A research team from National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) has invented a robot that can carry out automated nighttime surveillance, climb stairs and move freely around buildings, the team announced yesterday.
The team was comprised of researchers from the school’s Computational Intelligence and Robotics Lab and led by Wang Wei-yen (王偉彥), a chair professor in the Department of Applied Electronics Technology.
It took the team three years to develop the robot, named “NTNU-CIR-I,” which is capable of carrying out surveillance patrols in complicated landscapes during the day and at night.
The team said the robot was meant to fill the gap in the security of school campuses that are open to the public after class hours. The robot can patrol areas that are not patrolled so often by campus security and that the scope of mounted surveillance cameras cannot reach.
Many other robots rely on four wheels to move and are thereby limited to flat surfaces, but the NTNU-CIR-I was designed to overcome this limitation by employing highly sensitive sensors to detect and navigate past obstacles, even in the dark, Wang said, adding that it can also calculate the angles of slopes or stairs to adjust its movements as it climbs.
The team said they think the robot could be a useful addition to security systems in factories, buildings and campuses because it can transmit real-time footage through the Internet.
It could also be used for educational purposes, such as though the application of its sensors, motor control, image processing and intelligence algorithm design, the team added.
Wang was awarded the titles of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow and Institution of Engineering and Technology Fellow this year for his contribution to the field of robotics, the school said, adding that the team is applying for a patent for the robot.