The Robotics Institute

RI | Seminar | October 15

Robotics Institute Seminar, October 15
Time and Place | Seminar Abstract | Speaker Biography | Speaker Appointments

NavLab Core Technologies

Jay Gowdy & Rob MacLachlan

SAIC & Robotics Institute





Time and Place

Mauldin Auditorium (NSH 1305)
3:15 pm
3:30 pm


We will present and describe two core NavLab technologies which have become the backbone of NavLab field deployed systems: ModUtils and DATMO. The open source ModUtils architecture toolkit has been successfully deployed for a variety of research and field-deployed mobile robot systems. Many of these utilize ModUtils for both architecture and modules. While ModUtils contains all of the necessary tools for building arobot software architecture, at its core it provides tools for building robotic modules and rapidly adapting them to whatever architecture is required for a task.


Detecting And Tracking of Moving Objects (DATMO), or the conversion of raw sensor data into representations of surrounding objects, for NavLab research provides an immediate map of the sensed region of fixed and moving objects with knowledge of key properties. By tracking objects over time, our DATMO algorithms extract objects and estimate object position, velocity, acceleration, and angular velocity (turn rate). The primary technical challenge is to extract stable object features and determine which features correspond in consecutive scans, yet use less than 7ms of processor time.


Speaker Biography

Jay Gowdy, a principal research scientist with SAIC, has decades of experience in software architecture design and integration for complex robotic systems. His architectures, tools, and methodologies have been at the core of numerous real systems at the Robotics Institute. He is currently a key technical member of SAIC's Center for Intelligent Robotics and Unmanned Systems (CIRUS).


Rob MacLachlan, a Project Supervisor, develops software and hardware for research robots at the Vision and Autonomous Systems Center of the Robotics Institute. He is actively involved in integrating sensors and actuators for the Navlab 11 autonomous Jeep. Interests include instrumentation, control systems, analog and power electronics. Previous projects include the Gwydion hypercode environment and CMU Common Lisp.


Speaker Appointments

For appointments, please contact Aaron Steinfeld

Related Material


The Robotics Institute is part of the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.