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Robotics & Automation Magazine, IEEE

Issue 3 • Date Sept. 2007

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 25
  • Front cover - IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine

    Page(s): C1
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  • Table of contents - vol. 14, no. 3 September 2007

    Page(s): 1
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  • The Field and Service of Robotics[From the Editor's Desk]

    Page(s): 2
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  • The Scoop on Plagiarism [President's message]

    Page(s): 4 - 5
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  • Field and Service Applications [From the Guest Editors]

    Page(s): 6
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  • Society news

    Page(s): 7 - 12
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  • Web-Based Learning: A View of IEEE's Approach [Education]

    Page(s): 13
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  • Field and service applications - An autonomous straddle carrier for movement of shipping containers - From Research to Operational Autonomous Systems

    Page(s): 14 - 23
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (3717 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This article describes the development and implementation of an autonomous straddle carrier (AutoStrad) for the movement of shipping containers in a port environment. In this article, we describe the vehicle and the control, navigation, safety, and pilot functions, which enable autonomous operation. The description of the implementation of the complete system also addresses issues of operational safety, scheduling, and planning of operations, interfaces to quay-side cranes, and road-side hauler vehicles. The complete production system, consisting of 18 autonomous straddle carriers, has been in continuous operation for the past two years at the Port of Brisbane, Australia. This article concludes by distilling some of the key technical and commercial lessons learned in moving from a concept through prototype to fully operational system. View full abstract»

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  • Field and service applications - An infrastructure-free automated guided vehicle based on computer vision - An Effort to Make an Industrial Robot Vehicle that Can Operate without Supporting Infrastructure

    Page(s): 24 - 34
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (4562 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) have been operating effectively in factories for decades. These vehicles have successfully used strategies of deliberately structuring the environment and adapting the process to the automation. The potential of computer vision technology to increase the intelligence and adaptability of AGVs is largely unexploited in contemporary commercially available vehicles. We developed an infrastructure-free AGV that uses four distinct vision systems. Three of them exploit naturally occurring visual cues instead of relying on infrastructure. When coupled with a highly capable trajectory generation algorithm, the system produces four visual servo controllers that guide the vehicle continuously in several contexts. These contexts range from gross motion in the facility to precision operations for lifting and mating parts racks and removing them from semi-trailers. To our knowledge, this is the first instance of an AGV that has operated successfully in a relevant environment for an extended period of time without relying on any infrastructure. View full abstract»

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  • Field and service applications - Automating the marking process for exhibitions and fairs - The Making of Harry Platter

    Page(s): 35 - 42
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    Trade fairs and exhibitions have been around for centuries. They provide an important meeting point for sellers and potential buyers, be it for cars or clothes. Some fair organizers partition the exhibition space into predefined units, which may limit the flexibility. A free layout of the space allows for any shape or size of the stands and gives the exhibitor a better chance at creating something spectacular that will attract attention. Providing full flexibility, and thus a free layout, means that every new fair will be different. In addition to each individual stand having a varying size, the shape is not constrained to be rectangular, but might be, e.g., triangular or elliptic. All of this puts high demands on the production of the fairs. For example, the location and outline of every stand has to be determined and marked on the floor before the construction phase. This article gives a real world example of how robot technology can be used to automate the marking process for exhibitions and fairs in a way that both reduces the marking time and improves the working conditions. A mobile robot system equipped with a laser scanner and an ink jet printer is presented. The focus of the article is the description of the marking process and the system design. In addition, the requirements for such a system are outlined as well as results from over three years of operation and an analysis for commercialization. View full abstract»

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  • Field and service appkications - Dinosaur robotics for entertainment applications - Design, Configurations, Controt, and Exhibition at the World Exposition

    Page(s): 43 - 51
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    We developed biped dinosaur robots to make a breakthrough in the barrier that has prevented humanoid robots from being deployed. As the result, we showed that millions of people could be attracted to see robot bipeds walking. The robots were used for the communication of natural science (the history of dinosaurs) to the general public but also to demonstrate the power of modern robotics technology. The robots were really popular especially for the children and sometimes made them cry, since the robots looked quite realistic. We showed that the robots could be operated for a long period regardless of the risk of the damage. As we expected, the soft and thick skin could absorb the impact on the landing of the body, and the resulting damage was minor. View full abstract»

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  • Field and service applications - Dragline automation- A dedade of development - Shared Autonomy for Improving Mining Equipment Productivity

    Page(s): 52 - 64
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (8065 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Draglines are massive machines commonly used in surface mining to strip overburden, revealing the targeted minerals for extraction. Automating some or all of the phases of operation of these machines offers the potential for significant productivity and maintenance benefits. The mining industry has a history of slow uptake of automation systems due to the challenges contained in the harsh, complex, three-dimensional (3D), dynamically changing mine operating environment. Robotics as a discipline is finally starting to gain acceptance as a technology with the potential to assist mining operations. This article examines the evolution of robotic technologies applied to draglines in the form of machine embedded intelligent systems. Results from this work include a production trial in which 250,000 tons of material was moved autonomously, experiments demonstrating steps towards full autonomy, and teleexcavation experiments in which a dragline in Australia was tasked by an operator in the United States. View full abstract»

