Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas

The Institute of Computer Science (ICS) is one of the seven institutes constituting the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH), which is a non-profit organization, monitored by the General Secretariat of Research and Technology. In its fifteen-year history, ICS-FORTH has established itself as a renown and highly competitive research institute in computer science and technology, with a broad range of RTD activities and an impressive record of participation in funded European and national projects. ICS has a full-time staff of 90 persons, about 15 visiting researchers and over than 120 graduate and undergraduate students. Over 3 MECU per year of ICS's funding, about 70% of the total costs, come from participation in European RTD programs; the other 30% of the costs come from the Ministry's budget.

ICS-FORTH is active in a number of areas including, but not limited to, distributed systems & resource allocation, user interfaces, integration of knowledge and databases, information systems, image processing & computer vision, robotics, machine learning, VLSI design, and decision support systems. It is actively promoting developed applications in industry and other organizations; in the past it has signed contracts with the Paul Getty Foundation, USA, and Daimler Benz, Germany. FORTH is a member of ERCIM and can use its partners to establish exploitation plans in countries not directly covered by the project partners. Furthermore, ICS-FORTH has established FORTHNET S.A., which is historically the first and today the largest and most advanced multiprotocol computer network that provides access to advanced services in Greece.

ICS-FORTH will participate in TOURBOT with the Computer Vision and Robotics Laboratory (CVRL). The laboratory was established in 1985 and today employs approximately 25 highly skilled and experienced scientists, engineers and technicians. CVRL has a modern infrastructure (including robotic platforms, active vision systems, state of the art workstations, etc.), that facilitates experimentation with the developed methods and demonstration of research results. CVRL's activities emphasize research and development in the areas of image processing and analysis, computer vision and autonomous mobile robots. Image processing and analysis: Feature extraction, image and video segmentation, color and texture analysis, image and video retrieval by content. Computer vision: Visual perception of static and dynamic characteristics of 3D world (motion, depth, shape, color, texture). Autonomous mobile robots: Robot navigation, obstacle detection and avoidance, path planning, landmark-based localization, visual servoing. In pursuing the above tasks, the group's efforts are oriented towards the development of robust solutions as well as their efficient implementation in specific application domains. CVRL participates in various national and European funded projects that are closely related to the above tasks. Currently, it is the co-ordinator of the VIRGO TMR Network aiming at the study and development of techniques for vision-based robot navigation and the national DRIVER project that addresses the development of an autonomous robotic wheelchair.

Key Personnel

Panos Trahanias is an Associate Professor with the Dept. of Computer Sci., Univ. of Crete, Greece and ICS-FORTH. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the National Technical Univ. of Athens, Greece, in 1988. He has been a Res. Associate at the Inst. of Informatics & Telecomm., National Center for Sci. Research "Demokritos", Athens, Greece. From 1991 to 1993 he was with the Dept. of Electrical & Computer Eng., Univ. of Toronto, Canada, as a Res. Associate. He has participated in many RTD programs in image analysis at Univ. of Toronto and has been a consultant to SPAR Aerospace Ltd., Toronto. Since 1993 he is with the Univ. of Crete and ICS-FORTH; currently, he is the supervisor of the Computer Vision & Robotics Lab. at ICS-FORTH where he is engaged in research and RTD programs in vision-based robot navigation.

Prof. Stelios C. Orphanoudakis holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Eng. from the Thayer School of Eng., Dartmouth College, USA. He is currently director of ICS-FORTH, and Professor of Computer Science, Univ. of Crete, Greece. He is also leader of the Computer Vision and Robotics Division of ICS-FORTH. He held a faculty appointment in the Depts. of Diagnostic Radiology and Electrical Eng. at Yale Univ., USA, 1975-91. Prof. Orphanoudakis is a member of many honorary and professional societies and a Senior Member of IEEE. He has many years of research experience in computer vision and robotics. He has served on various committees and working groups of EC and has been active in European RTD programs. He currently serves on the Board of Directors and is Vice President of ERCIM. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the EuroPACS society. Finally, he is a member of the National Telecommunications Commission, the National Advisory Research Council, and the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture of Greece.

Dr. Antonis Argyros is a researcher at ICS-FORTH where he coordinates the Computer Vision and Robotics Lab. He got his Ph.D. from the Dept. of Computer Science, Univ. of Crete, Greece, in visual motion analysis. During his post-doc at KTH, Sweden, he worked on vision-based, reactive robot navigation. Dr. Argyros was nominated by the VIRGO TMR Network to represent it at the "TMR Networks Conference", Graz, Austria, May 1998. He also received the "DAGS Interns Grant Award", DAGS Institute for Advanced Graduate Studies, DAGS/PC 92, Dartmouth College, USA. He has been involved in many RTD projects in image analysis and computer vision. His current research interests are in computer vision and robotics and particularly in the visual perception of space and motion, focus of attention and in alternatve visual sensors.

Dr. Dimitris Tsakiris is a researcher with ICS-FORTH. He received his Ph.D. from the Dept. of Electrical Eng., Univ. of Maryland, USA. While at Maryland, he was affiliated with the Inst. for Systems Research and served as the manager of the Intelligent Servosystems Lab. His Ph.D. involved the study of parallel robotic manipulators, of nonholonomic robotic systems and of undulatory robotic locomotors, with emphasis on mechanics and nonlinear control. Subsequently, he was a Marie Curie/TMR postdoctoral fellow with the mobile and underwater robotics group, INRIA, France, where he worked on visual servoing. His research interests lie in the areas of sensor-based robot navigation, nonlinear control and geometric mechanics.