results are confirmed by both simulations and real robot experiments.
@inproceedings{ApproachICAPS2017,
    title={An Operational Method Toward Efficient Walk Control Policies for Humanoid Robots},
    author={Hofer, Ludovic and Rouxel, Quentin},
    booktitle={ICAPS 2017},
    year={accepted},
    abstract={
        Optimizing policies for real-time control of humanoid robots is a
        difficult task due to the continuous and stochastic nature of the state and
        action spaces. In this paper, we propose a learning procedure to train a
        predictive motion model and RFPI, a solver for continuous-state and action MDP. 
        We use the predictive model as a transition model to train policies for a robot
        soccer.
        Our method requires no external hardware, a small amount of human
        work and manages to outperform the expert policy used by our team Rhoban winning
        the last 2016 edition of the Robocup in kid-size soccer league.
        Moreover, the proposed method is able to adapt to non-holonomic robots more 
        efficiently than the expert approach. 
        Our results are confirmed by both simulations and real robot experiments.
    }
}

Allali, Julien and Deguillaume, Louis and Fabre, Rémi and Gondry, Loic and Hofer, Ludovic and Ly, Olivier and N'Guyen, Steve and Passault, Grégoire and Pirrone, Antoine and Rouxel, QuentinRhoban Football Club: RoboCup Humanoid Kid-Size 2016 Champion Team Paper
2016RoboCup 2016: Robot Soccer World Cup XXPDF
For its fifth participation to the RoboCup Kid-Size Humanoid League, the Rhoban Football Club reached the first place of the competition in 2016 in Leipzig. This competition aims at opposing teams of small autonomous humanoid robots in real soccer games. Implementation of complex mechanics, electronics and software systems is needed. In this paper, we summarize and describe some distinctive parts of our architecture. Going from our foot pressure sensors, our open-source alternative Dynamixel firmware, the use of kinematics models, the odometry and camera calibration to our perception system as well as simple but effective team play strategies.
@inproceedings{ChampionPaperRoboCup2016,
    title={Rhoban Football Club: RoboCup Humanoid Kid-Size 2016 Champion Team Paper},
    author={Allali, Julien and Deguillaume, Louis and Fabre, Rémi and Gondry, Loic and Hofer, Ludovic and Ly, Olivier and N'Guyen, Steve and Passault, Grégoire and Pirrone, Antoine and Rouxel, Quentin},
    booktitle={RoboCup 2016: Robot Soccer World Cup XX},
    year={2016},
    organization={Springer},
    abstract={
        For its fifth participation to the RoboCup Kid-Size Humanoid League, 
        the Rhoban Football Club reached the first place of the competition in 2016 in Leipzig.
        This competition aims at opposing teams of small autonomous humanoid robots in real soccer games.
        Implementation of complex mechanics, electronics and software systems is needed.
        In this paper, we summarize and describe some distinctive parts of our architecture.
        Going from our foot pressure sensors, our open-source alternative Dynamixel firmware, 
        the use of kinematics models, the odometry and camera calibration to our perception system
        as well as simple but effective team play strategies.
    }
}

