Robots in Carnegie Mellon University’s Newell-Simon Hall can explore the moon, slither across the ground, crawl down pipes, and drive autonomously through deserts and cities. With the building’s latest inhabitant, CMU researchers are putting autonomy to work on ice.
A student team from Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute (RI), dubbed AI on Ice, has partnered with three organizations to add autonomous capabilities to a two-Zamboni-machine convoy.
Locomation, a CMU spin-out company focused on bringing Human-Guided AutonomySM to long-haul trucking at scale across the U.S.; Zamboni, the company founded in 1949 that created the world’s first self-propelled ice-resurfacing machine; and the Pittsburgh Penguins share the goal of using artificial intelligence to improve the consistency of ice in the rink.
“The connection with the Penguins and Zamboni was made for us by local autonomous trucking spinoff, Locomation, and has led to a great project of the type our program seeks, with strong systems engineering, electromechanical, sensing and programming/control aspects,” said John Dolan, a principal systems scientist in the RI and adviser on the project. “It is a good example of how human-guided autonomous driving technology can be used in nonroadway domains.”
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Video from Pittsburgh Penguins