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‘Robotarium’ to provide remote access to robots

Monday, Jan 18, 2016,12:24 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Washington | Researchers in US are developing a new lab called ‘Robotarium’ that will house up to 100 ground and aerial swarm robots to allow scientists to conduct experiments remotely.

University researchers, as well as middle and high school students, will schedule experiments, upload their own programming code, watch the robots in real-time via streamed video feeds and receive scientific data demonstrating the results.

The Robotarium being developed by Georgia Institute of Technology in US is expected to house up to 100 ground and aerial swarm robots. Building and maintaining a world-class, multi-robot lab is too expensive for a large number of roboticists and budding roboticists.

This creates a steep barrier to entry into our field, said Magnus Egerstedt, Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).

We need to provide more access to more people in order to continue creating robot-assisted technologies. The Robotarium will allow that, said Egerstedt.

The team has already created a mini-version of the Robotarium. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, successfully uploaded code during a recent test session.

The Robotarium is expected to be fully operational in 2017, researchers said. A research instrument like the Robotarium has the potential to build stronger networks of collaborative research, making the whole significantly larger than the sum of its parts, Egerstedt said.

The end result has the potential to show how remote access instruments can be structured in other areas beyond robotics, Egerstedt said.

The first thing that’s going to happen when you open it to the public is someone is going to try to break it, said Aaron Ames, an associate professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and ECE who’s involved in the project.

Ames has already developed an algorithm to prevent robots from colliding with each other.