The Research Lab is home to many different robots that demonstrate the variety in the field robotics. Next to humanoids there are wheeled robots, industrial type robot arms and even crawling robots. In addition to project related research the lab offers possibilities for bachelor and master students to get hands-on experience.

Nao

Nao was developed in Paris by Aldebaran Robotics, which was later on acquired by SoftBank and rebranded as SoftBank Robotics. Nao is being used for educational purposes at our group. The robot has a weight of 5.5 kg and a height of 0.58 m. It has 25 internal DOF: two in the head, one in the torso, five in each leg, and six in each arm. The robot is equipped with an inertial measurement unit (IMU), and four ultrasonic sensors that provide Nao with stability, and positioning within space. It also includes a total of eight force sensing resistors, four microphones, two speakers, and two HD cameras for additional interaction with its environment. The robot is run by a Intel Atom CPU at 1.91 GHz, and can interact autonomously for 60 minutes without having to recharge.

KUKA

The KUKA Kr sixx R850 was financed by the European Union as part of the ECHORD project. The robot has a weight of 29 kg and a maximum height of 1.12 m with a volume of working envelope of 2.3 cubic meters. It has 6 internal DOF of which three are located in the in-line wrist, one in the arm, one in the link arm, and one in the rotating column, which is connected to the base frame. It supplies a payload of 5 kg, thus, for example supporting the mounting of a camera for 3D imaging. The robot is located inside a workspace that is, in addition to acrylic glass, surrounded by light barriers for safe usage.

SnakeBot

The ORB-Snake was developed as a proof of concept to mimic snake-like locomotion. The first iteration was built based on works of C.Wright et.al. using at maximum, standard off the shelf components for the kinematic structure and the actuation system. The body shell was based on a parametric design with various surface shape features (closely following suggestions of: P.Liljebäck et.al., S.Ma et.al. and M.Saito et.al.). All shell parts were manufactured with FDM (fused deposition modelling), exploiting at maximum its capabilities to build textured hollow structures for minimum weight and high mechanical rigidity. The control system and the incorporated gait generator was based on works from K.Lipkin et.al. and gaits were designed first in kinematic simulations and then performed in real experiments.

Drones

We are developing new methods for automated documentation of historic monuments in 3D by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Using state-of-the-art algorithms from Scientific Computing, we optimize the route of the UAV while the acquisition of 3D data is done and directly considered. In a first step, we do pre-flight optimization of the UAV’s flight over a 3D surface coming from a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) or a laserscan.

HeiCub

The HeiCub is a reduced variant of the iCub robot developed at IIT in Genova which we have received in the context of the European project KoroiBot. The robot has a weight of 26.4 kg and a height of 0.97 m. It has 15 internal DOF of which three are located in the torso, and six in each leg. The robot is furthermore equipped with four force torque sensors (F/T), two in the upper legs and two in the feet. It also supplies an inertial measurement unit (IMU), and two cameras in the torso. The robot has an on-board PC104 with a dual core, but has no battery; therefore, it needs to be connected to an external power supply by means of cables, which serve also as network communication cables, allowing one to use external computers to carry out bulky computations.

TurtleBot

The TurtleBot 2 was developed at Willow Garage in California by Melonee Wise and Tully Foote. It has been aquired for educational purposes. The robot has a weight of 2.35 kg, a height of 0.13 m, and a diameter of 0.35 m. It has 2 DOF, all of which are located in the base at the wheels, it is therefore possible to navigate on a 2D plane. The robot supports a payload of 5 kg and can operate autonomously for 3 hours. It consists of an YUJIN Kobuki base, a 2200 mAh battery pack, a Kinect sensor, and an Asus 1215N laptop with a dual core processor. The robot furthermore has a one axis gyroscope, three cliff sensors, two wheel drop sensors, and two wheel tick sensors for odometry. In addition to this, our TurtleBot 2 has been upgraded with a 3D LiDAR sensor.