comp.robotics.* Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) part 3/5

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Kevin Dowling

Jun 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/16/96

Archive-name: robotics-faq/part3
Last Modified: Mon Jun 10 01:00:40 EDT 1996

This FAQ was compiled and written by Kevin Dowling with numerous
contributions by readers of comp.robotics. Acknowledgements are listed
at the end of the FAQ.

This post, as a collection of information, is Copyright 1995 Kevin
Dowling. Distribution through any means other than regular Usenet
channels must be by permission. The removal of this notice is

This FAQ may be posted to any USENET newsgroup, on-line service, or
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or compilations without express permission from the author.

Please send changes, additions, suggestions and questions to:
Kevin Dowling tel: 412.268.8830
Robotics Institute fax: 412.268.5895
Carnegie Mellon University net: [2]
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 url: [3]

This FAQ may be referenced as:

Dowling, Kevin (1995) "Robotics: comp.robotics Frequently Asked
Questions" Available as a hypertext document at 90+ pages.

Last-Modified: Thu Dec 7 16:40:11 1995

[4]Kevin Dowling <>


[6] What University Programs are there?

[3][6.1] Graduate Programs in Robotics
[4][6.2] Student Who's Who

Any good four-year school undoubtedly offers robotics courses within
engineering programs. Departments of mechanical and electrical
engineering and computer science are all good candidates for
coursework in Robotics. However, a number of schools have established
track records with a focus on robotics and those are listed here.

Peterson's publishes a series of guides to higher education programs.
Their Graduate Programs in Engineering and Applied Sciences, 1994,
lists graduate programs in robotics in the U.S. The following are
those listed which offer PhD programs in robotics:

Carnegie Mellon University
PhD in Robotics
The Robotics Institute

Catholic University of America
PhD in Design and Robotics
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Cornell University
PhD in Robotics
PhD in Artificial Intelligence
Field of Computer Science

Ohio University
PhD in Intelligent Systems
Department of Integrated Engineering

University of California, San Diego
PhD in intelligent systems, robotics, and control
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Note that this list is both too short and somewhat misleading because
many other universities offer robotics research within the scope of
other engineering and science programs.


[6.1] Graduate Programs in Robotics

This list is grouped by countries including the United States,
Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Sweden and Switzerland. Many
European and Asian universities are not represented and should be -
drop me a line if you have information on some that should be

[5]United States

[6]Boston University
[7]California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
[8]Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
[9]Colorado School of Mines
[11]Georgia Institute of Technology
[13]Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
[14]New York University (NYU)
[15]North Carolina State Univerisity
[17]Rennsalear Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
[18]Stanford University
[19]University of California at Berkeley
[20]University of Iowa
[21]University of Kansas
[22]University of Kentucky
[23]University of Massachusetts
[24]University of Michigan
[25]University of Pennsylvania.
[26]University of Rochester
[27]University of Southern California (USC)
[28]University of Maryland
[29]The University of Texas at Arlington
[30]University of Wisconsin-Madison
[31]University of Utah
[32]Yale University
[33]Wilkes University


[35]University of Western Australia


[37]McGill University
[38]University of Alberta

[39]United Kingdom

[40]Edinburgh University (UK)
[41]University of Essex (UK)
[42]University of the West of England at Bristol, U.K.
[43]Bristol University
[44]Hull University, UK
[45]University of Manchester
[46]University of Oxford
[47]Reading University, UK
[48]Salford University
[49]University of Surrey


[51]University of Paris


[53]Lulea University of Technology


[55]Swiss Federal Institute of Technology


United States


Boston University

_Dept. of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering_

John Baillieul
Control of Mechanical Systems and Mathematical System Theory

Pierre Dupont
Robot Kinematics and Dynamics, Friction Compensation in

Ann Stokes
Theoretical Dynamics and Control

Matt Berkemeier
Legged Robots, Robot Control


California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

Joel Burdick
serpentine manipulation, control

Richard Murray
control of nonholonomic systems, grasping

Pietro Perona
biological and machine vision

For more detailed information on robotics research at Caltech see

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

Graduate program contact:

Graduate Admissions Coordinator
The Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

The Robotics Institute is a 150 person organization that is part of
CMU's [57]School of Computer Science. RI offers a PhD in Robotics but
students from other programs (engineering and computer science mostly)
do research in the Institute as well. Lots of mobile robot work,
computer integrated manufacturing, rapid prototyping, sensors, vision,
navigation, learning and architectures. Program is a set of qualifiers
and a program of research leading to a thesis and the degree.

For a look at current research in autonomous navigation in the NavLab
group see: [58]navlab_home_page.html

Facilities include about a dozen mobile systems with more under design
and construction. Many manipulator systems and lots of compute


Takeo Kanade
Vision and Autonomous Systems Center

Pradeep Khosla
Advanced Manipulator Laboartory

Matt Mason
Manipulation Laboratory

Tom Mitchell
Learning Robots Lab

Hans Moravec
Mobile Robots Lab

Mel Seigel
Sensors Laboratory (non vision)

Steve Shafer
Calibrated Imaging Laboratory

Red Whittaker
Field Robotics Center

and many others.....


Case Western Reserve University

Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics

Glennan Building
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Phone (216)368-4088
Fax (216)368-2668

See [59]file://

Electrical engineering at CWRU is a broad, dynamic field offering a
great diversity of career opportunities in areas such as microwave and
rf communications, microprocessor-based digital control systems,
robotics, solid state microelectronics, signal processing, and
intelligent systems. The Department of Electrical Engineering and
Applied Physics offers Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Master of
Science in Electrical Engineering, Master of Engineering, and Doctor
of Philosophy degree programs which provide preparation for work in
these areas. The department offers a minor in electrical engineering
for bachelor's degree students in other engineering disciplines as
well as a minor in electronics for bachelor's degree students enrolled
in the College of Arts and Science.


Colorado School of Mines

_Mobile Robotics/Machine Perception Laboratory_
_Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences_
The Colorado School of Mines is a state university, internationally
renowned in the energy, materials, and resource fields, attracting
outstanding students in a broad range of science and engineering
disciplines. The School of Mines is strongly committed to quality
teaching and research. CSM provides an attractive campus environment,
a collegial atmosphere, relatively small size (3000 students, about
30% in graduate programs), and an ideal location in the foothills of
the Rocky Mountains 13 miles from downtown Denver and an hour from
most ski areas.

The Dept. of Mathematical and Computer Sciences offers BS, MS, and PhD
degrees under the department title. With a faculty of 18 tenured and
tenure track members, the department annually receives roughly a
million dollars in grants; 116 undergraduate students and 70 graduate
students are currently enrolled in ou r degree programs. The computer
science group within the department has a strong focus in AI (symbolic
and neural nets) and database and parallel processing syst ems. The
Mobile Robotics/Machine Perception Laboratory is a facility devoted to
basic and interdisciplinary research, technology transfer, and
hands-on education in artificial intelligence through robotics.
Research and technology transfer efforts concentrate on the reduction
of human risk in hazardous situations, stewardship of the environment,
and/or improvement of the quality of life throug h better
manufacturing processes. Research in the MR/MP laboratory is supported
by NSF, ARPA, NASA, and local industries.

For more information, please send email to Dr. Robin R. Murphy, Include a brief summary of your
educational (with GPA) and work experience, what your research
interests are, and GRE scores.



Ithaca, NY Mechanical Engineering Sam Landsberger Jeff Koechling Bruce

Georgia Institute of Technology

_Atlanta, GA_
_Georgia Institute of Technology Robotics Activities_
See also: [60]MRLHome.html Application study areas include:
* Servo control and low level coordination
* Machine intelligence and high level control
* Design, sensors and actuators
* Human/machine interface

Robot applications are in areas such as manufacturing {K. Lee} poultry
processing {W. Daley, G. McMurray, J.C. Thompson} and nuclear waste
inspection and cleanup {R. Arkin, W. Book, S. Dickerson, T. Collins,
A. Henshaw} are underway.

Several robotics researchers are regularly involved in a student
aerial robot design competition in which concurrent engineering
concepts are being used to tailor the characteristics of the
system.{D. Schrage} This competition, held at Georgia Tech and
sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems, has been
won by Georgia Tech entries for two of the three years it has been

Current research topics and researchers:
* Long arm control
W. Book
* Parallel actuation of manipulators
K. Lee
* 3DOF direct drive actuator
K. Lee
* Special purpose end-effectors
R. Bohlander, H. Lipk
* Parallel processing computer architectures for robot sensing and
R. Bohlander, C. Alford, T. Collins, A. Henshaw
* Laser generated ultrasound to sense structure of materials
C. Ume
* Gallium arsenide based rad-hard electronics.
W. Hunt
* Autonmous vehicles positioning
S. Dickerson
* Collision avoidance techniques
R. Arkin, W. Book
* Flexible arm control
W. Book
* Two arm coordinated motion.
Alford, Vachtsevanos
* Advanced feedback control, learning control, bounded uncertainty
approach, applications to rigid and flexible manipulators, force
control .
N Sadegh, Y Chen, W. Book
* Architectures, Framework for reactive control and hierarchical
planning, vision feedback, fuzzy logic application
Arkin, D. Lawton, G Vachtsevanos
* Human Computer Interaction
M Kelly, H. Lipkin



Roger Brockett

Iowa State University

_Iowa Center for Emerging Manufacturing Technology_
_Ames, Iowa 50011_
See also: [61]http://

Iowa State University has one of the better visualization labs in the
country. The lab consists of mainly mechanical engineers and computer


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science both have strong robotics
efforts. Asada, Slotine, Brooks, Raibert and others are known and
respected for their work in direct-drive arm, control techniques,
architectures, running machines etc.


New York University (NYU)

NYU's Department of Computer Science home page is at:
[62] _Degrees:_
We offer Ph.D. and MS in computer science. Ph.D. students may work
thesis research in robotics. MS students may work on a thesis (as a
substitute for one course). All graduate students are eligible to
enroll in Advaned Laboratory and work on a project in robotics.
Qualified undergraduates may take Independent Study.

The Department of Computer Science offers graduate and undergraduate
courses in robotics, computer vision, AI and neural computation. There
is also a weekly robotics colloquim For admissions information,

_Research (1994):_
* Multimedia (Schwartz, Wallace, Perlin) See Below
* 3-D target recognition (Hummel)
* Grasp Metrics (Mishra, Yap)
* Reactive Robotics (Mishra)
* Wavelets and Compression (Mallat)
* Human Body Animation (Perlin)

* Ken Perlin (Computer Graphics, Multimedia)
* Jacob T. Schwartz (Robotics, Multimedia, Computational Logic)
* Bud Mishra (Robotics, Theory of Computation)
* Chee Yap (Robotics, Computational Geometry)
* Stephane Mallat (Wavelets, Computer Vision)
* Robert Hummel (Computer Vision)

_What is Multimedia Robotics?_
"Multimedia Robotics" is a new area of computer science concerning new
markets for robotics technology, emphasizing the emerging areas of
virtual reality and telepresence, animation and entertainment, and
bioscience material processing.

Wrench Displays
Force and Torque input/output devices for user interfaces, also
called "haptic displays".

Bioscience Applications
Microrobots in DNA micromanipulation,
Wrench displays for surgical VR training applications,
Microsurgical instruments

Advanced actuators for VR and Multimedia
Scaling theory and dynamics of piezeoelectrics, shape memory
metals, electromagnetics and other new actuator technolgies.

Robotics and the WWW, Video Telephony, Telesensuality

Research underway at NYU represents each of these four areas.


North Carolina State Univerisity

Raleigh, NC Professor Ren Luo tel: 919.515.5199

[63]Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana 47907

Here's a pointer to Purdue's [64]Robot Vision Lab

* [65]Avi Kak: Vision and mobile robots
* Antti Koivo: Manipulation
* Mirek Skibiniewski: Construction Robotics
* Anthony Maciejewski: Kinematics of redundant robotic arms,
computer graphic techniques for animation, visualization
* George Lee: Robot Control, Fuzzy Logic, Neural Networks
* Akio Kosaka Vision-based navigation for mobile robots


Rennsalear Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

* George Saridis
* Arthur Sanderson
* Jon Wenn

About 20 PhD and 30 MS students. Path planning and multi-arm control
are current focus.


Stanford University

Palo Alto, CA


_Mechanical Engineering:_
* Bernard Roth (kinematics of manipulators)
* Mark Cutkosky: destrous manipulation and concurrent manufacturing
* Larry Liefer (rehabilitation, user interfaces)

_CS Department:_
* Nils Nilsson
* Mike Genesereth
* Jean-Claude Latombe (path planning and geometric reasoning)
* Leo Guibas (geometric reasoning)
* Tom Binford (vision)
* Yoav Shoham (agents)
* Oussama Khatib

_Aerospace Robotics Laboratory:_
* Bob Cannon
teleoperation, free flyers, space robotics, flexible manipulators


University of California at Berkeley

_Deparment of EE&CS_
* Prof. J. Canny
motion planning
* Prof. R. Fearing
tactile sensing, dextrous manipulation
* Prof. J. Malik
computer vision
* Prof. S. Sastry
multi-fingered hands, control

_Dept. of Optometry/EE&CS_
* Prof. L. Stark

_Dept. of Mechanical Engineering_
* Prof. R. Horowitz
control of robotic manipulators
* Prof. H. Kazerooni
man-robotic systems
* Prof. M. Tomizuka
control of robotic manipulators
* Richard Muller
micro mechanisms


University of Kansas

Space Technology Center (Telerobotics)

University of Kentucky

Center for Robotics and Manufacturing Systems (founded 1990)

University of Massachusetts

_Laboratory for Perceptual Robotics_
Computer Science Department
www: [67]


Rod Grupen
Robin Popplestone

The lab is equipped with two General Electric P-50 robots, two GE A4s,
a Zebra Zero, and a Denning mobile platform. In addition, the P-50s
are fitted with a 4-fingered Utah/MIT and a 3-fingered Stanford/JPL*
dexterous hand, respectively. The lab includes VxWorks distributed VME
controllers and an experimental real-time kernel (Spring kernel).
Research conducted at the lab includes:

* controller composition for coordinating multiple robots
* grasp planning
* geometric reasoning for robust assembly & fine motion control
* learning for admittance control & path optimization
* biological models of motor planning
* proprioceptive, tactile, & visual model acquisition
* trajectory planning, coarse reaching
* state-space decomposition

The laboratory also engages in collaborative research with the
Computer Vision (A. Hanson, E. Riseman, directors) and Adaptive
Networks (A. Barto, director) groups within the department.


