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Feedback control at its finest: Innovations from UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab October 19, 2009

Posted by emiliekopp in industry robot spotlight, labview robot projects.
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I found this cool video (below), provided by IEEE Spectrum Online the other day. Josh Romero, it’s narrator, must have experienced the robot revolution at this year’s NIWeek, as much of the video footage is taken from the Day 3 keynote. Here’s the full, extended version of Dr. Bewley’s talk about the work being done at the UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab.

10943-switchblade

This small treaded robot can climb stairs with ease and balance itself on a point.

Josh brings up a good point in his video: automatic feedback control can be the difference between simple, ordinary robots and incredibly sophisticated dynamic systems. Take Switchblade, for example. The robot performs low-level control on a dedicated, embedded processor (in this case, a 2M gate FPGA on a SingleBoardRIO) to automatically balance itself on a point. There is an additional, real-time processor that performs additional tasks like maneuvering up a flight of stairs. With it being so small and having such a wide spectrum of mobility, it puts search-and-rescue robots like the PackBot to shame. See you at the top of the stairs, PackBot!

Ok, I take that back. Let’s avoid “shaming” PackBot. Please don’t shoot me, PackBot.

Stay tuned for a closer look at how Switchblade works in a future post.

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