course, our robot is called Carl! It
is based on a Pioneer 2-DX indoor
platform from ActivMedia Robotics, with two drive
wheels plus the caster. It includes wheel encoders, front and rear bumpers
rings, front and rear sonar rings and audio I/O card.
platform configuration that was acquired also includes a micro-controller based
on the Siemens C166 processor and an on-board computer based on a Pentium 266
MHz with PC104+ bus, 64 Mb of memory and a 3.2 Gb hard drive. The operating
system is Linux. A Sony EVI pan-tilt camera was added.
top of this mobile platform, we added a fiber glass structure, that carries a
Fujistsu-Siemens Lifebook laptop computer with touch screen, a VoiceTracker
microphone array, a speaker and 10 infra-red sensors. In a normal stand-up
position near the robot, the mouth of a person is at a distance of 1 m from the
microphone array. This
is enough for enabling speech recognition in a quiet environment. The
structure also includes a recipient for transporting small objects, equipped
with an IR sensor for detecting the presence of objects.
Carl looks as the pictures below show. Carl can navigate through our institute,
avoiding obstacles and executing simple commands received from humans through
spoken language interaction. It can, actually, enter a dialogue (in English...)
with the user and learn facts about the world from this dialogue. Besides
execution management and speech processing, the laptop computer also runs a
graphical interface, that can be used via the touch screen, an animated face,
that enables Carl to display emotions and makes him a more friendly robot.
following pictures have be taken at IROS'2002,
where Carl was presented at the welcome
many more pictures here )
previous version of Carl has participated in the 2001
AAAI Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition. Eventually, Carl made it to
the cover of AI Magazine: