Archives for: July 2008


Permalink 02:06:04 pm, by Eric Kirby Email , 53 words, 1032 views   English (US)
Categories: Summer REU 2008

On to the fun stuff

Over the past weeks I have been reading and researching manipulating png files with C and Octave. Octave is an open source high-level language, primarily intended for numerical computations. It uses a language that is mostly compatible with Matlab. I am now beginning programming the roomba to avoid obstacles with the ultrasound sensors.


Permalink 09:42:13 pm, by Aaron Jones Email , 133 words, 687 views   English (US)
Categories: 2008 Summer REU

Humanoid Exploration Experience

It has been a while since my last blog. I have been working as of lately to finish up the last bit of the research program and get ready for my presentation on Friday. :) The Robosapien RS Media has been fun to work with this summer and has been challenging as well. I’ve learned quite a bit about robotics in general and what is needed to have a fully autonomous humanoid to perform assistive tasks, whether in health or childcare, in an interactive environment. I honestly want to continue the process of humanoid exploration and further my experience on other humanoids as well. Also, I have quite a bit of videos, pictures and etc to show, so hopefully I will be able to get some of them up in the days to come.


Permalink 09:39:44 am, by Charlston Manning Email , 97 words, 69398 views   English (US)
Categories: 2008 Summer REU

AAAI confernce 2008

This year at my first AAAI confernce in Chicago. The robot I have been working on this summer at CMU took second place. This was my first AAAI confernce and I learn a lot from being around other PH.D student and even some undergrads. This confernce to me seem like it was center on creativly in the robotics community. Also had a little networking while I was there with other professor that can help me get into a great grad school.I am hoping to attend it next year and have another robot to work on.


Permalink 09:07:22 am, by Julius Smith Email , 117 words, 21761 views   English (US)
Categories: 2008 Summer REU


Hey. My name is Julius Smith and I attend Winston-Salem State University. I am a rising senior, Computer Science major with a concentration in Computer Graphics. I am doing my summer REU at Duke Univerity under Dr. Jeffrey Forbes. The research area is mapping and localisation. I am using the Player/Stage/Gazebo project to develop a model of the SmURV platform and run simulations involving object recognition and obstacle avoidance, and do the same using an actual SmURV platform. After leaving I would like to take the knowledge that I have gained here and share it with my fellow students at WSSU. I really appreciate this opportunity and I plan to make the best of it.

Permalink 08:49:30 am, by Michael Robertson Email , 179 words, 662 views   English (US)
Categories: 2008 Summer REU

About Me

Hello ARTSI,

This is Michael Robertson and I am a rising senior at Winston-Salem State University. I am here at Duke University doing my Summer REU with Dr. Jeffery Forbes. I am truly thankful for this opportunity because I am learning great new things here. Here at our lab we are developing a low cost robot to perform simultaneous localization and mapping. As of right now I am working on the hardware of the robot. I am using a Mac Mini which i have to convert to battery power, an Apple iSight Camera, a Hokuyo Laser, and a iRobot Create to create this robot. In doing this I have learned to use Linux and the Mac OS and also I learned Python. Learning these new things are why I am so excited to be here because we don’t go into depth on these devices at my small school. This summer research is preparing me for graduate school and also it gives me something to take back to my school and teach my peers which i am looking forward too.


Permalink 09:09:28 pm, by Jessica Jones Email , 129 words, 18428 views   English (US)
Categories: 2008 Summer REU

An Update

This week I have been mainly using the sick laser, the beginning of the snackbot, to build maps of each floor in Carnegie Mellon’s Newell Simon Hall. The process simply involves running the sickLogger program on a laptop and driving the robot base around so that the laser can collect data.

After I finished scanning the entire floor, I went back to the lab and converted the data in to a map image using Mapper3. Below is a map image created before I arrived.

I have also been learning how to use various software that will be needed in actually teleoperating the robot once it is completly built. My task now, among others, is to write code that will display the status of the various senors on the robot

Permalink 11:25:04 am, by Alvin Barton Email , 184 words, 1354 views   English (US)
Categories: 2008 Summer REU

Continuing Research

This past week I have been focusing on the speech components of the snackbot. I have learned to create a state machine for the speech and also to run tests using the state machines. The software still has a few bugs in it, but it still basically does what is suppose to do. It’s kind of cool being able to engage in conversation with the software even though it is a linear one. Jessica and I have also started creating maps of a few floors in Newell-Simon Hall. We get to use a gaming joystick to steer the base of the robot. The pioneer base of the snackbot uses a SICK laser that utilizes a mirror to project a light beam at a 180 degrees in what I believe are 1 degree intervals. It then measures the time it take the beams to return to create a series of points that can then be turned into a 2D map of its surroundings. We use these maps in order to make it possible for the robot to know where it is and where it needs to go.


