| LINES OF RESEARCH |

R4A is a research team focused on delivering enhanced functionality to/with cyber-physical systems. The team is manned from Faculty members and Researchers at the Electrical and Computer Engineering School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, who have been extensively working on efficient and intelligent solutions for robotics, devices and systems.

The main novelty of the R4A approach is the design and implementation of a middleware architecture and the respective tools that allow for rapid prototyping of device-agnostic applications. The R4A architecture supports the collaboration of robots, devices and/or “things" (in the IoT concept), as well as with cloud services and components, this way fostering a wide range of applications. The R4A approach has already been used in real problems and has proven efficient towards creating solutions in a fast and reliable manner.

Robotics middleware and applications

We specialize in developing robotic-agnostic middleware though Automated Software Engineering approaches. The R4A middleware solutions offer a wide set of web-based APIs, via which developers can fully manipulate a robot with minimum coding effort. This way one may design and implement robot-agnostic applications which can be executed both in or out of a robot. In a nutshell, we treat robots as platforms which can download and execute applications in a seamless way. Simple as that!

Internet of Things integrations

IoT builds upon the network of objects that are enabled with electronics,
software, sensors and network connectivity, this way being able to
collect and exchange data. Smart d
evices, vehicles and buildings are some of the most known types of objects offen involved in IoT. We work towards treating these objects as components of CPS (Cyber-Physical Systems) via local or cloud IoT platforms and protocols and targeting at their seamless integration, however heterogeneous they may be.

Cloud-2-Machine infrastructures

The seamless integration of Cyber-Physical Systems assumes the participation of low-cost and low-capabilities devices and/or robots. R4Aworks towards the design and development of suitable cloud-2-machine architectures, capable of hosting and serving databases, services and datasets, this way enhancing the functionality of low-cost and edge systems to be properly connected.

Automated Software Engineering

Systems integration, including robots, devices, services and datasets may prove quite hard given the skillset expected: primitives of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science and DevOps are some of the essentials needed to build cyber-physical systems. We work keenly on Automated Software Engineering methodologies and tools for modelling such systems, so that even non-technical personnel is able to configure and/or integrate such systems.

| OUR VISION |

We argue that software development for systems can be fast and easy, provided that suitable tools exist; thus, our mission is to create the appropriate middleware and software to support low code development for Cyber-Physical Systems

| SOLUTIONS |

Systems resources abstraction

We bring to life envisioned CPS workflows in the form of applications, using our enhanced software architectures. These applications may comprise simple social interaction behaviors up to complex multi-device applications. Based on our approach, CPSs are thereon easily operated and configured.

Custom SW/HW solutions

We design and develop tailored software / hardware solutions by using both high-level components (the R4A architecture), as well as custom-made or existing AI frameworks. Our solutions may include physical devices (embedded systems or robots, equipped with sensors and effectors) or non-physical infrastructures (services, databases and web pages, among others), seamlessly interoperable.

Autonomous robotics applications

We have large experience in UGVs and UAVs (Unmanned Ground/Aerial Vehicles), especially with respect to intelligence and autonomy. We design, develop and tune state-of-the-art algorithms for vehicle mapping, navigation, exploration, but also speech-to-text and image processing. Our team is equipped with numerous robots, embedded devices, sensors and effectors, thus fast prototyping or robotic solutions can be offered.

