The Aerospace Robotics Laboratory conducts fundamental research in many
different areas including autonomous navigation of air, land and water vehicles,
underwater stationkeeping and sea floor mapping, as well as problems for robots
climbing in natural terrain. Our past research has included vehicular robotics,
redundant and flexible manipulators, high-level sensing systems, human-robot
interaction, and software development strategies.
In collaboration with JPL, the ARL
has been researching enabling robotic free climbing (e.g. climbing using
only natural features of the terrain, not devices such as pegs in holes).
The research in this lab has focused on the motion planning and control
problems. We have tested our motion planning algorithms on the JPL's LEMUR
robot. We are in the process of testing our control algorithms in
simulation and on the ARL's free flying robots in order to eventually
enable their test on LEMUR. |
OTTER is a hover capable
underwater vehicle which we operate in a test tank at the Monterey Bay
Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). Current and past research includes
texture-based vision processing for feedback control and real-time
mosaicking, fully autonomous intervention missions, and hydrodynamic
modelling of underwater manipulators. |
This testbed consists of three
self-contained (on-board computer, power, propulsion, wireless
communication, etc..) air cushion vehicles floating on a polished granite
plate. This system simulates in 2 dimensions the drag-free environment of
space. An overhead vision system as well as an indoor GPS system are used
Current research on this testbed involves designing sensing and
control strategies for a rock climbing robot. Past research on the free
fliers includes: formation flying control design and maneuver planning,
on-board GPS sensing for self-contained relative positioning, and
real-time dynamic trajectory generation for multiple moving vehicles in a
field with moving obstacles.
One of the
many difficulties associated with robotic exploration is that of
navigational sensing. Future robotic missions to Mars and other planets
would benefit greatly from the centimeter-level accuracy and high
repeatability characteristic of GPS. Th is project has developed a
local-area GPS-type system based on pseudolites (ground transmitters) to
provide this capability in the absence of a satellite-based system.
ARL Main Page
The HUMMINGBIRD Autonomous Helicopter uses Carrier
Phase Differential GPS (CDGPS) and computer vision to accomplish real
world tasks such as object tracking and vision-based stationkeeping. This
project focuses on the helicopter as a system and examines ways to improve
it, from the sensing onboard to the computer interface presented to the
This manipulator consists of
a large, flexible macro arm with two smaller micro arms. The macro arm has
a large workspace but limited speed, the micro arms are faster but have a
limited workspace - like a human's arm and fingers.
The MARS Test-Bed is
used to investigate high-level planning of multi-robot systems. Current
research includes motion planning, assembly and manipulation planning.
The many types of robots developed in the ARL have provided a variety
of perspectives on field robot operation. The human-robot interaction
projects have sought to understand the basic principles that create
effective human-robot teams. Past projects have developed graphics
libraries for monitoring real-time systems and augmented robot sensing
with human perception. Current research has included observations of
police Special Weapons and Tactics teams, the integration of concepts from
Human-Computer Interaction, and the development of object-based
interactions for complex systems.
This project examined the
integration of real-time planning capabilities in a reconfigurable
workcell. This includes aspects such as task-level user interfaces, task
planning, and subsystem communications and cooperation.
cooperation of multiple robot arms is an important capability for complex
tasks involving physical manipulation. This research explored task-level,
cooperative, non-linear force control in the presence of joint
Manipulation by very flexible
structures, such as the Space Shuttle RMS, is a very challenging task.
This project demonstrated end-point force control by a two-link flexible
arm. The macro-mini configuration allows very fast and precise end-point