Permalink 05:48:30 pm, by Alvin Barton Email , 200 words, 27816 views   English (US)
Categories: 2008 Summer REU

More Research

This past week I have been focusing on creating state machines for the speech components of the robot. I have also learned how to run speech tests using these state machines. Its kind of cool being able to actually talk to the software. It still has a few bugs in it, but for the most part it does what it is suppose to. The microphone that we are using is huge. It looks more like a speaker than a mic. In fact its bigger the both of the speakers that we might be using put together. It is a high tech mic though, it even has lights on the front that tell you what direction the sound is coming from. Jessica and I also have been creating maps via the software that came with the SICK laser. The laser uses a mirror to reflect a light beams out at 180 degrees in what I believe are 1 degree radians. It then measures the time that it takes the light beams to return to create a 2D map of its surroundings. So far we have created maps for the first, second, and A level floors. Can’t wait to see it all come together.

Permalink 02:37:39 pm, by Charlston Manning Email , 124 words, 57868 views   English (US)
Categories: 2008 Summer REU

Coming to the End of the Project

As i approach the end of my intern at CMU I have completed one Chiara robot named Cayenne. This one was the one I started on when I first arrive at CMU in June. I had redesign this robot to become more efficient . Now we have came the end of this intern cover to show the finish Chiara Cayenne robot

I was also given the Chiara robot project named Aurora. This is the same robot in the Chiara class but with one modification to the legs as showed

This robot was going to be build by me then both will the presented AAAI conference in Chicago starting July 13th to July 18th. It has been a great experience here at CMU build this robot


Permalink 03:08:46 pm, by Jonecia Keels Email , 156 words, 1239 views   English (US)
Categories: 2008 Summer REU

My research is at a standstill....

June 22-July 10

So for the past couple of weeks we have been communicating with the head of the Humanoid department (the place we bought our Manoi from) about replacing our servos. We are going to ship the faulty servos back to the company and they are going to give us brand new ones. Unfortunately that means we will have to temporarily take apart our precious humanoid. :'( As of now my research is at a standstill. In the meantime I have been doing extensive research on specific cameras and vision software programs to use once we have our Manoi completely built (with all 17 working servos). I only have 2 weeks left in my program so it looks like I wont get everything done, but that is how research goes. I still learned a lot and as of now I am writing an extensive research paper and making a keynote presentation for use in different research conferences. ;D


Permalink 03:49:15 pm, by Alvin Barton Email , 199 words, 1320 views   English (US)
Categories: 2008 Summer REU

Moving On

In the past week I’ve learned how to do some simple graphics in wxpython. That might not sound like much to most people, but seeing as to how I didn’t know python at all when I got here, it something to me. As for the snackbot, which is name of the robot that Jessica and I are in charge of programming the behaviors for, we are getting ready to start out the mapping so that it can navigate through Newell-Simon Hall. We will start that after we finish our current tasks. My task is to write a speech state machine for Ric (the robot’s speech guy. It is written in lisp which I also don’t know, but am learning. I’m really excited because I can see that everything is starting to come together. It’s a pity that I won’t be here when it is completely finished, but I take pride in the fact of knowing that I had something to do with it. I would also like to take this post to acknowledge my friend, Candace Clay, whose funeral was today. She died in a car accident last Friday at the age of 25. My best to the Clay family.

Permalink 01:07:27 pm, by Jessica Jones Email , 130 words, 95461 views   English (US)
Categories: 2008 Summer REU

Tackling new challenges

Since my last post, I have been working with wxPython to create frames, buttons, and menus that actually do something worthwhile. At first, it was a bit challenging because I had no clue where to start, but as I began to catch on, it cam easier and easier. Aside from the tutorials online, I had to use my problem skills and knowledge that I have of other languages to make some things work, for instance, I wanted to create a button that ran a segment of code in another file. After a bit of thought, I managed to make it work. I have also been working on a spread sheet of different materials, their dimensions and their weights for others in the PPR project.

Well, I have to run

Permalink 10:36:53 am, by Stacey Downing Email , 144 words, 1035 views   English (US)
Categories: 2008 Summer REU

Intro to me

Hi everyone,
I am a senior applied mathematics major attending Norfolk State University, and I am working with Dr. Humphries in the Computer Science Department on robotics. For the past couple weeks I have been building and learning to program the Lego Mindstorm NXT. Before this summer I did not know much about the mindstorm NXT, but so far I have built a few different robots and programmed them using LabView, a picture based programming language. I have found the building of the robots to be the easiest, and programming the robots is not too bad. The only problems that I have come across are that the weight of the robot can become too heavy for the wheels of the robot, and the robot seems to not travel straight when its supposed to. Otherwise, this summer so far has been a fun learning experience.


Permalink 09:36:56 am, by Charlston Manning Email , 27 words, 60665 views   English (US)
Categories: 2008 Summer REU

This is me creating a new part for the robot on the Lathe. Which is a milling tool that can cut off and drill holes into materal


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