Fabre, Rémi and Rouxel, Quentin and Passault, Grégoire and N'Guyen, Steve and Ly, OlivierDynaban, an Open-Source Alternative Firmware for Dynamixel Servo-Motors
2016Symposium RoboCup 2016: Robot World Cup XXPDF
In this paper, we present an alternative open-source firmware for the Dynamixel MX-64 servo-motor. We discuss software features to fully exploit the hardware capabilities of the device. In order to enhance the default controller, a friction model and an electric model of the motor are embedded into the firmware. The parameters of the model are found using a black-box optimization algorithm. A feed-forward method is proposed to follow position, speed and torque trajectories. The approach is tested with a highly dynamic kick movement on our humanoid soccer robot Sigmaban whose torque trajectories are computed using a classic rigid body inverse dynamics. The comparison between the default control strategy and the proposed one shows significant improvements in terms of accuracy, delay and repeatability.
@inproceedings{DynabanRoboCup2016,
    title={Dynaban, an Open-Source Alternative Firmware for Dynamixel Servo-Motors},
    author={Fabre, Rémi and Rouxel, Quentin and Passault, Grégoire and N'Guyen, Steve and Ly, Olivier},
    booktitle={Symposium RoboCup 2016: Robot World Cup XX},
    year={2016},
    abstract={
        In this paper, we present an alternative open-source firmware for the Dynamixel MX-64 servo-motor.
        We discuss software features to fully exploit the hardware capabilities of the device.
        In order to enhance the default controller, a friction model and an electric model of the motor are embedded into the firmware.
        The parameters of the model are found using a black-box optimization algorithm.
        A feed-forward method is proposed to follow position, speed and torque trajectories.
        The approach is tested with a highly dynamic kick movement on our humanoid soccer robot Sigmaban
        whose torque trajectories are computed using a classic rigid body inverse dynamics.
        The comparison between the default control strategy and the proposed one shows significant
        improvements in terms of accuracy, delay and repeatability.
    }
}

Passault, Grégoire and Rouxel, Quentin and Fabre, Remi and N'Guyen, Steve and Ly, OlivierOptimizing Morphology and Locomotion On a Corpus of Parametric Legged Robots
2016Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems: 5th International Conference, Living Machines 2016, Edinburgh, Scotland, July 18-22, 2016, ProceedingsPDF
In this paper, we describe an optimization approach to the legged locomotion problem. We designed a software environment to manipulate parametrized robot models. This environment is a platform developed for future experiments and for educational robotics purpose. It allows to generate dynamic models and simulate them using a physics engine. Experiments can then be made with both morphological and controller optimization. Here we describe the environment, propose a simple open loop generic controller for legged robots and discuss experiments that were made on a robot corpus using a black-box optimization.
@inproceedings{MetabotLivingMachines2016,
    title={Optimizing Morphology and Locomotion On a Corpus of Parametric Legged Robots},
    author={Passault, Grégoire and Rouxel, Quentin and Fabre, Remi and N'Guyen, Steve and Ly, Olivier},
    booktitle={Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems: 5th International Conference, Living Machines 2016, 
        Edinburgh, Scotland, July 18-22, 2016, Proceedings},
    year={2016},
    abstract={
        In this paper, we describe an optimization approach to the legged locomotion problem. 
        We designed a software environment to manipulate
        parametrized robot models. This environment is a platform developed
        for future experiments and for educational robotics purpose.
        It allows to generate dynamic models and simulate them using a
        physics engine.
        Experiments can then be made with both morphological and
        controller optimization.
        Here we describe the environment, propose a simple open loop generic
        controller for legged robots and discuss experiments that were made
        on a robot corpus using a black-box optimization.
     }
}

Passault, Grégoire and Rouxel, Quentin and Petit, François and Ly, OlivierMetabot: a Low-Cost Legged Robotics Platform for Education
2016Autonomous Robot Systems and Competitions (ICARSC), 2016 IEEE International Conference onPDF
This paper introduces an open-source 3D printed low-cost legged robot environment designed for educational purposes. The platform, called Metabot, is already operational and is currently experienced by teachers and pupils. The robot as a teaching aid, has several advantages: at first, it is stimulating for pupils, especially legged robots. Second, robotics is multidisciplinary and centralizes a broad spectrum of knowledge for the pupils; in particular, it allows to introduce programming in a concrete environment, which is now an important need in school. Finally, legged robots can illustrate concretely several matters of geometry.
@inproceedings{MetabotICARSC2016,
    title={Metabot: a Low-Cost Legged Robotics Platform for Education},
    author={Passault, Grégoire and Rouxel, Quentin and Petit, François and Ly, Olivier},
    booktitle={Autonomous Robot Systems and Competitions (ICARSC), 2016 IEEE International Conference on},
    year={2016},
    organization={IEEE},
    abstract={
        This paper introduces an open-source 3D printed low-cost legged
        robot environment designed for educational purposes.  
        The platform, called Metabot, is already operational and is
        currently experienced by teachers and pupils. 
        The robot as a teaching aid, has several advantages: at first, it is
        stimulating for pupils, especially legged robots. Second, robotics
        is multidisciplinary and centralizes a broad spectrum of knowledge
        for the pupils; in particular, it allows to introduce programming in
        a concrete environment, which is now an important need in
        school. Finally, legged robots can illustrate concretely several
        matters of geometry.
    }
}