| PROJECTS |

The RAPP EU Project
RAPP provides an open source software platform to support the creation and delivery of robotic applications. These robotic applications are in turn expected to increase the versatility and utility of service and assistive robots. The emphasis of the RAPP project was on applications that will enable robots to understand and respond to the intentions and needs of people at risk of exclusion.
PANDORA Robotics
The PANDORA project (Program for the Advancement of Non-Directed Operating Robotic Agents) is focused on developing a robotic platform for room exploration and victim identification. PANDORA has repeatedlly participated in the RoboCup-Rescue competition, achieving in winning the 2nd place in the Autonomous vehicles contest twice (2013, 2015).
REMEDES System
REMEDES is a low cost and high accuracy system for recording reflex measurements using optical or acoustical stimulation. It is suitable for medical applications (diagnosis, rehabilitation or tracking neurological, neurokinetic, psychiatric or opthalmological conditions), as well as for sports applications (modeling the reaction of athletes or tracking their reflexes profile)
TekTrain project
Tektrain develops a novel software framework and specialized plug-n-play devices for making robotics education fast, easy, efficient and fun!
RELIEF project
RELIEF aims to design and develop prototype robotic devices capable of performing continuous inventory and accurate localization. RELIEF's objective is to build such low cost devices, capable of expanding the read-range of passive UHF RFID systems.
SYTHES project
SITIES is focused on the design and development of an intelligent low cost home assistant, targeted to the well-being of elderly people. ELSA, the low cost assistant, will provide useful services in the form of smart applications, either on a stand-alone basis or on demand.
eeRIS project
eeRIS will offer detailed information to an electric energy consumer, correlating his/her consumption to the use of specific household appliances. At the same time, it will create a personal demand profile for the consumer, assisting him/her thus to obtain an optimized personalized tariff from the respective producer.
Nao4All project
The goal of the Nao4All platform is to showcase how Automated software engineering can be applied for creating applications for the NAO robot without writing any code. Specific Nao4All targets are to: a) allow for easy, fast and correct design and implementation of robotic applications, from people with no technical background, and b) increase the success rate of developing correct robotic applications for the NAO robot
R4Alz project
The R4Alz (REMEDES for Alzheimer) battery is a neuropsychological tool used for the assessment of cognitive control abilities, performed in collaboration with Alzheimer Hellas, Thessaloniki and Laboratory of Psychology, AUTH. The test has been designed independent of language skills, in order to minimize the influence of the patient’s educational level.
The RoboPacman project
RoboPacman is a complete showcase of the R4A approach. It incorporates Robotic, IoT, and CPS concepts, along with Web-based components and Model-driven Engineering principles, and implements a modern remake of the famous Pacman game. This application was developed as a competition platform for the ECESCON 11.
CultureID
CultureID aspires to embed novel technologies, as the Internet of Things, Robotics, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence in the culture domain. RFID tags will be installed in each of the exhibits of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, allowing the museum personnel and visitors to digitally interact with exhibits through appropriate RFID reading equipment, which will be installed in the Museum.
SocIoTy
In progress... 🙂

| PUBLICATIONS |

Book chapters

  1. Dimitriou, Antonis G., Stavroula Siachalou, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, and Loukas Petrou. “Robotics Meets RFID for Simultaneous Localization (of Robots and Objects) and Mapping (SLAM)–A Joined Problem.Wireless Power Transmission for Sustainable Electronics: 175-222.

