Actively Used Robots
QTrobot is a social robot developed by LuxAI, primarily for supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The robot’s base is static, but the robot can easily be transported around due to its small weight of about 5kg and height of 64cm. The robot has actuated arms (2 DOFs in the shoulders and 1 DOF in the elbow) and an actuated neck (2 DOFs); the wrist and hand can be moved as well, but are not actuated.
For sensing its environment, the robot has an Intel RealSense D435 camera and four digital microphones. For providing speech output, Acapela Text to Speech is used and thus multiple languages are supported; output can also be provided via a screen on the head, which displays a face.
QTrobot is integrated with two tablets – one through which children play interactive games with the robot and one that allows therapists/educators to control the game workflow. The robot’s PC is running Ubuntu, so robot applications can be written using ROS; applications for the tablets are developed via a graphical programming interface.
Kinova Gen3 Ultra Lightweight Robot
Kinova Gen3 is a 7DOF torque-controlled robot designed for robot applications in education, research and domestic environments. The main components of the robot include:
- 7 actuators with integrated torque sensors
- Control PC integrated into the first robot’s segment, capable of maintaining 1 kHz closed-loop control
- Optional integrated 2D/3D vision module (OmniVision OV5640 color sensor and Intel® RealSense™ D410 stereo-depth sensor) on the robot’s end-effector
- Modular end-effector interface module. Our current setup uses a Robotiq 2F-85 gripper
The robot’s structure is made of carbon fiber and aluminium materials and the whole body weighs only 8.2kg. The robot is capable of manipulating a 4kg payload (mid-range continuous) and has a maximum reach of 902mm. A 24V DC power supply is used for operating the robot, with a power consumption of 36W. The arm can be programmed using C++ and Python with a publically available API. Additionally, an intuitive web application is provided for connecting the robot to any desktop or mobile device.
Lucy, a Toyota HSR, is meant to be an assistive domestic robot that combines a compact design (the height of the robot is 135cm) with a fairly rich set of sensing and actuation capabilities. In particular, Lucy is equipped with an omnidirectional base that includes a laser scanner and a set of bumper sensors. The robot’s head, which is a controllable joint as well, has multiple sensors: an RGB-D camera, a wide angle camera, a stereo camera, and a microphone array. Lucy’s manipulator has five degrees of freedom, one of which is a linear joint that can extend the robot’s height; this makes it possible to use the robot for manipulating both objects placed on low surfaces (including the floor) and objects on high surfaces (such as shelves). Software-wise, the platform is running ROS; the software interfaces are thus fully compatible with our other robots.
Bonnie is a logistics robot developed in the ROPOD project. The robot has an omnidirectional base made of so-called smart wheels, which have also been developed as part of the project. A Hokuyo laser is used for autonomous navigation and obstacle avoidance.
The youBot is based on an omni-directional platform with four swedish wheels, a 5 DoF manipulator and a two finger gripper. The platform is manufactured by KUKA and is commercially available at the youBot-store. It has been designed to work in industrial-like environments and to perform various tasks as e.g. fetch & carry or assembly tasks.
The standard configuration of the youBot has been extended by the following additional hardware devices:
- Hokuyo laser range finder: Two laser range finders are mounted to the base, one in the front and one in the back of the robot, to support robust localization, navigation and obstacle avoidance, especially for omni-directional movements.
- ASUS Xtion RGB-D camera: The RGB-D camera is mounted on a tower which is attached to the back platform of the robot. It is used for 3D scene segmentation and object recognition.
- Microsoft Lifecam 720p: As support for the 3D camera a color camera is mounted to the arm itself for visual servoing.
- High performance computer: The default internal PC with an Intel Atom CPU has been replaced by an Intel i5 dual core CPU with 2.5 GHz and 2 GB RAM.
Lego is usually associated with children’s toys, but one can do more than just playing with the Lego NXT robots. Due to the flexible design options, complex systems can be created, such as a CubeStormer which can solve the famous Rubik’s Cube. With the large number of available sensors and actuators, many robotic applications can be realized on such a platform, e.g. navigation and localization.
We primarily use the NXTs in the course Scientific Experimentation and Evaluation, where students of the Master of Autonomous Systems program design and perform simple experiments for testing various hypotheses and analyse the experimental results.
Not Used Actively At The Moment
The Double robot is a telepresence system. The video of the dialog partner is shown on the attached tablet in the upper part of the robot. The partner can also remotely control the Double to move through the environment to e.g. to change the field-of-view or just to follow a person into another room.
Jenny is based on an omni-wheeled mobile platform called Care-O-Bot 3. The Care-O-bot has been developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) in Stuttgart, Germany. The Care-O-bot 3 is equipped with a 7 DoF manipulator, a three-ﬁngered hand and an omni-directional platform. The side-mounted tray can be flipped up to the front in order to carry multiple objects simultaneously. The sensor head contains a Stemmer CVC EH6500 HD GE/POE color camera with optical zoom, ASUS Xtion RGB-D camera and a Logitech Microphone. Two SICK S300 laser scanners and one Hokuyo URG-04LX laser scanner are used for mapping and navigation.
Johnny is based on a modular mobile platform called VolksBot which has been designed specifically for rapid prototyping and robot applications in education, research and industry. The VolksBot system is developed, manufactured and sold by the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS). It allows for easy access to and replacement of components such as motors, batteries and electronics.
The hardware includes a 5 DoF Katana manipulator with a two finger gripper, a SICK LMS 200 laser range finder in the front for navigation purpose, a Logitech microphone to receive commands from a human operator and a camera head consisting of a PTU-46 and ASUS Xtion RGB-D camera for object detection and recognition.
The Zeno Hanson Robokind is a humanoid robot with a childlike appearance. It is about 70 cm tall and can walk upright. With its 11 DoF in its head, Zeno can perform various human-like emotions using facial mimics.
An additional microphone and two cameras (in the eyes) are used to perceive the nearby environment.
The Nao robot from Aldebaran joined the family of MAS robots in 2009. It comes with a height of 57 cm and a total weight of 5 kg. Internally, the robot is equipped with an Intel Atom CPU, two RGB cameras, a microphone and overall 21 DoF which allows flexible and comprehensive motions. With its internal battery, the Nao is able to operate up to 90 minutes independently of any external power supply.
One of the first robots of the MAS group has been the Pioneer 3 mobile platform. Although it is only a four-wheeled mobile platform, it can be equipped with any accessory equipment, like laser range finders, cameras, torsos and PTUs or even a manipulator like the 5 DoF Katana manipulator. Due to its robust design, the Pioneer can not only be used indoors, but also in rough terrain of outdoor environments.