Welcome to Eric ROHMER's pages


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Dr. Eric Rohmer


I am a French robotic researcher currently working as a post-doc researcher at the University Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) on the DESTINE (DESenvolvimento de Tecnologias da Informação para NEurologia ) project.


I received a polytechnic diploma in mechanical engineering and industrial automation in 1996, a B.S degree in industrial production in 1997 from the Henri Poincaré University in France. I got my MSc degree at Ecole Superieure d’Informatique et Applications de Lorraine (ESIAL) in 2000 in France, which is a leading graduate school of engineering in Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM). During my master's degree, a growing interest for robotics led me to do several internships in Japan where I discovered another aspect of robotics different from the Industrial one. After my graduation, I worked as a mechanical engineer till 2001 in Luxembourg at Husky Injection Molding Systems, where I designed numerically controlled large tonnage injection molding machines.


In April 2001, I moved to Japan where I was awarded the Japanese scholarship Monbusho, to study Japanese language for a year at the university and then to complete a PhD in computer science, in the Advanced Robotics Laboratory of the Tohoku University. I defended my dissertation thesis "Modular Intelligent Interface to Assist Human in Operating Construction Machines." in March 2005. I developed during my 3 years doctoral research, a modular bilateral master-slave teleoperation platform to assist operators of heavy duty machines (backhoes, concrete injection machines, inspection platforms...) in their tasks.


I was then hired as an assistant researcher at the Space Robotic Laboratory, in the department of Aerospace Engineering of the Graduate School of Engineering at the Tohoku University. I was there a co-supervisor of an undergrad exchange student, three masters (two exchange students) and a doctor candidate, and continued my research on teleoperation platforms. The two projects involving my research was concerning rescue robotics "Development of networked robotic system intended to be deployed at disaster areas, (SCOPE project)", and an asteroid robotic exploration mission "Study of A High Level Teleoperation Platform for Space Robotic Missions applied to an asteroid surface exploration robot mission (Hayabusa Mk 2) ", in collaboration with  the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA). These projects allowed me to extend my teleoperation platform to deal with large time delays between the Earth and a foreign planet (simulation based offline teleoperation) and to teleoperate mobile rescue robots (online teleoperation)


In November 2006, I was awarded by the Japan Society for Promotion of  Science (JSPS) a post doctoral scholarship to develop a "Novel Teleoperated Hybrid Wheel-Limbed Hexapod for the Exploration of Lunar Challenging Terrains". On this topic I supervised four masters exchanged students, and co-supervised a doctorate student. My research led me to build a prototype of  a novel kind of hybrid leg-wheel robot: Lunar Exploration Omnidirectional Netbot (LEON) and developed a modular dynamic engine based telerobotic platform called ERode . The telerobotic platform deals with many kind of teleoperation (manual teleoperation, supervision, simulation based offline teleoperation) integrates a novel type of dynamic simulation based path/action planner for hybrid robots and is useful for the design, development and testing of robots and control algorithms as well as their teleoperation/supervision.


In March 2009, I got a two years contract at the Robotic Technology for Safety, Security and Welfare of the Life laboratory of the Tohoku University, as a robotic researcher. I was involved in several laboratory staff activities including co-supervision of grad students, lab workshops and classes. I participated at the Robocup rescue 2009 and 2010. In the 2009 edition, I was in charge of developing an algorithm that drives Kenaf rescue robot to a target point defined by the higher level of control, while adjusting the flippers' angles autonomously to the ground to maximize traction power. Our team finished 2nd at the competition, 1st at the mobility challenge, 1st at the manipulation challenge, and 2nd at the mapping challenge. My main task in the laboratory, was to be a member of the team that designed and developed the hardware and software of Quince rescue robot. We build several prototypes for the NEDO project (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) . Beside the design, development and building of Quince, my focus was to implement a semi-autonomous control of the flippers to help the operator driving Quince. I developed several dynamic simulation/ desktop training of Kenaf and Quince.

My contract was ending end of march 2011 but two weeks before its end, the Tohoku - pacific ocean earthquake, followed by a tsunami and a nuclear disaster, hit Japan (and especially Sendai where is located the Tohoku University), and I was repatriated to France few days later. Quince rescue robot was used to inspect destroyed houses, looking for survivors. After few months, Quince's retrofitting to sustain radiation was over and since then, three Quince robots are used by TEPCO to do several mapping, inspection and radiation sensing missions inside the damaged reactors of the Fukushima nuclear plant.


I returned to Japan for few months after spending two months in France, in order to finish my work and prepare my moving to Brazil. In the time being, I developed several device interface (wiimote, kinect, augmented reality tag based input, iphone's sensor based control, ar-done quad rotor robot, Rovio mobile robot, dynamixel servos...), simulation models (flying quad rotor model based on particle projection), and plug-in for Coppelia Robotics V-REP simulation framework. I have been working with Coppelia robotics (as a volunteer), on extending V_REP simulator to be used as a real framework not limited to simulation, connecting it to real robots and sensors.


In November 2011, I started my post-doctoral research as a FAPESP scholar on the DESTINE project and got involved in the founding of the Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology BRAINN. The DESTINE project is a project funded by FINEP under the Assistive Technologies Program. It aims at building an assistive mobile robot (e.g., a robotized wheelchair) that can navigate with signals acquired from the operator mental and physical signals as well as from a smart environment. My personal focus is to design, implement, and evaluate a software platform from which smart environments that helps the navigation of assistive robots carrying disabled persons can be built.