Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited
Keywords Internet, Review, Robotics
http://www.nosc.mil/robots/index.html Navy robotics program
The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego (SSC San Diego) and its predecessor organisations, have been involved in various aspects of robotics since the early 1960s. Robotics research and development at SSC San Diego are currently performed by two groups: the Advanced Systems Division covering land and air robots, and the Ocean Systems Division that works with underwater robots. The recently updated site covers a lot of robotics research material in good detail, particularly in the fields of autonomous vehicles (both land and submersible) and telepresence. The information is illustrated with many photographs and mpeg video clips, and there is a wealth of literature references for the subjects covered. The centre's own publications are listed by year going back to the early 1980s, and in addition there are a good number of papers available as either Web pages on the site or downloadable as pdf files. Not all areas are open access, however there is still enough material to make a visit well worthwhile.
http://www.llnl.gov/llnl/04science/research.html Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)
The USA's prestigious research laboratory's presence on the Web gives an insight into its work by teams of researchers from many scientific and engineering disciplines. The coverage is vast, being split into areas ranging from astrophysics to weapons research; perhaps the areas most likely of interest are those of automation and robotics research, and the work on sensor and instrumentation development. The information is somewhat rudimentary, giving little more than a description of each project, however it gives an idea of the state of the art in particular research topics. Full contact details are given by project, and references are available, with a number of abstracts on line from the site. There are plenty of details about the organisation itself, its facilities, structure and history amongst others, making for interesting reading.
http://wwwipr.ira.uka.de/areas/telerobotics.html University of Karlsruhe, Institute for Real-Time Computer Systems & Robotic (IPR)
More a page than a site, the IPR's Web presence is a little disappointing on first inspection, with even the links into their current projects unavailable at the time of writing. However the reason for visiting lies in the archive of over one hundred relatively recent robotics research papers, abstracted and available to download in full. Their interests concern the development of both vision systems and predictive sensor simulation in the context of teleoperation, mobile robotics and robot/human interaction.
http://www.wpi.org/initiatives/init/oct96/spotligh.html Spotlight on the Robotics Technology Development Program Waste Policy Institute
An illustrated article about the use of robotics in the clean-up of waste contaminants within tanks, concentrating on the products of the Redzone robotics company. Unfortunately Redzone's own site (http://www.redzone.com/) is no more than a decorative homepage at present, however more information about their hazardous environment robots, Houdini, Rosie and Fury, can be found at the UK Robotics site at http://www.robotics.co.uk/.
http://www.dmcdist.com/dmcd/dm2.html DMcD Distribution
The McB system is a remotely operated robotic tool for cleaning commercial, industrial and/or residential ventilation systems. Fitted with its own lighting, video system and cleaning tools, the tracked crawler is able to go where no human cleaner would fit. At the site there are simply pictures, specification and contact information.
http://www.grippers.com/ Zaytran Automation Grippers
A better than average commercial Website that offers more than just brief product details. Zaytran's range of grippers for all environments from cleanroom to ultra harsh, are covered in detail, with downloadable CAD files and photographs of the grippers in action. A well written technical article gives basic information concerning the mechanical calculations behind the specification of grippers for particular applications.
http://www.rwt.com/ Robotic Workspace Technologies Inc.
Robotic Workspace Technologies works in developing and providing PC-based tools that enhance the use of a wide range of industrial robots. Their products include a universal robot controller and a three cord based robot calibration system, used to augment off line programming amongst other applications. The site gives a good introduction to the products and their background, plenty of press releases concerning their activities in addition to the conventional contact information and a few links.
http://www.cs.indiana.edu/robotics/ world.html Indiana University, Computer Science Department
Certainly one of the most comprehensive robotics internet resource lists available, giving links to universities, governmental organisations, companies and researchers in the field in addition to sites for both hardware and software sourcing. As with most pages of this type, it contains a proportion of outdated and non-functioning links.
Robosoft is a robotics company based in the South West of France, dedicated to the design and development of service robots. In addition to design services, it offers a full range of robotic peripherals for customers creating their own systems, including mobile platforms, manipulators and grippers in addition to vision and control systems. The site is very attractively finished and gives plenty of information about the company and its products, as well as a novel employment forum for both employers and potential employees. A section giving the update history of the site is a useful tool for regular visitors, and there is a secondhand section for those on a tight budget. Unusually for a commercial site, there is a full price list for all the products mentioned on the site.