History of Robotics and Devices of Lurch and Erratic Robots

SRI’s vast talent an expertise in artificial intelligence, algorithm development, and sensor research has yielded a prolific environment for the development of robot.

Lurch (for large, Useful Robot Controlling Hazard) is designed for control of robot functions in realistic outdoor terrain and is operated using high-level directives from a remote station connected via a packet-switched radio network.

Lurch was created by modifying an Andros Mark V-A robot from Remote, Inc to incorporate SRI’s planning and control system. Enhancements include onboard control of the mobile based and a manipulator arm based on a ruggedized PC system. Onboard sensors include stereoscopic vision. 16 ultrasonic sensors and encoders for all robot, manipulator, and camera motions.

ERRATIC and Pioneer
Addressing the need for an easy to construct, low cost robot development platform, SRI designed ERRATIC to run as a robot server from a host computer over a remote serial connection. It provides basic functions of forward/back velocity and angular position integration stall sensing, and sonar ranging. Pioneer is production version of the ERRATIC platform. The real-tine controller for ERRATIC is based on software developed at SRI on the Flakey project. The software runs a reactive planning system with a fuzzy controller, behavior sequencer, and deliberative planner with integrated routines for sonar sensor interpretation, map building, and navigation.

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