UMass Lowell Rover Hawks:
NASA RASC-AL Robo-Ops 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

(Computer) Vision Like A RoverHawk: Rock Detection

We have developed a robust rock detection system which works under a wide range of conditions, including bright sun and fluorescent lighting (no sunglasses here!). Below are some variations of our detection algorithm, which is largely robust to false color and shape detection, running on live and recorded data. 

One thing is certain: the RoverHawk will have keen eyes in both the front *and* back of its head.... ;-)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

"Rock[ah] Bogie" Suspension Proof of Concept Test

Well, we finally tested our final rover's suspension concept, and so far it seems viable.

That being said, we could discover the rover folds itself into a pretzel with all of the grip our tire material will add... but, it should just work... *crosses fingers*.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Rover Demonstration at NERVE Center Open House

This past weekend on Saturday, April 6, 2013 we presented our rover at the NERVE Center's Open House for National Robotics Week, to over 120 attendees. Our team spoke to middle school, high school, and college students during the event while demonstrating the rover's ability to traverse terrain as well as its vision system being used to identify colored rocks. Check out a few photos from the event below:

Friday, April 5, 2013

WPI RASC-AL RoboOps team visits UMass Lowell

On Thursday, April 4, we were visited by Andrew Cunningham, Jivesh Tolani, Velin Dimitrov and Prof. Taskin Padir (left to right in the photo) from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).  They brought their robot, Oryx 2.0, which won the 2012 RASC-AL RoboOps Competition.  They are planning to use the same robot in this year's competition, with the addition of a micro rover that will go out to search for rocks.

We really enjoyed their visit, during which they showed us many photos and videos of the competition as well as described the design of their robot.  It was especially helpful to be able to ask questions about the competition.  While the rules give us some idea of what to expect, there's nothing like hearing about first-hand experience from an experienced team. 

Andrew, Jivesh, Velin and Taskin: Thanks for coming to visit us!

National Robotics Week: April 6-14, 2013

National Robotics Week logo

To celebrate National Robotics Week, our team will be demonstrating our rover tomorrow, Saturday, April 6, at an open house at UMass Lowell's NERVE Center from 1-3pm.  The NERVE Center is at 1001 Pawtucket Boulevard, Lowell, MA (click here for directions).  In addition to our rover, iRobot will be bringing a SUGV and UMass Lowell will be demonstrating indoor flying robots, telepresence robots, and Artbotics projects.