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National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC)
National Robotics Engineering Center
10 40th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Center Homepage
Past Projects [Current Projects]
3D Visualization for EOD Robots
NREC developed a plug-and-play camera and range finder module that gives range information and assists operators of EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) robots during manipulation.
Agent Based Design
Novel agent-based approach for the design of modular robot manipulators
Real-Time System for Adaptive Optimization of End-to-End Quality of Service
Assisted Mining
NREC applied robotic sensors to the development of semi-automated continuous mining machines and other underground mining equipment.
Autonomous Haulage
NREC and Caterpillar are jointly developing the Autonomous Haulage System (AHS), a commercial system for automating large off-highway trucks.
Autonomous Loading
The Autonomous Loading System (ALS) completely automates the task of loading excavated material onto dump trucks.
Autonomous Platform Demonstrator
The Autonomous Platform Demonstrator (APD) will develop, integrate and test next-generation unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) technologies.
Autonomy & Control
NREC is implementing an end-to-end control architecture for unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to reduce integration risk in the US Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program.
Framework for the development of distributed, secure, reliable, robust and scalable systems
Belt Inspection
NREC designed, built and tested a high-speed "machine vision" system for monitoring the condition of conveyor belts such as those used in underground coal mines.
Black Knight
NREC developed sensing, teleoperation and autonomy packages for BAE Systems' Black Knight, a prototype unmanned ground combat vehicle (UGCV).
Caisson Construction 3D Modeling System
NREC developed a 3D imaging system for underwater excavation and placement of caissons that Kajima Corporation used to support the foundation for the Nagasaki Bay Bridge.
Cargo UGV
NREC is teaming with Oshkosh Defense to develop autonomous unmanned ground vehicle technologies for logistics tactical wheeled vehicles used by the US Marine Corps.
The Cargo UGV operator control unit (OCU) seamlessly controls one or more Cargo UGVs traveling in convoy formation.
Multiprocessor Real-Time Operating System
Collaborative Agents
Cooperative robotics
Composable Simulation
Software environment which facilitates creating simulations of mechatronic systems
Computer Vistion Clinical Monitoring
NREC and Columbia University researchers investigated whether computer vision could be used to monitor patients in clinical trials for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) therapies.
Container Handling
NREC developed autonomous and semi-autonomous robotic systems for moving containerized plants to and from the field.
We have developed two Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) (by retrofitting two Polaris all-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
We are developing a framework to run and simulate multiple mobile robot systems.
Dexterous Haptic Interface for Interaction with Remote/Virtual Environments
Convey finger touch and force information to a human operator
Distributed Design System - CODES
Providing people, tools, and information for integrated robotics design
Distributed Robotics Systems - CyberScout
Tactical surveillance collaborative robotics.
Distributed Surveillance & Sensing
Hierarchical, distributed, and active perception system
Dragon Runner
NREC collaborated with Automatika, Inc. (AI) to develop Dragon Runner, an ultra-rugged, portable, lightweight reconnaissance robot for use by the U.S. Marine Corps in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) for urban reconnaissance and sentry missions.
Driver Awareness
The Driver Awareness and Change Detection (DACD) system lets soldiers view their vehicle’s surroundings from any perspective.
Drug Discovery System
An advanced computer vision system identifies and classifies the behavioral effects of new drug compounds, speeding the work of drug discovery.
EOD Robot Operator Assist
NREC demonstrated an add-on situational awareness and autonomy package for EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) robots.
Enhanced Teleoperation (Mini SACR)
NREC developed a real-time 3D video system to improve situation awareness in teleoperation and indirect driving.
Enhanced Teleoperation (SACR)
NREC’s miniaturized SACR (Situational Awareness Through Colorized Ranging) system fuses video and range data from a small panoramic camera ring and scanning LADAR sensor to provide photo-realistic 3D video and panoramic video images of an EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) robot’s surroundings.
GPS-Free Positioning
NREC is developing MINT (Micro-Inertial Navigation Technology), a wearable navigation and localization aid.
Gesture Based Programming
Programming by human demonstration
Golf Course Mowing
NREC collaborated with the Toro Company to develop a prototype autonomous mower that can be used in the maintenance of a golf course, sports field or commercial landscape.
A Single-Wheel, Gyroscopically stabilized Robot
High Bandwidth Visual Feedback for Robust Manipulation
Sensor-based robotic system that can robustly perform manipulation tasks in dynamically varying and imprecisely calibrated environments.