University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science are
relevant to robotics research. Research includes includes machine
vision, systems and control, multiple cooperating agents (arms and
mobile), and application of SOAR to robots (arms and mobile) in
conjunction with SOAR groups at CMU and elsewhere.

Umich robotics work can be found at [68]Umich Robotics _Contacts_
* Johann Borenstein [69]
* Yorem Koren [70]


University of Pennsylvania.

UPenn offers Masters and PhD programs in Robotics and Robotics related
fields of study. These programs are offered through the Departments of
Computer and Information Science, Systems Engineering, and Mechanical
Engineering and Applied Mechanics. The bulk of the robotics research
is conducted in the inter-disciplinary General Robotics and Active
Sensory Perception (GRASP) laboratory. [71]GRASP Web SiteActive areas
of research are Telerobotics, Multiple Arm Control, Robotic Vision,
Learning Control, Multi-agent Robotics and Mechanical Design.

* R. Bajcsy
* R.P. Paul
* Vijay Kumar
* Max Mintz
* Jim Ostrowski
* Eero Simoncelli


University of Rochester

_Computer Science Department_
Well known Computer Vision group. See the following web pages:

University of Southern California (USC)

USC has a new MS Program called: Master of Science in Computer Science
with specialization in Robotics & Automation

Beginning in Fall, 1993, this new MS program seeks to prepare students
for a career in the application of Computer Science to design,
manufacturing, and robotics. It also serves as an introduction to this
area for students who wish to pursue advanced studies and research
leading to a Ph.D. A major goal is to produce a steady stream of
graduates who are qualified to tackle challenging problems in the
development of software for CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design and
Manufacturing) and robotics.

There is a strong focus on designing and building within the program
Exposure to the practical aspects (and difficulties) of robotics and
automation is strongly encouraged through laboratory work, and an
optional thesis, conducted in collaboration with industry and research

See also [74]

For additional information, a complete set of degree requirements, and
application materials, contact our Student Coordinator:

Ms. Amy Yung
Computer Science Department
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0781
tel: 213.740.4499

* George Bekey
Assembly planning, design for assembly, neural nets for robot
control, autonomous robots.
* Ken Goldberg
Motion planning, grasping, machine learning.
* Sukhan Lee
Assembly planning, sensor-based manipulation.
* Gerard Medioni
Computer vision.
* Ramakant Nevatia
Computer vision.
* Keith Price
Computer vision.
* Aristides Requicha
Geometric modeling, geometric uncertainty, planning for
manufacture and inspection

About twenty other faculty member associated with the Institute for
Robotics and Intelligent Systems and many others associated with USC's
Information Sciences Institute (ISI).

A Brochure can be obtained from:

Ken Goldberg, Asst Professor
IRIS, Dept of Computer Science
Powell Hall Room 204
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0273


University of Maryland

* Dave Akin
Director, Space Systems Laboratory.

Facilties include a large neutral bouyancy tank, and a number of
free-flying teleoperators used underwater in the NBT. Much
teleoperations research. Dave has flown shuttle experiments and his
research is in the areas of teleoperation, control, man-machine
interaction and is one of the very few in the robotics community to
fly hardware in space.


University of Notre Dame

South Bend, Indiana

The Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the
University of Notre Dame offers several courses which are directed
toward an fundamental understanding of the mechanics, kinematics,
estimation and control theory, and computer programming which are
important considerations in the design of robotic systems. Of special
interest is a novel approach for achieving robust and precise
vision-based control of manipulators - "camera-space manipulation".
Doctoral recipients >from this program are teaching and doing research
in tenure-track positions at US universities. For more information,
see, on the World-Wide Web: [75]Skaar Home.html [76]AME HomePage.html
or contact Prof. Steven B. Skaar, Director of Graduate Studies,
[77]steven.b...@ND.EDU Research in Vision-Based Robotics Using

The multimedia monograph discusses recent experimental and theoretical
work conducted at the University of Notre Dame aimed at using methods
of estimation to achieve accurate, robust and reliable vision-based
guidance of various kinds of mechanisms, including typical holonomic
robots, fork-lifts and other vehicles. The monograph is divided into
two parts: Part 1 discusses the method of "camera-space manipulation"
and is in the early stages of development. Part 2 discusses
vision-based navigation of a vehicle. Both parts include several
QuickTime movie illustrations of existing experiments, and part 2
includes 3-D animations for illustration of principles.


The University of Texas at Arlington

F.L. Lewis
Automation and Robotics Research Institute
University of Texas at Arlington
7300 Jack Newell Blvd S
Ft. Worth, TX 76118
tel: 817.794.5972
fax: 817.794.5952

UT Arlington is located in the heart of the Dallas / Ft. Worth
metroplex. The EE department current has 33 faculty and the CSE
department has 20 faculty. Participating students will also be able to
conduct research at the Automation and Robotics Research Institute
located in Ft. Worth.


University of Wisconsin-Madison

_Mechanical Engineering & Electrical Engineering_
* Roland Chin
machine vision, pattern recognition
* Neil Duffie
teleoperation, autonomous systems, sensors
* Robert Lorenz
actuators and sensors, robot control algorithms
* Vladimir Lumelsky
motion planning, real-time sensing and navigation

_Computer Science:_
* Charles Dyer
machine vision

_Wisconsin Center for Space Robotics and Automation (WCSAR)_
Interdepartmental NASA center: work is done on various applications of
robotic systems for space.


University of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
Steve Jacobsen
Center for Engineering Design
3176 MEB

Hands, manipulators, biomedical applications, teleoperation. Micro
electro-mechanical systems design.


Yale University

There is a broad spectrum of research activities in vision and
robotics at Yale. The members of this group include faculty from
Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Psychology, Neuroscience,
and the Yale Medical School. Active areas of research include machine
vision, humanand computer object recognition, geometric reasoning,
mobile robotics, sensor-based manipulation, control of highly dynamic
nonlinear systems, planning, and learning. There is also a wide
spectrum of interdisciplinary work integrating robotics and machine

* James S. Duncan
Geometric/physical models for analysing biomedical images.
* Gregory D. Hager
Sensor-based/task-directed decision-making and planning.
* David J. Kriegman
Model-based object recognition, mobile robot navigation.
* Drew McDermott
Planning and scheduling reactive behavior, knowledge
representation, cognitive mapping.
* Eric Mjolsness
Neural network approaches to vision and visual memory.
* Pat Sharpe
Computational models of hippocampal spatial learning.
* Michael J. Tarr
Behavioral and computational approaches to visual cognition.
* Kenneth Yip Automated reasoning about complex dynamical systems.


Wilkes University

Wilkes-Barre, PA

[78]Wilkes University is a small, private university located in
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Despite its size, Wilkes is well equipped
with robotics laboratories and has two faculty ( [79]Dr. C.R. Mirman
Ph.D. in Robotics from the University of Illinois at Chicago and
[80]Dr. M.R. Stein, Ph.D. in Robotics from the University of
Pennsylvania) to sponsor graduate robotics research. Robotics is an
integral part of the undergraduate Mechanical Engineering curriculum,
and may be a topic for graduate study in Electrical Engineering.
Wilkes offers a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS and Ph.D.
degree in Electrical Engineering. See also their [81]Robotics and
Automation page.


University of Western Australia

Some neat telerobotic work can be found at


McGill University

Center for Intelligent Machines
McGill University
McConnell Engineering Building, Room 420
3480 University Street
Montreal, Que, Canada H3A 2A7

School of Computer Science
McGill University
McConnell Engineering Building, Room 420
3480 University Street
Montreal, Que, Canada H3A 2A7

There is a web page and ftp archive at [83]

The McGill Centre for Intelligent Machines, CIM, was founded in 1985
to provide researchers in robotics, computer vision, speech
recognition, and systems and control with a context in which to pursue
their common goal: the understanding and creation of systems which
exhibit intelligent behaviour. The three main research foci are
perception, robotics and control theory. The Centre now includes
faculty members and graduate students from five departments:
Electrical, Mechanical, Biomedical, and Mining and Metallurgical
Engineering, and the School of Computer Science.

The center itself does not have a degree program, rather students
enroll in one of the associated departments and gain access by being
supervised a faculty member who is also a CIM member. There are
research programs directly related to computer vision, robot
mechanical systems, walking machines, mobile robotics, etc.

CIM Members: J. Angeles, P.R. Belanger, M. Buehler, P.E. Caines, L.
Daneshmend, R. De Mori, G. Dudek, F. Ferrie, J. Hollerbach, V.
Hayward, D. Levanony, M.D. Levine, A. Malowany, H. Michalska, J. Owen,
E. Papadopoulos, M. Verma, S. Whitesides, G. Zames, P.J.
Zsombor-Murray, S.W. Zucker


University of Alberta

Edmontom, Alberta
Canada T6H 2H1

_Center for Machine Intelligence and Robotics_
Robotics Research Laboratory, Department of Computing Science _Faculty_
Ron Kube

United Kingdom


Edinburgh University

Department of Artificial Intelligence,
5, Forrest Hill,

The Department of Artificial Intelligence has robot and vision groups
within it.

Main interests of the robotics group include:
* behaviour-based control of robots (both mobiles and arms)
* hybrid control -- symbolic planning and behaviour-based actions
* learning, both reinforcement and other types implementations of
biological systems eg cricket ears; vertebrate learning models
* active vision
* real-time control
* long survival times
* direct-drive arm control

As well as PhDs by research, the Department offers a one-year, taught,
modular, Masters course in Information Technology for Knowledge-based
Systems where one of the possible specialisations is in robotics and
vision. This course is designed for people without specific AI
background. One module involves the Masters students building and
programming their own robot out of Lego and supplied electronics.
Another module gives hands-on experience with a simple robot arm.

Contact the Admissions Secretary Judith Gordon for information about

_Principal Researchers_
* John Hallam
autonomous mobiles and survival
* Bob Fisher
* Chris Malcolm
assembly robotics and hybrid systems
* Gillian Hayes
active vision and biological control


University of Essex

_Brooker Laboratory for Intelligent Embedded Systems_


Main interests of the laboratory:
* Behavior-Based Architectures (software and hardware)
* Active Vision
* Collaborative AI (ie multiple agents)
* Fuzzy and Neural Systems
* Virtual Systems (eg robot simulation and telepresence)
* Planning & Learning
* Reliable Robots (ie for inaccessible or hazardous environments)

_Principal Researchers:_
* Victor Callaghan
* Paul Chernett
behavior-based architectures, virtual systems and active vision
* Libor Spacek
active vision and face recognition
* Jim Doran
Collaborative AI
* Chang Wang
fuzzy and neural systems
* Edward Tsang & Sam Steel
planning & learning
* John Standeven &
* Martin Colley
reliable robotic systems

In addition to PhDs by research, there is a one-year, taught, Masters
course in Computer Science where it is possible to undertake robotics,
AI or vision.

Contact for further details of courses or for information on research. In addition some
useful information on the laboratory can be obtained at


University of the West of England at Bristol

(used to be Bristol Polytechnic)
Undergraduate Robotics is taught as part of undergraduate programs in
engineering courses and as part of a real time computing course. The
engineering department has in its teaching labs Puma, Adept, IBM,
Cincinatti-Milacron and Funac robots.

_Intelligent Autonomous Systems group_
* Yichuang Jin, Will Wray
Neural net control of manipulators, especially stability-based
adaptive control. Comparative modelling of neurocontroller design
for robotics.
* Lawrence Bull, Owen Holland, Chris Melhuish
Behaviour-based mobile robots, collective behaviour, reinforcement
learning and genetic algorithms.

_Intelligent Flexible Assembly Technology (InFACT/ALASCA Group):_
Eureka/FAMOS Projects (EC colaborative project - academic and
Industry) The group has a large gantry based robot designed and built
by the group.
* Farid Dialami, Alan Redford
Advanced Large scale flexible assembly (Peugot cars etc), generic
* David Eastlake (hardware), Mike Morgan(software)
Transputer based robot control of co-operating manipulators.


Bristol University

Mr Khodlebandelhoo
* Bi arm research
* Path planning for redundant robots
* Wall climbing robots


Hull University

Prof Alan Pugh
* Garment Manufacturing
* Arm/controller design


University of Manchester

_Department of Computer Science_
The web page below describes research in mobile robotics in the areas
of autonomous competence acquisition, learning by tuition and
navigation. Papers are also available at this site.



University of Oxford

_Robotics Research Group_
The Robotics Group currently comprises about seventy academics,
postdoctoral research staff, overseas visitors, and graduate students.
A broad range of topics in advanced robotics is studied in
collaboration with industry and government establishments throughout

* Robot Design and Control
A number of projects are concerned with the design and control of
compliant robot arms.
* Parallel Architectures
Real-time sensor-based control of systems such as robot vehicles
is a topic of increasing interest. For low bandwidth sensors such
sonar, the emphasis is on Transputer architectures. For high
bandwidth sensors such as vision, hybrid SIMD/MIMD architectures
are being developed. A rapidly growing effort is concerned with
the design, implementation, and application of neural networks.
Digital and hybrid digital/analog chips have been designed and are
being fabricated. Algorithms and TTL circuits have been
constructed for text-to-speech synthesis.
* Vision and Active Vision
The theory and applications of vision accounts for approximately
one-third of the laboratory's effort. Current projects include
edge detection and texture segmentation and the computation of
visual motion by a parallel algorithm that estimates the optic
flow field.
* Sensors and Sensor Integration
Includes laser rangefinder development in addition to analog and
digital sonar sensors, as well as infrared rangers, have been
developed for the AGV project (below).
* Autonomous Guided Vehicles
Work on a research prototype of a fielded industrial AGV cuts
across many of the separate themes of the laboratory's work. The
goal of the initial project is to equip the AGV with sonar,
infrared, laser ranging, trinocular stereo, and model-based vision
sensors to enable it to avoid unexpected obstacles and to locate


Reading University

* Prof Kevin Warwick
Using neural nets in robotics and novel control algorithms.


