Students and professors from the degree in Telematic Engineering at the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas (UAT) are developing a “caterpillar robot” to aid in farming activities and rescue missions during natural disasters.
One of the members of the Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence in the Faculty of Engineering and Sciences (FIC) at the UAT, doctor Juan Carlos Elizondo Leal, stated that “the caterpillar robot is an all-terrain device built for rescue missions. It is equipped with different sensors and is meant to help in case of a natural disaster.”
The team started working on the design five months ago. By December of the present year, they hope to finish the prototype and make it operate autonomously. “We have built everything here at FIC. One of the robot’s main features is that it uses a stereo vision system, allowing it to detect depth. Furthermore, we have equipped it with algorithms that we ourselves developed for the detection and monitoring of objects,” stated Elizondo Leal.
The robot is now capable of recognizing people, determining how many people there are, “it allows us to generate a map of the location’s surroundings to identify potential obstacles and escape routes. The device can also georeference targets through its GPS system.”
The robot is built for all sorts of terrain and it can climb slopes of up to 45 degrees. “At first, we designed the sensors that we needed to work with. Afterward, we developed a software to process the information obtained through the sensors.”
The specialist stated that the project was led by Dr. Hugo Barrón Zambrano, from the Artificial Intelligence Lab, in cooperation with Dr. Alán Díaz Manríquez and Telematic students from FIC. “The idea is to get students involved and guide them so they can learn to do these things by themselves.”