U.S. University Laboratories

Table of Contents
Clicking on a link will access a text description and provide the link to directly jump to that location.

Boston University - Robotics and Control Group
Brown University - AI/Robotics Lab
Bucknell University - BRL
California Institute of Technology - Robotics Group
Carnegie Mellon University - AML
Carnegie Mellon University - NavLab
Cornell University - CSRVL
Georgia Tech - Intelligent Machine Dynamics
Georgia Tech - Mobile Robotics
Harvard University - HRL
Johns Hopkins University - Robotics Lab
Massachusettes Institute of Technology - AI Lab
Stanford University - Robotics Lab
Stanford University - DML
UC Berkley - R & IM Lab
University of Massachusettes - LPR
University of Southern California - MRL

Boston University - Robotics and Control Group

A/ME Robotics and Control Group
"The Robotics and Control Group at Boston University in the Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Dept. is investigating both theoretical and applied issues in the control of mechanical systems." A list of personnel and an index of publications related to the lab is available as well as pictures of some of the facilities, including the gymnast (a superarticulated robot), a CIMFLEX MERLIN robot, an IBM SCARA manipulator, and a transputer network which is used for the real-time control of the gymnast and other mechanical systems.

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Brown University - AI/Robotics Lab

AI/Robotics Lab
Information is available on robotics group personnel, current projects, and picutres of facilities. Some of the software projects include controlling robots across a computer network, an object-oriented approach to robotic programming and interfaces, and a mobile robot interface. Hardware facilities include a few robots with extensive sonar and IR sensor capabilities. "Gort", one of the large robots in the lab, has16 sonars, 16 IR sensors, and a laser rangefinder. It runs from an onboard 486DX2 66MHz PC, and can operate fully autonomously or communicate through Ethernet to the local network. Future plans include adding a home-built robotic arm and SoundBlaster sound. "Ramona" is the lab's newer large robot. Built entirely by RWI Inc, it has two 486DX4's and a Gateway Handbook for interface and display onboard. It currently has 24 sonars and will soon have 24 IR's, a robotic manipulator and arm, and two CCD cameras on pan/tilt heads for stereo vision.

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Bucknell University - BRL

Bucknell Robotics Laboratory
"The Bucknell Robotics Laboratory (BRL), under the direction of Prof. Keith W. Buffinton at Bucknell University, is a research and teaching facility for the study of the dynamics and control of robotic systems. Topics that have been investigated in the laboratory include the design and construction of robotics force sensors, the response of flexible systems to low-frequency parametric excitation, the development and experimental verification of control algorithms for flexible manipulators, the design and analysis of legged vehicles, the design and experimental evaluation of shape-memory-alloy servomechanisms, and video-image based dimensioning of optical lenses. One topic that has received particular emphasis is the theoretical and experimental investigation of the behavior of manipulators containing both flexible links and prismatic joints. This research has encompassed issues related to the design and construction of a prismatically jointed flexible manipulator, the modelling and parameter determination for such a manipulator, the sensing of the position of selected points of the flexible links, and the development and evaluation of control algorithms for regulating the effects of link flexibility."

Information is available on personnel, facilities, research, and publications.

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California Institute of Technology - Robotics Group

Robotics Home Page
The Caltech robotics home page includes information about laboratory personnel, current research projects and resources, and access to several on-line publications. Pictures are available for robots in the lab, including a 30 degree-of-freedom hyper-redundant robot, a mobile robot with sonar, the "Snakeboard" robot, an Adept One assembly robot, a Puma 560, and a biped. Research endeavors include:
  • Hyper-Redundant Robotics Systems
  • Robotic Locomotion
  • Sensor Based Motion Planning
  • Modular Robots
  • Medical Robotics
  • Global Optimization and Analog VLSI
  • Grasping and Fixture Planning
  • Basic Kinematics

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Carnegie Mellon University - AML

Advanced Manipulator Laboratory
"In the past, the use of manipulators in business and research has been limited partly due to the following factors: current integrated sending modalities for sensing the environment are inadequate, and software is not portable and is designed for use only with specific tasks. The research goal of the Advanced Manipulators Laboratory is to address these issues both theoretically and experimentally by creating a distributed laboratory wherein both hardware and software resources can be shared on a network (via hyperlinks) to control both local and remote sensor-based control systems.

Current research projects include the design of novel manipulators capable of reconfiguring themselves, the development of theory for incorporating sensors (such as position, velocity, force/torque, tactile and vision) into the dynamic feedback loop of a manipulator, and the advancement of a novel real-time operating system and interface to support the construction of reconfigurable and reusable software."

Information can be found on personnel, publications, and facilities, and related research and commercial systems.