Salford University

[86] or robotics work more directly at:
[87] _Faculty_
* Dr D.P.Barnes, Dept. Of Electrical and Electronic Engineering,
Mobile Robots Research Group.
Autonomous mobile robot system with a behaviour-based architecture
are designed and built with the intent to study the processes of
cooperation with and without communication. Such an approach has
led us up a number of paths with present work in behaviour
synthesis and evolutionary robotics. Expertise in: Robotics,
Sensors, Communication, Connectionist Systems, Genetic Algorithms
and Genetic Programming. Possible studies in PhD and MSc work and
courses at undergraduate level.
* Ruth Aylett, Information Technology Institute
Robot planning systems, multi-agent systems, robot architectures,
hybrid behavioural/symbolic robots
* Dr D.Caldwell, Dept Of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
Multi-Functional Tactile Sensing and Feedback (Tele-taction)
Tele-presence of an operator with a full mobile robot with two
manipulator arms, stereo vision and sound. Tactile sensing
datagloves are used to control the manipulators and video camera
is used to move head. Expertise: Manipulators, Sensors,

Tele-presence. Possible studies at PhD and MSc and courses at
undergraduate level.

Dr Francis Nagy
Speech Control of a Puma-560, Control of an 'Inverted Pendulum',
Miniature tactile sensors _Advanced Robotics Research Centre_
* Ultrasonic wrist sensor for collision avoidance
* Controller design
* Stereo Vision


University of Surrey

Mechatronic Systems and Robotics Research Group _Faculty_
* Prof G A Parker (
* John Pretlove (
Primary Areas of Research activity:
* 3D co-ordinate tracking system for robot metrology
* Neural networks and expert systems for vision and inspection
* Active stereo vision for real-time robot arm guidance
* Design of controllable stereo vision systems.
* Open architecture Puma controller
* Mobile robots
* We also offer MSc courses and undergraduate courses in automation,
* control, mechanical engineering and CIM.




University of Paris

INRIA (Nice) recently started a Phd program in Robotics.


Lulea University of Technology

_Department of Robotics and Automation_

S-971 87 LULEE

WWW: [88]


Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

_The Institute of Robotics_
ETH offers a Postgrad diploma in Mechatronics.

The Institute of Robotics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
(ETH) constitutes about 40 members of staff (including Ph.D.
students). The main research theme is Intelligent Interactive
Mechines. That is to say developing intelligent robots that in
cooperation with man solves difficult tasks. The institute takes its
students from the departments of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical
Engineering and Computer Science. Robotics lectures and project work
is offered to undergraduate students. In addition there is the
"Nachdiplom" in mechatronics (somewhere near a M.Sc.) where robotics
is a central theme. For further details on the "Nachdiplom" see below.
Finally there are about 30 Ph.D. students curently registered working
on a variety of themes and projects. Institute facilities include:
several different robot arms including the in house developed modular
robot arm (MODRO), mobile vehicles including the in house developed
modular mobile robot, walking machines, supercomputing facilities,
dedicated vision and signal processing hardware, etc.

The head of the group is Professor G. Schweitzer.

Institute of Robotics
ETH-Center, LEO,
8092 Zurich
tel: (01) 256 35 84 (secretary)
fax: (01) 252 02 76.

The "Nachdiplom" in mechatronics runs over two semesters plus three
months project/thesis work. The lectures covers: robotics, mobile
robotics, micro robots, computer based kinematics and dynamics of
multibody systems, control theory, magnetic bearings, real time
software techniques, information processing with neural networks,
computer vision, and artificial intelligence. The fees are 2400,-
Swiss Franks, founding is available.


H.-K. Scherrer
Mechatronics postgraduate course
ETH-Centre, LEO B3
8092 Zurich


[6.2] Student Who's Who

An useful additional source of information is the graduate student
guide compiled by Ron Kube . It is a list of graduate students, their
universities, and areas of research. The list is updated monthly and
can be found at

[89] and is also available on
the Web as:

The list is a good starting point for those interested in graduate
programs and for those looking for individuals with similar research

Last-Modified: Wed Mar 20 10:26:38 1996

[91]Kevin Dowling <>


1. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/copyright.html
2. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/TOC.html
3. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#6.1
4. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#6.2
5. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#United
6. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Boston University
7. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
8. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
9. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Colorado School of Mines
10. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Cornell
11. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Georgia Institute of Technology
12. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Harvard
13. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
14. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#New York University (NYU)
15. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#North Carolina State Univerisity
16. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Purdue
17. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Rennsalear Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
18. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Stanford University
19. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of California at Berkeley
20. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Iowa
21. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Kansas
22. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Kentucky
23. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Massachusetts
24. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Michigan
25. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Pennsylvania.
26. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Rochester
27. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Southern California (USC)
28. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Maryland
29. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#The University of Texas at Arlington
30. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Wisconsin-Madison
31. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Utah
32. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Yale University
33. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Wilkes University
34. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Australia
35. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Western Australia
36. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Canada
37. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#McGill University
38. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Alberta
39. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#United Kingdom
40. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Edinburgh University (UK)
41. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Essex (UK)
42. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of the West of England at Bristol, U.K.
43. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Bristol University
44. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Hull University, UK
45. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Manchester
46. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Oxford
47. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Reading University, UK
48. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Salford University
49. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Surrey
50. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#France
51. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#University of Paris
52. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Sweden
53. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Lulea University of Technology
54. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Switzerland
55. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/6.html#Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
59. file://
61. http://

69. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/
70. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/
77. mailto: steven.b...@ND.EDU

[7] What is the State of the Robot Industry?

In general, there was a significant slump in the mid to late 1980's in
industrial robotics. However in the early 1990's sales and number have
rebounded to surpass early 1980 numbers and dollars.

From Motion Control Magazine April 1994: Robotics Industries
Association said recently Robot orders jumped 40% through June, 1993
as the industry posted its best opening half-year ever.... Net new
orders received by U.S. based robotics companies totalled 3,640 robots
valued at $306.2 million, the highest unit and dollar figures ever.

From the New York Times, Wednesday September 7th pC1
(paraphrased) In the late 1980's a steep decline in robot orders drove
most US companies out of the business. In the first half of 1994 4,335
robots with a total value of $383.5 million. Fanuc is the leader with
about $360M in sales this year. Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) is second with
sales estimated at $120M. The next several are Japanese: Motoman,
Panasonic, Sony and Nachi.

The only major US producer to have survived is Adept Technology with
about $50M in sales in a $700M market. The following table is
interpreted from a graph in the article.

Net new orders in US:
Year # of robots $US
1984 5800 $480M
1985 6200 $380M
1986 5400 $320M
1987 3800 $300M
1988 4000 $325M
1989 4500 $510M
1990 5000 $510M
1991 4000 $410M
1992 5250 $500M
1993 6800 $630M
1994 4335 (6 mos) $383M (6 mos)


From Industry Flash Vol1, No. 4, Dec 5, 1994:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - U.S.-based robotics companies are enjoying the best
of times. The Robotics Industries Association (RIA) says surging
demand recently led American robotic companies to their best
nine-month totals ever.

Through September, new orders totaled 6,218 robots valued at $548
million, a 12 percent increase in units and 13 percent increase in
revenue over the previous nine-month period last year. The greatest
demand, says the trade group, is coming from U.S. manufacturers which
are finally learning what the Japanese have known for years: robots
can play a significant role in improving productivity, quality,
flexibility and time-to-market. But, even though demand is surging and
the U.S. is the world's second largest robotics user with some 53,000
systems, the Japanese have more than seven times as many robots in
use, RIA says.


Last-Modified: Mon Feb 13 21:59:41 1995

[3]Kevin Dowling <>


[8] What companies sell or build robots?

[3][8.1] Mobile robot companies
[4][8.1.1] AGV Companies
[5][8.1.2] Underwater robots

[6][8.2] Manipulator companies

[7][8.3] Other Organizations doing robotics

[8][8.4] Small Inexpensive Robots

[9][8.5] Entertainment Robots


[8.1] Mobile robot companies

There are a small number of companies targeting the research community
for the mobile robot market. TRC, RWI, and Cybermotion have all sold
and are selling mobile devices for research and real applications.
There are a number of Automatic Guided Vehicle companies as well and
their primary applications are factory operations. Companies
manufacturing Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV) are listed at the end of
this section. Robot lawn mowers too!


_Action Machinery Co._ One Vulcan Drive

Helena, AL 35080, USA
tel: 205.663.0814
fax: 205.663.3445

Severe-duty hydraulic robots and manipulators. Payloads from 65kg -
7000kg. Primarily forge, foundry, and casting operations.

_Applied AI Systems_

Suite 500, Gateway Business Park
340 March Rd, KANATA
Ontario, Canada K2K 2E4

Representing IS Robotics and Khepera (see below). MIT subsumption
architecture style robots. Ghengis-II walker runs $8636.00 including a
development system and downloading board, but without LISP.


_Arrick Robotics _

2107 W. Euless Blvd.
Euless, Texas 76040 USA
tel: 817.571.4528
fax: 817.571.2317
url: [10]www.

R20 mobile robot platform for use by AI software developers. 3-wheel
design, 14" wide, 14" long, 10" tall, 15lbs. 20lb payload. On-board
controller connects to the user's laptop computer by cable or low-cost
RF modem (RS232). Sensors include compass, tilt, wheel travel,
temperature, light level, bumpers, battery status, etc. Price as of
1/1/95 $2,900.00. Units in use at UTA Automation Robotics Research
Institute. Send for detailed specifications.


_Bell and Howell_

Bell & Howell Mailmobile Company
411 E. Roosevelt Ave.
Zeeland MI 49464
tel: 616.772.1000
fax: 616.772.6380
email: For now [11]

Mailmobiles were developed by Lear-Siegler in the mid-70's for the
industrial cleaning market. They decided to leave this market and Bell
and Howell, the audio-visual equipment company, was refocusing on
office automation products and picked up this product from
Lear-Siegler. There are three models of Mailmobile, the Packmobile,
the Sprint and the Trailmobile. About 3000 systems sold and about 2000
probably in operation. They use a chemical trail that floureseces
under UV light. Payloads up to a couple of hundred kg. Some systems
have been operating for over 15 years.

_Branch &#38; Associates Pty Ltd_

1153 Tasman Highway
Cambridge, Tasmania 7170
Australia (operating in Europe, Asia and America)
tel: +61-02-485-807
fax: +61-02-485-809 contact: Alex Vail, Division Manager

Since 1979, specialist in autonomous navigation and guidance; products
and technology for applications, research, and teaching. Conquerer
series of fully autonomous AGV's, mapping system, non-accumulated
error, accuracy 1cm, 1 degree, no environmental modifications, $12K -

Fander: research and educational mobile robot. $5.5K includes
everything: built-in software demonstrates in real situations numerous
exmaples of roboti mobility technologies for teaching, research and
teaching manual, stand-alone and remote PC modes, real time graphics.


115 Sheraton Drive
Salem VA 24153
tel: 540.562.7626
fax: 540.562.7632
url: [12]Cybermotion Mobile Robotic Systems

John Holland's company. Mobile K2 bases making use of ingenious
torque-tube synchronous drive system. Security markets and research
platforms, manipulators for base as well. Map building software too.


31 Ontario Street
Orillia, Ontario
L3V 6H1 Canada
tel: 705.325.6110
fax: 705.325.8566

Primary product are 'building blocks' for mobile robot development
including controllers, sensors, softare and chassis'.

_Denning Branch International Robotics_

1401 Ridge Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
tel: (412) 322-4412
fax: (412) 322-2040

email: Soon. Messages to will be forwarded.
Denning-Branch is a merger of Denning Mobile Robotics, once located in
the Boston area, and makers of human-size mobile robots since 1983,
and Branch and Associates, of Hobart, Australia, designers and
builders of smaller mobile robots since 1979.

Among the first products available is an MRV retrofit kit, which
substitutes a modern Intel 80486 system with more power and a simpler
interface for the 1985 vintage MC 68000 based controller.

Small (~60x30x30 cm) 80486 based robot for educational
purposes, with infrared and rotating sonar sensors,
preprogrammed for several autonomous navigation tasks, and
externally controllable via serial link. $5.5K

MRV 1 &4
Large (~90x90x120 cm) heavy payload capacity synchro drive
robot, with optional sonar ring and laser nav sensors and
software. $13.5K

Robot-mounted scanning infrared laser unit that uses wall
mounted bar-coded retroreflectors or active transponders to
navigate to centimeter precision in 10-meter-scale areas. $8K

Small-scale revolving sonar head with 4 sonar units and
software. $3K

Sonar Ring
MRV-scale belt of 24 sonar units and driving hardware and


_General Robotics_

14618 W. 6th Avenue
Suite 150
Golden, CO 80401
tel: 800.422.4265 (US and Canada)
tel: 303.277.1574
fax: 303.277.0310

RB5X mobile robot for educational use. Developed in the early 80's and
has been sold for many years. Similar to design and market for
Heathkit robots. RB5X is $2995. Also sell base unit without wheels and
shell board mounted for experimentation or building your own robot:
$1995. A variety of other options including sensors, cameras, radio
link and software for for Mac, Apple II and PC's are available.
Educational curriculum workbooks and manuals are also available

_HelpMate Robotics (formerly TRC)_

15 Great Pasture Road
Danbury, CT 06810
tel: 203.798.8988
fax: 203.791.1082

Labmate research platform - $7500, plus additional optional sensors
etc. Other products for hospital markets and floor cleaning machines.
(Helpmate and RoboKent respectively)

_IS Robotics_

Suite 6, 22McGrath Hwy
Somerville, MA 02143
tel: 617.629.0055
fax: 617.629.0126
url: [13]

* R-3, wheeled robot, $14K
* Genghis II, 15" walking robot, $8.6K
* Pebbles III, tracked robot, $12.5K
* Hermes - high end walking robot

Robots use the 16MHz 68332 (68020 core) microcontrollers (except
Ghengis). Robots include IR and bump sensing for obstacle detection.
Pyro sensors and color camera with pan-tilt are optional. ISR also
performs contract engineering (custom robots). Check the [14]ISR home
page for more details.


