|Caption: The Tactical Mobile Robot program, in the DARPA Advanced Technology Office, has enlisted JPLs Machine Vision Group in leading the design and implementation of its perception urban robot. This urban robot (Urbie) is a joint effort of JPL, iRobot Corporation, the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Southern California Robotics Research Laboratory.
Urbies initial purpose is mobile military reconnaissance in city terrain but many of its features will also make it useful to police, emergency, and rescue personnel. The robot is rugged and well-suited for hostile environments and its autonomy lends Urbie to many different applications. Such robots could investigate urban environments contaminated with radiation, biological warfare, or chemical spills. They could also be used for search and rescue in earthquake-struck buildings and other disaster zones.
To be able to investigate dangerous areas, Urbie has been outfitted with many different sensors and cameras. These include among others, stereo cameras, an Omnicam, three-axis gyros and accelerometers, digital compass, and a high-precision gps. In the future Urbie will also carry a night-vision camera and a two-axis scanning laser rangefinder.
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