Amanda Prorok is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Technology, at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Pembroke College.
Research led by Amanda at the Prorok Lab focuses on multi-agent and multi-robot systems, with a mission to find new ways of coordinating artificially intelligent agents (e.g., robots, vehicles, machines) to achieve common goals in shared physical and virtual spaces. This research brings in methods from machine learning, planning, and control, and has numerous applications, including automated transport and logistics, environmental monitoring, surveillance, and search.
Target3D first worked with Amanda in 2019 when they installed six OptiTrack Prime 17W cameras in the Prorok Lab, to be used to track autonomous vehicles.
THE ISSUE By 2021 the lab had outgrown the space so needed to move to a larger area with a bigger capture volume, and set about expanding on their existing mocap system.
A challenge of the new space was the lack of any attachment points, meaning it required a completely new rail mounting system. Architectural features were also a consideration with a 6m span needing to be bridged.
Target3D designed and installed an unobtrusive rail mounting system, supplying six OptiTrack PrimeX 22 cameras to supplement the current system. The motion capture specialists also added a Prime colour camera, an Active wand, an additional network switch and a new Motive licence.
Thankfully, the university building services team were helpful in manoeuvring a single piece of 6m scaffolding into the room ahead of Target3D’s arrival, allowing them to bridge the span.
The upgraded twelve camera system was delivered under budget and allows the Prorok Lab to continue tracking autonomous robots for research purposes.
The new space has been used by Amanda Prorok to develop a novel framework to run decentralised GNN-based policies on real robots, as shown in this video. Looking to the future, Amanda also has plans to use the space for 3 dimensional drones.
“It’s a great set up, I think Target3D did a really great job. Despite a software issue, together with tech support from Target3D we found a way of making it possible to do this VR overlay." Amanda Prorok, University of Cambridge
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