Experiment Platform

Robotic Urban-Like Environment (RULE) Generation III

We recently update our platform to generation III which uses OptiTrack Motion Capture systems of 40 high speed cameras providing 6DOF data (x,y,z, pitch, yaw, roll) in real time.  City environments could be projected on the floor as backgrounds while robots navigation through buildings and intersections.



In our third generation, we use M3pi robots from Pololu, with wixel wireless communication and Arm mbed controller. The robots can also be equipped with multiple sensors including range finders, IMU, cameras and color/light sensors.

Robotic Urban-Like Environment (RULE) Generation I

RULE is an experimental platform for automatic deployment of robotic cars in an urban-like environment. The cars are Khepera II and Khepera III miniature robots with processing, sensing, and communication capabilities. The “city” has streets, intersections, traffic lights, and parking spots, and can be easily reconfigured. Four overhead cameras, serving as a GPS, are used to produce a topological map of the environment.

CODES no obstacle[(001285)06-16-04] Copy of CODES_platform_1

RULE I Vision System

The image of the entire platform is obtained by stitching images taken from four overhead cameras. The camera is Logitech QuickCam Communicate STX.

Logitech_Communicate_STX overhead camera grid

RULE I Robots

Khepera II and Khepera III robots from K-team, with Wifi or bluetooth communication. Surrounded infrared and ultrasonic sensors can be used to do short distance obstacle detection. Khepera III can run Linux onboard.

Khepera II

Khepera II

Khepera III

Khepera III

RULE I Traffic Light

Each traffic light in RULE I has an IP address, and is connected to a route.


Robotic Urban-Like Environment (RULE) Generation II

Comparing to old RULE platform, we made following upgrades. First, the traffic lights can be controlled wirelessly. Second, parking barriers coming with LED signs are installed at the parkign spots, which are wirelessly controllable. The LED signs are used to indicate the parking spot status (vacant, occupied, reserved, etc). Third, use two instead of four overhead cameras as vision system.

Overview platform

RULE II Vision System

The image of the entire platform is obtained by stitching images taken from two overhead cameras. The cameras are Logitech QuickCam Orbit AF.

quickcam newvision

RULE II Robots

We add into the platform a new robot. It is an upgraded Roomba vacuum cleaner with brains (laptop), eyes (camera) and sensors (laser rangefinder and infrared sensors)


RULE II Traffic Components

Traffic lights in RULE II are controlled wirelessly. Parking barriers with LED display are added into the platform. The following videos show how all components work.