Rouxel, Quentin and Passault, Gregoire and Hofer, Ludovic and N'Guyen, Steve and Ly, OlivierLearning the Odometry on a Small Humanoid Robot
2016Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2016 IEEE International Conference onPDF
Odometry is an important element for the localization of mobile robots. For humanoid robots, it is very prone to integration errors, due to mechanical complexity, uncertainties and foot/ground contacts. Most of the time, a visual odometry is then used to encompass these problems. In this work we propose a method to compensate for odometry drifting using machine learning on a small size low-cost humanoid without vision. This method is tested on different ground conditions and exhibits a significant improvement in odometry accuracy.
@inproceedings{OdometryICRA2016,
    author={Rouxel, Quentin and Passault, Gregoire and Hofer, Ludovic and N'Guyen, Steve and Ly, Olivier},
    title={Learning the Odometry on a Small Humanoid Robot},
    booktitle={Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2016 IEEE International Conference on},
    year={2016},
    organization={IEEE},
    abstract={
        Odometry is an important element for the localization of mobile
        robots.
        For humanoid robots, it is very prone to
        integration errors, due to mechanical complexity, uncertainties and foot/ground
        contacts.
        Most of the time, a visual odometry is then used to encompass these
        problems.
        In this work we propose a method to compensate for odometry drifting using machine learning
        on a small size low-cost humanoid without vision.
        This method is tested on different ground conditions and exhibits a
        significant improvement in odometry accuracy.
    }
} 

Rouxel, Quentin and Passault, Grégoire and Hofer, Ludovic and N'Guyen, Steve and Ly, OlivierRhoban Hardware and Software Open Source Contributions for RoboCup Humanoids
2015Proceedings of 10th Workshop on Humanoid Soccer Robots, IEEE-RAS Int. Conference on Humanoid Robots, Seoul, KoreaPDF
Three newly released hardware and software open source contributions are presented. The first one is a new mechanical and electronics design for low cost stain gauge based foot pressure sensors. The second is a lightweight user interface library dedicated to robotics applications and allowing for an on the fly interaction with an on board program. The third one is an implementation of an open loop walk generator for humanoid robots based on splines and inverse kinematics.
@inproceedings{ProjectsWorkshopHumanoids2015,
    title={Rhoban Hardware and Software Open Source Contributions for RoboCup Humanoids},
    author={Rouxel, Quentin and Passault, Grégoire and Hofer, Ludovic and N'Guyen, Steve and Ly, Olivier},
    booktitle={Proceedings of 10th Workshop on Humanoid Soccer Robots, IEEE-RAS Int. Conference on Humanoid Robots, Seoul, Korea},
    year={2015},
    abstract={
        Three newly released hardware and software
        open source contributions are presented.
        The first one is a new mechanical and electronics design for low cost
        stain gauge based foot pressure sensors.
        The second is a lightweight user interface library dedicated to
        robotics applications and allowing for an on
        the fly interaction with an on board program.
        The third one is an implementation of an open loop walk generator for
        humanoid robots based on splines and inverse kinematics.
    }
}

