Aberystwyth Robotics Club
UK Robotics Week
Aberystwyth University Computer Science department and Aberystwyth Robotics Club are celebrating UK Robotics Week, with a range of events and activities for all ages throughout the week.
For more information about Aberystwyth University’s participation in Robotics Week, please click the button below!
Come and draw robots at Beach Lab, with our special guests from www.drawntogether.wales
30th June 2018
Aberystwyth Robotics Club in conjunction with Aberystwyth University, organise this special event anually, where all robots are gathered on the Aberyswtyth sea-front for a day of exhibiting robotics projects and research in the sun!
This page is currently under construction, please call back soon for more details.
ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars Rover
A full scale Mars Rover will be on display for all to see. ExoMars will be launched by the European Space Agency and Roscosmos in 2020.
More information about Aberystwyth University’s participation in ExoMars can be found by clicking the button below.
Space Exploration Rovers
Virtual Reality – Exploring Mars
A virtual reality experience will be available to the public, to show the surface of Mars and a Mars Rover!
Robotics in Research
Idris is a 4 wheel drive, 4 wheel steering, electric vehicle, weighing about 350kg and driving at speeds of up to 10km/h. It’s maximum paylod is 150kg and is about as big as an Austin Mini, only with Land Rover wheels! It was initially based on a robuCAR TT but many extras have been added and we have modified it in a number of ways too:
- a 6DOF lightweight arm with a gripper.
- a panoramic camera mounted on a stabilised 2-axes platform.
- various additional sensors such as gps, inclinometre, compass.
- a heavy-duty application tray.
Research / Projects:
The main use of Idris is for our research in field robotics and in particular visual navigation. Idris is particularly well suited for that because of its all-terrain capabilities.
Idris is also used in projects where moving specialist sensors in remote places is needed. One such project we are currently starting is on building detailed, precise topographical maps of places such as river beds and flood plains. This involves repeating again and again the same path in difficult environments carrying, in this case, a fast, high-resolution, 3D laser scanner.
Based on a Argo Frontier 580, `the Argo’ is a 6-wheel drive amphibious electric-powered skid-steer robotic system.
Research / Projects:
The Argo is currently being used for research into robotic survivability and scientific goal achievement techniques and, as a real-world demonstration, The Argo is to be shipped to Greenland in March 2011 for the autonomous scanning of glaciers and the Greenland ice-sheet in an attempt to understand better the effects of global warming and climate change on ice sheet movements. During this project Argo is also going to be used as a base station for a visual navigation platform.
Recently the Argo was used without autonomy in New Zealand as a part of the Rees Scan research project, collecting terrestrial laser scanner data for the hyper-scale modelling of the Rees River before and after flood events.
MiRo is a different sort of robot based on a simple premise: animals are a lot smarter than today’s robots in many respects. Not only that, they are robust, adaptable and good at communicating their ‘quasi-feelings’ – all features that we’d like to see in our robots. So, rather than working out how to develop smart robots from scratch, our approach is to build robots that think and operate much like mammalian animals; from their senses and decision-making processes, all the way through to their bodies and behaviours. MiRos’ are particularly suited to robot-human interaction as well as robot-to-robot interaction and swarming/herding
Robotics Club Projects
The Pioneer is a multipurpose robotic platform which is controlled via an Arduino microcontroller which acts as the brain for all the hardware on-board the robot. This includes 2 motors (driving two wheels on each side), an array of 16 ultrasonic sensors for using sound to detect obstacles, infrared sensors which use infrared light to detect steps and changes in surface colour (for following lines), a robotic arm is also used to be able to interact with physical objects in the robot’s environment.
A Raspberry Pi acts as the decision making brain of the robot. This takes all the readings from all the sensors on-board the robot and creates a decision based on what it understands from the environment. This allows it to autonomously navigate (by it’s own).
Tango is one of the most advanced robots that the Robotics Club owns. This robot has two motors for driving and a caster, these include a sensor which allows us to know how far the wheel has turned at any given time.
To detect objects, a variety of sensors are used; 12 ultrasonics use sound to detect obstacles alongside 7 infrared sensors which use light to detect obstacles.
Safety sensors on the robot include bumper switches which stop any task the robot is performing and infrared fall sensors, that prevent the robot from driving off a step or a table edge.
The purpose of this robot is to create a 2D map layout of its environment. It does this by using a 2D LIDAR sensor that uses a Laser to measure distances around the room as the sensor spins 360 degrees. A Raspberry Pi computer on-board then uses the LIDAR data to create a map of the environment that can result in autonomous navigation of the robot.
A secondary function of the robot also includes navigation using a camera. The robot will continue to detect and react to obstacles if they become too close, however the camera is used as the main component to determine how to navigate instead of the sensors. This is the same type of technology as driverless cars!
Sherbert Lemon is a baby version of Tango. It includes the same type of sensors including 3 ultrasonics and 3 infrared sensors for obstacle detection. However, this special robot has 3 wheels and no conventional steering!…..
3 omni-directional wheels are used to be able to allow the robot to drive forwards, backwards, crab sideways and in any direction you desire!
The purpose of this robot is to be able to control it via an EEG headset, that reads brain-waves to convert thought and emotions into electrical signals that we can make our robot react to. Yes, robots can react to happy, sad and confused emotions too!
Tracked Bot (Tweedledee)
Our new robots may look familiar, these ‘used’ to be Valiant Roamers used in 80’s and 90’s by schools etc.
These were operated by giving the robot instructions via the touchpad on top.
Our Valiants are programmable using an Arduino Uno as a brain and have a variety of new sensors which the originals didn’t include, such as an ultrasonic sensor, a servo, two infrared sensors, wheel encoders, speaker, LED and LDR and the best of all…….an XBee. This means all ten of our Valiants can communicate with eachother!