Principal investigators: Douglas Blank, James Marshall (Pomona College), Lisa Meeden (Swarthmore College)
Developmental robotics is a new paradigm to explore automatic, long-term learning in robotics. The basic idea is to design a system to allow a mobile robot to incrementally progress through levels of increasingly sophisticated behavior. That is, given a physical robot, behaviors (as well as mental capabilities) are grown using a developmental algorithm. The kinds of behaviors and mental capabilities exhibited are not explicitly specified. The focus is mainly on the intrinsic developmental algorithm and the computational models that allow an artifact to grow.
Principal investigators: Douglas Blank, Kurt Konolige (SRI International), Deepak Kumar, Lisa Meeden (Swarthmore College), Holly Yanco (University of Massachussetts Lowell)
An NSF-funded project to create the next generation robotics laboratory.
Pyro, Python Robotics
Principal investigators: Douglas Blank, Kurt Konolige (SRI International), Deepak Kumar, Lisa Meeden (Swarthmore College), Holly Yanco (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
A free, open source set of libraries, classes, and environment for exploring robot control. This is the software component of the above-mentioned NSF project, Beyond Legos.
Principal investigator: Douglas Blank
Computer Science in Context
Principal investigators: Douglas Blank
Robot Tour Guide (CREW Grant)
Principal student investigators: Ioana Butoi, Catherine Chiu, Darby Thompson
Advisors: Douglas Blank and Deepak Kumar
The purpose of the project is to integrate several techniques and algorithms to make a robot give tours of our Science Building. The robot will also be capable of giving directions from its current location to any room in the building.While such a robot may be viewed as a novelty, it will serve to generate more interest in the college’s Computer Science program. For us, computer science students, the project presents several challenges. It will also serve to bring about awareness to the general public of the state-of-the-art of robotics and will be an attempt to make people feel comfortable around robots. The robot, besides being mobile, will interact with people using voice and computer vision.
BMC Beowulf Supercomputer
Principal investigators: Douglas Blank and Michael Noel
A Beowulf Computer Cluster is a set of low-cost, off-the-shelf computers that are connected via a standard network and special software. These connected computers can then perform as a single programmable “supercomputer.” Typically, the individual computers are inexpensive PCs running Linux connected together through regular networking. Beowulf-class computer clusters can span the range from a few, older PCs to an entire building of fast, ultra-modern workstations.