Navigating with the Tekkotsu Pilot

AAAI Conferences

Tekkotsu is a free, open source software framework for high-level robot programming. We describe enhancements to Tekkotsu's navigation component, the Pilot, to incorporate a particle filter for localization and an RRT-based path planner for obstacle avoidance. This allows us to largely automate the robot's navigation behavior using a combination of odometry and landmark-based localization. Beginning robot programmers need only indicate a destination in Tekkotsu's world map and the Pilot will take the robot there. The software has been tested both in simulation and on Calliope, a new educational robot developed in the Tekkotsu lab in collaboration with RoPro Design, Inc..


Small Scale Manipulation with the Calliope Robot

AAAI Conferences

Calliope is an open source mobile robot designed in the Tekkotsu Lab at Carnegie Mellon University in collaboration with RoPro Design, Inc. The Calliope5SP model features an iRobot Create base, an ASUS netbook, a 5-degree of freedom arm with a gripper with two independently controllable fingers, and a Sony PlayStation Eye camera and Robotis AX-S1 IR rangefinder on a pan/tilt mount. We use chess as a test of Calliope’s abilities. Since Calliope is a mobile platform we consider how problems in vision and localization directly impact the performance of manipulation. Calliope’s arm is too short to reach across the entire chessboard. The robot must therefore navigate to a location that provides the best position to access the pieces it wants to move. The robot proved capable of performing small-scale manipulation tasks that require careful positioning.


Watson

AAAI Conferences

Calliope is an open source mobile robot designed in the Tekkotsu Lab at Carnegie Mellon University in collaboration with RoPro Design, Inc. The Calliope5SP model features an iRobot Create base, an ASUS netbook, a 5-degree of freedom arm with a gripper with two independently controllable fingers, and a Sony PlayStation Eye camera and Robotis AX-S1 IR rangefinder on a pan/tilt mount. We use chess as a test of Calliope's abilities. Since Calliope is a mobile platform we consider how problems in vision and localization directly impact the performance of manipulation. Calliope's arm is too short to reach across the entire chessboard. The robot must therefore navigate to a location that provides the best position to access the pieces it wants to move. The robot proved capable of performing small-scale manipulation tasks that require careful positioning.


Graphical Display of Search Trees for Transparent Robot Programming

AAAI Conferences

Search algorithms such as Rapidly-exploring Random Trees (RRTs) are common in robot programming. Including graphical representations of the output of these algorithms in a robotics framework can make the algorithms more accessible to students, and can also help programmers analyze and account for unexpected results. For this project, we used the Tekkotsu open source robot programming framework, available at Tekkotsu.org. We extended Tekkotsu’s graphical user interface for displaying vision data and maps to also display the output of an RRT search. We created several demos using two types of searches: one from a navigation path planner, and one from an arm path planner. In some cases the search had no solution, and the graphical output helped to illustrate why. This confirms the utility of the RRT visualization for explaining unexpected search results. We expect that this tool will also contribute to improved student understanding of the search algorithm.


The AAAI 2011 Robot Exhibition

AI Magazine

In this article we report on the exhibits and challenges shown at the AAAI 2011 Robotics Program in San Francisco. The event included a broad demonstration of innovative research at the intersection of robotics and artificial intelligence. Through these multiyear challenge events, our goal has been to focus the research community's energy toward common platforms and common problems to work toward the greater goal of embodied AI. The program has a long tradition of demonstrating innovative research at the intersection of robotics and artificial intelligence. In both the workshop and exhibition portions of the event, we strive to have the robotics program be a venue that pushes the science of embodied AI forward. Over the past few years, a central point of the event has been the discussion of common robot platforms and software, with the primary goal of focusing the research community's energy toward common "challenge" tasks. On the day before the exhibition the participants convened a workshop of 18 short talks. Each track's exhibitors presented a summary of their exhibit. In addition, four guest speakers provided a broader context for all of the exhibitors' efforts. The first guest speaker was the National Science Foundation's Sven Koenig, who highlighted several federal programs that support projects in embodied intelligence. Koenig also provided insights into some of these program's specific priorities, such as international collaborations and educational engagement. Guest speakers from Willow Garage and Bosch presented cutting-edge work with the PR2, Willow's mobile two-arm manipulator platform. Bosch detailed its Remote Lab, which provides researchers anywhere with full access to the sensing and mobile manipulation capabilities of a PR2. Willow Garage featured some of its most recent work, in which point clouds (Anderson et al. 2011) are parsed not only to build generic three-dimensional scene models but also task-specific structures such as cabinet and drawer handles. Those structures, in turn, seed the automatic creation of task sequences for object retrieval in unconstrained human environments. Nataniel Dukan of Nao Robotics presented the workshop's final guest talk, a broad overview of humanoid robotics's current resources, along with a compelling vision for where those technologies will be in the next three to five years. Without providing specifics of Aldebaran's unannounced plans, Dukan hinted that the actuation and sensing needed for com-