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Field Robotics Center (FRC)
The Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh PA 15213-3890
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Current Projects [Past Projects]
Assistive Robots for Blind Travelers
As robotics technology evolves to a stage where co-robots, or robots that can work with humans, become a reality, we need to ensure that these co-robots are equally capable of interacting with humans with disabilities. This project addresses this challenge by exploring meaningful human-robot interaction (HRI) in the context of assistive robots for blind travelers.
Autonomous Ground Vehicle Design
Pursuing high speed navigation of unrehearsed terrain in pursuit of the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge
Autonomous Mobile Assembly
The ACE project is concerned with autonomous mobile assembly.
Autonomous Off-Road Driving
We are developing autonomous technology for off-road driving in wilderness environments Key developments include perception, planning and control capabilities. This is a joint development with Yamaha Motor Corporation and the CMU Field Robotics Center.
Braille Tutor
Literacy has been shown to be a key factor in global development. For many visually impaired communities around the world, learning braille is the only means of literacy. Despite its significance and the accessibility it brings, learning to write braille still has a number of barriers. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 90% of visually impaired people worldwide live in developing communities. Despite the importance of literacy to employment, social well-being, and health, the literacy rate of this population is estimated to be very low. There are many different factors that contribute to illiteracy among people with vision impairments such as: difficulties using the traditional tool for writing braille (the slate and stylus) and the high cost of alternative braille writing tools.
CTA Robotics
This project adresses the problems of scene interpretation and path planning for mobile robot navigation in natural environment.
Cluster: Coordinated Robotics for Material Handling
Planetary robots which perform assembly tasks to prepare for human exploration must be able to operate in unmodeled environments and in unanticipated situations. We are working on a system of mobile robots that perform precise coordinated maneuvers for transporting assembly materials. We are also developing an interface that allows an operator to step in at various levels of autonomy, providing the system with both the efficiency of an autonomous system and the reliability of a human operator.
Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops
CASC is a multi-institutional initiative led by Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute to comprehensively address the needs of specialty agriculture focusing on apples and horticultural stock.
Distributed SensorWebs
The Sensor Web initiative develops and implements wireless technology for distributed sensing and actuation in horticultural enterprises.
The Ember project uses multi-agent teams, comprised of autonomous and human agents, to achieve effective results under emergency situations.
Google Lunar X Prize
We are part of a $30 million international competition to safely land a robot on the surface of the Moon, travel 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send images and data back to the Earth.
Life in the Atacama
Robotic field investigation will bring new scientific understanding of the Atacama as a habitat for life with distinct analogies to Mars.
Lunar Ice Discovery Initiative
Icebreaker is a proposed mission to explore the south pole of the Moon.
Lunar Regolith Excavation and Transport
This research develops lightweight robotic excavators for digging and transporting regolith (loose soil) on the Moon.
Lunar Rover for Polar Crater Exploration
The Scarab lunar rover has been designed to carry a 1-meter coring drill and a payload of science instruments that can analyze the abundance of hydrogen, oxygen and other materials.
Safe and independent navigation of urban environments is a key feature of accessible cities. People who have physical challenges need practical, customizable, low-cost and easily-deployable mobility aids to help them safely navigate urban environments. Technology tools provide opportunities to empower people with disabilities to overcome some day-to-day challenges.
Robust Detection of Highway Work Zones
This project is developing computer vision algorithms to detect and classify highway work zones.
Science Autonomy
The Science Autonomy project seeks to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of robotic planetary investigations by enabling automatic detection of relevant science features, classification of feature properties, and exploration planning that responds on-the-fly.
Sense and Avoid
We are developing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that sense and avoid autonomously.
TechCaFE provides educators with simple and customizable tools to make learning fun for students. Through TechCaFE we are creating a suite of culturally and socially relevant computer and mobile phone based tools for enhancing English literacy skills among children and adults. This includes CaFE Teach, a web-accessible tool that teachers use to create and modify customized content for their students. Students can access and learn from the content added by teachers via CaFE Web, a web-based practice tool, or CaFE Phone, a mobile phone game. Current work on this project involves developing CaFE Play, which would serve as a platform for developers to create applications that incorporate teacher content within the context of games designed with the specific user population in mind.
Transportation Energy Resources from Renewable Agriculture (TERRA)
We are developing a robotic phenotyping systems for phenotyping crops for rapid breeding decisions. This system positions sensors within the canopy for measurements not observable from above or below. Machine learning and computer vision algorithms are then used to generate phenotyping data from the raw sensor data.
Unmanned Ground Vehicle for Security
We are developing autonomous ATVs to secure borders and facility perimeters.
iSTEP (innovative Student Technology ExPerience) is a unique internship program that provides Carnegie Mellon University students with the opportunity to conduct technology research projects in developing communities. Started in 2009 by the TechBridgeWorld research group, iSTEP is a rigorous and competitive 10-week internship program that requires the involvement of students with high levels of dedication, team work, cross-cultural adaptability, initiative and academic achievement.