Segway Platform Plus KUKA Arm

During the Spring 2007 semester, several friends (and labmates) took a course at Georgia Tech on mobile manipulation. This was no ordinary class... the final exam's assignment was to use a Segway base with KUKA arm to fetch a cup of coffee!  There are a ton of reasons that this is interesting, from mobility, navigation, perception, manipulation, etc. However, the most impressive thing is that each group used different software to complete the task. One team used MS Robotics Studio, another used Player/Stage on Linux, and another used a functional language called OCaml on Mac.

This is what Dr. Henrik Christensen (a co-professor of the class along with Dr. Charlie Kemp) had to say about the course:

Segway RMP200 with a KUKA KR-5 sixx arm


The exam/demonstration for 4632B on mobile manipulation took place today. One group did 3 complete cycles of coffee delivery, the two other groups did partial cycles. The system is composed of a Segway RMP200 with a KUKA KR-5 sixx arm mounted on top. The strategies demonstrated included - particle based object localization, MC localization, visual servoing (image and 3D based).

A poster describing the course results was presented at SPIE 2008 by Alex Trevor and can be found here.  For those who might question the functionality of the robot, here are videos from two of the teams.










Boston Dynamics, a robotics company that Google bought back in 2013, has routinely wowed the world by releasing videos of robots that are growing ever closer to resembling the humanoid robots we see in science fiction movies. The company this week released what might be its craziest robot video yet that shows its next-generation Atlas robot opening doors on its own, walking through snowy terrains, and picking up 10-pound boxes. This is the move impressive robot design I’ve seen from Boston Dynamics yet, which is really saying something.  

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