Robotics : Autonomous Robot Navigation
Amanda Prorok, Assistant Professor and University Lecturer, from the Department of Computer Science and Technology at Cambridge University, runs a research lab designing algorithms for coordinating systems composed of multiple autonomous robots.
The Issue: Amanda Prorok approached Target3D when she was seeking to track multiple vehicles in order to feedback information to algorithms to help control the vehicles autonomously and was struck by a lack of available low-cost options. She was using off-the-shelf RC cars which would be retro fitted with control boards, servos, and Raspberry Pis to enable this project research.
Target3D were instrumental in getting this project done in time
- Amanda Prorok
For a demo showing how cost effective mocap technology can work for your next project, contact Target3D.
The solution: By using optical tracking, rather than onboard IMUs, there would be no drift issue - making OptiTrack Prime 17W ideal for the project. Creating a unique experimental testbed consisting of a fleet of 16 miniature Ackermann-steering vehicles with a six-camera system, Target3D worked with the University - sourcing the products, installing the tech and providing specialist hardware training for the lab team.
The experimental testbed allowed the team to implement state-of-the-art driver models as well as autonomous control strategies, and test their validity in a real, physical multi-lane setup. Through experiments on a miniature highway, Amanda and her team were able to tangibly demonstrate the benefits of cooperative driving on multi-lane road topographies. The setup paves the way for indoor large-fleet experimental research.