Carnegie Mellon University
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Turning Segways into Soccer Robots

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journal contribution
posted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by Brett Browning, Jeremy Searock, Paul E. Rybski, Manuela M. Veloso
Recently, the company Segway LLC has released a dynamically balancing robot base, the Segway RMP, to complement their Segway scooters for human mobility. These robot bases provide exceptional robustness and capability with the unique feature of dynamic balancing at a human-size scale. We have addressed the challenge of using these Segway RMPs to build robots that are able to autonomously play soccer, building up upon our extensive previous work in this multi-robot research domain. This paper details our investigations towards developing an individually autonomous and capable robot. In particular, the focus is on the electro-mechanical mechanisms required to make a Segway RMP autonomous, able to sense its world, as well as manipulate and kick a soccer ball. In conjunction with the mechanisms required to make the robot physically capable, we detail our investigations into the control algorithms required to enable the robot to perceive, think, and act in real time for a dynamically changing world. While these techniques are applicable to many robot applications, dynamic balancing creates a number of unique challenges and opportunities that must be addressed. We examine these capabilities and limitations of the Segway and provide a detailed analysis of different mechanical and computational techniques to address these limitations. In this paper, we present empirical results examining the performance of our mechanisms and algorithms in the context of a fully functioning system




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