and unstable places quickly with relative ease.
To help develop Salto, the researchers turned to Vicon.
The motion capture lab at Berkeley now consists of two
Vicon MX Giganet boxes and 12 MX T40 cameras,
operating alongside Nexus version 1.8.5 software all aimed
at providing highly accurate pose tracking — a necessary
component to control Salto.
The Vicon system offers pose tracking at 100 Hz over
an area of roughly two meters wide by four meters long.
Recorded data is then sent to a laptop running the Robot
Operating System (ROS), which estimates Salto’s velocity
based on the pose data.
It then calculates control signals
and sends necessary data back to the
robot over an XBee radio connection.
The Vicon system replaced a previous
set of high speed cameras which
lacked detail and required a separate
system to process the data.
The current version of the robot —
known as Salto-1P — features
lightweight propellers to control its tilt
and heading. It has a takeoff velocity
of over four meters per second and
70 ms on the
robot by setting
its orientation in
the air based on
its location, how
fast it’s going,
and where it will
touch a solid
lands, the optical
transmit a burst
of energy to send it airborne again and repeats.
Ultimately, it will be up to the end users to decide how
best to utilize Salto, including what type of controls and
cameras or observation tools to equip the robot with.
There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done before
the little robot can realistically be used in a real life rescue
For now, the team will continue to work on precision
controls, followed in the near-future by onboard sensors in
the hopes that one day their little robotic bushbaby will
help save lives. SV
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www.servomagazine. com and click on Robo-Links.
TAUB — modelled after a locust — can leap to
3. 2 meters in a single jump.
14 SERVO 07/08.2018