Robots with alternative locomotion design can assist us in observing previously inaccessible environments.
Here are some examples of our prior work.
MARE: Marine Autonomous Robotic Explorer1
Heterogeneous Robot Teams2 3
In this work we experimented with a system for monitoring marine environments by a team of heterogeneous robots, comprising of a fixed-wing aerial vehicle, an autonomous airboat, and a legged underwater robot. The goal was to receive a region of interest from a remote human supervisor, and then using the coordinated effort of the robot team, produce a concise summary consisting of a small number of images, which capture the visual diversity of the region of interest. The summary could then be used by a human supervisor to plan for further exploration.
Aqua Amphibious Robot
Aqua4 is an amphibious six legged robot capable of autonomous operation. Aqua's propulsion is based on six flippers that can provide motion in five degrees of freedom, which is more suitable for tasks requiring high maneuverability, such as coral reef exploration. By using a novel combination of gaits5, Aqua can move at various speeds while maintaining its orientation, despite external disturbances. Figure below shows various flipper poses for different desired swimming speeds.
Y. Girdhar, A. Xu, B. B. Dey, M. Meghjani, F. Shkurti, I. Rekleitis, and G. Dudek, “MARE: Marine Autonomous Robotic Explorer,” in Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2011, pp. 5048 – 5053. ↩
Y. Girdhar, A. Xu, F. Shkurti, J. Camilo, G. Higuera, M. Meghjani, P. Giguere, I. Rekleitis, and G. Dudek, “Monitoring Marine Environments using a Team of Heterogeneous Robots,” in RSS 2012 Workshop on Robotics for Environmental Monitoring, 2012. ↩
F. Shkurti, A. Xu, M. Meghjani, J. C. G. Higuera, Y. Girdhar, P. Giguere, B. B. Dey, J. Li, A. Kalmbach, C. Prahacs, K. Turgeon, I. Rekleitis, and G. Dudek, “Multi-Domain Monitoring of Marine Environments using a Heterogeneous Robot Team,” in Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2012, pp. 1747–1753. ↩
J. Sattar, G. Dudek, O. Chiu, I. Rekleitis, P. Giguere, A. Mills, N. Plamondon, C. Prahacs, Y. Girdhar, M. Nahon, and J.-P. Lobos, “Enabling autonomous capabilities in underwater robotics,” in 2008 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2008, pp. 3628–3634. ↩
P. Giguere, Y. Girdhar, and G. Dudek, “Wide-Speed Autopilot System for a Swimming Hexapod Robot,” in 2013 International Conference on Computer and Robot Vision, 2013, pp. 9–15. ↩