Hopping Robots
NREC is researching and developing all-terrain hopping robots for space, search and rescue, and defense applications.
Hybrid Safety System (HSS)
The Hybid Safety System (HSS) enables humans and industrial robots to work together safely.
"ICES Cubes" are a class of modular self-reconfigurable bipartite robotic systems
Infantry Support
NREC designed, developed, field tested and successfully demonstrated a high-mobility tactical unmanned ground vehicle (TUGV) for the United States Marine Corps.
Intelligent Assembly Modelling and Simulation
Facilitating assemblability checking in a virtual, simulated environment
Intelligent Electrocardiogram
An intelligent portable electrocardiogram (ECG) will automatically diagnose arrhythmias that could lead to sudden cardiac death (SCD).
Interactive Robot Programming
We are developing human-machine interfaces to allow non-experts to interact in a human manner with robots.
Laser Coating Removal
NREC and Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) are designing an environmentally friendly system to remove coatings from aircraft.
Learning Robots
DARPA needed to supply a standard, mobile robot platform to research teams performing on the Learning Applied to Ground Robots (LAGR) program.
Liquid Natural Gas Pipe Vision
A pipe-crawling robot visually inspects pipes in liquid natural gas (LNG) plants for corrosion.
Manipulator Coordination
NREC implemented an autonomous manipulator for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robots that greatly simplifies manipulator use and coordinates the movements of the manipulator and its platform.
Material Transport
NREC developed AMTS, an innovative system for accurately guiding robotic material transport vehicles in industrial settings.
Medical Image Registration
NREC designed and implemented a medical image registration system to accurately estimate a patient’s position for therapy.
Heterogeneous group of small autonomous robots with modular payloads and sensing platforms
Mini Crusher is a small, versatile robot inspired by the world-famous Crusher UGV.
Negative Obstacle Detection
NREC is developing a perception system to accurately detect negative obstacles in the path of an unmanned vehicle (UGV).
Off-Road Autonomy
The UPI program improved the speed, reliability, and autonomy of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) operating in extreme off-road terrain.
Iconically programmed interface to Chimera
Orchard Spraying
NREC converted a John Deere tractor into an autonomous vehicle for spraying water in orchards.
Paint Stripping
NREC designed, built and tested the centerpiece of a semi-automated paint removal system that is now in everyday use and available for commercial sale by Chariot Robotics, LLC.
Path Planning for Autonomous Vessel
A path planning system helps an autonomous surface vessel to navigate autonomously while obeying international maritime law.
Peat Moss Harvesting
NREC developed an add-on perception system for automating peat moss harvesting.
NREC designed, developed and tested an innovative autonomous perception and navigation system for the DARPA PerceptOR program.
Perception for LS3
NREC’s sensor system for DARPA’s Legged Squad Support System (LS3) enables LS3 to perceive its surroundings and autonomously track and follow a human leader.
Pipeline Explorer
NREC designed, built and deployed Pipeline Explorer, the first untethered, remotely-controlled robot for inspecting live underground natural gas distribution pipelines.
Real and Virtual Environment for Multiple Robots
General-purpose framework to run and simulate multiple mobile robot systems
Reconfigurable Modular Manipulator System
Sensor-Based Manipulators
Reconfigurable Software Design for Robotic and Automation Applications
We are developing a novel software framework, based on the notion of dynamically reconfigurable real-time software
Robotic Neurosurgery Probe Guide
Assists surgeons in choosing an incision site.
Robotic Simulation
NREC collaborated with RAND Corporation to incorporate NREC’s field-proven robotic mobility and planning software into RAND’s suite of high-resolution, force-on-force simulators.
Row Crop Harvesting
The NREC row crop harvesting project targeted three levels of automation: “cruise control”, “teach/playback” and full autonomy.
Spatial Layout
Locate a set of objects in a housing unit
Transformer Winding Automation
Increase the production speed and quality of transformer winding through sensing and automation
Urban Challenge
Carnegie Mellon University and General Motors built an autonomous SUV that won first place in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge.
Vehicle Classifier
A vision-based vehicle classifier uses machine learning techniques to identify cars and trucks in video images.
Vehicle Safeguarding
NREC designed, developed and tested a fully autonomous system capable of following pre-taught paths while detecting and avoiding obstacles.
Vehicle Stability
NREC has developed an easy-to-implement solution to an important problem — stability margin estimation as it relates to vehicular rollover and tipover vulnerabilities.