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UMN Scout
Links Robots UMN Scout

The Scout robot has been developed at the University of Minnesota in partnership with MTS, Honeywell, and ATC. The Scout is designed to operate alone or in conjunction with Scouts or other robots.

The Scouts are specialized robots that carry out low-level, usually parallel tasks aimed to meet the mission objectives. Scouts can include simple sensory units or units with locomotion, tools or other specializations. All Scouts have a similar form factor to enable delivery by a uniform mechanism of the ranger. The Scout has a body of roughly 11cm long, and 4cm in diameter (the special foam wheels can expand to 5cm in diameter). This body fits snugly inside a protective covering called a Sabot that absorbs much of the impact during the launch, and allows the Scout to even break through a glass window and land safely and ready to begin its mission.

Specifications
Length: 110 mm
Diameter: 40 mm
Weight: 200 g
Top Speed: 0.31 m/s
Locomotion: Primary: 2 Foam wheels
Secondary: "Jumping" mechanism
Optional: See Variations
Maximum Jump Height: Strong Spring: 30 cm
Weak Spring: 10 cm
Sensors: Camera (Color or B/W)
Accelerometers
Wheel Encoders
Magnetometers
Operational Lifetime: Quiescent Mode: 120 minutes
Full Speed: 70 minutes
Jumping Only: 100 jumps
Communications: Command: 3 Frequencies
Video: 2 Frequencies, 6 Channels total
Variations

Several Augementations to the Scout have been made. Each is an attempt to address a limitation of the standard Scout whether it be locomotion, sensing, or communication.

Actuating Wheel Scout v1 The Actuating Wheel Scout version 1 created a wheel system that allowed a dynamic range of wheel diameter from 44 mm to 120 mm, enabling operation on a variety of terrain.
Actuating Wheel Scout v2 The Actuating Wheel Scout version 2 improved upon the mechanical design of the first version while restoring the launch form factor by enabling a range of 39 mm to 120 mm.
Grappling Hook Scout v1 The first generation grappling hook was designed to increase vertical mobility by adding an external grappling hook capable of a single shot.
Grappling Hook Scout v2 The second generation grappling hook was designed to replace the winch mechanism for jumping, allowing for a self contained grappling hook system.
Scout Powered Blimp This Scout has been modified with an external interface to control the motors of a blimp. Using visual servoing techniques, the blimp can function as an aerial observation platform.
Infra Red Equipped Scout The InfraRed (IR) Scout is enhanced through the addition of a pair of IR emitters. Each emitter is an array of 36 IR LEDs with a combined output close to a small maglight flashligh on the IR spectrum. One IR Scout is capable of illuminating a room for several other Scouts.
Pan Tilt Camera Scout This Scout is equipped with an additional motor system capable of two degrees of freedom which allows for a pan-tilt mechanism to observe an area of interest.
Geiger Counter Scout This Scout is equipped with a prototype miniature geiger counter for detection of radioactive fields.
Demos
Scout_vs_Saddam Demo
A BBC clip regarding the Scouts. (26MB mpeg)
scout_2002 Demo
Details of new scout enhancements. (42MB mpeg)
scout_actuate Demo
Actuating Wheel Scout expanding and contracting wheels. (11MB mpeg)
scout_grappling Demo
A manual test fire of the new grappling hook Scout. (350KB mpeg)
scout_jump Demo
A Scout jumping up stairs. (6MB mpeg)
scout_movie Demo
An introduction to the Scouts. (10MB mov)
scout_nav Demo
A Scout searches its environment for landmarks. (11MB mpeg)
Images
Scout_2k_View_1
Scout_2k_View_2
Scout_2k_View_3
Scout_2k_with_Ruler
coff_scout1
coff_scout2
Publications

E. Kadioglu, N. Papanikolopoulos, "A Method for Transporting a Team of Miniature Robots," Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems.

P. E. Rybski, F. Zacharias, J. F. Lett, O. Masoud, M. Gini and N. Papanikolopoulos, "Building Topological Maps with Sensor-Limited Miniature Mobile Robots," Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.

J. L. Pearce, P. E. Rybski, S. A. Stoeter, N. Papanikolopoulos, "Dispersion Behaviors for a Team of Miniature Robots," Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.

Sascha A. Stoeter, Ian T. Burt, Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos. Scout Robot Motion Model. Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Taipei, Taiwan, May 2003.