Passault, Grégoire and Rouxel, Quentin and Hofer, Ludovic and N'Guyen, Steve and Ly, OlivierLow-Cost Force Sensors for Small Size Humanoid Robot (video)
2015Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), 2015 IEEE-RAS 15th International Conference on (Video Contribution)URL
We present a new design of foot pressure sensors in the context of small low-cost robots. We design the robot in the context of RoboCup kid-size humanoid league (i.e. the robot size must be lower than 90 cm). A new challenge is to walk on artificial grass of 3 cm height, which essentially means a soft irregular floor. In this context, one cannot use full 6-axis force sensors for cost and mechanical integration reasons. Classically, FSR sensors are used to handle foot pressure with unclear efficiency. Instead of that, we propose to use low cost strain gauge originally designed for scales. The strain gauge is made of resistors network glued on a aluminium beam. In our design, the aluminium beams are themselves full parts of the mechanical structure of the foot. Therefore, we measure directly the deformation of the foot and thus the force applied on it in a robust way. We use this system in order to measure the position of the centre of pressure under the foot, in order to balance motor primitives of the robot: perturbation rejection, locomotion, shoot. First experiments are promising and we plan to set up a rigorous comparison with the ZMP.
@inproceedings{ForceSencorsHumanoidsVideo2015,
    title={Low-Cost Force Sensors for Small Size Humanoid Robot},
    author={Passault, Grégoire and Rouxel, Quentin and Hofer, Ludovic and N'Guyen, Steve and Ly, Olivier},
    booktitle={Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), 2015 IEEE-RAS 15th International Conference on (Video Contribution)},
    pages={1148-1148},
    year={2015},
    organization={IEEE},
    url={https://youtu.be/_d7Phe0qois},
    type={video},
    abstract={
        We present a new design of foot pressure sensors in the context of small low-cost robots. 
        We design the robot in the context of RoboCup kid-size humanoid league (i.e. the robot size must be lower than 90 cm). 
        A new challenge is to walk on artificial grass of 3 cm height, which essentially means a soft irregular floor. 
        In this context, one cannot use full 6-axis force sensors for cost and mechanical integration reasons. 
        Classically, FSR sensors are used to handle foot pressure with unclear efficiency. 
        Instead of that, we propose to use low cost strain gauge originally designed for scales. 
        The strain gauge is made of resistors network glued on a aluminium beam. 
        In our design, the aluminium beams are themselves full parts of the mechanical structure of the foot. 
        Therefore, we measure directly the deformation of the foot and thus the force applied on it in a robust way. 
        We use this system in order to measure the position of the centre of pressure under the foot, 
        in order to balance motor primitives of the robot: perturbation rejection, locomotion, shoot. 
        First experiments are promising and we plan to set up a rigorous comparison with the ZMP.
    }
}

Others Documents

Authors Title Year Source Link
Allali, Julien and Fabre, Rémi and Gimbert, Hugo and Gondry, Loic and Hofer, Ludovic and Ly, Olivier and N'Guyen, Steve and Passault, Grégoire and Pirrone, Antoine and Rouxel, QuentinRhoban Football Club Team - Description Paper (Team Description Paper)
2017Humanoid Kid-Size League, Robocup 2017 NagoyaPDF
This paper presents a short overview of the design of the Kid-size humanoid robots Sigmaban and Grosban of the French Rhoban Football Club Robocup team. These robots are built to play soccer in an autonomous way. Main hardware and software components in their current state are presented, with an emphasis on major upgrades and research tracks for the upcoming Robocup 2017 competition.
@misc{TDPRoboCup2017,
    author={Allali, Julien and Fabre, Rémi and Gimbert, Hugo and Gondry, Loic and Hofer, Ludovic and 
        Ly, Olivier and N'Guyen, Steve and Passault, Grégoire and Pirrone, Antoine and Rouxel, Quentin},
    title={Rhoban Football Club Team - Description Paper},
    institution={Humanoid Kid-Size League, Robocup 2017 Nagoya},
    year={2017},
    type={Team Description Paper},
    abstract={
        This paper presents a short overview of the design of the Kid-size humanoid robots 
        Sigmaban and Grosban of the French Rhoban Football Club Robocup team.
        These robots are built to play soccer in an autonomous way. 
        Main hardware and software components in their current state are presented, with
        an emphasis on major upgrades and research tracks for the upcoming Robocup 2017 competition.
    }
}