County Cork, Ireland
tel: +353 23 49791, 49808
fax: +353 23 49801

Teleoperated bomb disposal vehicles in a range of sizes.

_mecos Robotics AG_

CH-8005 Zurich
tel: + 41 1 445 11 35
fax: + 41 1 445 11 34
Contact: S. J. Vestli

Company formed as a spin off of the Institute of Robotics, ETH wiss
Federal Institute of Technology). "mecos Robotics" specialises in
modular and adaptive robot manipulators and robot vehicles (mobile
robots). All "mecos Robotics" systems uses the same type of
controller, a VME based computer. This system comes with high level
development tools, and for research institutions the systems have the
advantage of being open. The overall goals of all "mecos Robotics"
systems are flexibility and modularity.

The mobile robot program from "mecos Robotics" follows this principle.
The physical size and the mechanical configuration can be altered. The
standard configuration has three wheels with air tyres and independant
suspension. One wheel is used for steering and propulsion (imagine a
kids tricycle). The overall size is 0.7 m (W) * 1.0 m (L) * 0.5 m (H).
The price depends on configuration and starts around the 70.000,-
Swiss Franks mark.


_Nomadic Technologies_

1060-B Terra Bella Avenue
Mountain View, CA 94043
tel: 415.988.7200 ext. 203
fax: 415.988.7201

Nomad 200 is an integrated mobile robot system with four sensing
modules including tactile, infrared, ultrasonic, and 2D laser.
Integrated software development package for the host computer includes
a graphic interface, robot simulator and a library of motion planning,
motion control and sensory data interpretation functions. Geared
toward teaching and research in Robotics and AI. The Nomad utilizes a
synchronous steering system (ala Cybermotion and RWI). Speeds up to .5
meters/second and onboard battery power.

Nomad 200 Mobile Base $10,000

Nomad 200 Control System $ 6,000

Sensus 100 Tactile Sensing System $ 1,500

Sensus 200 Fixed Sonar System $ 2,500

Sensus 500 Structured Light Vision System $ 7,000

RF Modem Kit $ 2,000

Digital Compass $ 450



Via Valdilocchi 15
19136 La Spezia ITALY
tel: +39 187 58 2843
fax: +39 187 58 2669
contact: Gian Carlo Caligiani, Robotic Systems Office

OTO MELARA R.2.5.Robotized System
The Robotized R.2.5 (R.2.5.R) Project aims at prototyping a
mobile robot for intervention in hostile environments. The
system is composed by three main units: the transportable
control station, the radio communication set and the mobile
robot based on an armoured, diesel propelled, wheeled platform
called R.2.5. Gorgona, produced by OTO MELARA. Robot can be
remotely controlled via full-duplex radio link. Can be
teleoperated and provides supervised modes as well. Speeds from
30cm/sec to 30km/h. As of May 1994 the locomotion system and
teleoperated system are complete. Additional functionality in
the form of supervised and autonomous operation are planned.


_Poulan/Weed Eater_

c/o Robotic Solar Mower Dept.
PO Box 91329
Shreveport, LA 71149-1329
tel: 318.687.0100 X3939

[Boiled out of their press release - Gareth Branwyn] The Robotic Solar
Mower is a 5.6kg (12.5lb). automated solar-powered "lawn groomer." It
uses a wire boundary system to keep it inside the mowing area. It runs
continuously when the sun shines. Its operation is "virtually noise
free." It continues on its constant mowing course, taking between
several hours and several days to complete a grooming cycle (depending
on size of yard, obstacles, etc.). Instead of cutting 1/3 of the grass
blades (as in a conventional mower), it only trims the tips. It can
handle a yard up to 1250m^2 (13,500 ft^2) and has a slope tolerance of
15-20 degress. A pilot program is currently offering the mower in the
US for $2,000.

_Real World Interface (RWI) _

PO Box 375
32 Fitzgerald Drive
Jaffrey, NH 03452
tel: 603.532.6900
fax: 603.532.6901
net: [15]
[16]RWI homepage

RWI manufactures the B14 (an evolved B12) and B21 Mobile Robot
Systems, and in collaboration with ActivMedia, Inc. and Kurt Konolige
of SRI, the newer, low-cost, Pioneer 1 Mobile Robot.
Recently redesigned, the B14's 35.5 x 61cm (14" x 24") (d x h) Synchro
Drive Base now has built-on, tool-less access Smart Panels(tm) with
tactile sensors, a 192-watt hr, hot-swappable battery power system for
continuous service, and carries up to a 9kg (20 lb) payload. New B14
Enclosure mounts on top the Base and hosts Linux computer system,
complete with RWI's RAI robotics servers and client development
software libraries. Full range of IR, sonar, and tactile sensors
included (seamless 360-degrees, top-to-bottom bump protection).

RWI's flagship robot -- the B21 -- is for mobile autonomous research
and commercial applications. The 53x30cm (21" x 12") (d x h) 4-wheel
drive B21 Synchro Drive Base carries a payload of 190kg (200 lbs) and
has 1500-watt hours of independent battery power, hot-swappable for
continuous service. The B21 Enclosure mounts on top the Base and hosts
two internal computers plus a console laptop, all integrated via an
onboard Ethernet, Linux OS, and RWI's RAI robotics software. Smart
Panels(tm) around give easy access to Base and Enclosure equipment and
host a full range of IR, sonar, and tactile sensors. Optional
four-axis arm has gripper and 360-degree wrist, and mounts inside
Both the B14 and B21 Mobile Robots come with a variety of accessories,
including a newly released stereo vision system and other video
options, radio Ethernet, compass, text-to-speech interface, and more.
Released Summer '95 at IJCAI, the Real World/ActivMedia/Konolige
[17]Pioneer 1 Mobile Robot is targeted for research and training where
affordability (under $2500!) and many platforms are required. Based on
the popular and winning (AAAI '94) Flaky, Pioneer 1 has a
position-accurate 2-wheel drive in a 46 x 35.5 x 23cm (18x14x9") (l x
w x h) chassis, which also carries a 84 watt-hr powerpack and hosts
seven sonars. The custom on-board 68HC11-based controller runs a suite
of robotics servers accessible via onboard serial port by piggyback
laptop or basestation computer client software running SRI's Saphira
software for research in multiple-intelligence and interactive
behaviors. Client libraries and a simulator are included to assist
application development. Fast-Track Vision System, based on [18]Newton
Labs' Cognachrome Vision System now available for Pioneer 1.
Manipulation gripper, vision system, experimenter's modules, and
supporting textbooks by Dr. Kurt Konolige to come.

(B14) B14 Base w/ tactile Smart Panels(tm) $8,500
B14 Enclosure w/ full sensor array $6,000
B14 Pentium (100/16/540MB)* $2,850+/-
B14 Power Station $400

(B21) B21 Base w/ tactile & IR Smart Panels(tm) $19,500
B21 Enclosure w/ full sensor array $11,500
B21 Four-Axis Arm $18,250
B21 Pentium (133/32/1200)* $4,125+/-
B21 Pentium Console (100/16/540/28cm screen) $4,350+/-
B21 Power Station $1,500

(Acc) Pan-Tilt Head $1,950
PCI-based Video Frame Grabber $950
CCD Cameras (color & B &W) $931-$1,375
Radio Links (RS-232 & Ethernet) $595-$5,390
Digital Navigation Compass $850

(New) Basic Robot $2,495
Fast-Track Vision System $2,995**
Gripper $750
ComRad RS-232 Radio $595
Experimenter's Module $200

* All Bxx computers come with Linux and RWI RAI software installed and
with Ethernet networking. ** Introductory price good through May,



114 Union Valley Road
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
tel: 615.483.0228
fax: 615.483.1426

The ANDROS line of teleoperated mobile robots. These were designed to
be useful in the nuclear industry and in other hazardous applications,
and are very rugged. You can hose them down. Available in a range of
sizes, with a variety of optional attachments, such as video cameras,
arms, etc.

_TAG Technology_

5 Bowlands Mill, Dispensary Street
Alnwick, Northumberland, NE661LN, UK
tel: +44 655 604895
fax: +44 665 510624
net: [19]

A variety of small modular mobile robots, sensors and controllers.
* Frank - a tracked vehicle. Cost $UK 3198
* Igor - a small quadraped walking machine. $UK 2238
* Sensors - ultrasound and IR. $UK 144 - 318 depending on model.
* Neural modeling system - single eurocard board for neural work.


_Visual Inspection Technologies_

27-2 Ironia Road
Flanders, NJ 07836-9124
tel: 201.927.0033
fax: 201.927.3207

VIT specializes in remote visual and ultrasonic testing but sells or
rents a small tracked rover for inspection work. Products include
ROVVER, SPOT, and PIPECAT vertical pipe crawler. VIT also makes
miniature remote pan and tilt devices.

_Yamazaki Construction Company_

Intelligent Robot Lab
Kaika Building
2-7-1 Sotokanda
Chiyoda-ku 101 Tokyo
tel: 81-3-5256-0715

LR1 robot - small research robot, basically a VME cage on wheels with
some ultrasonic sensors and a nice constant force suspension. Has
shown up at IEEE R &A conferences $30K.

_RoboSoft SA_

6, allee Paul Cezanne
93360 Neuilly Plaisance
tel: +33 1 4944 3035
fax: +33 1 4944 3297


[8.1.1] AGV Companies

AGV's are Automatic Guided Vehicles. They are common in factory
automation and usually consist of mobile platforms for transporting
goods and materials within factories. Most still use buried wires for
guidance, but several vendors have or will have off-wire capabilities.
AGV subsystems can also be useful in building mobile bases. Wheel
modules can be purchased that already include hub, tire, motor,
bearings, suspension and sometimes steering as well as drive.

The first AGV was installed by the Cravens Company at Mercury Motor
Express in Columbia, SC in 1954. The use of AGV's did not take off
however and even by the early 80's the investment by US firms in AGV's
was less than $70M. However, several European companies took hold of
the idea and rapidly evolved it. The industry in the US peaked in 1985
at about $175M and is slowly recovering. -- From Modern Materials
Handling - 4/96

_AGV Products_

9307-E Monroe Road
Charlotte, NC 28270-1485
tel: 704.845.1110
fax: 704.845.1111

Controls and components for AGV's. Supplier of Schabmuller
motor-in-wheel drives.

_BT Systems_

7000 Nineteen Mile Road
Sterling Heights, MI 48314
tel: 313.254.5200
fax: 313.254.5570

Automated Handling Systems (Formerly Volvo Automated Systems)

_Caterpillar Industrial (now FMC)_

5960 Heisley Road
Mentor, OH 44060
tel: 216.357.2935
fax: 216.357.4410

Manufacturer and distributor of fork lift trucks and guided vehicles.
Cat's SGV's use rotating laser scanner and barcodes as opposed to
traditional wire-guided systems.

_Control Engineering Company_

Jervis Webb Company
34375 W. Twelve Mile Road
Farmington Hills, MI 48331-5624
tel: 313.553.1220
fax: 313.553.1253



515 East 100 South
PO Box 45425
Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0425
tel: 801.530.4000
fax: 801.530.4243

AGV's and integrated systems


4205 St. Clair Avenue
Cleveland, OH
tel: 216.881.6200
fax: 216.391.7708

Designs/manufactures rider style, electric, fork and platform mobile
material handling equipment. Line includes AGV's, high tonnage
capacity. Mobile cranes, explosion proof forklifts.

_Eskay Corporation_

563 West 500 South
Bountiful, UT 84010
tel: 801.295.5315
fax: 801.299.9990

Automated material handling systems including AGVS.

_Fata Automation_

37050 Industrial Road
Livonia, MI 48150
tel: 313.462.0678
fax: 313.462.0997

Sales and service of AGVs.

_FMC Corporation_

400 Highpont Drive
Chalfont, PA 18914
tel: 215.822.4300
fax: 215.822.4342

AGVs, Automated Handling Systems, Consulting, Trolley and Power and
Free Converyors, Tow lines, Integrated Systems and Controls, Roll
Handling Equipment.

_IDAB Incorporated_

1 Enterprise Parkway, Suite 300
PO Box 8157
Hampton, VA 23666
tel: 804.825.2260
fax: 804.825.9307

Automatic handling systems and AGV's

_Mannesmann Demag Corporation_

29201 Aurora Road
Cleveland, OH 44139-1895
tel: 216.248.2400
fax: 216.248.3086

Overhead cranes, wire rope and chain hoists, AGV systems, automatic
storage and retrieval systems, monorail, aircraft maintenance

_Mentor AGVS Products_

8500 Station Street
PO Box 898
Mentor, OH 44060
tel: 216.255.4051
fax: 216.255.3430

AGV systems and automated transfer cars.

_Munck Automation Technology_

161 Enterprise Drive
Newport News, VA 23603
tel: 804.887.8080
fax: 804.887.0558
url: [20]

Manufacturer and integrator of automated material handling systems.
AGVS of many configurations (unitload, forklift, towing)

_The Raymond Corporation_

South Canal Street
PO Box 130
Greene, NY 13778
tel: 607.656.2311
fax: 607.656.9005

Material handling equipment.

_Roberts Sinto Corporation_

3001 West Main Street
PO Box 40760
Lansing, MI 48901-7960
tel: 517.371.2460
fax: 517.372.4930

MGV's (Mechanically guided vehicles)

_Professional Materials Handling Co, Inc._

4203 Landmark Drive
Orlando, FL 32817
tel: 305.677.0040

Steinbock fork trucks. Wire guided, use regenerative braking.

_Sauer Automation Systems_

Formerly Litton Industrial Automation
Holland, MI

Full service material handling company.


[8.1.2] Underwater robots

[new section, need more information]

There are a number of companies building underwater remotely operated
vehicles (ROV's).

