Best Paper Award at ICSPC 2022

Yong (left) receiving the Best Paper Award certificate

Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) academics Dr Kwan Ban Hoe, Ir Dr Danny Ng Wee Kiat, Dr Sim Hong Seng and Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering) student Yong Cherng Liin were awarded the Best Paper Award at the 10th IEEE Conference on Systems, Process & Control (ICSPC) 2022 for their paper titled “Human tracking and following using machine vision on a mobile service robot”. Yong also walked home with a certificate of presentation.

Organised by IEEE Malaysia Section Control Systems Chapter, the ICSPC 2022 was a hybrid conference held in Hatten Hotel Melaka, Malacca, Malaysia on 17 December 2022. At the conference, the local and international presenters were given the option to either conduct online or face-to-face presentation.

Speaking about their research abstract, the team said, “The service robot technology is rapidly improving to give rise to robust and reliable machines operating alongside humans. This paper presents a human-following system that can identify a target human in a crowded environment and track the person’s motion, simultaneously avoiding obstacles while navigating through the environment. We will implement the system on a mobile service robot platform with light detection and ranging (LIDAR) and RGBD sensors. The system uses a Discriminative Generative network (DG-net) for human detection. After detection, the localisation module will locate the target person’s position in the environment. The navigation module generates a cost map of the surroundings for path planning. It allows the robot to navigate the changing environment avoiding obstacles while tracking the target person. Experimental results showed that the robot could identify and follow the target person reliably. At the same time, the robot navigates the crowded environment safely, avoiding other people and obstacles in the environment. Despite all that, the recovery module could not recover reliably after losing the target person.”

When asked about the research impact, Ir Dr Danny Ng said, “The human tracking and following research has a number of potential impacts and applications. One of the main areas where this research has the potential to make a significant impact is human-robot collaboration. By developing systems that enable robots to track and follow the movements of humans, it becomes possible for robots to work alongside humans in manufacturing, construction, and other industries. This can improve efficiency and productivity, as well as reduce the need for humans to perform physically demanding or dangerous tasks. Another important application of human tracking and following research is in the development of assistive technology for people with disabilities. By equipping robots with human tracking and following capabilities, it becomes possible to create assistive devices that can help people with mobility issues to perform their daily activities. This type of technology has the potential to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by giving them greater independence and autonomy.”

Expressing their grateful experience, the team enthused, “We had the pleasure of presenting at the ICSPC 2022 conference, and I was impressed by the organisation and professionalism of the event. The organising committee was composed of experts in various fields of research, and they did an excellent job of preparing for the conference and ensuring that everything ran smoothly. During our presentation, we had the opportunity to share our research on the human following system. We are also grateful for the opportunity to engage with such a knowledgeable and interesting group of people.  We are also honoured to receive one of the best paper awards. This recognition is a validation of the hard work and dedication that we put into the research and overall, this conference was a wonderful experience that allowed me to share our research with others, learn from my peers, and make valuable connections with others who have similar research interests.”

Please click here to watch the demonstration video.

The Best Paper Award certificate

The certificate of presentation received by Yong

The ongoing conference

Group photograph at the end of the conference

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