University of Southern California The USC Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering Pre-College Summer Programs - Student Portfolios

Robotic Assistance

This week, our task is to create 5 assistance robots. Each of these robots are to have a different task. The-

*SORRY, WE MUST INTERRUPT THIS WEB JOURNAL WITH AN URGENT NEWS STORY.* 

*A NATURAL DISASTER IN AN URBAN AREA HAS CAUSED HORRIBLE DAMAGE TO A ONE STORY BUILDING. PEOPLE ARE BELIEVED TO BE TRAPPED INSIDE THE BUILDING.*

*CAN ANYONE HELP THEM? ANYONE?*

Well, I suppose we know where we are sending the bots! This team of specialised Rescue Bots have very specific jobs. The Vex bot clears the debris so that the Lego MINDSTORM can lead all of the ambulatory survivors out of the building. Once they are all out, the iRobot will roll in and search for other survivors. Piggy-backing onto it is the Scribbler. Once the iRobot locates the survivors, it will leave the building with the Scribbler trailing behind and drawing a trail back to the survivors. Once they have exited the building, the Vex IQ comes in with relief supplies.

RESCUE BOTS, ROLL OUT!

 

Engineering????

Over the course of this week, we had to learn about Computer Science and Biomedical engineering. 

Computer Science  - is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_science)

Computer Science made, guess what, computers! Just like it sounds, Computer Science works with technology like computers to make stuff happen.

Biomedical engineering - is the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology for healthcare purposes. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomedical_engineering)

Biomedical engineering is the branch of engineering that combines technology and organic elements to create machines that assist with healthcare.

 
What is this robot thing again??

Robots are defined as machines able to extract information from its environment and use that information to move safely in a purposeful manner. Robots consist of sensors, effectors, actuators, locomotion systems, on board computation systems and controllers. These robots are increasingly used in today's society, and are constantly becoming more complex. Some robots are able to have AI or Artificial Intelligence, which enables them to learn based on their experiences.

Robots have a inside and an outside "state" which is a description of the system. There are 5 different states.

Most robots are divided into two types- mobile and manipulative. Mobile moves around, while manipulative interacts more directly with its environment.

The behavior of a robot does not reflect the programming. The behavior is what the external observer sees. The behavior may be "turning left" but the programming may be "avoid this obstacle."

Robots also have degrees of freedom (DOF). DOF are the ways in which a robot can make a motion. "Up, down" is one DOF. Most robots are "non-holonomic", which means that they cannot control all of their DOF.

 

Wait, we have to program them too?

Actually, yes. The robots wouldn't do anything with out being programmed. Programming a robot is the way to tell it what to do. You program robots in code, however, some robots come with a GUI or Graphic User Interface. GUI uses pictures to represent blocks of code to make it more user friendly and idiot proof. Others have a pre-written code for you to edit, or they just make you start from scratch.

 

Ok, can we see these "Rescue Bots"?

Sure! These 5 robots are not camera shy at all. We also have a Prezi that talks more about these guys and our project. The link to that is here.

 

I wanna see them in action!

You're not the only one! Don't worry though, the rescue bots have allowed us to take a video of their heroic exploits.