_[21]R.O.V. Technologies, Inc_

Franklin Road, Vernon, Vermont 05354
tel: 802.254.9353
net: [22]

Nuclear Underwater Equipment, Sales and Service
* Hydrovision Tel UK ? 224-740145
* Benthos Tel US 1-800-446-1222
* JW Fishers Tel US 1-800-822-4744
* Sutec Tel Sweeden ? 46-13-15-80-60
* Rovtech Tel Uk ? 229-813641
* Deep Ocean Engineering Tel US 501-562-9300
* UWI Tel UK ? 224-896913


[8.2] Manipulator companies

This is only a partial list of manipulator manufacturers. A wide
variety of arms and arm components are made by these vendors and other


_Adept Technology_

150 Rose Orchard Way
San Jose, CA 95134
tel: 408.432.0888
fax: 408.432.8707

High speed direct-drive and harmonic-drive SCARA style arms. 0.001"
(.025mm) repeatabiliy. Payloads from 4-25kg Can be used in clean room
and food applications as well. Adept sells vision systems and
controllers also.

_AEA Technology_

AEA is the commercial division of the UK Atomic Energy Authority.
markets the NEATER series telerobots for decommssioning in the nuclear
industry. The system includes a bilateral input device and active
(autonomous) force control.

The system can deploy drills, reciprocating saws, nibblers, grippers
for insertions etc. Larger range of robots including the AEA
Technology 200 Kg arm, use filtering compliance to avoid damage to the
robot when deploying heavy duty dismantling tools.

_Antenen Research_

PO Box 95
Hamilton, OH 45012
tel: 800.323.9555
tel: 513.887.4700
fax: 513.887.4703

New and used robots for manufacturing, research and training. Used at
savings of 40% - 70%. Also lots of parts and accessories.

_Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), Vesteraas, Sweden_

ABB Robotics
2487 South Commerce Drive
New Berlin, WI 53151
tel: 414.785.3400
fax: 414.789.9235

Now own Cinncinatti Milacron robotics group, Graco and Trallfa. Many
types of larger industrial robots.

_Comau - Italy_

Via Rivalta 30
10095 Grugliasco
Torino, Italy
tel: 011 33341
fax: 011 7809156

A variety of industrial manipulators ranging in payloads from 6kg to
125kg. All electric AC drives. One of the novel designs is a 6DOF,
12kg payload robot The SMART-3 6.12 R. It uses a carbon fibre forearm,
absolute resolver feedback and 0.15mm repeatability.

_CRS Plus,_

5344 John Lucas Drive
Burlington, Ontario
Canada L7L 6A6
tel: 905.332.2000
fax: 905.?

Sells several manipulators. 5-DOF around $25K, 6DOF around $33K. Sell
end-effectors as well (electric, vacuum and penumatic) Wrist can be
bought separately. Controllers use RAPL, a VAL-like language. Fairly
open architecture. 3Kg payloads +/- 0.05mm repeatability.

_International Submarine Engineering Ltd, ISE_

1734 Broadway Street
Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Canada V3C 2M8
tel: 604.942.5223
fax: 604.942.7577
url: [23]

E-mail: [24]
Underwater manipulators and teleoperated underwater vehicles.

_Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd._

24402 Sinacola Court
Farmington Mills, MI 48331
tel: 313.474.6100
fax: 313.474.6101

Kawasaki was the first Japanese mfg to lead in the production of
industrial robots. They licensed the former Unimation line of robots
and now make about a dozen types of electric arms for welding,
painting and assembly.

_Kinetic Sciences_

3250 East Mall
Vancouver, BC, CANADA V6T 1W5
tel: 604.822.2144
fax: 604.822.6188
net: [25]

Kinetic Sciences Inc. (KSI) provides technology innovation, research
services and product development in the field of advanced robotics for
operation in hazardous or menial environments. Our areas of expertise
include: innovative robotic mechanisms (such as our Tentacle robot
arm), computer vision (6 DOF position measurement and automatic
inspection), advanced sensors, and autonomous control. For further
information check out our web pages at: [27]KSI


Construction Robotics Department
contact: Shigeo Ohno
fax: 81.44-288-6177 (japan)
url: [28]

The LM15-1 mini crane is a compact and portable electrically powered
manipulation system. The device can be transported in a van and can be
easily moved up and down stairs by rubber crawler tracks or winched
vertically. The LM15-1 can work in relatively small spaces of 4x10m in
area. It is powered by 100VAC, and has wireless remote control. Load
specifications are 150kg at 3m. The telescoping boom can reach to 4m.
It can be stored in a compact size of about 1m^2 and can be split into
two even smaller pieces to ease storage and transport further.

See the URL listed above for more details and pictures. Price:
Y3,200,000 (between US$25-32K depending on the exchange rate)

_Kraft Telerobotics_

11667 W. 90th Street
Overland Park, KS 66214
tel: 913.894.9022
fax: 913.894.1363

Nice telerobotic arms for underwater work.

_Labman Automation Ltd_

Stokesley, North Yorkshire. TS9 5JY. UK
net: tel:INT 44 642 710580
url: [29]
[soon to be]

Contact: Andrew Whitwell Tailoring mainly gantry based systems for
laboratory applications. Designs include storage systems, multiple
manipulators, special probes, modification of instruments and
laboratory equipment. PC driven stepper drives, linear drives, dc
motors, pneumatics, all sensors, RS232 links, LIMS communication.
Systems include powder feeding, wet chemistry analysis, microtitre
plate handling and many more.

_mecos Robotics AG_

Technopark Zurich
Pfingstweidstrasse 30
CH-8005 Zurich
tel: + 41 1 445 11 35
fax: + 41 1 445 11 34
Contact: E. Nielsen

Spin-off of the Institute of Robotics, ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology). Modular and adaptive robot manipulators and robot
vehicles (mobile robots). All mecos Robotics systems use a VME based
computer as controller. The system comes with high level development
tools, and are open systems. The manipulator's mechanical
configuration can be changed at will (number and type of joints,
length of links, etc.) Manipulators use linear aluminum extrusions
with integral motions for joints. The controller accounts for
configuration changes. With this principle of modularity and
flexibilty hybrid force / position controllers have been realised on
"mecos Robotics" arms. Price depending on configuration (50.000,-
Swiss Franks and upwards). NTSC or PAL videos available for Sfr. 40
per tape.


Mitsubishi PA-10 portable robot.

7 DOF, with continuous path control

Supposedly *open* control architecture, using PC

30 Kg arm, 25 Kg controller, 10 Kg payload

[I have no other information on this, anyone?]

_Motoman [Hobart/Yaskawa]_

Corporate Office:
805 Liberty Lane,
West Carrollton, OH, 45449.
tel: 513.847.3300

Sales Office
Dublin, OH
tel: 614.718.6200

Large industrial manipulators for welding, painting, palletizing,
dispensing, etc. Can be floor, ceiling or wall mount units. Payloads
for the 8 robots in the K-series range from 3kg to 100kg and
repeatability of 0.1 to 0.5 mm over that same range. They are vertical
jointed-arm type manipulators. (i.e. 4 bar linkage to reduce arm
intertias). 3 S-series robots are SCARA-type manipulators with
payloads of 50-60kg and varying workspace sizes Yaskawa also has
bought the rights to RobotWorld, Vic Schienman's unique gantry design
robot system. This system allow a number of mobile modules in the same
workspace to zip around at speeds up 80"/sec (3G accel). RAIL and C
can be used in a multilevel programming environment. 0.002" Accuracy,
0.0005" repeatability. Neat stuff.

_Oxford Intelligent Machines (OxIM)_

12 Kings Meadow,
Osney Mead Industrial Estate
Oxford, OX2 0DP, UK
tel: +44 (0) 865 204881
fax: +44 (0) 865 204882
contact: Dr. Peter Davey

Incorporated in 1990, OxIM provides a complete design service in the
related fields of industrial sensors and automation. OxIM is
manufacturing and developing robots and advanced industrial equipment.
The MAP-IT vehicle is an open architecture research vehicle for indoor
environments. The top surface, complete with an array of mounting
holes, is available to the user for moutning experimental sensors and
payload. Two direct drive motor-gearbox units provide locomotion. An
extended 3U rack contains a controller card and power converter drive
card. A third spare slot is provided. 400mm diam with payload surface
200mm above ground. Remote base station including power supply, dual
RS232 ports, Full ANSI source code, 2 spare axes of servo control,
bumper system, 10kg payload, 65W power supply. Several options are
also available including PC interface.

_Salisbury Robotics, Inc._

20 Pemberton St.
Cambridge, MA 02140
tel: 617.661.8847

Sells the three-fingered Salisbury hand and force sensing fingertips.
Contact: Ken Salisbury,

_Sarcos Research Corporation_

390 Wakara Way,
Salt Lake City, Utah 84108
tel: 801.581.0155

Spinoff of University of Utah's Center for Engineering Design (CED).
Teleoperated systems, manipulators. Audio-animatronic work as well.
Beautiful force reflecting work and systems. High performance and
small hydraulic valves and actuators. IP address:


1632 Da Vinci Court
Davis, CA 95616
tel: 916.753.6718
fax: 916.753.8092

Electro-mechanical engineering and manufacturing company specializing
in telerobotics. Various remote manipulator and telerobotic
manipulator systems.

_Seiko Instruments_

Torrance, CA
tel: 310.517.7700

Seiko has made a wide variety of pick and place machines and newer
6DOF manipulators.

_Sony Corporation of America_

Factory Automation Division
542 Route 303
Orangeburg, NY 10962
tel: 914.365.6000
fax: 914.365.6087

Several SCARA type manipulators including a double armed manipulator.
This model is used for the assembly of 8mm camcorders!

_Robotics Research Corp._

P.O. Box 206
Amelia, OH 45102
tel: 513.831.9570
fax: 513.381.5802

RRC offers a variety of dexterous manipulators which can be operated
individually or in dual-arm mode. Their second generation, denoted the
"i-Series", is lighter and provides great dexterity. They are
currently building "spaceflight-qualified" manipulators for NASA
(GSFC) using this new generation of their product. They have also been
doing some work developing sensor-based automatic obstacle detection
and avoidance technology which uses a patented algorithm with
arm-mounted sensors. They have also built two massively-redundant
17-DOF Anthropomorphic systems for Grumman and JPL to serve as
testbeds for researching "man-equivalent" robots for space

_Robotic Systems International (RSI), Ltd._

9865 W. Saanick Rd.
Sydney, BC V8L 3S1
tel: 604.656.0101


_UMI Microbot _[no longer in business in the US]
In the UK:

Oxford Intelligent Machines, UK
tel: 0865 204881

Originally known as the Microbot teachmover. A small cable driven
manipulator for desktop robotics. Excellent teaching tool. Original
design by John Hill (now at SRI) Microbot was bought out by the
British company UMI two years ago. In May, 1991 they moved from
Silicon Valley to Detroit, MI. As of Early 1994, only the UK company
was still in business.

_USA Robot_

PO Box 4018
Portland, ME 04101
tel: 207.761.9039

Maxym production robots for business. Simple accurate 3D linear
motions coupled with power tooling such as routers, air drills and
sanders. Workspaces up to 60cmx147cmx15cm. IBMPC software for
designing parts and production path but takes DXF files as input. Not
a machine like the giant production turning and routing machines used
by large furniture makers but is a nice small machine for small
production shops. Prices range from $14.5K to $19.9K.

_Western Space and Marine_

111 Santa Barbara St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
tel: 805.963.3831
fax: 805.963.3832

Telerobotic manipulators for space and undersea applications.

_Yamaha Robotics_

PO Box 956
Broomall, PA 19008-0956
tel: 800 92-YAMAHA
fax: 610.543.8113

Yamaha makes HXYA series of light cartesian robots. AC brushless
motors can move payloads up to 50kg at 1.4m/s. Aluminum extruded
frames that are lightweight, rigid and easy to mount. Work envelope
sizes from 250mm x250mm to 2050mm x 1050mm.

_Zymark Corp_

Zymark Center
Hopkinton, MA 01748-1668
tel: 508-435-9500

Robots for laboratory automation. Zymate Robots.

Other companies: (no addresses, yet)




Beckman Biomark




[8.3] What other Organizations are working with robotics?

This list is a small fraction of companies and other organizations
that are actively working in robotics. One way to obtain more
companies is to search through proceedings of conferences or find
member companies of many of the organizations listed in previous FAQ
sections. Industrial robotics is used widely throughout a number of
companies. Most large aerospace companies have groups working in or
looking into robotics. Lockheed Martin (Denver), Rockwell
International (Downey, CA), Boeing (Seattle) to name a few.

Educational Organizations (Not Universities)


_KISS Insitute for Practical Robotics (KIPR)_

10719 Midsummer Drive
Reston, VA 22091
contact: Dave Miller
tel: 703.620.0551
fax: 703.860.1802
net: [30]
url: [31]

KISS Institute for Practical Robotics is a private non-profit
educational corporation. As an organization dedicated to promoting
education and utilization of practical integrated robotics, KISS
Institute provides an umbrella for conducting joint research projects,
dispersing information, and teaching courses involving members from
many different home institutions.

_Computers, Robotics and Artists Society of Houston [CRASH]_ See

Research Centers


_Advanced Robotics Research Centre_

Salford, UK.

The Advanced Robotics Research Ltd (incorporating the National
Advanced Robotics Research Centre, UK) is a joint UK Government and UK
Industries funded research organisation involved in the research of
enabling technologies for the advanced robotics systems.

_Automation and Robotics Research Institute (ARRI)_

7300 Jack Newell Blvd. South
Ft. Worth, Texas 76118
tel: 817.794.5900


_Mechanical Engineering Lab (MEL)_

Tsukuba City, Japan

Kazuo Tanie: Robotics and cybernetics

_Electrotechnical Laboratory (ETL), AIST, MITI._

1-1-4 Umezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305 Japan.

General description:
ETL is a govermental institute with about 630 staffs and annual
budget of over 10 billion yen including personnel expenses,
covering a broad area related to electronics, physics, material
sciences, device technology, energy technology, standards and
measurements technology, bio-electronics, information science,
computer science, computer systems, artificial intelligence,
and robotics. Gopher host: [33]gopher://

Robotics group:
Intelligent Systems Division covers robotics and related areas.
It consists of following sections; Intelligent Machine
Behavior, Autonomous Systems, Computer Vision, Interactive
Interface Systems, and Communicating Intelligence.

