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COLONY Introduction September 10, 2010. Outline. Motivation Brief Introduction to the Robots Recent Colony Work Current Research Administrative Things. Motivation. Create a colony of robots that does cool stuff Interesting research platform Emergent behaviors Robotic cooperation

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slide1

COLONY

Introduction

September 10, 2010

outline
Outline
  • Motivation
  • Brief Introduction to the Robots
  • Recent Colony Work
  • Current Research
  • Administrative Things
motivation
Motivation
  • Create a colony of robots that does cool stuff
  • Interesting research platform
    • Emergent behaviors
    • Robotic cooperation
    • Multi-agent interaction
    • Distributed algorithms
    • Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM)
why colonies
Why Colonies?
  • Many successful organisms organize themselves into groups
why a colony of robots
Why a Colony of Robots?
  • Robustness
    • Single robot + single failure = game over
    • Colony of robots + single failure = one robot down
  • Distributed intelligence and sensing
    • One robot cannot be everywhere at once
    • Colonies can collect and communicate data across distant points within an environment
  • Collective behavior
    • Cooperation between robots to accomplish complex tasks
  • Robots are awesome
    • More robots are more awesome
goals
Goals

Many low-cost robots

Open, usable platform

Capable hardware

Robust open-source code base

Research

Multi-robot applications

Distributed algorithms

Emergent behaviors

Fun Stuff

6

brief colony history
Brief Colony History
  • Project started in 2003 by Steve Shamlian
  • Robots
    • Firefly I, II
    • Dragonfly
    • Scout
  • BOM, BOM 1.5
  • Many research grants
    • URO - Over 11 Small Undergraduate Research Grants
    • Ford Motor Company
    • Robotics Institute
  • 2 Papers / Conferences
    • NCUR – National Conferences on Undergraduate Research
    • AAAI – Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
active members
Project Leaders

John Sexton

Ben Wasserman

Alex Zirbel

Current Members

Chris Mar

Dan Shope

Megan Dority

Evan Mullinix

Abe Levkoy

Nico Paris

Ben Poole

Hanzhang Hu

Distinguished Alumni

Austin Buchan

Bradford Neuman

David Schultz

Emily Hart

James Carroll

Joseph Lee

Daniel Jacobs

VinayVemuri

DevendraGurjar

Active Members
dragonfly front view
Dragonfly – Front View

Front IR Rangefinders

11

dragonfly back view
Dragonfly – Back View

Side IR Rangefinders

12

communication
Communication

Bearing and Orientation Module (BOM)

Localization sensor

IR emitter/detector array

Relative angle measurements to other robots

13

communication1
Communication

XBee wireless module

30m indoor range / 100m outdoor range

IEEE 802.15.4 (ZigBee)

2.4 GHz

Low-cost, low-power

Open industry standard

14

behaviors
Behaviors
  • Individual and multiple robot behaviors
  • Simple local interactions can yield complex global actions
    • Emergent behavior
  • Use sensor data to control actions
behaviors1
Behaviors
  • Past Projects:
    • Obstacle Avoidance
    • Cooperative Maze Solving
    • “Follow the Leader”
    • “Marching Band” 1.0
autonomous recharging
Autonomous Recharging
  • Battery charge is limited
  • Recharging batteries is a pain
  • Let the robots charge themselves!
mapping
Mapping
  • Autonomous wall following
  • Obstacle detection using rangefinders
  • Position estimation using encoders
  • Wireless data collection
simulator
Simulator
  • Test robot behaviors quickly
  • Develop behaviors independently of hardware problems
  • Develop code even when robots are out of reach
  • Simulating 100 robots is a lot cheaper than having 100 robots
diagnostic station
Diagnostic Station
  • Inconsistent sensors are consequence of inexpensive colony
  • Calibrate and characterize sensors for every robot
  • Automate colony maintenance
formation control
Formation Control
  • Make robots form and maintain a spatial relationship
  • Stay in formation while moving as a group
current future work
Current + Future Work
  • Dynamic Traffic Navigation (SURG Grant)
    • Make robots drive around on roads autonomously while communicating with each other to simulate and improve traffic systems.
    • Applications
      • Self driving cars
      • Warehouse robots
      • Automated driving systems
  • <Your Idea Here>
colony scout system overview
Colony Scout: System Overview
  • 4WD all-terrain platform
    • High speed, high torque motors (200rpm, 45oz-in)
    • Integrated quadrature encoders (~3mm linear accuracy)
  • Enhanced Sensor Package
    • Sonar rangefinders
    • Digital cliff sensors
    • Side proximity sensors
    • Front bumper switches
    • Yaw rate gyroscope
    • 3 axis accelerometer (optional)
  • Integrated charging contacts & homing
colony scout what can you do
Colony Scout: What can you do?
  • Prototype and test Gumstix board design
  • Compile OpenEmbedded Linux using bitbake and gcc
  • Develop AVRARM9 interface
  • Autonomous Charging Station
    • Power distribution design, homing beacons
  • Accessories
    • Have a cool idea? Make it a reality!

