18 September 2012

DARPA LAGR Project

Today I was looking through some robotics papers applicable to Sample Return that I previously found on the web. One mentioned they were using a DARPA LAGR robot so I looked to see what it was. I found that Carnegie Mellon was involved in producing the standardized robots. The idea was to provide these robots to different researchers, have them develop navigation software, and have them compete on real-word runs to see what went better. The robots only had vision, GPS, and bumper sensors. The outcome of this project seems very applicable to the SRR competition.

One of the researchers at NYU has a long list of papers on navigation.

17 September 2012

Sample Return Robot Challenge

The focus of the blog is changing. I mentioned that I rotate through projects. It is time to focus more on robotics, specifically the NASA Sample Return Robot Centennial Challenge.

In June 2012 NASA ran a Centennial Challenge competition at Worcster Polytechnic Institute. This concept for the competition was a robot on the Moon or Mars retrieving samples. Its tasks were:
  • Obtain a pre-cached sample
  • Search for other interesting samples
  • Return all samples to a landing platform
I considered entering but abandoned the effort for personal and technical reasons. I am going to use the competition guidelines in the development of a robot. I believe the challenge will be repeated and am working now to overcome the technical issues. I will be sharing the effort on my web site. I am starting with a high-level analysis and dropping down to more details as that proceeds.

On this blog I will keep some notes on what has been updated on the project and provide some running commentary on the effort.