czech english

SubT Virtual Cave Circuit

Robotika Team

Cave is the last of three training Circuits before the finals in 2021 (if everything goes well). The environment is interesting of variable 3D terrain and combination of huge and narrow openings. Update: 9/5/2020 — mdnet0. - [Msg] Total score: 3


24th March 2020 — Robotika scores the first point in Simple Cave 1

Since we returned from successful mission in USA (see 3rd place in Urban Circuit, 2nd among DARPA non-sponsored teams) thanks to The Virus is is much easier to continue preparation for Cave Circuit in Virtual world rather than in System Track.
There is new release 2020-03-23 containing 3 Simple Cave worlds for testing. Yeah, I could not resist to see it, and surely it was too early (#360). But the simulation were re-triggered and we could see what the left and right robot has seen during 5 minutes of simulated exploration:
If you are wondering what the robots are doing … well it is version ver59 used in Urban Circuit where the robots starts on optimized trajectory to „enter the gate”, i.e. smarter way of turn and go straight for distance defined by unique robot origin position. This is a bit which we will surely fix ASAP.
But enjoy the terrain and huge and narrow spaces. Yes, this time we want also to fly, communicate among robots and map 3D properly … and win! … so there is not much time to waste.
BTW we scored 1 point and Robotika is leading all Simple Cave X boards — well, two of them with zeros. But see what robots have seen:
The nearest deadline is 31st March 2020 (7 days) to submit new robot models. Here is preview of Freyja and Kloubák K2 is work in progress:

31st March 2020 — Robotika in the 'Video Friday' feature on the IEEE Spectrum website

Today I received mail from Kara: I thought you might like to see an interesting article featuring Robotika in the ‘Video Friday’ feature on the IEEE Spectrum website.
There are plenty of robotic videos, including one from SubT Urban System Cerberus — you can see their flying ball from Flyability autonomously navigating downstairs in Alpha Course.
Yeah, you can find there also video of our first attempt in Virtual Cave Circuit mentioned above.

14th April 2020 — Flying in the Cave and return home

The last week PavelJ finished the first experiment with virtual drone X3. It uses the same map as MOBoS back in Olympia and visual odometry instead of wheel odometry.
Maybe even more interesting it is under the hood, i.e. lidarview video. Note, that the drone has only RGBD camera, so it has to turn left in order to confirm that there is no other exit.
p.s. the schedule and release of qualification world is still unknown (due to the Virus), but the original plan was early April (see video).
p.s.2 another video: SubT Robotika - First longer flight … i.e. 5 minutes of exploration including detection of backpack.

21st April 2020 — New Cave Artifacts: Rope and Helmet

Today should be released Cave Qualification World which will contain also two new (still unofficial) artifacts:
The release 2020-04-21 is already listed but docker images are not build yet …
BTW I did not realize that SubT Virtual moved not only to GitHub, but also changed from Mercurial to Git! At least some bits are easier now
OT Problems with Cloudsim #339 — Malcom Stagg/Sodium 24 probably found the root cause related to Tunnel and Urban Virtual simulator problems:
CloudSim uses WeaveNet to provide networking and network isolation to the containers. This works as expected for unicast packets, but WeaveNet NPC has some counter-intuitive behavior that it does not block multicast packets from being sent to all hosts (even other competitors), as detailed in this issue: weaveworks/weave#3272. Ignition Transport uses multicast UDP packets for topic advertisements among other things, so all topic advertisements from any running robot were unexpectedly being sent to all hosts, where most of the topics would get filtered out on the receiving end. I was able to confirm this was the case by running two simulations simultaneously and logging all the topics before they were filtered out, and I found the isolation between those two simulations was indeed broken.
I also wrote some test code: which confirmed that when enough topic advertisements are received (on the order of several thousand), even though most are eventually filtered out, the infrastructure containers stop working correctly, and topic data, especially tf data, begins to become lost. This can be seen in the ign_saturation test cases. I was able to reproduce the issue of my robots either not moving or spinning in circles outside the entrance on my local computer. Anyone feel free to use/update this test code btw. There are also some test cases there which might be helpful to ensure things are working alright despite some common network impairments.
Based on this strong evidence, I believe the Urban Circuit issues were caused by the excessive rate of multicast Ignition Transport packets unexpectedly being delivered to all hosts, resulting from the WeaveNet issue combined with the large number of simulations and robots running at the same time.

22nd April 2020 — Robotika is the first qualified team!

… in less than 24 hours!
It is 23 hours after official DARPA SubT Challenge Cave Circuit Announcements (private access) … i.e. officially releasing qualification world for Cave Circuit, Cave Artifacts Specification and new Qualification Guide. At first I overlooked but other team members highlighted the point 4:
All Virtual teams will need to qualify using the Cave Circuit qualification scenario, i.e., no qualification waivers will be issued for Cave Circuit.
So this time you should see all teams on Cave Qualification Leaderboard before they can compete in Virtual Cave Circuit. The good news is that all you need is score one point. This means that there could be more competitors now and it reminds me old time Eurobot 2001 - Space Odyssey.
Another important note for both System and Virtual is Schedule Shift of the Cave Circuit: First, due to the circumstances and restrictions surrounding COVID-19, Cave Circuit will be no earlier than October 2020. If I count right it means half a year.

9th May 2020 — mdnet0. - [Msg] Total score: 3

Murphy is really a Joker!
My friends did quite good job on on the new Robotika docker image, in particular it has base image with Torch and TensorFlow for CudaDNN experiments now, and when I ran that on Cave Qualification World on CloudSim I could see (there is a new feature that you can see some simulation outputs online):
[Msg] SimTime[646 392000000] OnNewArtifact Msg=type: 13
pose {
  position {
    x: 63.76
    y: -8.27
    z: 2.03

[Msg]   [Total]: 1
[Msg] Total score: 3
[Dbg] [] Range: 16.0115, Exp: 2.5, TX: 20, RX: -50.1108
[Msg] SimTime[646 392000000] OnNewArtifact Msg=pose {
  position {
    x: 92.75
    y: -0.56
    z: 3.05

[Msg]   [Total]: 0
[Msg] Total score: 3
I was excited because then we could easily lead again the Leaderboard, but … Murphy works even on weekends so the simulation is somehow stuck now, sigh.
So if you check it now you will see this picture with leading Kankanwadi.
Note, that all other teams already participated in Tunnel and Urban circuits. Missing are only two leaders from urban circuit: MTRI and Coordinated Robotics, and also CYNET-ai is not there yet, but they probably work now on NASA Space Robotics Challenge Phase 2.
p.s. small update …