Recent Visitors

Dr. Arvind Raman, Purdue University

Dr. Sachin Goyal, Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan

Prof. Brian Mann, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, University of Missouri

Robert J. Webster III, Ph.D. Candidate in Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

Prof. Scott David Kelly, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. S. C Saxena, Director, IIT Roorkee

Jan 2007-Professor Devendra P. Garg honored in New Delhi, India, by being presented the Hind Rattan (Jewel of India)
Award by the Non-Resident Indians (NRI) Welfare Society of India.

Oct 2006 - Acquired 8 Khepera II robots from K-team corp.

Fall 2006 - Abhishek receives his MS degree in Mechanical Engineering

Fall 2005 - Abhishek joins the RAMA Lab as a MS student and Research assistant

Jan 2005 - Brian Dieckmann joins the RAMA Lab as Pratt Undergraduate Fellow

Nov 2004 - Dr. Manish Kumar presented three jointly coauthored research papers at the 2004 IMECE in Anaheim, CA

Nov 2004 - Dr. Manish Kumar joined the RAMA Lab as a Post doctoral Associate

Oct 2004 - Dr. Garg received the Scientific Research and Leadership Award at the 2004 Heritage India Festival

Sept 2004 - Dr. Garg delivered invited lectures on robotics at the Indian Institute of Technology/Roorkee and Indian Institute of Technology/ Delhi, India

Aug 2004 - Ram Parimi recieved his M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering

July 2004 - Paul Nesline is the new webmaster for the RAMA LAB

June 2004 - Dr. Prem Vrat, Director of Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee visits the lab

June 2004 - Dr. Masayoshi Tomizuka, Director of the Dynamic Systems and Control Program at NSF visits the lab

Summer 2004 - Nsi Obotetukudo from Case Western Reserve University joined the RAMA Lab for 10 weeks under the NSF/REU Program

Summer 2004 - Adam Schmelzer joined the RAMA Lab as Research Assistant

May 2004 - Manish Kumar received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering

May 2004 - Congratulations to Brian Schaaf and Chris Dillenbeck on their graduation with BSE degrees

April 2004 - William Chandler Salinger joins the lab as an Intern for four weeks

April 2004 - Ram Parami presented "Intelligent Control for Mobile Robot Navigation" in the Graduate Seminar Series

Mobile Micro-Robots


These micro-robots were built by two of the lab's undergraduate engineering students: Brian Schaaf and Chris Dillenbeck. The requirements were that the robots be autonomous, fit within a cube 6.5 inches on a side, and have a variety of different sensors on them. These robots will be used in future research on path-tracking and planning, mapping, visual navigation, and artificial intelligence.


This robot was designed to be operated primarily in an outdoor environment. It has a four wheel drive locomotion system and uses differential steering. The robot can handle relatively rough terrain and move at high speeds.

Currently, the robot has a number of different sensors mounted on it. It uses two GP2D02 IR rangers that can detect objects from 3-30 inches to detect obstacles on either side of the robot. An IR proximity detector mounted on the front can detect objects from 10-30 cm away and also indicates whether they are to the left, right, or directly in front of the robot. A Devantech SRF08 Sonar Range Finder is also mounted in front of the robot. It can detect objects out to a range of 6 meters. An Eltec Pyroelectric sensor mounted on a servo can detect heat sources and pinpoint the direction from which they are coming. The robot also has a wireless camera that transmits images back to an operator over a range of 200 feet. In addition, the robot has a bump sensor and a light sensor mounted on it.

The robot uses an OOPic-R Microcontroller to process sensor data and implement low-level control programs. In the future, we plan to connect a Toshiba e750 PDA to the robot so that it can perform higher-level functions, such as path-planning, mapping, and reinforcement learning. The PDA's wireless LAN capability will also be used to allow an operator to control the robot remotely via the internet. In addition, we want to add a camera to the PDA's Compact Flash slot so that the PDA can take and process pictures to be used in object recognition and obstacle avoidance.

This robot uses pre-manufactured components for the main vehicle. A tracked remote control car was purchased and then stripped down. This provided a base with a tracked wheel system allowing for optimal mobility. The overall dimensions of the vehicle was 5-1/4" wide and 6-1/4" long.

The sensors and motors are controlled by a Basic Stamp II - SX. The Basic Stamp II-SX can handle 10000 instructions per second and has 16 kilobytes of memory. It also has a serial port to connect with a PC for programming.

The CMUcam from the Robot Store provides the vision capability for the robot. This camera provides 17 frames per second and has built-in object recognition. It has the capability to track objects that are
colorful or bright and to output the outline of the object being tracked.
The camera can also simply output the entire captured image. The robot uses the Infrared Proximity Detector (IRPD) Vision Kit for collision detection. This infrared system indicates an object to the left, front or right from 10 to 30 cm away. This allows for easy avoidance of any collision. The robot also has a TWS 434 RF transmitter module to send out data at 433 Mhz. A RX-5 RF receiver with interface board can be used to connect to a computer to receive the data. This will be used for a wireless transfer of data from the sensors to a remote computer.

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Any questions about Duke Robotics? Email Abhishek