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Carnegie Mellon University - NavLab

NavLab: Autonomous Navigation
"In the NavLab project we are building competent robot vehicles. Since 1984 we have been building systems for autonomously driving in the unstructured outdoor environment. The NavLab and NavLab II vehicles combine sensing, sensor interpretation, planning, control, and testbed vehicles to create integrated navigation systems. They drive autonomously as far as 21 miles at speeds up to 55 mph; travel over cross-country terrain for hour-long runs; perform suburban delivery missions; and even park themselves. Our work is a central part of the ARPA Unmanned Ground Vehicle program. Our research includes both individual modules, and a system architecture."

Brief descriptions can be found on many topics pertaining to autonomous vehicle navigation, and there are several photos related to the topics.

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Cornell University - CSRVL

Cornell Robotics and Vision Laboratory
"The Cornell Computer Science Robotics and Vision Laboratory is located at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. Research here focuses on the topics of machine vision, navigation and tracking, robotic manipulation, distributed and cooperative robotics, microelectromechanical systems, planning and control, uncertainty and error, and geometric algorithms. The lab is directed by Bruce Donald and Daniel Huttenlocher."

Information can be found on personnel, publications, and facilities, including technical specifications and a pictorial walk-thru.

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Georgia Tech - Intelligent Machine Dynamics Laboratory

Intelligent Machine Dynamics Lab
Purpose: The opportunities provided by the current and future computational power will produce opportunities for intelligent machines of varied nature and application. To affect our physical world these machines must contend with and use to advantage the properties of matter, including elasticity, friction and inertia. The IMDL will strive to understand and improve the dynamic behavior of machines for and through the use of control, sensors, and design. Theory must be complemented with experiment and targeted to real world applications to fully achieve this goal.

Links exist to each of the current research projects, catagorized in the following:

Flexible Robotics Group:

  • Adaptive Impedence Control for Haptic Interfaces
  • Extension of inverse dynamics techniques to a two link case
  • End-point position sensing and control by landmark tracking camera
  • Human Factors in Robot Design and Control
  • Command Filtering to Prevent Vibration in Long Reach Manipulators
  • Modification of a Cincinnati Milicron Industrial Robot
  • Development of a Multi-Tasking Control Environment
  • Macro/Micro manipulation for long reach applications
  • Neural Nets for Identification and Control of Flexible Links.
  • Teleoperation of Long Reach Manipulators
Mobile Robotics Group
  • Multi-Body Simulator (MBSim)
  • Ultrasonic sensor model and configuration simulations
  • Manufacturing mobile robots
  • Reactive Path Shaping (RPS)
  • Collision detection for Multi-Body Simulator (MBSim)
Passive Robotics Group
  • Trajectory Control of a Passive Manipulator

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Georgia Tech - Mobile Robot Laboratory

Mobile Robot Laboratory
Charter: The Mobile Robot Laboratory's charter is to discover and develop fundamental scientific principles and practices that are applicable to intelligent mobile robot systems. In addition, it is the goal of this laboratory to facilitate technology transfer of its research results to yield solutions to real world problems for a wide range of application domains.

Some of the laboratory's current research projects include:

  • Multiagent Robotic Systems
  • Reactive Control for Multi-Agent Robotic Systems in
  • Hostile Environments (ARPA)
  • Low-Level Nuclear Waste Inspection (Savannah River)
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (NSF and Army)
  • Mobile Manipulation (NSF)
  • Router
  • Learning and Adaptation in Autonomous Robotic Systems
  • AAAI-94 Robot Competition (we won!)

Also available are laboratory facilities, on-line publications, simulation software (MissionLab version 0.5), and recent publications including:

  • Reactive Control
  • Multi-Agent Robotics
  • Robot Survivability
  • Biological Basis
  • Perception
  • Path Planning and Navigation
  • Robotic Learning
  • Unnmanned Aerial Vehicle

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Harvard University - HRL

Harvard Robotics Laboratory
"The Harvard Robotics Laboratory was founded in 1983 by Professor Roger Brockett. Our current research projects include computational vision, neural networks, tactile sensing, motion control and VLSI systems."

Information is available on projects, personnel, reports, and events.

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Johns Hopkins University - Robotics Lab

JHU Robotics Laboratory
Here can be found some interesting research on metamorphic robots. "A Metamorphic Robotic System is a collection of independently controlled mechatronic modules, each of which has the ability to connect, disconnect and climb over adjacent modules. Each module allows power and information to flow through itsef and to it's neighbors. A change in manipulator morphology results from the locomotion of each module over it's neighbors. Thus a metamorphic system has the ability to dynamically reconfigure. Current work involves ideas in motion planning of such robots , construction of planar metamorphic robots, and 3D models."

Information is available on personnel, published papers, mechatronics class, and in the future will contain data on binary robots.

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Massachusettes Institute of Technology - AI Lab

Artifical Intelligence Laboratory
"The primary goal of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory is to understand how computers can be made to exhibit intelligence. Two corollary goals are to build intelligent systems and to understand certain aspects of biological intelligence. Current research in the Laboratory includes work on robotics, vision, natural language, enhanced reality, learning, reasoning and problem solving, deep expert systems, engineering design, supercomputing, and basic theory. Major new applications themes include information transportation, access, and analysis, enhanced reality technology, and applications of artificial intelligence in medicine."