Journals

  1. Alexandros Filotheou, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Antonis Dimitriou, Andreas Symeonidis & Loukas Petrou, “Pose Selection and Feedback Methods in Tandem Combinations of Particle Filters with Scan-Matching for 2D Mobile Robot Localisation“, Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems (2020): 1-20.
  2. Poptsi, Eleni, Despina Moraitou, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Andreas L. Symeonidis, and Magda Tsolaki. “Is the Discrimination of Subjective Cognitive Decline from Cognitively Healthy Adulthood and Mild Cognitive Impairment Possible? A Pilot Study Utilizing the R4Alz Battery." Journal of Alzheimer's Disease Preprint: 1-18.
  3. A. Tzitzis, S. Megalou, S. Siachalou, E. Tsardoulias, A. Filotheou, T. Yioultsis, and A. G. Dimitriou. “Trajectory Planning of a Moving Robot Empowers 3D Localization of RFID Tags with a Single Antenna.“, IEEE Journal of Radio Frequency Identification (2020)
  4. Geromichalos, Dimitrios, Martin Azkarate, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Levin Gerdes, Loukas Petrou, and Carlos Perez Del Pulgar. “SLAM for autonomous planetary rovers with global localization.Journal of Field Robotics (2020).
  5. Poptsi, Eleni, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Despina Moraitou, Andreas L. Symeonidis, and Magda Tsolaki. “REMEDES for Alzheimer-R4Alz Battery: Design and Development of a New Tool of Cognitive Control Assessment for the Diagnosis of Minor and Major Neurocognitive Disorders.Journal of Alzheimer's Disease Preprint (2019): 1-19.
  6. Filotheou, Alexandros, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Antonis Dimitriou, Andreas Symeonidis, and Loukas Petrou. “Quantitative and Qualitative Evaluation of ROS-Enabled Local and Global Planners in 2D Static Environments.Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems (2019): 1-35.
  7. Tzitzis, Anastasios, Spyros Megalou, Stavroula Siachalou, Tsardoulias G. Emmanouil, Athanasios Kehagias, Traianos V. Yioultsis, and Antonis G. Dimitriou. “Localization of RFID Tags by a Moving Robot, via Phase Unwrapping and Non-Linear Optimization.IEEE Journal of Radio Frequency Identification 3, no. 4 (2019): 216-226.
  8. Tsardoulias, E. G., M. Protopapas, A. L. Symeonidis, and L. Petrou. “A Comparative Analysis of Pattern Matching Techniques Towards OGM Evaluation.Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems (2019): 1-26.
  9. Thallas, Aristeidis G., Emmanouil G. Tsardoulias, and Loukas Petrou. “Topological based scan Matching–Odometry posterior sampling in RBPF under kinematic model failures.Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems 91, no. 3-4 (2018): 543-568.
  10. Zieliński, Cezary, Maciej Stefańczyk, Tomasz Kornuta, Maksym Figat, Wojciech Dudek, Wojciech Szynkiewicz, Włodzimierz Kasprzak, … Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Konstantinos Panayiotou, Andreas Symeonidis et al. “Variable structure robot control systems: The RAPP approach.Robotics and Autonomous Systems 94 (2017): 226-244.
  11. Tsardoulias, Emmanouil G., Athanassios M. Kintsakis, Konstantinos Panayiotou, Aristeidis G. Thallas, Sofia E. Reppou, George G. Karagiannis, Miren Iturburu et al. “Towards an integrated robotics architecture for social inclusion–The RAPP paradigm.Cognitive Systems Research 43 (2017): 157-173.
  12. Reppou, Sofia E., Emmanouil G. Tsardoulias, Athanassios M. Kintsakis, Andreas L. Symeonidis, Pericles A. Mitkas, Fotis E. Psomopoulos, George T. Karagiannis et al. “Rapp: a robotic-oriented ecosystem for delivering smart user empowering applications for older people.International Journal of Social Robotics 8, no. 4 (2016): 539-552.
  13. Tsardoulias, Emmanouil, Aristeidis G. Thallas, Andreas L. Symeonidis, and Pericles A. Mitkas. “Improving Multilingual Interaction for Consumer Robots through Signal Enhancement in Multichannel Speech.Journal of the Audio Engineering Society 64, no. 7/8 (2016): 514-524.
  14. Tsardoulias, Emmanouil G., A. Iliakopoulou, Andreas Kargakos, and Loukas Petrou. “Cost-Based Target Selection Techniques Towards Full Space Exploration and Coverage for USAR Applications in a Priori Unknown Environments.Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems 87, no. 2 (2017): 313-340.
  15. Tsardoulias, E. G., A. Iliakopoulou, Andreas Kargakos, and Loukas Petrou. “A review of global path planning methods for occupancy grid maps regardless of obstacle density.Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems 84, no. 1-4 (2016): 829-858.
  16. Tsardoulias, E. G., Anna T. Serafi, Maria N. Panourgia, Anestis Papazoglou, and Loukas Petrou. “Construction of minimized topological graphs on occupancy grid maps based on GVD and sensor coverage information.Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems 75, no. 3-4 (2014): 457-474.
  17. Tsardoulias, Emmanouil, and Loukas Petrou. “Critical rays scan match SLAM.Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems 72, no. 3-4 (2013): 441-462.
  18. Mingas, Grigorios, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, and Loukas Petrou. “An FPGA implementation of the SMG-SLAM algorithm.Microprocessors and Microsystems 36, no. 3 (2012): 190-204.

