Microrobots soon could be seeing better, say UMD faculty in <i>Science Robotics</i>

Microrobots soon could be seeing better, say UMD faculty in Science Robotics

Microrobots soon could be seeing better, say UMD faculty in Science Robotics

ISR-affiliated Professor Yiannis Aloimonos (CS/UMIACS) and Associate Research Scientist Cornelia Fermüller (UMIACS) imagine the future of insect-scale, active vision sensing systems in a July 15, 2020 Science Robotics commentary.

In “A bug’s eye view,” the well-known computer vision specialists consider the ramifications of research appearing in the same issue of the journal, “Wireless steerable vision for live insects and insect-scale robots,” by V. Iyer, A. Najafi, J. James, S. Fuller, and S. Gollakota. This research reports a wireless, Bluetooth-enabled, low-power, rotatable vision system that can be mounted on insect-scale robots and live insects. The research demonstrates that it is now feasible to equip insect-scale robots with an “active vision” system that allows scene selection, manipulation of the field of vision, and a capability to zoom the camera.

This is a superior system to existing microrobot schemes that rely on fixed parameters, Aloimonos and Fermüller note.

Because of their size, weight, area and power constraints, tiny robots currently cannot reconstruct scenes using simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) algorithms. What Iyer has done is an alternative: create a steerable camera system that can perform a specific set of tasks in a more optimal way.

Aloimonos and Fermüller imagine a future of microrobots with such steerable cameras that could find holes, successfully fly through them, avoid obstacles, and recognize a variety of objects without computing 3D world models—an alternative to SLAM.

“If the insect robotics community succeeds with this SLAM alternative,” they write, “then the results will permeate all robotics.”

Related Articles:
Cornelia Fermüller is PI for 'NeuroPacNet,' a $1.75M NSF funding award
Michael Bonthron Wins NDSEG Fellowship
UMD’s SeaDroneSim can generate simulated images and videos to help UAV systems recognize ‘objects of interest’ in the water
ArtIAMAS receives third-year funding of up to $15.1M
Alum Naomi Leonard is 2023 IEEE Control Systems Award recipient
Manocha Receives 2022 Verisk AI Faculty Research Award
MRC and MAGE Earn ARM Institute Endorsement
UMD, UMBC, ARL Announce Cooperative Agreement to Accelerate AI, Autonomy in Complex Environments
Elizabeth Childs Lands Knight-Hennessy Scholarship
‘Smellicopter’ drone uses live moth antenna to seek smells, avoid obstacles

July 15, 2020


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

When Vision Fails, a Suit Could Steer Pilots to Safety

JC Zhao Named Dean of University of Connecticut College of Engineering

Celebrating Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American Engineers

Four BIOE Terps Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Celebrating Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month: Karenna Buco

UMD Student Awarded Wings Foundation Scholarship

Celebrating Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month

Dean's Circle Spotlight: Investing in Ideas, and Access

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar