Pioneering Technology for Intelligent Environmental Sensing Using Unmanned Mobile Robot
Associate Professor：JI Yonghoon
Robotics, sensor data processing
Mobile robot, robot vision, environmental sensing, SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping)
Skills and background we are looking for in prospective students
To have basic knowledge of mathematics such as linear algebra and probability theory, and the general concepts of robotics, instrumentation engineering, and machine learning would be desirable. Highly motivated students with curiosity are welcome. In order to implement ideas on robotic systems, it is advantageous if students are accustomed to creating simple hardware and programming languages, especially C++ or Python.
What you can expect to learn in this laboratory
Robotics is a special field in which various areas such as mechanical, electronic, computer, control, and instrumentation engineering are seamlessly integrated. Thus, SI (system integration) technology is very important. Depending on the specific research theme, students will be able to acquire a wide range of engineering knowledge. In addition, since we are actively conducting research that is applicable to real sites, students can learn the ability to apply state-of-the-art technology to various problems in our society.
【Job category of graduates】 Manufacturing industry, IT industry, academia, etc.
Fig.1 SMLO loop-based survey map building.
1. Semantic Map Building by Exploration Robot in Disaster Area
We develop a semi-autonomous mobile robot system that builds a wide-area survey map including semantic information to carry out damage monitoring in disaster areas. To this end, sensor fusion technology is developed for multiple types of sensors mounted on the robot to build map information including various physical properties of the environment. Each elemental technology as shown in Fig. 1 is developed in cooperation with other universities. The semantic survey map can be used for the prevention of secondary disasters and recovery plans.
2. Underwater Sensing Using Acoustic Camera
Fig.2 Underwater imaging using acoustic camera.
Recently, as shown in Fig. 2, the development of acoustic cameras, which can generate high-resolution images in 3D space, even in turbid water, has facilitated our understanding of underwater situations. This type of sonar sensors is relatively small and can easily be mounted on an underwater robot. Moreover, it can analyze the properties of the material distributed in the environment based on measured data. This research focuses on generating a 3D material distribution map using the acoustic camera under a waterfront development environment where human cannot directly access, such as construction and reclamation projects related to airports, ports, and submarine tunnels, etc. Providing the underwater map information to the relevant decision-making organizations, it is expected to be utilized for the future plan of the waterfront development.
3. Autonomous Mobile Robot Navigation
Navigation technology for autonomous mobile robots has been intensively studied in recent decades, and many technologies have already been put into practical use. Our goal is to improve the navigation performance of autonomous mobile robots based on measurement data from various next-generation sensors.
- Y. Wang, Y. Ji, H. Woo, Y. Tamura, H. Tsuchiya, A. Yamashita, and H. Asama, "Acoustic Camera-based Pose Graph SLAM for Dense 3-D Mapping in Underwater Environments," IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, 46(3), PP. 829-847, 2021.
- Y. Ji, Y. Tanaka, Y. Tamura, M. Kimura, A. Umemura, Y. Kaneshima, H. Murakami, A. Yamashita, and H. Asama, “Adaptive Motion Planning Based on Vehicle Characteristics and Regulations for Off-Road UGVs,” IEEE Transection on Industrial Informatics, 15(1), pp. 599-611, 2019.
- Y. Ji, A. Yamashita, and H. Asama, “Automatic Calibration of Camera Sensor Network Based on 3D Texture Map Information,” Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 87(1), pp. 313-328, 2017.
Wheeled and crawler type mobile robots
Sensors for environmental measurement, such as LiDAR, range sensor, optical camera, thermography, acoustic camera, etc.
We aim to cultivate human resources who can contribute to society through robot technology. To this end, it is important to understand the requirement in our society and relevant technological trends. Therefore, we are carrying out research topics applicable to real sites. Next, all students are encouraged to make presentations at domestic and international conferences and write journal papers. Finally, students will improve the following abilities: teamwork, communication, presentation skills through regular meetings in our laboratory as well as collaboration with other universities and companies.