The robotics group in the division foucuses on intelligent
robots and system integration. Its current research topics
include, but not limited to, Dextrous manipulation, Motion
planning, Active vision, Multi-sensor fusion, Multi-fingered
hands, Hand-eye systems, Mobile robot navigation,
Multiple-robot cooperation, Intelligent teleoperation,
Learning, and Architecture.

The robotics group at ETL has continuously been at the frontier
of intelligent robotics research.

PostDoc positions:
ETL accepts postdoctoral research fellows from all over the
world. Mainly two support programs are available: STA
fellowship and AIST fellowship. They require a doctoral degree,
age no greater than 35, fluency in Japanese or English, etc.
Typical research period is one year (2 yrs max.). The
fellowship includes a basic allowance (270,000yen/month) plus
family allowance (50,000yen/month), housing cost, and a round
trip air ticket (1 person). The fellowships are highly
competetive and have different application procedures depending
on an applicant's nationality. Those who are interested should
contact their local governmental agency for international
research cooperation (such as NSF in USA). A more convenient
way might be to catch a member of ETL staff at some conference
and inquire about the fellowships.

Graduate Summer Institute Program:
ETL is a member of the graduate summer institute program. The
robotics group hosts a couple of guest student researchers
every summer. The Graduate Summer Institute program is based on
Japan-USA contract on research cooperation in science and
technology. It is open for graduate students in the USA who are
majoring in science and technology fields.

The aim of the program is to provide opportunities for the
students to get acquainted with Japanese culture, science and
techonology, and to promote future collaboration in research in
science and techonology. Here is some data from last year's

Period: 2 months (Late June -- Late August).

Program (subj. to change): Japanese classes. Research at host
institutes. Lectures, Meetings, Going to Kabuki, Kyoto
tour, Official Receptions.

Support: Return air ticket, domestic transportation,
accomodation, japanese classes, tours.

Contact: Japan Programs, Division of International Programs, NSF.


_Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Groforschungseinrichtungen (AGF)_

(Association of National Research Centers)
Ahrstrae 45
Postfach 20 14 48
53144 Bonn
tel: (02 28) 3 76 74-1
fax: (02 28) 3 76 74-4

These are sixteen research centers in Germany. One of the research
centers is GMD and they do robotics. GMD is at

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

_NASA Headquarters_

NASA Headquarters, Washington DC. Contact: Dave Lavery email:, URL: [36]Dave Lavery Home Page

The ongoing NASA robotics research program develops autonomous,
semi-autonomous and teleoperated systems and technologies for
applications in Earth orbit and on planetary surfaces. Technology
efforts are focussed on local autonomy, dexterous manipulation,
task-level command and control, and contending with extremely harsh

[37]NASA HQ Telerobotics Home Page

_NASA Ames Research Center_

Moffet Field, CA.

I, TROV and Ranger projects. [38]

_NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)_

Greenbelt, MD 20771
Contact: Stephen Leake

Since the cancellation of the Flight Telerobotic Servicer (FTS), the
Robotics Lab has been concentrating on work in the area of automated
space craft servicing. The goal is to replace or supplement Extra
Vehicular Activity (EVA) with teleoperated or semiautonomous robotic
systems for external vehicle maintenance. Current project includes a
robot to assist in second Hubble servicing mission.

_NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory_

4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA
Contact: Chuck Weisbin,

The JPL robotics efforts concentrate on development, integration and
demonstration of A&R technologies, with a focus on plantary surface
systems and autonomous mobile rovers.

[39]NASA JPL Robotics Home Page

_NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC)_

Houston, TX
Contact: Charles Price

More of an operations house but lots of shuttle RMS work. A number of
robot projects including testing of space station manipulator systems
happens at JSC. [40]

_NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC)_

Robotics Group
Contact: Bill Jones

Like JSC, KSC is an operations house with responsibility to keep
shuttles flying and integrate payloads. There is a small but growing
robotics group that is emplacing ground support robotics applications.
Recent work includes filter inspector for launch pad payload areas,
shuttle radiator inspector and a mobile system for thermal protection
system tasks.

_NASA Langley Research Center, (LaRC)_

Hampton, VA

Contact: Jack Pennington - vision, inspection, 3-D sensors

National Laboratories

The US National Laboratories are large complexes with a number of
robotics efforts. One current focus is the enormous and costly cleanup
of the weapons complexes throughout the country. Remediation, removal
and cleanup of hazardous materials will require hundreds of billions
of $$$ and many years. Robotics will be a key in much of this.

_Sandia National Laboratories_

Albuquerque, NM

Sandia is a DOE National Laboratory with a substantial program in
robotics at its Intelligent Systems and Robotics Center. The Center
has interests in manufacturing, hazardous material handling, site
remediation, and research to support these applications. Consequently
areas of focus include assembly planning, robotic interfaces, control
theory, motion planning, sensor fusion, sensor development, mobile
vehicles, telemanagement, mobile vehicles, and so on.

At the time of writing (2/15/93) the center has nearly 100 full-time
staff with degrees in computer science, mechanical engineering,
mathematics, electrical engineering, as well as a few in other fields.
The mix is about 30% PhD, 40%MS, and 30% BS. Recent hires have come
from Cornell, Stanford, Berkeley, CMU, Illinois, Penn, ...

The center operates over 20 fully equipted labs including robots from
Puma, Adept, GCA, Cincinnati Millacron, and Schilling. The virtual
reality lab includes stereoscopic viewers from Fake Space, audio,
speech recognition and synthesis, and big boxes from SGI to drive the
graphics. In addition to the normal complement of departmental
computing we have use of other compute resources at Sandia including a
1000 node N-cube, a 1000+node Intel Paragon, several crays, a CM-200
(16K procs).

Contacts: Randy Brost, Pat Xavier, Sharon Stansfield, Pang Chen, David
Strip, Jim Novak, Ray Harrigan, Pat Eicker, Bob Anderson.

_Oak Ridge National Laboratory_

Center for Engineering Systems Advanced Research
P. O Box 2008, MS-6364
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6364
tel: 615.241.4959
fax: 615.574.7860

Contact: Dr. Lynne E. Parker, email:

Research in mobile and manipulator robotics, including redundant and
multiple manipulators, cooperating mobile robots, parallel vision
systems, sensor fusion, laser range finder research, real-time
quantitative reasoning and behavior based control, and machine
learning. Current applications include robots for nuclear power
stations, environmental restoration and waste management, material
handling, and automated manufacturing.

Researchers: James Baker, Marty Beckerman, Chuck Glover, William
Grimmell, Judd Jones, Reinhold Mann, Ed Oblow, Lynne Parker, Nageswara
Rao, David Reister, Phil Spelt, Michael Unseren.

US Department of Defense

_Air Force's Robotics and Automation Center of Excellence (RACE)_

Robotics and Automation Center of Excellence
450 Quentin Roosevelt Rd
Bldg 183
Kelly AFB
San Antonio, TX 78241-6416
url: [43]
net: [44]
contact: Steve Knauber [45]

The mission of the Robotics and Automation Center of Excellence (RACE)
is to insert appropriate robotics and automation technologies into Air
Force industrial processes. RACE accomplishes this mission by keeping
abreast of current technology and recommending any technologies that
may resolve present or future Air Force requirements. RACE is the link
between industry, universities, the Department of Energy, NASA,
technical societies, contractors and the Air Force.

RACE is also responsible for providing organic technical expertise to
the Air Force during integration of new robotics and automation system
developments. RACE acts as a consultant throughout the entire
acquisition process, providing technical evaluations from initial
problem specification to implementation of proposed solution. RACE
employee expertise, in-house test and evaluation facilities, and
process studies are all used to support hardware transfer to the user.

_[46]NRaD_ NRAD is the Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation
Division of the Naval Command Control and Ocean Surveillance Center
(NCCOSC), located in San Diego, California. NRaD and its predecessor
organizations (Naval Ocean Systems Center (NOSC), Naval Undersea
Center (NUC), etc.) have been involved in various aspects of robotics
since the early 1960's.

Robotics research and development at NRaD are currently performed by
two groups:

[47]The Advanced Systems Division (Code 37): land and air robots
[48]The Ocean Engineering Division (Code 74): underwater robots


_Redzone Robotics_

2425 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4639
tel: 412.765.3064
fax: 412.364.3069

contact: Dave White

A spin-off of CMU, Redzone has focused on hazwaste and nuke
manipulator applications but is also developing mobile applications.
Primarily protoypes and not multiple unit manufacturing at this time.

_Southwest Research Institute_

San Antonio, TX

Robotics and Automation Department
Some large systems for servicing aircraft (painting, spraying,
deriveting etc)

[8.4] Small Inexpensive Robots

One of the most common discussions on the net are related to finding,
building and working on small and low cost robots. There are several
small robots on the market and a number of construction kits that
robots can be built from such as Lego, FischerTechnik, Erector and
Capsula. None of these require large investments. These systems are at
most several hundred $US and can run on a desktop. There are also a
number of kit robots that include printed-circuit boards and

_Advanced Design, Inc._

6080 N. Oracle Road, Suite B
Tucson, Arizona 85704
tel: 520.544.2390
fax: 520.575.0703

url: [49]Robix WWW Site

ADI makes the Robix(tm) RCS-6 Robotic Construction Set, priced at
US$550, or US$565 for 220V/50Hz and PAL video. The RCS-6 is designed
specifically for use by educators and industrial modelers, and is used
to build and operate a wide variety of PC connected desktop robots.
Included are many construction parts, 6 hobby-type servos, an
electronics interface with an 8-channel 8 bit A/D, power supply,
software, manual, video, carrying case, and more, even including a
pair of safety goggles.

The 40-minute video that comes with the set is also available
separately for just the airmail postage cost: US$3 to US locations, $4
to Canada, $5 to Mexico and $8 to all other countries. Shown in the
video are 5 different arms built for (and performing) 5 different
tasks, a pair of 3-servo-each opposable fingers twiddling a ball, 3
animatronic figures, and a 3-legged (but 6-footed) walker with both a
walking and galloping stride. In addition, an arm is built
step-by-step in the video, and then programmed interactively. The
software includes a scripting interface as well as complete C and
QuickBasic 4.5 libraries with documentation and sample code.

For complete technical information, a faq section, text of a cover
story about the RCS-6 in Popular Electronics Magazine, plus over 50
image files (.gif's), a DOS PC .gif viewer, a useful section on what
the set does *not* do, and more, download from the anonymous ftp site:
[50] See the readme.txt file there

To get the video, order by phone or fax, or by email from Visa and Mastercard are accepted.


_Aleph Technology_

Parc Heliopolis
16 rue du Tour de l'eau
BP 295-38407
Saint Martin d'Heres cedex, France
tel: +33 76422999
fax: +33 76444620

Small, turtle robot for education. 17000FF

_Angelus Research_

6344 Sugar Pine Circle #98
Angelus Oaks, CA
tel: 909.794.8325.
contact: Don Golding
net: [51]

Angelus' line of robot products includes:

Whiskers the Robot-A 13 pound rugged robot which is very
intelligent and is very simple to program ($895).
Advanced Whiskers-Two networked processors allow real-time
collision avoidance and navagation ($1895).
ARC-100 controller-Build your own intelligent robot($895) like
Whiskers. Networkable. ARC-110 controller-Like above but has
our narrow beam sonar onboard. Networkable.
HiPower Board-Drive two 10 amp DC motors($195).
MR-1-Series robot for the serious researcher or roboticist.
Available March 1996. ($1995-$10,000).
Heathkit Hero intelligent upgrade kit ($795) includes:

1 ARC-110 controller
1 HiPower Board
4 6 inch Light sensor arrays



Play-Jour International
Room 914, New World Office Building
(East Wing), 24 Salisbury Rd
Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Capsula is a robot construction set. Looks like a series of bubbles
connected together. Some intriguing modules including IR control,
voice commands, motorized clutches etc. Edmund Scientific sells this
as do many toy stores.

_Circuit Specialists Inc_

PO Box 3047
Scottsdale, AZ 85271-3047
tel: 800.528.1417
tel: 602.464.2485

Quickshut robot arm sold by Circuit Specialists for $259. Appears to
be a nice low cost 5 axis arm for education. IBM (or compatible)
interface, kit including all components and board, power supply kit,
software package, logic probe and experiments and instructions. If
anyone has information as to who actually makes this please send me
email. CSI has a FAX back service at 1(800)622-5426. At the voice
prompt, enter 3060 for more information on the arm. The software
package supplied includes test routines and Robot control proceedures.
The software is written in BASIC and Assembly languages.

_The Electronic Gold Mine_

PO Box 5408
Scottsdale, AZ 85261
tel: 602.451.7454

Roamer Robot Kit. A simple, hardwired robot kit with all parts
necessary to complete the kit. It sells for $39.95.


Arthur Fischer GmbH & Co. KG
Weinhalde 14-18
D-72178 Waldachtal
tel: germany 07443/12-487
fax: germany 07443/12-591


Model Technologies
2420 Van Layden Way
Modesto, CA 95356
tel: 209.575.3445
fax: 209.575.2750
url: [52]Fischertechnik

[UK] Economatics Ltd

Epic house, Darnell Road
Attercliffe, Sheffield
United Kingdom
tel: +44 742 56 11 22
fax: +44 742 43 93 04
telex: 5 47 095 ECOMAT G

Like Lego, Fischertechnik is a european-developed construction kit but
much more comprehensive in scope. Electro-mechanical parts galore
including a wide variety of switches, relays, slip rings, contacts,
etc. Many types of building block units as well and computer
interfaces available. More expensive than Lego. Model Technology,
listed above, is one distributor. See also the Robot Explorer in the
publications section.

Here is a listing of some of the kits that they build: Interface for
Macintosh: "Service II" from Boenig and Kallenbach, sold by

Pandasoft Uhlandstrasse 195 D-1000
Berlin 12
fax: 030 315913-55

For DM 498.- for Mac Plus or better. 8 digital in and outputs, 2
analoguous inputs. With Hypercard Stack Computing Experimental and
driver software for all Pascal versions, 4th Dimension and Ragtime
(comparable to MSWorks). Works also with the FischerTechnik Robot and
Plotter assembly kit, 80 pages manual in german?, 3 Diskettes.

There are also computing kits containing interfaces for C64, PC and
Apple II.

