Engineering Students Showcase Nextgen Robots During Research Expo

Apr 14, 2010
UCSD engineering students will unveil the new iFling,a remote-controlled robot that can pick up and throw ping pong balls, during Research Expo April 15.

(PhysOrg.com) --  In the UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab, mechanical engineering professor Tom Bewley and his students, have just released the latest generation of their Switchblade family of agile treaded vehicles.

As featured in the film Hurt Locker, small robotic vehicles already play a key role in the safe disposal of improvised explosive devices in modern urban warfare. As the military and industry work together to improve the performance of such existing robots, engineers at UC San Diego are exploring new roles for small robotic systems in combat. The families of agile, autonomous robotic systems they are developing are also expected to have significant roles in homeland security, border patrol, search and rescue, and planetary exploration.

In the UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab, mechanical engineering professor Tom Bewley and his students, have just released the latest generation of their Switchblade family of agile treaded vehicles. Switchblade can pop wheelies, climb stairs and rubble, and carry substantial payloads such as real-time video; Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR), an optical remote sensing technology; chemical, radiation and biological sensors; and GPS. The can also, literally, run circles around other treaded vehicles in its class, and can be produced for a fraction of the cost, according to the engineers.

“The focus of our lab is on an application of robotics that is today much less developed — the deployment of multiple inexpensive robots for the exploration of dangerous and confined environments, such as buildings, caves, mines, and tunnels,” Bewley said.

The mechanical engineering students will showcase Switchblade, along with four other student-designed robots during the Jacobs School’s annual Research Expo April 15. One of the robots that will make its debut at Research Expo is the new and improved iFling, a fun, remote-controlled vehicle that can, among other tasks, pick up and throw ping pong balls. iFling, which was designed using a new 3D printer, has potential commercial use as a toy, Bewley said.

The mechanical will be among more than 250 UCSD graduates students who will be presenting posters at Research Expo.

Explore further: The robot "Athena" carries new impulses for robotics research in its luggage

Provided by Jacobs School of Engineering

5 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hopping Robot Captures Top Research Expo Honor

Feb 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 ...

Robotic technology lowers military risks

Jun 07, 2006

With suicide bombing and improvised explosive devices escalating violence in Iraq, engineers are working to advance robotic technology to counter these deadly military problems.

Kayaks adapted to test marine robotics

Aug 07, 2006

MIT researchers are working toward the day when a team of robots could be put into action like a team of Navy SEALs - doing such dangerous work as searching for survivors after devastating hurricanes or sweeping ...

Send in the robots -- Robot teams handle hazardous jobs

May 02, 2007

Searching buildings for weapons of mass destruction and supply routes for improvised bombs are extremely dangerous but important jobs. That's why Scott DeLoach is working to create robots and robot teams to handle these and ...

Recommended for you

First steps for Hector the robot stick insect

Dec 16, 2014

A research team at Bielefeld University has succeeded in teaching the only robot of its kind in the world how to walk. Its first steps have been recorded in a video. The robot is called Hector, and its construction ...

Getting bot responders into shape

Dec 16, 2014

Sandia National Laboratories is tackling one of the biggest barriers to the use of robots in emergency response: energy efficiency.

Robot 'shadow hand'

Dec 12, 2014

Picking up an apple is one of those jobs requiring the delicate touch of the human hand – or its robotic counterpart.

Two robots, one challenge, endless possibility

Dec 11, 2014

To the theme song of "2001: A Space Odyssey," a robot with a twisty spine rolled toward Thomas Rosenbaum, the new president of the California Institute of Technology, on Oct. 24, as he stood on a stage at ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Sam_shahrukh
not rated yet Apr 24, 2010
sam, shahrukh ..
boy i wish to be a part of inventing team ..
in next generation robotics..
yet again im only 16 , got much to learn ..
but i beleive there's an elemnt like human cells ..
which can be used to build human like tissues or organisms..
n with current flowing in it beside blood,
boy it'll be a master piece
how ever this type of substance or element will be discovered.. but to bring it to motion it will be covered in rubber or plastic n exess amount of current will be required ..

^Shahrukh, Sam ^

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.