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Undergraduate Capstone Projects on Multi-Robot Systems. Authored by: Dr. Christopher Kitts Associate Professor Director, Robotic Systems Laboratory Director, Silicon Valley Center for Robotic Exploration & Space Technologies Presented by: Mr. Mike Rasay

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Undergraduate Capstone Projects on Multi-Robot Systems

Authored by: Dr. Christopher Kitts

Associate Professor

Director, Robotic Systems Laboratory

Director, Silicon Valley Center for Robotic Exploration & Space Technologies

Presented by: Mr. Mike Rasay

Doctoral Candidate, Robotic Systems Laboratory


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Outline

  • Introduction

  • Undergraduate Projects

    • Formation Flying Aircraft

    • Cooperative Rover Navigation

    • Cooperative Object Transport

  • Academic Framework

  • Summary & Conclusions


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Robotic Systems Laboratory

  • Lab: 1 faculty, 3 staff, ~10 grad students, ~35 undergrad students

    External funding: ~$750,000/yr from gov, industry, academia

    Space: ~2,000 ft2 on campus,~7,500 ft2 facility at NASA Ames

  • Expertise: system design, controls, teleoperation, automation, etc.

  • Current Field Robotics

--------------------------Land – Sea – Air – Space-------------------------------

----------- Sponsors & Partners------------

Gov: NSF, NASA, USAF, NOAA,USGS…

Ind: Lockheed, CSA, Mitsubishi, BMW…

Univ: Stanford, Wash U, UT Austin…

Non-Profit: CSGC, MBARI, IEEE, MTS…

- Applications-

Geology

Biology

Land Mngmnt

Remote Sensing

Archeology

--Field Operation for Real-World Missions--

--------------- Real Mission Data Products---------------


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Multi-Robot Systems - Introduction

  • Selected RSL multi-robot projects

Land: Rovers for Transport Sea: ROVs for Filming

Air: Planes for Imaging Space: Satellite Formation Test


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Project 1 – Formation Flying Aircraft

  • 3-student 2005 project

  • Added sensors, pan/tilt camera, digital and video comms, microcontrollers, and commercial autopilot to RC aircraft

  • Developed “follow-the-leader” formation flying, auto take-off and landing

  • Approved for UAV flight in FAA Class D airspace

  • 3rd in AUVSI International Graduate UAV Contest


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Project 2 – Coordinated Rover Navigation

  • 5-student 2005 project

  • Added sensors, digital comm, & microcontrollers to commercial chasses

  • Integrated Matlab controllers and demonstrated “cluster control” navigation

  • 3 of these students used system for grad thesis work; 1 PhD and 3 Masters theses in progress using this system

  • Basis of new NSF project in multi-robot navigation


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Project 3 – Coordinated Object Transportation

  • 4 student 2004 project and 5 student 2005 project

  • Team1: Developed 2 velocity-controlled omnidriven chasses

  • Team 2: Developed gripper stages and controller for object transport with no transmission of forces/torques

  • Overhead vision system has been added for tracking

  • System has supported 4 Masters theses and a PhD project is about to begin


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Student Learning

  • Learning outcomes

    • Interdisciplinary design: teams include mech, elec, comp engineers

    • Full-lifecycle exposure: students involved from design through field operation

    • Tools: students learn modern design and analysis tools to support projects

    • Techniques: students practice project man., systems eng., concurrent design

  • Themes for success:

    • Real-world missions

    • New technology development with potential for research

    • Pro-active oversight and mentoring

  • Challenges:

    • Faculty attention on undergrad projects (detracting from other duties)

    • Resources for supporting such a program

    • How do we integrate our program to address these challenges?


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Academic Framework – Field Robotics

Education / Science / Technology Customers

Mission Objectives

Technology Objectives

Mission Development

Technology Development

Robotic Systems

Field Operation


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Academic Framework – Field Robotics

Education / Science / Technology Customers

Mission Objectives

Technology Objectives

Design Education Opportunities and Impact – Education is Comprehensive, Team-Based, and Hands-on

Research Opportunities and Impact – Research is Well-Grounded and Attracts Grad Students

Mission Development

Technology Development

Robotic Systems

Field Operation

Mission Science & Services Impact


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Academic Framework – Field Robotics

Education / Science / Technology Customers

Mission Objectives

Technology Objectives

Design Education Opportunities and Impact – Education is Comprehensive, Team-Based, and Hands-on

Research Opportunities and Impact – Research is Well-Grounded and Attracts Grad Students

Mission Development

Technology Development

Robotic Systems

- Integrative research & education

- Undergraduate research

- Stimulation of grad school interest

- Industry/gov/academic collaborations

Field Operation

Mission Science & Services Impact


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Academic Framework – Field Robotics

Education / Science / Technology Customers

Funding Opportunities

Mission Objectives

Technology Objectives

Design Education Opportunities and Impact – Education is Comprehensive, Team-Based, and Hands-on

Research Opportunities and Impact – Research is Well-Grounded and Attracts Grad Students

Mission Development

Technology Development

Robotic Systems

Infrastructure for Courses & Future Missions

- Integrative research & education

- Undergraduate research

- Stimulation of grad school interest

- Industry/gov/academic collaborations

Field Operation

Mission Science & Services Impact


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Summary & Conclusions

  • SCU field robotics program

    • Robotic systems built for land, sea, air, and space missions

    • Cradle to grave design and operation of systems

    • Numerous collaborators/sponsors from industry, academia, government

  • Undergraduate Capstone Projects in Multi-Robot Systems

    • Formation aircraft, cooperative rover navigation, cooperative object transport

    • Each a remarkable achievement for an undergraduate team

  • Academic Framework

    • Exciting opportunities enabling undergraduate educational excellence

    • To attract and justify investment in these projects, they are leveraged such that:the resulting robotic systems are used:

      • As research testbeds for graduate research

      • As primary field systems for real-world science and technology missions


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