[robotics-worldwide] [news] microMVP - A Portable, 3D-Printing Enabled Multi-Vehicle Platform for Robotics Research and Education

Jingjin Yu jingjin.yu at cs.rutgers.edu
Thu Nov 24 10:03:57 PST 2016

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the availability of microMVP - an open source
multi-vehicle platform for robotics research and education. microMVP
(micro-multi-vehicle-platform) is a complete hardware and software platform
with the design goal of being portable, affordable, and easily extensible.
The entire system (5-10 vehicles and a webcam) goes easily into a backpack,
and requires minimal space (~1.2 square meters) and ambient conditions
(reasonably flat floor, reasonable lighting) to operate, making it ideal
for many research/educational applications.

Hardware stack

The hardware stack consists of a standard web-cam based tracking system and
a (custom) scalable swarm of mini/micro scale vehicles. With the help of 3D
printing, we are able to make the vehicles small enough while still easy to
assemble from parts that are readily available (e.g., from SparkFun,
Pololu, and so on). Each vehicle measures 8 x 5 x 6 cubic centimeters and
weighs under 100 grams. A vehicle, on a full charge, can run continuously
for over an hour. As a single vehicle takes about 15-20 minutes to assemble
(after 3D printing), a full hardware stack can be built in a few hours. A
complete system with six vehicles and a decent webcam costs around 600 USD.
We expect the price tag to drop significantly in future releases.

Software stack

The software stack, which is fully open sourced, makes it unnecessary for
the end user to worry about interfacing directly with the hardware. Once
set up, through a simple Python based API interface, an end user can
readily implement high-level planning/control logic to operate the vehicle
fleet. Moreover, the software stack allows simulation of algorithms without
the hardware stack. The system has built-in support for functions including
path tracking and multi-vehicle synchronization. Both centralized and
distributed planning/control architectures are supported by microMVP.

For more information and complete instructions on reproducing the platform,
please visit the platform website at https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__arc.cs.rutgers.edu_mvp_&d=DgIBaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=_8zn8JfXjZYbLhYJ9lR_bqFxCZGJfdO1J5TrGrxL_2g&s=rqHNNe7lma-XSRfpbvFAHW2PVfUTqeT9_yGPgppJ_4Y&e= . A
manuscript describing the system can be found on Arxiv:
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__arxiv.org_pdf_1609.04745v1.pdf&d=DgIBaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=_8zn8JfXjZYbLhYJ9lR_bqFxCZGJfdO1J5TrGrxL_2g&s=YxXRS0OJIUP2yH-SqIn9XUUMwbfhYWw-BIv12lf0sQQ&e= . A long take video of the system in
action is available at https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__youtu.be_n9DOtgHHyGY&d=DgIBaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=_8zn8JfXjZYbLhYJ9lR_bqFxCZGJfdO1J5TrGrxL_2g&s=UyBi8ZIddRLUbNNkCh0T5EET43vhZdbq0oTtXnxb-kY&e= .

Best regards,

Jingjin Yu

Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Science
Rutgers University

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