RobotsDo what you can, with what you have, where you are. -Theodore Roosevelt
NASA’s Valkyrie robot is one of the most advanced humanoid robots ever created standing at a height of 6’2” and weighing 285lbs. The RIVeR lab was awarded Valkyrie in the fall of 2015 and looks forward to contributing to the end goal of Valkyrie, which is to create a humanoid robot capable of helping to maintain and create necessities pre and post astronaut arrival to Mars.
NAO is a personalizable and interactive robot. The Nao robot is controlled by a specialised Linux-based operating system, dubbed NAOqi. The OS powers the robot’s multimedia system, which includes four microphones (for voice recognition and sound localization), two speakers (for multilingual text-to-speech synthesis) and two HD cameras (for computer vision, including facial and shape recognition).
The Autonomous Exploration Rover (AERO) is a differential-drive skid steer robot based on the Husky A200 platform with a 6-DOF Kinova Jaco manipulator. A SICK LMS151 LIDAR, four Allied Vision Manta G-095C, and KVH 1750 IMU provide the main sensing capabilities on board. Two Xeon E5-2660 and a NVIDIA Tesla K20 provide compuation resources for the navigation and vision algorithms. AERO was designed to compete in the 2013 and 2014 NASA Sample Return Robot Centennial Challenges where the robot needs to navigate a large outdoor area, find and located various geologic samples, and return to the starting platform within the time limit. http://rover.wpi.edu
Oryx 2.0 is a differential-drive skid steer robot designed, manufactured, and built almost entirely on WPI’s campus as an MQP during the 2011-12 academic year. The rover employs a passive-averaging rocker suspension which significantly increases ground compliance and traction by keeping all four wheel on the ground when traversing obstacles. Oryx 2.0 has a panning camera mast and 2-DOF scoop manipulator for pickup up samples. There is an additional front-facing drive camera, and a manipulator mounted camera for confirming sample pickup. A mini-ITX motherboard paired with a Core i5 processor provide the main computing power. Oryx 2.0 was designed to compete in the 2012 NASA RASCAL Robo-Ops competition and picked up 13 rock samples and 1 alien life form to take first place. http://www.wpirover.com
Oryx 1.0 is a differential-drive skid steer robot with a fixed suspension and four independently driven wheels. Built in under 6 weeks by a small team of undergraduates as an extracurricular activity, Oryx 1.0 was designed to compete in the inaugural 2011 NASA RASCAL Robo-Ops competition. It located and picked up a total of 5 rock samples which was enough to give the team first place. As part of the win, the team and Oryx 1.0 were invited to participate in NASA’s Desert RATS field tests around Flagstaff, Arizona. Oryx 1.0 has an AXIS pan-tilt-zoom camera and an Intel Atom based netbook on-board to support field operations.
Support and Service Robots
Northeastern Robotic Mobility Assistant (Norma) is designed to be a research platform for technologies and algorithms focused on reliable navigation in both indoor and outdoor environments. It will have features of accessing the public transportation and multiple means of human robot interaction. Norma is equipped with a computer running ROS which controls all the sensors and actuators as well as storing mapping and navigation information. The ultimate goal of Norma is to develop a fully autonomous wheelchair system in the urban environments which only requires desired destination as user inputs. It will automatically calculate the route and leverage any accessible public infrastructures such as ramps, elevators and subway trains to reach the destination.
Anna is a semi-autonomous wheelchair and manipulator research platform focused on developing technologies and algorithms that enable physically locked-in individuals to lead a more fulfilling and self-sufficient lifestyle. Locked-in individuals are individuals who possess full cognitive capabilities, but have very-limited control of their limbs, facial features, and eyes making it impossible for them to use traditional human-machine interfaces. The research conducted on Anna focuses on developing a semi-autonomous system that takes user input at a task-level through a brain computer interface with the ultimate goal of demonstrating self-feeding of a locked-in individual. This research is sponsored by an NSF grant through the Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) division. https://nuforge.coe.neu.edu/gf/project/hlcps
Erle-HexaCopter is a Linux-based copter that uses the award winning APM:Copter software project. It’s capable of different flight modes and ideal for outdoor operations. It has been designed for an extended flight time and can carry a payload of about 2 kilograms.
BIOSwimmer is a 45kg, 1.5m long underwater vehicle biologically inspired by the Bluefin tuna. The Bluefin was chosen because of its high degree of mobility while swimming, and its ability to swim with only the back 1/3 of the body allowing the front 2/3 to be used as a payload. BIOSwimmer was created by Boston Engineering and is outfitted with advanced navigation technology developed by Charles River Analytics called CAMINO. Applications specific to BIOSwimmer include inspection, search and rescue, and surveillance.
BlueROV2, named Snappy by the RIVeR team, is an open-sourced platform supplied by Blue Robotics that uses a Pixhawk controller in conjunction with Raspberry Pi and Fathom-X tether interface. The vehicle communicates to a base station with QGroundControl and MavLink messaging, where MavLink is ROS supported via mavros.