Saturday, April 17, 2010

National Robotics Week: Pittsburgh

 Arriving at CMU we checked in with "Tank" the roboceptionist and then it was off to the races.

The view from the finish line shows the challenge facing today's racers.

The crowds were out in PGH for race day at Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science's 24th Annual Mobot Races. The weather was beautiful but challenging for the line followers with bright sunshine and passing clouds.

The mobots were equipped with sensors ranging from infrared color sensors to webcams doing line detection in OpenCV.

Some were equipped with sensors to detect the gates for navigating the course.

Passing clouds caused issues for mobots using IR sensors for line detection.

This one uses Roomba motors for its drive system. The Roomba is a good source of robot parts for roboticists on a budget.

After the race, the red robot from the CMU Robotics Club invited us back for a tour of their lab...

...where the club was providing a post-race musical performance.

The drummer was definitely rocking out. Video update to come.

Here is one of the Colony robots, part of the club's swarm research.

A work in progress, the robot air hockey table look like another way robots will crush the human spirit in the future. When completed its performance should be on par with this one.

A stair climbing robot under development. In the future the stairs will provide no means of escaping our future robot overlords.

A special thanks to for giving us a tour of the club's facilities.
We headed out, waving goodbye Sid.

The Robotics Institute has been a pretty busy place for the last 30 years.

Before heading off to our next stop, we were able to catch a talk by Matt Mason the director of the Robotics Institute on the history of the Robotics Institute.

See you in Boston!

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