Profi Computing by Fischer Technik:
"High-end" kit, 3 motors, 6 switches, 4 lights, 2 fotocells, 20
plugs patch bay, construction base-support plate, 12 models
explained as there are a robot with a controlled hand, a
plotter, a slot-machine, a credit-card reader and a CD-player
(certainly without audio out), 888 parts in total: DM 376,
needs the Service II interface.

Training robot by Fischertechnik:
3 rotation axes which may be controlled simultaneously. Working
radius between 12 and 37 cm, fetching height: 6 to 25 cm,
driven by 3 Fischer Technik S-motors, positioning with infrared
photocell, with cabling and manual, needs the Service II
interface, for DM 547.

Plotter/Scanner by Fischertechnik:
Scanning head not included, "heavy duty" construction,
precision less than 0.5 mm on a A4 surface, driven by 2 bipolar
stepper motors, needs the Service II interface. For DM 487.-

Computing by Fischertechnik:
10 models possible, all explained: antenna rotor, Plotter,
Graphic Tablet, 2-axis robot etc., needs Service II and power
supply for DM 298.-

One source for Fischertechnik that was claimed to be the best,
cheapest and fastest source is Tim King. He stocks a full line of all
the kits as well as the individual components, including repair parts
or service.

Tim King Electronics
14595 Oceana
Allen Park, MI, 48101
tel: 313.928.2598


_Graymark International_

Box 2015
Tustin, CA 92681
tel: 800.854.7393

Graymark sells a variety of electronic kits, like Heathkit used to,
and some small robot kits that resemble the OWI kits. (see below)
Currently they sell a small sound-controlled robot "Scooter" (601A), a
line finder "blinky" (602A) , and a small programmable robot "Copycat"
(603A) and computer interfaces for the Copycat (parallel, serial and
microprocessor interface. Robots are from $19 to $57 and interfaces
are $18-$41.

_Johuco, Ltd._

Box 390
Vernon, CT 06066

Muramator and Photovore. These are simple robot control boards that
are hardwired but can be adjusted using potentiometers. They sell bare
PCBs and you can get the parts from Radio Shack or DigiKey. The PCBs
sell for about $25.00.

_Khepera Support Team_

INF Ecublens
1015 Lusanne
tel: ++41 21 693.52.65
fax: ++42 21 693.52.63
contact: Franscesco Mondada

Web site is at [53]

A VERY small mobile robot. Motorola 68331 Processor with 256K RAM and
256 or 512K ROM. Serial port. Six 10bit analog inputs. DC motor
powered with incremental encoders. Eight IR proximity and light
sensors. NiCd batteries. Additional capabilities can be added by using
stackable K-extension bus. Software environments: Calm assembler (PC
or MAC), Gnu C compiler (on all machines supported by GNU) and LabView
(PC, Mac or Sun).

* Size: 55mm diameter, 30mm high
* Weight: 70grams
* Cost: 3000 Swiss Francs [About $2K US]
* Vision and Gripper modules under development.

See also:
Mondada et al. Mobile Robot Miniaturisation: A Tool for Investigation
in Control Algorithms. Third International Symposium on Experimental
Robotics, Kyoto, Japan, Oct 28-30, 1993


Lego Dacta
555 Taylor Road
PO Box 1600
Enfield, CT 06083-1600
tel: 800.527.8339
fax: 203.763.2466

Canadian office for Lego/Dacta: tel: 800-387-4387.

LEGO Dacta is the educational branch of the LEGO company. Dacta sells
the LEGO Technic product line. These are the geared and motorized
versions for the LEGO system.

Use anonymous ftp to obtain a list of a variety of lego information
and application programs from:

CAD/ contains several languages for specifying models
faq/ contains latest faq sheet for
games/ Rules for games using lego people and pieces
images/ Pictures and drawings of sets and instructions
sets/ Database listings of lego sets and catalog numbers
upload/ Place your files here!

Lego kits recommended for robotics work include:
1038 Technical Universal Buggy - dual drive vehicle. $60
1032 Technic II w/ motorized transmission - $76
9605 Technic Resource Set - general parts kits - $200
Lego-to-Mac software:
Paradigm Software at tel:617.576.7675
Bots at tel: 415.949.2126
MIT has papers on LEGO projects available via FTP from:
[55] The files are in
memo8.* "LEGO/LOGO: Learning Through and About Design"


_M & T Systems_

POB 7816
Huntington Beach CA 92615
Contact M &T Systems at:
tel: 714.969.3166
fax: 714.969.3167

[Tom Thorton] The HexWalker(tm) walking robot kit is based on the
Insectoid built by Gary Malolepsy of The Robotics Society of Southern
California (RSSC), and chronicled in the February, March and April
1994 issues of Robot Builder (the newsletter of RSSC). The Insectoid
robot was given passing mention by Scott Edwards in the June 1994
issue of Nuts and Volts (How Far Can a Stamp Take You?).

RSSC Club Officers had discussed kitting the walking robot up for
members for several months, but had taken no action. Finally, I built
one for myself. It generated so much attention at meetings that I
decided to kit it out. The HexWalker(tm) robot kit is the result.

As supplied in the kit the Hexwalker(tm) robot detects the world by
means of two feelers. Normal movement for HexWalker(tm) is to walk
forward using the opposing triangle gait. When the robot detects an
obstacle (when a feeler switch closes) it pauses, backs up several
steps, turns left or right, and resumes forward walking. HexWalker(tm)
turns left when the right feeler switch closes, or right when the left
feeler switch closes.

HexWalker(tm) is large enough to work on easily. It measures 8 1/2
inches (22cm) long (plus feelers), 6 1/2 inches (16cm) wide, and 2 1/2
inches (6cm) tall. It is strong, able to support its own weight (12
ounces) plus about an 8 ounce payload.

Modifying the basic robot is encouraged. Ideas for
modification/improvement include: Substitute LED photodetectors for
the feeler/snapswitch sensors. Add a second Stamp to HexWalker(tm)
that performs sensor monitoring functions. Add additional sensors to

* Backup sensor to prevent walking into objects when walking
* Down sensor to detect "cliffs" and prevent walking off edges.
* Sonar for long range sensing."

HexWalker(tm) sells for US $125.00.
California residents add 7.75% sales tax.
Shipping throughout North America is US $3.00.
Shipping to all others is US $15.00.
The kit without Basic Stamp (if you have your own controller)
is US $100.00 plus s &h.
The construction manual alone is US $10.00 plus US $1.00 s &h.



363, avenue de Saint-Exupery
In the US:
888 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10106

Erector sets have been around for over 80 years and many interesting
things can be built with these construction sets. There are several
mechanical construction systems available. The best source of info
I've seen is a list put together by Colin Hinz at

The German model train company, Maerklin makes a Meccano compatible
construction set. They also have a 1007 Robotic Arm kit and
programmable controller as well. ~$300 You may be able to order it
through a local train and hobby shop.



524 San Anselmo Ave.,
San Anselmo, CA 94960
tel: 415.455.9330
800.374.5764 (orders)
fax: 415.455.9333
800.455.9333 (orders)

A wide variety of Nickel-Titanium Alloy products. Mondo can supply an
email brochure as well as a Muscle Wire FAQ. Products include:

Muscle Wire Project Book- New 3rd Edition. Presenting everything you
need to successfully design, build, and operate devices with Muscle
Wire - nickel-titanium filaments that actually contract when
electrically powered and lift thousands of times their own weight.

Topics include: Basic lever action, ratchets and latches, model
railroad crossing, AC power circuit, solar power circuit, paper
airplane launcher, life-like butterfly, rubber tube "flexi",
proportional control, radio control interface, programmable multiple
wire controller & serial port interface, PC parallel port interface
and much more. Boris the six-legged motorless miniature walking

BORIS - A miniature motorless six-legged walking machine
Length: 13.5 cm
Height: 4.5 cm
Weight: 30 grams
Power & Drive:
- Eight 100 um dia. Muscle Wires (50 centimeters total).
- 6 volts, 500 milliamp max.
- Full software control via PC parallel printer port.



Includes meter each of Flexinol 050, 100 and 150, plus crimps and
instructions. Enough to build all the projects in the Project Book
including Boris the motorless walking machine. An ideal starter
package for engineers, students and experimenters of all ages.

Project Book & Deluxe Kit 3-168 $59.95

A complete package designed for corporate and laboratory Research and
Development work with shape memory alloys. Includes the following:
* Muscle Wires Project Book
* Five meters each of Flexinol 050, 100 and 150
* One meter of Flexinol 250
* Crimps & instructions

Muscle Wires R & D Package 3-102 $249.00 A wide variety of NiTiNol
lengths and diameters are also available. Send email to

_OWI (Movit robots)_

1160 Mahalo Place
Compton, CA 90220-5443
tel: 310.638.4732
fax: 310.638.8347

Many educational toy store, hobby stores, and electronic parts stores
carry these kits. Also available from:

Jayso Electrnics 800.426.4422 or 212.798.1050
Pitsco 800.835.0686
Edmund Scientific 609.573.6260 (See Robot Parts Section)
Hobbico 800.637.7660

These are small toy-like robots that reflexively respond to obstacles,
sounds or light depending on the model. They're cute and show what can
be done with a relatively small amount of hardware. The top of the
line model is the Wao II which has two 'feelers' for bump sensors and
can be programmed with an on board key-pad or via a host computer. It
sells for $89.95. Most of the other robot kits sell for between $35
and $55. The kits usually only require mechanical hardware assembly
(no soldering required.) Edmund also has a Robotic Technology
Curriculum with lessons and tests featuring the Movit robots.
Curriculum is $65 from Edmund Scientific.

_Reality Robots_

Marvin Green,
821 SW 14th, Troutdale, OR 97060
tel: 503.666.5907

Starter Kits

The B-BOT Frame:
This is a complete robot frame with a 360 degree bumper skirt
and clear head dome. The frame is six inches in diameter and
uses two modified RC servos (not included). The B-BOT can be
controlled by a small microcontroller, such as the BOTBoard,
Mini Board, PIC or BASIC STAMP. The B-BOT Frame is expandable,
flexible, and makes it easy to get your robot projects off the
ground quickly.
The B-BOT Frame and assembly manual is $29.95. The B-BOT jr.
(smaller, with single level base) is $19.95. Please add $4.00
shipping for first kit, $1.00 for each additional kit. Please
make check or money order to Marvin Green at the above address.

The BOTBoard:
The BOTBoard is a bare printed circuit board designed for
robotic applications. The BOTBoard uses the popular 68HC11
microcontroller in a minimum configuration, and is easily
programmed >from your PC. Engineered to be flexible, the
BOTBoard is also powerful and easy to use. Each board measures
2" X 3" and contains 38 I/O pins, and a small prototyping area.

The BOTBoard is $5.95 each, or three for $15.00. Add $1.25 plus
$.25 for each board for shipping.

The ARMBOT is a flexible three axis robotic arm. It is designed
to use small unmodified RC servos and a microcontroller. The
ARM-BOT provides clockwise and counter clockwise rotation of
greater than 180 degree, shoulder lift of greater than 45
degree a gripper range of about two inches. The ARMBOT is
surprisingly strong. It's fun to use, and can easily be build
within a couple of hours.
The ARMBOT kit and instruction manual is $12.95. Please add
$2.00 shipping and handling.

NOTE: These kits are designed to spark your intuitive engineering
skills. Each kit comes with a detailed manual, assembly instructions,
diagrams, parts list, and all the custom parts needed to build the
kit. Common parts, such as RC servos or ICs are not included because
they can be purchased elsewhere. Keep in mind that you may need to
drill some holes or use a soldering iron. contains three gif images of the ARMBOT and B-BOT.
Seattle Robotics Society BBS: (206) 362-5267

I designed these kits to help inspire people to build robots. The kits
are high quality and inexpensive. Please contact me for more

_Rug Warrior_

A K Peters
289 Linden Street
Wellesley, MA 02181
tel: 617.235.2210
fax: 617.235.2404
url: [58]

A companion kit for the book, Mobile Robots: Inspiration to
Implementation. See [59]Books section of this FAQ. The Rug Warrior
circuit board is designed to support the construction of small, yet
sophisticated mobile robots. The board provides all the processing,
memory, and sensor circuitry needed for a custom designed robot.
$289.00. Does not include chassis, skirt and motors.

Rug Warrior offers the following features: Motorola MC68HC11
microcontroller, LCD display (32 alphanumeric characters), 32K of
battery backed RAM, RS-232 serial port, Collision detection from any
of 6 directions, Photoresistor light sensors, Infrared obstacle
detection, Microphone for sound detection, Piezoelectric buzzer
generates tones of arbitrary frequency, Motor driver chip allows
control of two DC motors, Dual shaft encoders allow velocity/position
control, Four user controllable LEDs, Optional pyroelectric (heat)
sensor, Expansion capabilities for more sensors and actuators.

The kit consists of a circuit board with the logic and interface
components already soldered on and tested, plus all the sensors and
other circuitry needed to build the robot board as described in our
book "Mobile Robots: Inspiration to Implimentation."

The kit includes Interactive C (IC) on a disk for either Mac or PC.
Self test routines are also provided for each of the standard sensors
and actuators. In the near future A. K. Peters plans to offer a
complete robot kit including chassis, skirt, and motors.

The "Mobile Robot Kit", Rug Warrior from AK Peters is now available in
the "IBUKI Trading Post" on the WWW. The URL for the Trading Post is:
[60]IBUKI The "Rug Warrior" can be found under "Toys toys from IBUKI"
on the "Robots" page. More robot kits will be coming soon. If you want
one listed please contact IBUKI. Questions or comments can be sent to
IBUKI from the pages of the Trading Post or by sending email to

The Stiquito is a small muscle-wire actuated robot developed by Jon
Mills and his students at Indiana University.

Stiquito is a small six-legged robot that you customize by adding
sensors, controllers, power sources, etc. The robot provides an
inexpensive platform to study computational sensors, subsumption
architectures, neural gait control, emergent cooperative behavior, and
machine vision. It is currently being used for research at IU, and, at
a ratio of one robot per student, in "VLSI for Robotics" and "Machine
Learning" classes.

