Praktikum Robotik - Autonomous control of an all-terrain robot with manipulator

Organizers: Prof. Dr. Alexander Kleiner, Dr. Christian Dornhege and Prof. Dr. Bernhard Nebel

Time and Location

First meeting:Wednesday, October 24th 2007 15:00
Time: Will be decided together with the students
Location: RoboCup room, building 082 (Mensa); entrance through the blue door
Maximal number of participants: 8


During the last five years there was a remarkable increase in developing robotics technology for solving real-world problems. Particularly within outdoor environments that are hostile to human beings, such as during space exploration, car driver assistance, and Urban Search And Rescue (USAR), robotic algorithms are of great value. However, more than in other areas, there exists a big gap between the knowledge available in literature and the implementation of an autonomous robot system.

The laboratory offers to motivated students the opportunity to learn about the development of algorithms for controlling an autonomous all-terrain robot with manipulator. They will study practical methods from the areas of Artificial Intelligence, image/sensor processing, real time systems and control engineering.

The overall goal of the project is to extend our existing robot software for solving tasks as they are proposed by the TechX and RoboCup Rescue challenges. These challenges are designed for benchmarking robot systems and to evaluate there usability for real-world problems, such as Urban Search And Rescue (USAR) and security (e.g. bomb disposal). For example, they are requiring the robot to explore and map an unknown and rough terrain, to open a door with a manipulator, to climb-up a stair, and to operate an elevator (as for example the one in building 51). Thereby, the robot has to operate truely autonomous without any operator invention.

For a more detailed description on the challenges please have a look to the following sites:

The students will be organized in smaller groups for solving a specific project. They will have to give two short presentations, one in the middle and one at the end of the practical, in order to share their experiences with the others. Finally, they have to hand in a short report of their project.

The robot we will use is the "Telemax", which is capable of climbing stairs, overcoming rough terrain and manipulating objects with its manipulator:

Telemax examining a hole
Telemax opening a door
Telemax exploring terrain


Since all of our existing software is written in C/C++, programming experience is absolutely necessary. Additionally, it would be useful if students are familiar with some techniques from the areas of Artificial Intelligence, image processing or control engineering.

We are particularly interested in students that intend to continue their work by a thesis and/or within our rescue team. They might also get the opportunity to participate in international competitions. To reach this goal, however, we expect a high degree of motivation and time investment.