Project: Ragobot

Name: Ragobot

TItle: Real Action Gaming Robots

Description:

There has been a dramatic shift in sensor networks towards the study of motile and mobile systems. Consider the classic target application of such a network – monitoring. Whether it's a forest fire, a platoon of soldiers, or a cosmic phenomenon, the overriding approach involves cheap nodes deployed throughout the area of interest. However, static sensor nodes suffer from numerous drawbacks. The pragmatic issues of network deployment, coverage holes, and sub-optimal density lend great credence to the addition of mobility.

Implementing these modern sensor networks requires a different design philosophy from traditional robotics. By convention, this field emphasizes the capability of a single robot; in contrast, mobile sensor nets leverage teams of coordinated entities. Estrin, et.al. conclude that two key requirements emerge: "support for very large numbers of unattended autonomous nodes and adaptivity to environment and task dynamics." In designing mobile sensor network devices, we discover that the former is actually an implicit benefit while the latter imposes significant design challenges.

Ragobot is the latest mobile sensor node to meet these constraints. Ragobot is smaller than most fully-navigable robots. and is more heavily instrumented (video capture, audio capture, processing, and playback, IR collision avoidance, IR cliff detection, RFID read/write, inertial navigation, and more) and mechanically advanced (capable of 34.9 degree vertical climb) than its smaller counterparts.

Status: Inactive Project

Main Research Area: Sensor and Actuator Networks

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