Andrew Drenner, Ian Burt, Bradley Kratochvil, Brad Nelson, Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos, Kemal Berk Yesin, "Communication and Mobility Enhancements to the Scout Robot", Proceedings of the 2002 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Lausanne, Switzerland, Oct. 2002.

S. A. Stoeter, P. E. Rybski, M. Gini, N. Papanikolopoulos, "Autonomous Stair-Hopping with Scout Robots," Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 721-726, Lausanne, Switzerland, September/October 2002.

P. Rößler, S. A. Stoeter, P. E. Rybski, N. Papanikolopoulos, "Visual Servoing of a Miniature Robot Toward a Marked Target," Proceedings of the International Conference on Digital Signal Processing, Santorini, Greece, July 2002.

A. Drenner, I. Burt, T. Dahlin, B. Kratochvil, C. P. McMillen, B. Nelson, N. Papanikolopoulos, P. E. Rybski, K. Stubbs, D. Waletzko, K. B. Yesin, "Mobility Enhancements to the Scout Robot Platform," Proceedings of the 2002 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 1069-1074, Washington, DC, May 2002.

D. P. Perrin, E. Kadioglu, S. A. Stoeter, N. Papanikolopoulos, "Localization of Miniature Robots Using Constant Curvature Dynamic Countours," Proceedings of the 2002 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 702-707, Washington DC, May 2002.

P. E. Rybski, A. Larson, A. Schoolcraft, S. Osentoski and M. Gini, "Evaluation of Control Strategies for Multi-Robot Search and Retrieval," Proceedings of The 7th International Conference on Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS-7), pp. 281-288, Marina del Rey, CA, March 2002.

C. P. McMillen, K. Stubbs, P. E. Rybski, S. A. Stoeter, M. Gini, N. Papanikolopoulos, "Resource Scheduling and Load Balancing in Distributed Robotic Control Systems," Proceedings of The 7th International Conference on Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS-7), pp. 223-230, Marina del Rey, CA, March 2002.

P. E. Rybski, S. A. Stoeter, M. Gini, D. F. Hougen, N. Papanikolopoulos, "Effects of Limited Bandwidth Communications Channels of the Control of Multiple Robots," Proceedings of the 2001 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 369-374, Maui, HI, October 2001.

P. E. Rybski, I. Burt, T. Dahlin, M. Gini, D. F. Hougen, D. G. Krantz, F. Nageotte, N. Papanikolopoulos, S. A. Stoeter, "System Architecture for Versatile Autonomous and Teleoperated Control of Multiple Miniature Robots," Proceedings of the 2001 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Seoul, Korea, May 2001.

D. F. Hougen, M. D. Erickson, P. E. Rybski, S. A. Stoeter, M. Gini, N. Papanikolopoulos, "Autonomous Mobile Robots and Distributed Exploratory Missions," Fifth International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems (DARS), Knoxville, TN, October 2000.

S. A. Stoeter, P. E. Rybski, M. D. Erickson, M. Wyman, M. Gini, D. F. Hougen, N. Papanikolopoulos, "A Robot Team for Exploration and Surveillance: Design and Architecture," Proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligent Autonomous Systems 6, pp. 767-774, Venice, Italy, July 2000.

N. Papanikolopoulos, S. A. Stoeter, P. E. Rybski, M. Gini, D. F. Hougen, M. Erickson, "Experiments with a Team of Miniature Robots," Proceedings of the IEEE Mediterranean Conference on Control & Automation, Rio, Greece, July 2000.

P. E. Rybski, S. A. Stoeter, M. D. Erickson, M. Gini, D. F. Hougen, N. Papanikolopoulos, "A Team of Robotic Agents for Surveillance," Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Autonomous Agents, pp. 9-16, Barcelona, Spain, June 2000.

D. F. Hougen, S. Benjaafar, J. C. Bonney, J. R. Budenske, M. Dvorak, M. Gini, H. French, D. G. Krantz, P. Y. Li, F. Malver, B. Nelson, N. Papanikolopoulos, P. E. Rybski, S. A. Stoeter, R. Voyles and K. B. Yesin, "A Miniature Robotic System for Reconnaissance and Surveillance," Proceedings of the 2000 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 501-507, San Francisco, CA, April 2000.