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Dr. Martin Bühler 

Field Robots!

We are living in exciting times for robotics. After decades of research, the confluence of our increased understanding of the challenges, the markets, and the technology, combined with lower cost computing, sensing and actuation, has finally ushered in an era where robotic systems can offer a real value proposition outside the confines of structured factory floors. As our systems become more capable to deal with the uncertainty, variability and rigors of outdoor fielded settings, virtually unlimited markets open up for robots in agriculture, mining, oceanography, planetary exploration, security, military, energy, and many other application domains. To be successful, fielded robots must sense the world, move in the world, and forcefully interact with the world, and continue to improve further on their reliable and cost-effective mobility, perception, and manipulation. This presentation will focus on fielded robots and offer insights gained from past work on diverse mobile robot systems. These include prototypes of future fieldable legged robots in academia and industry, and commercially successful and fielded mobile robots with articulated tracks and wheels at iRobot. The presentation concludes with some recent project highlights from the iRobot research group, and a glimpse of new robot prototypes.


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