Conferences

  1. Eleni Poptsi,Despina Moraitou, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Andreas L. Symeonidis, Magda Tsolaki, “Towards novel tools for discriminating healthy adults from people with neurocognitive disorders: A pilot study utilizing the REMEDES for Alzheimer (R4Alz) battery“, In 2020 Alzheimer's Disease International Conference
  2. Anastasios Tzitzis,Alexandros Filotheou, Stavroula Siachalou, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Spyros Megalou, Aggelos Bletsas,Konstantinos Panayiotou, Andreas Symeonidis, Traianos Yioultsis, Antonis G. Dimitriou, “Real-time 3D localization of RFID-tagged products by ground robots and droneswith commercial off-the-shelf RFID equipment: Challenges and Solutions“, In 2020 IEEE International Conference on RFID (RFID)
  3. Panayiotou, Konstantinos, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Christopher Zolotas, Iason Paraskevopoulos, Alexandra Chatzicharistou, Alexandros Sahinis, Stathis Dimitriadis et al. “Ms Pacman and the Robotic Ghost: A Modern Cyber-Physical Remake of the Famous Pacman Game." In 2019 Sixth International Conference on Internet of Things: Systems, Management and Security (IOTSMS), pp. 147-154. IEEE, 2019.
  4. Siachalou, Stavroula, Spyros Megalou, Anastasios Tzitzis, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Aggelos Bletsas, John Sahalos, Traianos Yioultsis, and Antonis G. Dimitriou. “Robotic Inventorying and Localization of RFID Tags, Exploiting Phase-Fingerprinting." In 2019 IEEE International Conference on RFID Technology and Applications (RFID-TA), pp. 362-367. IEEE, 2019.
  5. Tzitzis, Anastasios, Spyros Megalou, Stavroula Siachalou, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Traianos Yioultsis, and Antonis G. Dimitriou. “3D Localization of RFID Tags with a Single Antenna by a Moving Robot and” Phase ReLock”." In 2019 IEEE International Conference on RFID Technology and Applications (RFID-TA), pp. 273-278. IEEE, 2019.
  6. Tsardoulias Emmanouil, Panayiotou Konstantinos,Symeonidis Andreas and Petrou Loukas, “REMEDES: Τεχνικά χαρακτηριστικά και προδιαγραφές συστήματος αποτίμησης κιναισθησίας προς διάγνωση της νόσου Alzheimer, 11th Panhellenic Conference on Alzheimer's Disease &3rd Mediterranean Conference on Neurodegenerative Diseases PICAD & MeCoND, Thessaloniki,Greece, (2019)
  7. Eleni Poptsi, Despoina Moraitou, Tsardoulias Emmanouil, PanayiotouKonstantinos, Symeonidis Andreas, Petrou Loukas and Magda Tsolaki, “Συστοιχία REMEDES: Ένα νέο ηλεκτρονικό εργαλείο αξιολόγησης ικανοτήτων νοητι-κού ελέγχου στη γήρανση, 11th Panhellenic Conferenceon Alzheimer's Disease & 3rd Mediterranean Conference on Neurodegenerative Diseases PICAD& MeCoND, Thessaloniki, Greece, (2019)
  8. Eleni Poptsi, Despoina Moraitou, Tsardoulias Emmanouil, Panayiotou Konstantinos, Symeonidis Andreas,Petrou Loukas and Magda Tsolaki, “Αξιολόγηση του νοητικού ελέγχου στη γήρανση με τη χρήση ηλεκτρονικών εργα-λείων μέσω του συστήματος αντανακλαστικών/αντίδρασης REMEDES4Alzheimer, 11th Panhellenic Conference on Alzheimer's Disease & 3rdMediterranean Conference on Neurodegenerative Diseases PICAD & MeCoND, Thessaloniki,Greece, (2019)
  9. Megalou, Spyros, Anastasios Tzitzis, Stavroula Siachalou, Traianos Yioultsis, John Sahalos, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Alexandros Filotheou et al. “Fingerprinting Localization of RFID tags with Real-Time Performance-Assessment, using a Moving Robot." In 2019 13th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP), pp. 1-5. IEEE, 2019.
  10. Tzitzis, Anastasios, Spyros Megalou, Stavroula Siachalou, Traianos Yioultsis, Athanasios Kehagias, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Alexandros Filotheou, Andreas Symeonidis, Loukas Petrou, and Antonis G. Dimitriou. “Phase ReLock-Localization of RFID Tags by a Moving Robot." In 2019 13th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP), pp. 1-5. IEEE, 2019.
  11. E.G. Tsardoulias, K.L. Panayiotou, C. Zolotas, A. Philotheou, A.L. Symeonidis, L. Petrou, “From classical to cloud robotics: Challenges and potential" (Keynote Speech), In 3rd International Workshopon Microsystems, Sindos Campus, ATEI Thessaloniki (2018)
  12. Mousouliotis, Panagiotis G., Konstantinos L. Panayiotou, Emmanouil G. Tsardoulias, Loukas P. Petrou, and Andreas L. Symeonidis. “Expanding a robot's life: Low power object recognition via FPGA-based DCNN deployment." In 2018 7th International Conference on Modern Circuits and Systems Technologies (MOCAST), pp. 1-4. IEEE, 2018.
  13. Remmas, Vasilis N., Konstantinos L. Panayiotou, Emmanouil G. Tsardoulias, and Andreas L. Symeonidis. “SRCA-The Scalable Robotic Cloud Agents Architecture.arXiv preprint arXiv:1804.04362 (2018).
  14. Doxopoulos, Panagiotis, Konstantinos L. Panayiotou, Emmanouil G. Tsardoulias, and Andreas L. Symeonidis. “Creating an extrovert robotic assistant via IoT networking devices.arXiv preprint arXiv:1804.04361 (2018).
  15. Panayiotou, Konstantinos L., Sofia E. Reppou, George G. Karagiannis, Emmanouil G. Tsardoulias, Aristeidis G. Thallas, and Andreas L. Symeonidis. “Robotic applications towards an interactive alerting system for medical purposes." In 2017 IEEE 30th International Symposium on Computer-Based Medical Systems (CBMS), pp. 564-569. IEEE, 2017.
  16. Thallas, Aristeidis G., Konstantinos Panayiotou, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Andreas L. Symeonidis, Pericles A. Mitkas, and George G. Karagiannis. “Relieving Robots from Their Burdens: The Cloud Agent Concept (Short Paper)." In 2016 5th IEEE International Conference on Cloud Networking (Cloudnet), pp. 188-191. IEEE, 2016.
  17. Thallas, Aristeidis, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, and Loukas Petrou. “Particle filter—Scan matching hybrid SLAM employing topological information." In 2016 24th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation (MED), pp. 226-231. IEEE, 2016.
  18. Thallas, Aristeidis, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, and Loukas Petrou. “Particle filter—Scan matching SLAM recovery under kinematic model failures." In 2016 24th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation (MED), pp. 232-237. IEEE, 2016.
  19. Tsardoulias, Emmanouil G., Andreas L. Symeonidis, and Pericles A. Mitkas. “An automatic speech detection architecture for social robot oral interaction." In Proceedings of the Audio Mostly 2015 on Interaction With Sound, pp. 1-8. 2015.
  20. Gkiokas, Alexandros, Emmanouil G. Tsardoulias, and Pericles A. Mitkas. “Hive Collective Intelligence for Cloud Robotics: A Hybrid Distributed Robotic Controller Design for Learning and Adaptation." In Progress in Automation, Robotics and Measuring Techniques, pp. 65-78. Springer, Cham, 2015.
  21. Tsardoulias, Emmanouil G., Cezary Zieliński, Włodzimierz Kasprzak, Sofia Reppou, Andreas L. Symeonidis, Pericles A. Mitkas, and George Karagiannis. “Merging robotics and aal ontologies: The rapp methodology." In Progress in Automation, Robotics and Measuring Techniques, pp. 285-297. Springer, Cham, 2015.
  22. Psomopoulos, Fotis, Emmanouil Tsardoulias, Alexandros Giokas, Cezary Zielinski, Vincent Prunet, Ilias Trochidis, David Daney et al. “Rapp system architecture." 2014.
  23. Tsardoulias, E. G., A. Iliakopoulou, A.Kargakos, and L. Petrou, “On Global Path Planning for Occupancy Grid Maps, 22nd International Workshop on Robotics in Alpe-Adria-Danube Region, RAAD2013

