Robot Not a Dev? Pre-order Now
Not a Dev?

Recommended Robot Platform Suppliers for R&D?


#1

I see posts like this in various subreddits pretty frequently. I am wondering how a platform like Misty’s could be targeted towards these folks seeking a robotics platform.

Of course, we can point out the things like “must have arms” or ROS Stack a must but what else would folks be seeking in this? The poster says nothing of cost. Maybe that is no object with his/her company.


#2

I’d be curious what they are trying to accomplish. I’d wager that the majority of these types of posts come from Universities…

Using the word ‘end effector’ is a pretty clear giveaway that this is related to academia :slight_smile:


#3

After writing the below, I noticed that you might be asking something else, but anyway, here you go:

The answer depends strongly on whether it is for peer-reviewed, open publications about research, or exploratory development within and secret to a company.

If it is for peer-reviewed, open publications, your question is better approached backwards:

  1. what is the problem space to study?
  2. which robot platforms allow me to practically explore it,
  3. and conduct experiments that are accessible to others?

Robotics research can be categorized into different topic areas (and communities) and various fundamental problems studied in them, respectively. That Reddit user appears to be studying mobile manipulation, so in that case, her needs would include (obviously) an arm and a ROS stack because (less obviously) ROS is prevalent among research papers in that community, e.g., using MoveIt! (https://moveit.ros.org/).

So, to think about Misty for research, think of fundamental problems that are potentially relevant for Misty. For example, in HRI, there is a problem with crowd navigation. Also, there is the problem of navigation where a robot asks humans for help, like “how can I get to Ben’s room?” or “can you open the door for me?”.

The next aspect to consider is ease of use in experiments. Many labs have external motion tracking systems. So, how can Misty be tracked by these? Three common choices are

  1. planar tracking via 1 or more cameras on the ceiling and patterns on the top of the robot’s head,
  2. IR LEDs mounted on the robot, and passive cameras mounted around the room,
  3. small reflective balls mounted on the robot, and cameras with bright IR lights shining into the tracking volume.