Abstract for the April 18, 1997 Robotics Institute Seminar

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K3A Commerical Mobile Robot

John M. Holland,
President & CEO,
Cybermotion, Inc.

Cybermotion, Inc. of Roanoke, VA has been designing, manufacturing, selling and supporting mobile robotic systems since 1984. The company's mobile robotic system are at work in research, industrial, military, nuclear, security, and hazardous environment applications around the world.

The foundation of all Cybermotion systems is the Navmaster, an autonomous vehicle that consists of a rugged cast-aluminum mobile platform base equipped with a subturret. The vehicle features a patented concentric-shaft, synchronous 3 or 6-wheel steering and drive system. The subturret houses the ultrasonic navigation, docking beacon, and collision-avoidance subsystems, and provides an interface for a variety of application instrumentation packages.

Cybermotion's ultrasonic navigation, ranging, and collision-avoidance technology enables the CyberGuard to maneuver autonomously through its work environment without tracks, tapes, guide strips or other building modification. The CyberGuard uses existing structural features -- walls, halls, doorways -- for navigational reference.

Cybermotion's Dispatcher software enables the operator to control the robot and its subsystems from a standard microcomputer, which communicates with the robot's on-board computers by radio modem. Site-specific "path programs" written into the Dispatcher computer, then executed by the vehicle, enable the robot to navigate from point to point on a path map that overlays the building floorplan displayed on the console computer.

The machine is equipped with a range of sensing equipment. A scanner, using microwave, passive infrared, and other optical technology, detects intruders and flames; an air sampler detects gas and smoke and measures humidity and temperature; a CCTV camera can transmit live video images of the robot's surroundings, or record the images on a timelapse VCR; and ultrasonic sensors help the robot navigate and avoid collisions.

Bio: Mr. Holland is regarded as one of the leading experts in the field of mobile robotics. He has authored several articles and books on the subject, including the book titled, Basic Robotic Concepts published in 1983. A 1968 graduate of Virginia Tech University, Mr. Holland holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering.

Last Modified on: Mon Apr 14, 1997

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Martin C. Martin, <mm+@cmu.edu>