| MEET OUR TEAM |

Asc. Prof. Andreas Symeonidis
Scientific responsible
Main research interests include Software Engineering (SE) Processes, data mining and knowledge extraction from Software repositories, Model-driven Engineering, Software quality and Software analytics.
Dr Eng Manos Tsardoulias
Technical Leader
His research interests are focused in Autonomous Robots, SLAM and navigation, multi-robot exploration, robotic architectures oriented for the creation of robotic applications and robot-agnostic RESTful APIs.
PhD C. Konstantinos Panayiotou
Middleware developer
His research interests include robotics middleware, cloud-based architectures, IoT platforms, deep learning, embedded modules & HW development.
Dr Christoforos Zolotas
Model Driven Engineering researcher
His research interests are focused in Automated Software Engineering Techniques (e.g. Model Driven Engineering), Robotics, RESTful Web Services and Logic in Computing.
PhD C. Thomas Karanikiotis
Machine Learning Researcher / Software developer
His research interests are focused on Deep Learning, Data Mining, Software Quality, Software Engineering and Software Development.
Mr Ilias Ouzοunidis
UI/UX Designer
A visual designer with more than 20 years of experience in branding, communication and disseminating products and ideas. Assigned with the exploitation and promotion of R4A products to interested stakeholders and relevant media.
Mr Evripidis Chondromatidis
Hardware developer
Student passionate about embedded systems and hardware development
Msc. Eng. Alexandros Philotheou
AI and Control researcher
His research interests are focused in focus on single-robot localisation and SLAM, and multi-robot control.

| LATEST NEWS & EVENTS |

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Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Campus, GR-54124, Thessaloniki, Greece

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