UCSD Robots Take Center Stage at National Robotics Conference

August 20, 2009
, a robot created by UCSD's Coordinated Robotics Lab, received rave reviews during NI Week, the popular annual robotics conference in Austin, Texas.

Novel agile robots created by mechanical engineers at UC San Diego recently made their way to Austin, Texas, and took center stage during a keynote address at NI Week , the annual robotics extravaganza hosted by National Instruments.

“NI Week exposed us to 3,000 of the world’s leaders in robotics,” said Tom Bewley, a Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering professor at the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering. “As we recently filed patent disclosures with UCSD’s IP office, we finally had the opportunity to go public on a large scale with some of our most exciting new designs, and to begin seeking partnerships with industry for commercialization.”

During their keynote address, Bewley and his Ph.D. students Christopher Schmidt-Wetekam and Nick Morozovsky of the UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab gave live demos of their third-generation multimodal hopping rover, iHop, and their miniature treaded rover, Switchblade. Both designs feature feedback control to stabilize various maneuvers, trading off static stability for significantly enhanced agility. They also introduced iceCube, a self-propelled, self-guided sphere, which is actuated via internal control moment gyros and was designed by Jacobs School Ph.D. student Andrew Cavender.

“Our robots can stand up and jump, greatly increasing their reach, while less advanced robots are often limited to statically stable configurations,” Bewley said. “Using advanced feedback control, we can give our robots a sense of balance. Feedback means, essentially, that our robots can detect when they are about to fall over, and figure out how to shift their weight appropriately so they don’t. With such feedback incorporated, we can simplify our robots mechanically while remaining agile. This will ultimately lead to effective miniaturization and facilitate a variety of useful applications, such as enhanced 3D mapping of buildings and tunnels in dangerous or remote environments."

A short video of the keynote address is available at zone.ni.com/wv/app/doc/p/id/wv-1705/upvisited/y
If you have just a few moments, check out the Switchblade at the 10 minute mark. You'll see Switchblade pop a wheelie, maneuver its boom, and climb stairs.

Provided by UC Davis (news : web)

Explore further: Hopping Robot Captures Top Research Expo Honor

Related Stories

Hopping Robot Captures Top Research Expo Honor

February 25, 2008

The goal of Christopher M. Schmidt-Wetekam was to build a robot with off-the-shelf parts for his graduate research project that could roll around and hop over obstacles like a motorized kangaroo on roller skates. His two-wheeled ...

Japanese Firms Start Testing Robots In Office Buildings

February 7, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- It may not be too long before visitors are greeted by a robotic receptionist in Japanese Smart Office Buildings. Shimizu Corp and Yasukawa Electric Corp have opened the "Smart Showroom" that is part of the ...

What will the next 50 years bring in robotics research?

April 24, 2007

Would a conscious robot need the same rights as a human being? Could robots one day take over the care of our ageing population? Will robots be our soldiers of the future? When will robots be able to do all the housework?

Japan creates Asimov-like robotic laws

May 31, 2006

Japan is creating "robotic laws" along the lines envisioned by scientist Isaac Asimov in the Laws of Robotics he presented in a 1940 science fiction novel.

Recommended for you

Samsung to disable Note 7 phones in recall effort

December 9, 2016

Samsung announced Friday it would disable its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in the US market to force remaining owners to stop using the devices, which were recalled for safety reasons.

Swiss unveil stratospheric solar plane

December 7, 2016

Just months after two Swiss pilots completed a historic round-the-world trip in a Sun-powered plane, another Swiss adventurer on Wednesday unveiled a solar plane aimed at reaching the stratosphere.

Solar panels repay their energy 'debt': study

December 6, 2016

The climate-friendly electricity generated by solar panels in the past 40 years has all but cancelled out the polluting energy used to produce them, a study said Tuesday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.