For more information and videos:

www.ColonyScout.com

slide28
FAQ
  • Why should I join Colony?
    • Experience with robots
    • Learn about all phases of research
      • Proposals (i.e. SURG)
      • Robotics (design, programming)
      • Presentation
    • Awesome long-term project
      • Experience with motivated, talented team
      • Exposure to embedded systems, sensors, wireless communication, mobile robotics
faq cont d
FAQ Cont’d
  • Do I need to know (skill) ?
    • No!
    • But you are expected to take an active role in learning
    • Club members will provide assistance
  • How much time will this take?
    • Expect at least 3-10 solid hours per week
    • The more you put in, the more you get out of it
slide30
FAQ
  • How do I get started?
    • Make sure we can contact you
      • Get added to the email list:rc-colony@lists.andrew.cmu.edu
      • Email jsexton@andrew.cmu.edu to get added
    • Attend work meetings
      • First five weeks of meetings will be geared towards getting you up to speed
meetings
Meetings
  • Project Meetings
    • Fridays, 4:30pm. NSH 1109
      • Cookies!
    • Everyone. Every time.
    • Status updates, administrative matters
  • Work Meetings
    • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm in the Club Room
work meetings
Work Meetings
  • First few weeks are special!
    • Hands-on labs to bring you up to speed
  • Labs will be released online
    • Can work independently if unable to make work meetings
    • Members will be in the Club during work meeting hours
  • Bring your laptops!
    • Available computers are limited
colony introduction schedule
Colony Introduction Schedule
  • Lab0 - Dance Competition
    • [Release date: 9/10/10] [Demo date: 9/24/10]
  • Lab1 - Dead Reckoning
    • [Release date: 9/24/10] [Demo date: 10/8/10]
  • Lab2 - Hunter-Prey
    • [Release date: 10/8/10] [Checkpoint date: 10/14/10][Demo date: 10/22/10]
things you should look at
Things You Should Look At
  • C Programming Tutorial
    • http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/cclass/notes/top.html
    • Chapters 1 – 3
    • Don’t worry about compiling; we’ll show you that
  • WinAVR
    • Compiler, linker, loader package for programming our robots
  • Programmer’s Notepad
    • Code (text) editor bundled with WinAVR for convenient programming
  • SVN – Subversion
    • Source control
  • Redmine
    • Wiki
    • Task management system
advisor
Advisor
  • George Kantor
    • RI Project Scientist
    • Teaches several RI classes
    • Controls, sensor networks, …
    • Knows a thing or two about robots
    • Busy guy
important emails web
Important Emails/Web
  • Colony list
    • rc-colony@lists.andrew.cmu.edu – new people
  • Project Leaders:
    • jsexton@andrew.cmu.edu
    • bwasserm@andrew.cmu.edu
    • azirbel@andrew.cmu.edu
  • Web:
    • www.robotcolony.org