More than meets the eyeBug

Sep 23, 2011
eyeBug

When you think of robots, you probably think of Arnold Schwarzenegger walking round with part of his metal skull exposed in the Terminator films, or C3PO being the model of politeness in Star Wars. The field of robotics, and the technology within it, is advancing quickly and tomorrow’s truth may soon resemble yesterday’s science fiction.

Today, robots are used for industrial tasks such as manufacturing, mining and inspection, as well as being an important research tool.

As part of his final year project, Monash engineering student, Nick D’Ademo has designed an experimental called eyeBug, under the supervision of Dr. Ahmet Sekercioglu from the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering.

“When I gave Nick the specification, I had no idea what a beautifully flexible design he would create. We wanted a design that would be cheap to build, modular to be open for innovation and creativity, and finally something that would be visually appealing for other students,” Dr. Sekercioglu said.

“Design is an integral part of our engineering students’ curriculum where they are given the challenge of taking an idea and develop it into a fully functioning system. It is extremely rewarding for us to see the students applying the principles we teach so successfully.”

The resulting robot has attracted a lot of attention and is already being used for a wide range of research projects. 

By studying the way robots form networks to communicate with each other, it is possible to gain indispensable knowledge that will be used to develop the next generation of smart mobile phones.

Nick D’Ademo and Dr. Sekercioglu will “open-source” the eyeBug design and release all the programs and system design documents to the internet community, establishing university-to-university collaboration links in various projects. 

Dr. Sekercioglu’s postgraduate students have already started developing technologies to extend the ’s capabilities to create distributed smart camera networks.  Eventually, swarms of eyeBugs equipped with artificial intelligence algorithms will be able to build digital 3D models of their environment by communicating and sharing what every individual eyeBug sees.

“Robots are already vital to the way we live today. They’ve changed the way we approach activities, and they are becoming ‘networked’. For example, a team of eyeBugs could potentially be used to map out a scene inside a building after an earthquake, or a nuclear reactor after an accident,” said Dr. Sekercioglu.

Other researchers are also keen to get their hands on the eyeBug including Professor Tom Drummond who leads the Augmented Reality research group at Monash University.

“Augmented reality is a new and exciting field in which a view of a physical environment is overlaid with computer-generated video or graphics.

“The eyeBugs, with their vision processing and distributed computation capabilities, will be a real benefit,” said Professor Drummond.

Tomorrow’s technology may arrive sooner than you think!

Explore further: Robots lending a helping hand to build planes

More information: For further information on Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, visit www.eng.monash.edu.au/ecse/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A pillow fight on auto-pilot

Jun 14, 2011

The breezeway between McLaughlin and O’Brien halls looks like an electronic components store after an explosion. Color-coded wires, screwdrivers, white sprockets and power tools litter the floor—wherever ...

Music-playing robot developed by Drexel students

Mar 17, 2011

Only a decade ago, musically-aware humanoids, or robots, equipped to play popular songs on the piano and dance to audio beats could have come to life only in a science fiction film, but for Drexel University ...

Flying machines are YouTube sensation

Mar 22, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The latest YouTube sensation isn’t a puppy that dances to Lady Gaga or a kitten that opens beer bottles. By using unmanned aerial vehicles called quadrotors, two Ph.D. candidates at the ...

A brainy innovation takes flight

Jun 02, 2011

A team of Northeastern University engineering students has developed a system that allows a pilot to fly a simulated airplane using nothing more than his or her brainwaves — a program that has piqued military and private-sector ...

High-precision robots available in kit form

Jun 17, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A doctoral student from EPFL's Laboratory of Robotics Systems has developed a concept for modular industrial robots, based on the technology of parallel robots, whose precision is expressed ...

Roving robot to the rescue

Jul 07, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Northeastern University student-researchers have created a roving robot named WiLU that may be able to locate and rescue victims of natural disasters or participate in military missions that ...

Recommended for you

Robots lending a helping hand to build planes

Aug 26, 2014

Trying to squeeze into small enclosed areas, carrying out highly repetitive tasks, retiring with back injuries even while your expertise is needed: these everyday realities of working in aviation construction ...

C2D2 fighting corrosion

Aug 22, 2014

Bridges become an infrastructure problem as they get older, as de-icing salt and carbon dioxide gradually destroy the reinforced concrete. A new robot can now check the condition of these structures, even ...

Meet the "swarmies"- robotics' answer to bugs

Aug 22, 2014

(Phys.org) —A small band of NASA engineers and interns is about to begin testing a group of robots and related software that will show whether it's possible for autonomous machines to scurry about an alien ...

Hitchhiking robot reaches journey's end in Canada

Aug 21, 2014

A chatty robot with an LED-lit smiley face sent hitchhiking across Canada this summer as part of a social experiment reached its final destination Thursday after several thousand kilometers on the road.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Scottingham
5 / 5 (1) Sep 23, 2011
Embrace robots and reject the notion that everybody needs to be employed in order to live a productive life.

Robots should make everybody's lives better, not just the top 1%.

Why should somebody slave at Walmart for 8 dollars an hour restocking shelves when I robot could (eventually) do it faster, more accurately, and cheaper.

What would that person then do? Find another menial job that's also likely being replaced by robots?

Menial labor is fast coming to and end, and we can either deal with the status quo and accept 30-50% unemployment, or come up with a new system where everybody benefits from modern technology.
JRDarby
not rated yet Oct 04, 2011
If I could, I would give you 6 stars, Scottingham.