Stiquito is small (3cm H x 7cm W x 6cm L) and simple (32 parts)
because its legs are propelled by nitinol actuator wires. Each leg has
one degree of freedom. The robot walks up to 10 centimeters per minute
and can carry a 9-volt cell, a MOSIS "tiny chip" and power transistors
to drive the nitinol actuator wires. Alternatively, power and control
can be supplied through a tether.

After being innundated with requests for the unit, sales of the kits
are now being handled by Robotic Systems. Robotic Systems offers a kit
to build the Stiquto II walking robot The kit is $45 and includes a
PCB for a PC-based controller (Mac version coming soon).

[62]Robotic Systems, Inc.
1102 West Glen River Road
Glendale, Wisconsin 53217
url: [63]
contact: Clint Laskowski, President
tel: 414.821.7675
fax: 414.963.4825

For more information including comprehensive technical reports on
Stiquito, please see

See [65] for an
overview of Stiquito and the files at Indiana.

Technical report TR 414 - _Stiquito II and Tensipede: Two
Easy-to-build Nitinol-propelled Robots_ is available in FINAL DRAFT
via anonymous ftp from [66]

The report is archived as four .hqx (binhex encoded) .sea (stuffit
lite self-extracting archive) Microsoft Word 4, 5 & 6, available on
PCs. Macs should be able to read and print word 4 documents.


_TSS Lynxmotion_

Technical Service and Solutions
104 Partridge Road
Pekin, IL 61554-1403
contact: Jim Frye
tel: 309.382.1254
net: [67]
url: [68]

TSS is Home of the Lynxmotion Robotic Arm. It uses Scott Edwards Mini
SSC Controller.
* 5 axis (base rotate, shoulder, elbow, wrist and gripper)
* All axis' are closed loop.
* Can be completely battery powered by a 9V and 6V battery.
* Extremely easy to program and control with any serial port.
* Can utilize a PC, single board computer, PIC or even BASIC Stamp.
* Very fast, accurate and repeatable movement.
* Available in three different configurations.

_Basic kit_
Includes all hardware, structural components, a 27 page
detailed assembly manual with illustrations, and software. You
will need to provide the servos and a Mini SSC servo
Basic kit $60, additional $10 for software.
_Level 2 kit_
Includes all hardware, structural components, assembly manual,
software, 6 servos and a Mini SSC servo controller.
Level 2 kit $180
_Level 3 kit_
Completely assembled and tested robot ready to move.
$255 with software included

Please note that there are additional shipping charges. See TSS' home
page or contact TSS for more details.

_Tomy Armatron_

The Armatron was sold by Radio Shack in the US and was a popular small
plastic manipulator. A mobile version, the Mobile Armatron was also
sold. A number of articles appeared in the hobbyist press regarding
linking the Armatrons to computers. The Armatron is a clever, maybe
even brilliant, mechanical engineering feat that uses a single motor
to control all 6 degrees of motion AND the timer. The mobile version
is still being sold in Japan and is called the "GO ROBO ARM" You might
be able to pick one up at a flea market or garage sale. They have
shown up again in the Fall of 1994 in Radio Shack stores. Buy it -
they are neat, very clever, inexpensive and fun.

* Computer Controlled Robot Arm, Jimmy Banas, Radio Electronics, pp.
49-53, and 117, May 1985. The control requires the addition of 6
DC motors, and machining of 'bearing blocks' to hold gears and
align shafts.
* Armatron: A Study in Arm Engineering, Mark Robillard, Robotics
Age, Nov/Dec 1982, Vol. 4 No. 6, pp.40-46 (cover photo too)
* Super Armatron, John J. Shiavone, Mike Dawson, and James E.
Brandeberry, Robotics Age, Jan 1984, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 20-28.

Myron A. Calhoun provided the following information on the Mobile

The four batteries are wired in series; the center is reference, so
there is +/- 2.5 volts to control the motor. Between the main body
(which holds the battery) and the control head is a color-coded
seven-wire flat cable. The BLACK wire is one side of reference; the
BROWN wire is the other side of reference, and the reference wire
color is WHITE. In the control head are two rheostats (ganged) to
control motor speeds by controlling applied voltage.

color | Controls | Details
BLUE | main UP | BROWN (~250 ma.)
| arm DOWN | BLACK (~200 ma.)
| | This motor has a spring counterbalance to assist
| | "up" motion. I did not disassemble the main arm,
| | but suspect there is quite a lot of gearing inside.
| |
ORANGE | wrist UP | BROWN (~200 ma.)
| DOWN | BLACK (~200 ma.)
| | I did disassemble this arm, and there are SEVERAL
| | layers of geardown involved.
| |
RED | finger CYCLE | BLACK (~200 ma. when open, ~235 ma. closed)
| | The open/close cycle is caused by a cam.
| |
| wrist ROTATE | BROWN (~225-255 ma.)
| | A ratchet mechanism permits finger-cycling versus
| | wrist-rotation using just one motor. When the
| | motor turns one way a ratchet locks wrist turning
| | but allows finger cycling, and vice versa.
| |
YELLOW | left FORWARD| BROWN (~350 ma. when driven by itself)
| drive REVERSE| BLACK (~350 ma. when driven by itself)
| wheel |
| |
GREEN | right FORWARD| BROWN (~350 ma. when driven by itself)
| drive REVERSE| BLACK (~350 ma. when driven by itself)
| wheel | When both wheels are driven in the same direction,
| | the total current draw is ~475 ma. Internally, both
| | drive motors are actually in one unit; I suspect
| | there is some clutch interlock between them.

I disassembled most of the body/forearm/wrist (but NOT the main arm)
just for fun. Inside the main turret is a pedestal upon which is
mounted a small PC card which terminates all wiring. Coming up from
below are all seven wires from the flat cable plus several (thinner)
wires from the battery compartment and the motors. They connect to the
PC card IN THIS ORDER from left to right when viewing from the rear:


Going up into the arm mechanisms are three wires, RED/WHITE, ORANGE/
WHITE, and BLUE/WHITE, and associated with each is a white wire. In
general, the wiring is color-consistent; the RED-with-WHITE-stripe
wire connects to the RED terminal, the BLUE-with-WHITE-strip wire to
the BLUE terminal, all of the WHITE wires to the WHITE (common)
terminal, etc. But inside the base unit an ORANGE wire connected to
one end of the battery (opposite the BLACK wire connected to the other
end of the battery). I did NOT see a BROWN wire here as would be
expected. Myron.

_Ublige Software and Robotics Corporation_

P.O. Box 18034
Huntsville, AL, 35804-8034
net: [69]
url: [70]
tel: 205.518.9422
contact: Luis Lopez

Kits and pre-assembled robot walkers (insects). USR produces
Electro-Optic components and software tools for compound eye robotics.
The catalog lists a low-cost walking system kit called Prometheus and
Sparticus on the order of $1500 (US). A number of control and I/O
modules are also available (eg. RS232 interface, data acquisition,
motor control module, motor driver etc.) Leg units are also sold

For USR's catalog, which includes a Video for Windows demo of their
robots in action and a selection of research articles, please send
check or money orderfor $3US within the United States or $7US for
outside the United States the address above.


_Zagros Robotics_

PO Box 460342
St. Louis, MO 63146-7342
tel: 314.768.1328
net: [71]zag...@Walden.MO.NET
contact: Atha Jamar Neal III

Zagros sells two robot kits. All you need to add is a CPU, and you
have a fully functional robot. Zagros offers their own HC11 based
processor board with 'C' compiler. The Mini Max has a maximum speed of
about 22.5 meters/minute. Each drive motor generates 1.1 Nm of torque.
The platform is 30cmx30cm 6mm thick industrial plastic. Zagros accepts
check, money order, COD, Discover, Visa and Mastercard.

Mini Max Robot Kit $129.95 (plus $15.00 shipping) This kit includes
the following:

* (2) 12 volt DC drive motors
* (2) 15cm drive wheels
* (1) caster wheel
* (1) base plane 30cm x 30cm
* (1) battery power supply
* (1) motor driver kit
* (1) book of project notes
* (1) solderless breadboard

MAX '96 ROBOT KIT $189.95 (plus $15.00 shipping)
* (2) 12 volt DC drive motors
* (2) 15cm drive wheels
* (2) caster wheels
* (1) base plane 41cmx41cm
* (1) battery power supply
* (1) motor driver kit
* (2) pulse encoders
* (1) book of project notes
* (1) solderless breadboard



[8.5] Entertainment Robots

While not quite in the mainstream of robotics research, there are a
number of companies catering to mainstream venues using animated
figures that are remotely controlled. These are often used to
entertain people in restaurants, at shows and conferences,promotional
events and at a variety of other types of gatherings.

_The Robot Factory_

3740 Interpark Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
tel: 719.447.0331
fax: 719.447.0332
net: [72]
url: [73]

Robots for advertising, education and entertainment since 1966. The
major product categories available from The Robot Factory include
Talking signs, mobile robots, animated Musicians and customized

Last-Modified: Mon May 27 16:49:33 1996

[74]Kevin Dowling <>


1. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/copyright.html
2. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/TOC.html
3. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/8.html#8.1
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29. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/
33. gopher://
59. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/4.html#4.2.1
61. mailto:

[9] What is a Robot Architecture?

A robot 'architecture' primarily refers to the software and hardware
framework for controlling the robot. A VME board running C code to
turn motors doesn't really constitute an architecture by itself. The
development of code modules and the communication between them begins
to define the architecture.

Robotic systems are complex and tend to be difficult to develop. They
integrate multiple sensors with effectors, have many degrees of
freedom and must reconcile hard real-time systems with systems which
cannot meet real-time deadlines [Jones93]. System developers have
typically relied upon robotic architectures to guide the construction
of robotic devices and for providing computational services (e.g.,
communications, processing, etc.) to subsystems and components. These
architectures, however, have tended thus far to be task and domain
specific and have lacked suitability to a broad range of applications.
For example, an architecture well suited for direct teleoperation
tends not to be amenable for supervisory control or for autonomous

One recent trend in robotic architectures has been a focus on
behavior-based or reactive systems. Behavior based refers to the fact
that these systems exhibit various behaviors, some of which are
emergent [Man92]. These systems are characterized by tight coupling
between sensors and actuators, minimal computation, and a
task-achieving "behavior" problem decomposition.

The other leading architectural trend is typified by a mixture of
asynchronous and synchronous control and data flow. Asychronous
processes are characterized as loosely coupled and event-driven
without strict execution deadlines. Synchronous processes, in
contrast, are tightly coupled, utilize a common clock and demand hard
real-time execution.


Subsumption/reactive references

Arkin, R.C., _Integrating Behavioral, Perceptual, and World Knowledge
in Reactive Navigation_, Robotics & Autonomous Systems, 1990

Brooks, R.A., _A Robust Layered Control System for a Mobile Robot_,
IEEE Journal of Robotics and Automation, March 1986.

Brooks, R.A., _A Robot that Walks; Emergent Behaviors from a Carefully
Evolved Network_, Neural Comutation 1(2) (Summer 1989)

Brooks, Rod, _AI Memo 864: A Robust Layered Control System For a
Mobile Robot_. Look in [3]

Brooks, Rod, _AI Memo 1227: The Behavior Language: User's Guide_. look
in [4]

Connell, J.H., _A Colony Architecture for an Artificial Creature_, MIT
Ph. D. Thesis in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 1989.

Erann Gat, et al, _Behavior Control for Robotic Exploration of
Planetary Surfaces_ To be published in IEEE R &A. FTPable.

Insect-based control schemes

Randall D. Beer, Roy E. Ritzmann, and Thomas McKenna, editors,
_Biological Neural Networks in Invertebrate Neuroethology and
Robotics_, Academic Press, 1993.

Hillel J. Chiel, et al, _Robustness of a Distributed Neural Network
Controller for Locomotion in a Hexapod Robot,_ IEEE Transactions on
Robotics and Automation, 8(3):293-303, June, 1992.

Joseph Ayers and Jill Crisman, _Biologically-Based Control of
Omnidirectional Leg Coordination,_ Proceedings of the 1992 IEEE/RSJ
International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp.



(i.e., "traditional", "top-down", etc.)

Amidi, O., _Integrated Mobile Robot Control_, CMU-RI-TR-90-17,
Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 1990.

Albus, J.S., McCain, H.G., and Lumia, R., _NASA/NBS Standard Reference
Model for Telerobot Control System Architecture (NASREM)_ NIST
Technical Note 1235, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD, July 1987.

Butler, P.L., and Jones, J.P., _A Modular Control Architecture for
Real-Time Synchronous and Asynchronous Systems_, Proceedings of SPIE

Fong, T.W., _A Computational Architecture for Semi-autonomous Robotic
Vehicles_, AIAA Computing in Aerospace conference, AIAA 93-4508, 1993.

Lin, L., Simmons, R., and Fedor, C., _Experience with a Task Control
Architecture for Mobile Robots_, CMU-RI-TR 89-29, Robotics Institute,
Carnegie Mellon University, December 1989.

Schneider, S.A., Ullman, M.A., and Chen, V.W., _ControlShell: A
Real-time Software Framework_, Real-Time Innovations, Inc., Sunnyvale,
CA 1992.

Stewart, D.B., _Real-Time Software Design and Analysis of
Reconfigurable Multi-Sensor Based Systems_, Ph.D. Dissertation, 1994
Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon
University, Pittsburgh. Available online at [6]
It's 180+ pages.

Stewart, D.B., M. W. Gertz, and P. K. Khosla, _Software Assembly for
Real-Time Applications Based on a Distributed Shared Memory Model_, in
Proc. of the 1994 Complex Systems Engineering Synthesis and Assessment
Technology Workshop (CSESAW '94), Silver Spring, MD, pp. 217-224, July


Last-Modified: Wed Apr 12 14:03:38 1995

[7]Kevin Dowling <>


1. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/copyright.html
2. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/TOC.html
aka: Kevin Dowling, <> address: Carnegie Mellon University
tel: 412.268.8830 The Robotics Institute
fax: 412.268.5895 5000 Forbes Avenue
url: Pittsburgh, PA 15213
aka: Kevin Dowling, <> address: Carnegie Mellon University
tel: 412.268.8830 The Robotics Institute
fax: 412.268.5895 5000 Forbes Avenue
url: Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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