Section: Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry

Bilateral Grants with Industry

Cifre with Diatelic Pharmagest

Participants : François Charpillet, Yassine El Khadiri.

We have a long term collaboration with Diatelic compagny which is a start-up created among other by François Charpillet in 2002. Currently we have a collaboration through a Cifre PhD whose the objective is to work on daily activity recognition for monitoring elderly people at home. The work will be included in a product that will be launched next year (carelib solution).

Cifre with PSA

Participants : François Charpillet, Julien Uzzan.

This work is done in collaboration with François Aioun, Thomas Hannagan and Franck Guillemard from PSA.

The subject of the thesis is : « Reinforcement learning for the autonomous vehicle in urban-like environments ». This PhD started in January on the Vélizy site where he stayed for 3 months and the he moved to Inria Nancy in the LARSEN team and we started working on applications of deep reinforcement learning algorithms for autonomous vehicles. The first one was a decision-making problem for autonomous driving on highways using the Deep Q-Networks algorithm. The aim was to build a controler outputing high level decisions (like changing to left/right lane, braking…) to navigate on highways and interacting with many other actors. Even though the results were convicing for simple simulations like a basic overtaking or just following a leader car, the performances on the general case were lackluster, so this is still an ongoing work. The other application we worked on later this year is a longitudinal control application. The aim was to create a controller able to drive behind a leader, but this time, the controller is low-level, meaning that it has to output direct commands, like an acceleration. More recently, we have been testing a idea meant to enhance the performances of the deep reinforcement learning algorithm by adding noise to the observations during training in order to obtain a safer and more cautious controller.

Cifre with SAFRAN

Participants : François Charpillet, Nicolas Gauville, Christophe Guettier.

The thesis began on May 6, 2019 after a "prethesis" of 6 month and is related to the Furious Project. The objective is to propose new Coordination mechanisms for a group of autonomous robotic evolving in an unknown environment for search and rescue (Robot Search and Rescue). The thesis is a continuation of a previous work made during the Cartomatic project which won in 2012 the French robotics contest Defi CAROTTE organized by the General Delegation for Armaments (DGA) and French National Research Agency (ANR).

Cifre iFollow

Participants : Francis Colas, Jérôme Truc, Cédric Pradalier, Nirmal Giftsun.

Cédric Pradalier is co-supervisor at GeorgiaTech Lorraine and Nirmal Giftsun is at iFollow.

iFollow is a startup, located in Paris area, providing solutions for shopping carts. Their first market of interest is logistics, wherein they develop robots for alleviating the workload of order pickers. Their second, longer-term, target is retail, with the development of intelligent shopping carts to help persons with disabilities.

The aim of this Cifre program is to endow the robots with more intelligent behaviors. In warehouses, the aim will be to improve the autonomy of the robots to better assist the pickers, leveraging the knowledge of the current order being prepared. In supermarket, the shopping carts should learn to properly interact with other carts and people while positioning themselves to better serve its current user.

This year, Jérôme Truc set up a simulated warehouse environment modeled on an actual warehouse from a logistic partner of iFollow. In this environment, he tested and compared several behaviors for a cart robot helping an order picker.

For personal reasons, Jérôme Truc had to resign from his PhD in July 2019.