The Team NCTU for DARPA Subterranean Challenge is composed of graduate and undergraduate students from Institute of Electrical and Control Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and the Robotics Institute, supervised by Dr. Hsueh-Cheng Nick Wang and 4 other faculty advisors. We hope to put together the efforts from talented and dedicated students here, and develop cutting-edge intelligent systems that solve the challenges encountering subterranean environments, where the robots must deal with rough terrain, degrading sensing, and severe communication. Our members are trained from the Duckietown platform, and some are the core member in the RobotX Competition 2018, who won the 5th place and the Best Single Day Award. There are in total 23 members in our team, including 2 engineers from our industrial partners, Acer Foundation and K-Best. The members in NCTU are developing the aspects of autonomy, perception, and mobility, whereas our industrial partners provide communication solutions. We consider the participations of the DARPA SubT Challenge both for research and education efforts. We establish internship programs to involve undergraduate students. We wish the team is student-centered, owned and run, with the help of the faculty advisors. We plan to share the efforts to the communities, publish results in top robotics conferences, and later adapt our works for real-world applications such as tunnel inspection in civil engineering and nuclear decommissioning.
Our approaches are deeply inspired by our recent work in the Duckietown & AI Driving Olympics 2018-2019, and the Maritime RobotX Competition 2018. Our long-term flight, collision-safe aerial blimp robot Duckiefloat is adapted from the Duckebot in the Duckietown platform, the miniaturized testbed to develop autonomy education and research of a fleet of robots. Duckiefloat mimics the lane following in Duckietown for tunnel following, and altitude controls from our underwater robot developed in the RobotX Competition. The Anchorball launcher on the UGV Husky is adapted from the one on our WAM-V (wave adaptive modular vehicle) in RobotX. We continue developing a revised Duckietown, including multiple robots with similar setups to Duckiefloat, artifacts, and tunnel-like environments, as a testbed for DARPA SubT Challenge.
Team NCTU was ranked top 5 in the Maritime RobotX Challenge 2018 and Best Single Day Award. See here for more informations.
We co-hosted the AI Driving Olympics 2018 in NIPS. See here for more informations.
We introduced a zepllin style robots, the Space Ship, to overcome the long operation time challenge. The Space Ship has 4 motors as mecanum control and a pair of motors responsible for elevation. It's equipped with an RGB-D camera that enable self navigation through tunnel following and artifacts search without externel lighting source. 8 Space Ships in total will operate in the same time to perform fast artifacts search in unknown envinronments.
Husky is a well-known robotics platform developed by Clearpath. Its high torque motors can conquer sever rough terrain and remain flexible in action. We added a LiDAR, multiple RGB-D cameras as its perception sensor for navigation and artifacts search in a degrading sensing scene. Seekur is an all-terrain robots developed by Generation Robots. We add a set of launcher in the robots to deploy Anchor Ball, a visual base landmark system that enable loop closures in unknown envinronments.