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  • Field and service applications - Exploring deep sea by teleoperated robot - An Underwater Parallel Robot with High Navigation Capabilities

    Page(s): 65 - 75
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    This article presents a new application of parallel robots as underwater vehicles. The article shows the methodology applied in the design process, its modeling and the building of a novel underwater parallel robot (UPR). The designed robot is based on the well-known Stewart-Gough (S-G) platform that leads us to a new concept of geometry-variable underwater robot. The main advantage of this study is that the S-G platform allows not only a relative orientation between the two rings, but also a relative displacement, which increases the navigation capabilities of other gimbaled thruster designs. Navigation and control of this new type of underwater robots lead to new challenges that still have to be solved. View full abstract»

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  • Limitations of Attitude Estimnation Algorithms for Inertial/Magnetic Sensor Modules

    Page(s): 76 - 87
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (6163 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper discuss the theory of orientation estimation algorithms designed for inertial/magnetic sensor modules and briefly describe three types of sensor modules. Specifically, the modules discussed are the InterSense InertiaCube, the MicroStrain 3DM-G, and the MARG III. The MARG III was designed by the authors and manufactured by McKinney Technology. Basic background on the ambient magnetic field of the Earth and how it is distorted by ferrous objects and electrically powered devices is then provided. Methods of calibrating magnetic field variations are then discussed. View full abstract»

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  • Autonomous miniature flying robots: coming soon! - Research, Development, and Results

    Page(s): 88 - 98
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (3026 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The exponential growth of the interest and investigations in UAVs is strongly pushing the emergence of autonomous MFRs. This article presented some developments in the ASL-MFR project. A new design methodology was introduced and applied to a quadrotor and a coaxial helicopter enhancing appreciably the robots characteristics by allowing 100% thrust margin and 30 min autonomy (respectively, 40% and 20 min for CoaX). An original concept of hybrid active and passive control is introduced for CoaX. A simulation software permitting rapid MFR reconfiguration and various testing conditions was shown. Finally, a simulation of an obstacle avoidance controller was presented. The numerous developments presented in this article reinforce our conviction in the emergence of autonomous MFRs. View full abstract»

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  • Putting low-cost commercial robotics components to the test - Development of an educational mechatronics/robotics platform using LEGO components

    Page(s): 99 - 110
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    In this article, we investigate the possibility of using low-cost commercial material as a means of learning, research, and experimentation in fields such as mechatronics, robotics, and automatic control. The capabilities and limitations of the selected platform, i.e., of the LEGO elements, are studied via two projects that were designed and carried out, including a number of enhancements that address hardware and software limitations. The first project involves a robotic vehicle that can follow predefined paths, while the second concerns two robotic vehicles cooperating in a specific task. Algorithms and additional hardware were developed and the overall results are presented. It was found that the platform is suitable for teaching many diverse issues of central importance in the areas of interest. View full abstract»

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  • Tutorial - Robotics in the small Part II: Nanorobotics

    Page(s): 111 - 121
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    Nanorobotics is the study of robotics at the nanometer scale, and includes robots that are nanoscale in size, i.e., nanorobots (which have yet to be realized), and large robots capable of manipulating objects that have dimensions in the nanoscale range with nanometer resolution, i.e., nanorobotic manipulators. Knowledge from mesoscopic physics, mesoscopic/supramolecular chemistry, and molecular biology at the nanometer scale converges to form the field. Various disciplines contribute to nanorobotics, including nanomaterial synthesis, nanobiotechnology, and microscopy for imaging and characterization. Such topics as self-assembly, nanorobotic assembly, and hybrid nanomanufacturing approaches for assembling nano building blocks into structures, tools, sensors, and actuators are considered areas of nanorobotic study. A current focus of nanorobotics is on the fabrication of nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS), which may serve as components for future nanorobots. The main goals of nanorobotics are to provide effective tools for the experimental exploration of the nanoworld, and to push the boundaries of this exploration from a robotics research perspective. View full abstract»

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  • Industry/Research news

    Page(s): 122
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  • In Memoriam [Tanie, Kazuo; Seraji, Homayoun; Michie, Donald]

    Page(s): 122
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  • Humanoids 07 - IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots

    Page(s): 123
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  • EURON Report

    Page(s): 124
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  • ICRA 2008 - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation - Call for papers

    Page(s): 125
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  • Calendar

    Page(s): 126
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  • On the shelf

    Page(s): 126
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  • IEEE Transactions on Robotics Special Issue on Visual SLAM - Call for papers

    Page(s): 127
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Aims & Scope

IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine is a unique technology publication which is peer-reviewed, readable and substantive.  The Magazine is a forum for articles which fall between the academic and theoretical orientation of scholarly journals and vendor sponsored trade publications.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Eugenio Guglielmelli
Laboratory of Biomedical Robotics
      and Biomicrosystems
Universita' Campus Bio-Medico
      di Roma