Four TRACLabs scientists just returned from Washington DC where they attended the kick-off of the DARPA Robot Challenge (DRC). The DRC involves either building a robot that can perform disaster relief functions (Track A) or writing software that allows a DARPA-provided robot to perform the same disaster relief functions (Track B). TRACLabs was given a Track B award by DARPA, one of only eleven institutions world-wide to receive an award, potentially worth over $2 million dollars. TRACLabs is partnered with SUNY-Buffalo for this work. TRACLabs will need to compete with other Track B awardees in a Virtual Robot Challenge (VRC) conducted in simulation. The VRC involves a simulated robot driving a cart, walking through a rubble field, and connecting a hose or cable to a socket. The VRC will take place in June 2013. The popular press is already covering the DRC, including:
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Posts Tagged ‘SLAM’
TRACLabs moved on Monday to a new facility in the Clear Lake area of Houston Texas. Before we moved all of our furniture, we had our robot build a map of the new location. The map was built using a laser scanner and a technique called Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). The laser scanner cannot “see” glass, so any floor length windows simply looked out to objects in the area behind them. This can be seen in the left and right of the image below (the front and back of the building). TRACLabs researchers have pioneered new SLAM techniques that make mapping and navigation easier and more robust. Current government contracts are extending SLAM into new domains such as night-time operations.