František Duchoň: Robotics can generally be used anywhere

29. 01. 2015

František DuchoňDoc. Ing. František Duchoň, PhD. has graduated from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (FEI STU), field of study Automation. He defended his dissertation thesis entitled "Proposal of navigation algorithms of autonomous mobile robot " in 2010. He works as a teacher and researcher at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is interested in the problems of mobile robotics and manufacturing systems.

On January 20th 2015, Doc. Ing. František Duchoň, PhD. was a guest of the Scientific Patisserie with the theme Mobile robots around us. The discourse is organized by the National Centre for the Popularisation of Science and Technology in Society, at the Centre of Scientific and Technical Information SR (CVTI SR) and the civic association the Young Scientists of Slovakia. On this occasion, we asked doc. Duchoň for an interview.

NCPST: Whom / what did You want to be when You were a kid?

F. Duchoň: "When I was a kid like any other, I wanted to be all possible. I wanted to be, for example, archaeologist, chemist, astronaut and I don´t know what else... Outside, we pretended to be famous athletes. When the first computer appeared I wanted to programme computer games. Of course, how I imagined it as a child, it was not so easy. But as I remember, at the elementary school, me and also one my classmate were talked about that, that we'll let to remove our brains and spinals and re-make ourselves into robots. We wanted to live forever."

NCPST: How did You get to study robotics and cybernetics?

F. Duchoň: "I have to admit that it was a coincidence. As I said, when the first computer appeared in my life I wanted to become a programmer. I dreamed that I will create computer games and I will earn money for living by this. Therefore, I applied to the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The study has been organized by thus, we could determine the priority programs of our studies. For me, on the first place was Informatics, of course. An automatization has find itself on the second place, because it has closer to science. However I must admit, that I was not a model student, so I did not get to study informatics but automatization. I don´t regret it, I'm just glad that I didn´t learn so well at that time (laugh) and this coincidence allowed me to get the chance to study robotics and cybernetics."

NCPST: What are You interested in nowadays?

František Duchoň v CVTI SRF. Duchoň: "These days, I work as a college lecturer at the Institute of Robotics and Cybernetics and I am interesting in everything I shouldn´t probably be In abroad, despite winning the title people are interested in the professional activity, but in Slovakia, we are specific in this. So now I focus on that, a great team that I have around me had the necessary material equipment and the better wages....  Unfortunately, the time, politicians and other factors have pushed us into such a mode. Basically, I fill in papers, write documents and call somewhere all day. But if there is a bit of free time, I watch what happens in the world of robotics. I have a weak-point for localization and navigation of mobile robots. In the team, we also plan huge multinational projects, but do not want to reveal anything yet. If any of this will come out, be sure that you will hear about us. Also, I have a lot of work with the introduction of some kind of system or schedule of the functioning of the National Centre of Robotics, which I co-founded. In February, we expect the visit of Mr. President, before that we even open day, so we are getting ready for this and we want everything going smoothly."

NCPST: Where in the practice can be used the results of your work / research?

F. Duchoň: "Robotics can generally be used almost anywhere. Robots can help people or, in certain areas, they can replace people anywhere where people do not want to be, where they can´t go or they are too lazy to carry out such activity. It only depends on the request each application. So far, we have realized our ideas by ourselves. Nowadays, we try to take the most of these robotic applications from practice. We participate on several projects, but from the most interesting I choose cleaning of folding heads in Volkswagen, collection of metallic materials from the ocean with the help of robot or securing of the robotic submarines into extractor cage. The colleagues were engaged in the application in Volkswagen and it was declared as the second biggest innovation of the year, in the whole factory. And as drawing robotic submarine is brought to the patent office in Texas, USA. However, there is mention cooperation with Matador Industries, which develop intensive cooperation in the award four projects. Regularly with the ZTS Košice prototyping purely Slovak robots. But the results of our work are also reflected in the educational process. An example is the cooperation with company E-technology, in which we are trying to promote robotic applications as a form of teaching informatics in secondary schools. They supply material and we lecturers. You can really see that the spectrum of our results is quite wide. We try to make him narrow and we also try to listen to the companies, what they in practice really need."

NCPST: What are Your hobbies except the work?

F. Duchoň: "Except my work, I´m interested in sport, especially football and table tennis, books (mostly historical books), watching documents and I sometimes also play table games with my friends. I am also interested in my house (laugh) and for the next four years I became a city official. So, I am also keenly interested in what is happening around my residence."

František DuchoňNCPST: There are a lot of movies, involve robots with different abilities. Do You think these robots will exist in the near future? Do You have your favourite between them?

F. Duchoň: "Just yesterday I saw at TV station one film from my childhood - Robot Jox. Probably, only a few people will know about it, but even then such films with large combat robots fascinated me. There are many films where a robot appeared for a moment and it is difficult for me to pick just one. But from favourites I can mention T-800 (Terminator 2), Robocop, Optimus Prime (Transformers) or Johnny 5 (Short Circuit). And if there will be these robots in the near future? Recent robots already have some of the features, the question is whether we will be able to complete these features into cemplex system. I like surprises, so I am quite happy to be surprised by this. However, I hope that the Slovak robotics will be part of such great projects."

NCPST: Thank You very much  for an interview.

Photos - source: František Duchoň, NCPST

Click for full reslution of photos.

Published by: MI

Translated by: LŠ

, Engineering

Technical Sciences