Internet page

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 1 June 2002




Rigelsford, J. (2002), "Internet page", Industrial Robot, Vol. 29 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

Internet page

Keywords: Robotics, Internet

Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI)This site presents a multimode (flying/crawling) insect that is being developed by Robert Michelson and his design team from the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), University of Cambridge (UK), and ETS Labs. The mechanical insect, known as an Entomopter, is based around a new development called a reciprocating chemical muscle (RCM) which is capable of generating autonomic wing beating from a chemical energy source. The RCM also provides small amounts of electricity for onboard systems and differential lift enhancement on the wings to achieve roll and hence, steered flight.

This is a well presented Web site that contains plenty of project information, movie clips and pictures.

The Field Robotics CenterThe Field Robotics Center is part of the Robotics Institute within the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. It aims to transform the way people live and work by establishing robots as tools for craft, labour and working in hazardous environments. The Field Robotics Center made Dante I, the geologist robot that explored Mount Erebus, the active volcano in Antarctica in 1992.

Field robotics is the use of mobile robots in field environments such as work sites and natural terrain, where the robots must safeguard themselves while performing non-repetitive tasks. At the same time they must be able to sense local objects and be self-navigating in random or dynamic environments.

A well presented and informative site that is well worth visiting.

Tarry's HomepageThis is the homepage of the Tarry walking machines. They were developed and built by the Department of Engineering Mechanics at the University of Duisburg, Germany. The "Tarry" project started in 1992 and aims to produce an autonomous six-legged walking machine which can traverse uneven terrain. The Tarry II project began in 1998 and is the more powerful successor of Tarry.

This site is available in both English and German and contains lots of pictures and links to other robotics Web sites.

Planetary Aerobot ProgramThis site contains information about NASA's Planetary Aerobot Program which is being developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It discusses the reasons for exploring planetary atmospheres, what planetary aerobots are and how they work, and the history and future plans of aerobots.

Aerobots are unmanned scientific exploration vehicles designed to float like balloons for up to several months in the atmospheres of planets, and are equipped to conduct sophisticated observational programs from their unique vantage points. Exploratory missions are planned for Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and its moon, Titan, Uranus and Neptune.

This is a well structured site that is very informative and worth visiting. The unexpected error messages only slightly diminish the overall quality of the site.

Long Range Science RoverAfter the 1997 micro-rover flight experiment on the Pathfinder Mission to Mars, NASA and JPL intend to continue to use small robotic rovers for planetary surface exploration. They aim to expand the current capabilities and operational range of these micro-rovers.

This is a poor site that has a lot of broken links.

The Shadow Robot CompanyFounded in 1987, Shadow is a UK-based robotics company that provides custom-built robotic solutions to meet the needs of companies and organisations.

It aims to build a useful general-purpose biped robot that can function in a human environment to do the important repetitive tasks that we do not want to do. The Shadow Robot uses a wooden skeletal frame on which the muscles and equipment are mounted.

This is quite a good site with a biped robot that is not for the faint hearted!


The MIT Leg LaboratoryThe MIT Leg Laboratory explores active balance and dynamics in legged systems, robots and animals alike. It is part of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and interested in simulating and building creatures which walk, run, and hop like their biological counterparts. Understanding how humans and other animals walk and run is interesting scientifically and important medically. It has built a series of legged robots, including one-legged hoppers, bipedal runners, bipedal walkers, a quadruped, and two kangaroo-like robots.

This is a superb university site that contains lots of pictures and movies of bipedal robots.

FIDO RoverThe Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) rover is being developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. It is an advanced technology rover that supports both current and future NASA robotic missions on the surface of Mars. The FIDO rover conducts mission relevant field trials that simulate mission operations scenarios and validate rover technology in the areas of rover navigation and control, instrument placement, remote sensing, scientific data collection, intelligent behaviours, telemetry processing, data visualisation, and mission operations tools.

This is an excellent site that provides comprehensive coverage of the FIDO rover.

Jon Rigelsford