Friday, 30 April 2010

EU proposal in ICT-FP7: ACSwarm

The lab submitted mini-EU proposal named ACSwarm: Swarm of Afforable Robots for multi-model clearning. The project is conducted on the cooperation of AAU Dept. Electronics Systems, Automation and Control (principal investigator), AAU Dept. Mechanical Engineering (project coordinator), RoboMop International A/S (industrial partners and equipment provider).
The project is about using swarm of afforable robots for concurrently wet-dry cleaning.
A summary of this project proposal can be seen below:
"Mobile robotic systems nowadays have potential to take place of human workers in domestic or professional working environments for saving time and cost. However, the widespread use of mobile robots has not come yet. A major barrier is the low performance/price ratio (P2R), which implies a low profit or level of satisfaction against the high investment. Technology that is able to improve the P2R of robots is pressingly demanded.
This project is concerned with the swarm technology of affordable cleaning robots in floor cleanings. The objective is to enable a swarm of affordable cleaning robots to work collaboratively with multiple modes, including wet and dry mopping. The swarm will improve cleaning performance and increase the flexibility to deal with different situations, thus lead to increased P2R for cleaning robot products.
In this project, experiments will be conducted with a swarm of low-cost cleaning robots, namely, RoboMop (€25), with an aim to upgrade this affordable robot to be highly controllable and flexible for a variety of cleaning purposes. The robot will be modified and modelled for the swarm control. A new approach to regulate robots in swarm to work adaptively and flexibly will be experimentally studied. The swarm algorithm, sensing and communication method, the plug & play deployment of a swarm will be tested in the experiments. The results of the experiments are expected to further the state-of-the-art of swarm robotics, particularly, the application of swarm robotics in the physical functions in the real world."

The total budget is 310.000 Euro in which AAU Automation and Control will take 150.000 Euro

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

AAU and RoboMop cooperation

Cooperation between AAU (Department of Mechanical engineering (ME) and Department of Electronic Department (ES)) and RoboMop is launched. While ME will modify the non-controllable design to be controlable, our lab will focus on development of distributed algorithm of deformable formation and trilateration based planning and replanning. Our sensor board will be used for the research. Initiative of this cooperation is resulted in a EU project proposal that will be submitted to ECHORD.

Updated on April 24 2010!!!
Here are pictures of the modified RoboMop prototyping equipped with our sensor board.

Here is CAD model of the current Robomop

The sensor board is mounted on the steering platform

The CAD model of new robot prototype

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

New small-scaled robot platform developed in the lab

We developed a new small-scaled robot platforms for our real experiments in swarm formation. The new platform has very high speed that are required to demonstrate the distributed algorithm of robot formation.
The control architecture of this platform is very powerful, including 2 IR sensor and communication boards and 1 RF and Bluetooth wireless communication. Inter-connection between the boards is conducted via I2C.
More information of our test and picture of this platform will be posted latter

Updated on 26 April 2010
Here is our mock-up of this robot platform.

and our "assembly" expert.