RBE 594 Robotics Capstone Final Presentation: MS in Robotics Engineering Online

Thursday, April 27, 2023
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Please join us for the RBE 594 Robotics Capstone Final Presentation for the online section of MS in Robotics Engineering. Presentations for the four teams will be via Zoom on Thursday 27-April from 7pm to 9pm ET. The meeting invitation and presentation abstracts follow below.  No RSVP required. For any questions, please contact John Nafziger, Ph.D. directly. 

  • Topic: RBE 594 Robotics Capstone Final Presentation
  • Time: Apr 27, 2023 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
  • Join Zoom Meeting (no RSVP required!): https://wpi.zoom.us/j/96364917583
  • Meeting ID: 963 6491 7583


Team 1: Matthew Boudreau, Justin Hall, Demargio Glanville, Dharshun Sridharan

Title: Benchmark: Lean Warehouse Robotics

The manufacturing industry has been a major driving force in technological progress and economic development since the Industrial Revolution. However, despite the increasing use of automation and robotics in large-scale manufacturing operations, the industry remains highly labor-intensive due to the demand for bespoke products that require significant human intervention. Lean principles identify the seven types of pure waste in contract manufacturing, including waiting and motion waste, which cost companies time and money without adding value to the business or its customers. Waste in motion refers to unnecessary and complicated movements of employees or machinery, while waste in waiting occurs when goods or tasks are not moving. The proposed system offers a potential solution to the problems related to Waste in Motion and Waste in Waiting by integrating the Human in the Loop (HITL) approach. The system aims to automate material transportation from the storage facility to the construction site, thereby curbing waste in motion and waiting. The system's four fundamental objectives, including path planning, dynamic obstacle avoidance, dynamics and controls, and safety, will be utilized to establish specific operational requirements for the system. The proposed system's Concept of Operations enables the retrieval of specific material pieces from the staging area and delivery to the build area when requested by the user. The system's HITL approach enables human interaction and intervention in case of unexpected situations or system failures, ensuring the system's reliability and robustness. The system's functionality and potential benefits are demonstrated through simulation, illustrating its effectiveness in reducing waste in motion and waiting and increasing productivity while ensuring safety and quality.  Overall, this system provides a feasible and implementable solution to the issues related to waste in motion and waiting in manufacturing operations. The proposed system's potential benefits include reduced lead time, decreased production costs, improved quality and safety, and increased customer satisfaction. Further research and experimentation are required to validate the system's effectiveness and practicality in real-world manufacturing operations.


Team 2: Christopher Dickson, Zeke Flaton, Gage Froelich, Robert Menna, Harishkumar Ramadhas

Title: Multi-robot Coordination System

Mobile robotics are becoming a popular solution for warehouses and distribution centers seeking to overcome labor shortages and reduce their need for human operators performing repetitive manual labor.  Currently the industry standard is to have operators drive a forklift to move pallets of merchandise from one area of the warehouse to another, which requires human labor.  The other industry standard is to build extensive conveyor systems to ferry the merchandise that have a massive footprint and are costly and difficult to adapt to move products to new locations.  Our team has developed a multi-robot scheduling orchestrator and simulation capable of managing a fleet of wheeled mobile robots. This system would be responsible for transporting payloads in a warehouse while navigating a pre-mapped area and preventing collisions with obstacles in their environment such as other robots and humans.  This solution holds the potential to revolutionize how distribution centers work by vastly increasing their flexibility while not requiring an increase in human labor.


Team 3: Gary Encinas, Justin Fossum, Jason Munger, Mithulesh Ramkumar

Title: A Hexapod Robot for Extraterrestrial Exploration

Numerous areas of exploration, both terrestrial and extraterrestrial, are covered in rough topsoil which makes the terrain challenging to traverse. Due to this, current wheeled rovers are subject to constant wear and tear and as such, limitations are placed on the type of terrain that a wheeled rover could explore. The report examines the development of a 6-legged walking robot as an alternative solution to the current wheeled or tracked rovers. This hexapod robot is applicable to Space Agencies, Search and Rescue departments, Law Enforcement, and Surveying agencies, among others. The benefits of this robotic system include steep terrain traversing and obstacle avoidance that other wheeled or tracked rovers have difficulty traversing due to their fixed center of gravity and inability to alter their configuration in real-time. The design and simulation of the hexapod robot considered the following parameters: payload capacity, traversing speed, destination accuracy, system pack size, slope mobility, and system object clearance threshold. The project involved mechanical design, kinematic, dynamic, and structural analysis, simulation, path planning, and controls to ensure the feasibility and reliability of the system. The efficacy of the robot is estimated by the system payload capacity. The system can carry 100 kg of payload, based on the average American male mass of 94.39 kg. The robot can maintain an average speed of 5 km/hr, allowing the robot to keep pace with the average human walking speed of 4.8 km/hr. The robot achieves a required destination accuracy of 1 m through a combination of global path planning and trajectory generation, a maximum walking stride length of 750 mm, and joint control to apply necessary torques for the legs to accurately traverse a given path.  The system reduces to a maximum volume of 2m x 2m x 2m for the purpose of transportation. For slope mobility, the robot can climb a slope of at most 35° as demonstrated by simulation. Lastly, for the system object clearance threshold, the robot has demonstrated a maximum obstacle clearance threshold height of 1m.


Team 4: Tahir Gungor, Emmanuel Jayaraju, Knut Peterson, Chris Poole, and Aakash Rohra

Title: Autonomous Search and Rescue System (ASARS)

During search-and-rescue operations, the ability for first-responders to reach missing victims in a timely manner is crucial. Having access to the latest maps of the disaster area is an invaluable tool in order to generate the most optimal path to reach the victims with medical aids and in establishing radio communication between the victims and the first-responders. Additionally, disaster rescue operations typically require a large response effort due to the unsafe nature of the area. To address these challenges, this project aims to develop a full-suite Autonomous Search and Rescue System (ASARS) that is capable of generating accurate maps of the environment and providing delivery of critical supplies prior to full-scale rescue operations. ASARS incorporates an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to efficiently generate a live map of the obstacles within the environment using a LiDAR sensor. The map data is then used by an automated guided vehicle (AGV) to navigate the environment, deliver supplies to the victims, and validate the path as safe for first responders. The ultimate goal of ASARS is to increase the chances of a successful rescue operation while decreasing the man-power required to do so.

Contact Person
John Nafziger, Ph.D.