Fabre, Rémi and Gimbert, Hugo and Gondry, Loic and Hofer, Ludovic and Ly, Olivier and N'Guyen, Steve and Passault, Grégoire and Rouxel, QuentinRhoban Football Club Team - Description Paper (Team Description Paper)
2016Humanoid Kid-Size League, Robocup 2016 LeipzigPDF
This paper gives a short overview of the design of the Kid-size humanoid robots Sigmaban and Grosban of the French Rhoban Football Club Robocup team. These robots are built to play soccer in an autonomous way. It describes the main hardware and software components in their current state, major upgrades and research tracks for the upcoming Robocup 2016 competition.
@misc{TDPRoboCup2016,
    author={Fabre, Rémi and Gimbert, Hugo and Gondry, Loic and Hofer, Ludovic and 
        Ly, Olivier and N'Guyen, Steve and Passault, Grégoire and Rouxel, Quentin},
    title={Rhoban Football Club Team - Description Paper},
    institution={Humanoid Kid-Size League, Robocup 2016 Leipzig},
    year={2016},
    type={Team Description Paper},
    abstract={
        This paper gives a short overview of the design of the Kid-size humanoid robots 
        Sigmaban and Grosban of the French Rhoban Football Club Robocup team.
        These robots are built to play soccer in an autonomous way. It describes the 
        main hardware and software components in their current state, major upgrades
        and research tracks for the upcoming Robocup 2016 competition.
    }
}

Rouxel, Quentin and Passault, Grégoire and N'Guyen, Steve and Ly, OlivierLearning Odometry on Small Humanoid Robot and Application to Robocup Football Game (poster)
2015Journées Nationales de la Recherche en RobotiquePDF
@misc{PosterJNRR2015,
    author={Rouxel, Quentin and Passault, Grégoire and N'Guyen, Steve and Ly, Olivier},
    title={Learning Odometry on Small Humanoid Robot and Application to Robocup Football Game},
    institution={Journées Nationales de la Recherche en Robotique},
    year={2015},
    type={poster}
}

Open Source Software

Others Rhoban Open Source Projects

Videos

ICAPS 2017 efficient walk control policies humanoid robot
An Operational Method Toward Efficient Walk Control Policies for Humanoid Robots. Video contribution for ICAPS 2017. (2017)
robocup qualification 2017 rhoban
Rhoban Football Club Qualification Video for Robocup 2017 (Nagoya). (2017)
robot humanoid foot pressure sensors push recovery
Lateral walk push recovery stabilization using foot pressure sensors. (2016)
robocup 2016 recap of the competition
RoboCup 2016 Leipzig (Germany) recap of the competition. (2016)
robocup qualification 2016 rhoban
RoboCup 2016 Leipzig (Germany) Rhoban Football Club qualification video. (2016)
icra 2016 humanoid odometry learning
Learning the Odometry on a Small Humanoid Robot. Video for ICRA 2016 contribution. (2016)
rhio
Rhoban Input Output Library (RhIO) presentation. (2015)
force pressure
Humanoid Foot Pressure Sensors using strain gauge. (2015)
robocup rhoban vs hfr
Rhoban vs HFR. RoboCup 2015. (2015)
robocup rhoban vs boldheart
Rhoban vs Bold Heart. RoboCup 2015. (2015)
sigmaban treadmill
Learning experiment on treadmill with Sigmaban humanoid robot. (2015)
microban
Rhoban Microban 3d printed humanoid demonstration. (2014)
clock bot
Walk experiment with 3d printed biped (2014)
hexapode
RobotCampus Hexapode robot (2014)
pentapode
RobotCampus Pentapode robot. (2013)
rhoban football club