In the Robotics and Machine Vision section of the AI Laboratory (accessable from the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory link above), there are several jump points to different groups at MIT, accessable directly from here:

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Stanford University - Robotics Lab

Robotics Laboratory
"Research in the Robotics Laboratory that is aimed at making robots more autonomous focuses on vision and image understanding (stereo vision, motion vision, model-based vision), planning (motion planning and task planning), reasoning, machine learning, geometrical modeling, and navigation. Research aimed at making robots more dexterous concentrates on high-level manipulation control including robot design, dynamic control, force-based control, dexterous hands design and control, and force and tactile sensing. The laboratory also conducts research in Artificial Intelligence on topics that are important to the future of robotics, including multi-agent reasoning, reactive systems, spatial reasoning, and temporal reasoning."

Information available includes a listing of personnel, research groups, some photos of various robots in the lab, and access to the Stanford Robotics FTP server.

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Stanford University - DML

Dextrous Manipulation Laboratory
"The Dextrous Manipulation Laboratory is affiliated with the Center for Design Research (CDR) which is part of the Design Division in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stanford University. The focus of the work in this laboratory is the modeling and control of dextrous manipulation with robotic and teleoperated hands. Projects include the development of dynamic tactile sensors for detecting "events" such as making contact or slipping and the development of control algorithms and a control framework that allow grasp forces and motions to be controlled precisely."

Information available includes a listing of personnel, publications, and a few photos from projects.

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UC Berkeley - R & IM Lab

Robotics and Intelligent Machines Lab
"The objective of the Intelligent Machines and Robotics Lab is to give machines the ability to interact intelligently with the external physical world. To create intelligent machines, we need to understand the combination of action (control), perception (sensing), and planning. Research in this area in the EECS Department at Berkeley involves five faculty members: Professor John Canny, Ronald Fearing, David Forsyth, Jitendra Malik, and Shankar Sastry, and more than thirty graduate students and post-doctoral fellows."

Some areas of research include:

  • Nonholonomic Motion Planning for Robots
  • Millirobots for Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Computational Vision
  • Assembly and Materials Handling - RISC Robotics
  • Adaptation and Learning in Biological and Artificial Systems
  • Air Traffic Mangement Systems
  • Automated Highway Systems - PATH
  • Grasping
  • Lip Reading

Other information available includes a listing of personnel, papers and publications, robotics demos and movies, robotics tools, and access to the UCB robotics FTP server.

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University of Massachusettes - LPR

Laboratory for Perceptual Robotics
"The Laboratory for Perceptual Robotics (LPR), under the direction of Professors Rod Grupen and Robin Popplestone, and the Center for Automated, Real-Time Systems (CARTS) at the University of Massachusetts is focused on new technologies to control robots in uncertain and unstructured environments. These efforts include techniques for acquiring geometric information on-line, sensor-based systems for robot manipulator control and mobile platform navigation, methods for reacting to sensor information during assembly operations, geometric reasoning for automated assembly planning, and adaptive controllers which acquire skill in assembly tasks."

Some of the laboratories facilities include: two General Electric P50 robots, two GE A4s, a Zebra Zero, and a customized MRI mobile platform. The P50s are fitted with a 4-fingered Utah/MIT and a 3-fingered Salisbury dexterous hand, respectively. Pictures and some additional information is available.

Research conducted at the lab includes:

  • controller composition for coordinating multiple robots
  • grasp planning
  • geometric reasoning for robust assembly & fine motion control
  • learning admittance control and path optimization
  • biological models of motor planning
  • proprioceptive, tactile, & visual model acquisition
  • motion planning, coarse reaching
  • state-space decomposition
  • flexible manufacturing (research done in the context of CARTS)

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University of Southern California - MRL

Modular Robotics Laboratory
"In the Modular Robotics Lab, our aim is to develop a science base for automated assembly lines. We develop geometric algorithms and interactive systems that analyze the low-level geometry of components such as part feeders, sorters, and fixtures. An underlying theme is the use of modular sensors and actuators such as light beams and parallel-jaw grippers. Although this hardware bears a close resemblance to existing `hard' automation systems, we are applying computational theory to rapidly configure and reliably control this hardware. At a higher level, modular components such as flexible feeders and conveyor belts can be interactively configured to facilitate the design and evaluation of assembly lines prior to installation. The research addresses basic theoretical questions such as the complexity and completeness of algorithms and involves several companies in efforts to transfer basic results into industrial practice. The MRL is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation and Adept Technology Inc."

Information is also available on laboratory personnel, some publications, and past and current WWW projects.

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Return to the Robotics Internet Resources Compendium

Last modified --> 9 August 1995

This page was created by David Bell (dbell@coral.bucknell.edu), with thanks to the Bucknell Webmaster.