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Please describe any experimental apparatus or analysis tools you possess or are familiar with that might be useful for testing things people are building. Given that we discussed simulation tools in a previous meeting, please focus on physical tools and testbeds, though feel free to mention hardware-in-the-loop setups or high-fidelity simulation environments. Some general categories to consider:

  • Internal Sensors: inertial mass units (IMU's) and accelerometers; GPS devices; vision systems (stereo, thermal, ...); ranging systems (laser, sonar, radar, ...); ...
  • External Sensors: high-speed video cameras; radar/sonar/laser rangefinders; radio spectrum analyzers; microphones; ...
  • Data Analysis: video processing; filtering (Kalman, particle, ...); sensor fusion; ...
  • Space: dedicated lab space for performing experiments, where it might be possible to construct an obstacle course or securely store devices.
  • Existing Platforms: commercial robots (Pioneer P2AT, roomba, PackBot, ...); toys (helicopters, gliders, cars, ...); previous projects (gliders, crawlers, helicopters, ...); ...

Meeting notes


  • Cory 407: ~7000fps high-speed video camera

Fearing's Group

  • Electronics workstations
    • soldering, oscilloscopes, ...
  • Wire & die bonder
  • Solder reflow station (needs repair)
    • Zephyrtronics (?)
  • Stereo microscopes
  • Small horizontal wind tunnel
  • (limited use, pre-arranged) laser cutters

  • Electronics workstations
  • Solder reflow station
  • RF vacuum probe station

Bayen's group (McLaughlin Hall)

  • Electronics workstations
  • GSM and GPS modules

Sastry's Group: Sam, Andrew, Hoam, Travis

Internal (Onboard) Sensors

External Sensors

  • High speed video cameras (via Prof. Full's group, CIBER)

Data Analysis

  • Tracking in a wireless sensor network
  • Video processing
    • via MATLAB's video processing toolbox
    • nonlinear state estimation (via an Unscented Kalman Filter)


Existing Platforms

Pister's Group: Ankur, Anita, Steven, Travis

Lab equipment:

  • RF test equipment (0-6 GHz RF source, 0-13 GHz Spectrum Analyzer)
  • General lab test equipment in 484 Cory
  • Very large assorment of PCB components and a reasonable assembly/rework bench
  • Probe station
  • milligram scale


  • Foam Glider (5 ft wingspan)
  • Small helicopters (in various states of disrepair)
    • Walkera 4#3
    • Walkera 5G6
    • Esky Lama V3
    • Eflite Blade mCX
    • Wowwee Bladestar


  • Ankur's IMU board
    • 6 DOF inertial rates
      • 3 axis accelerometer
      • 2 inplane axis gyro
      • 1 axis yaw rate gyro
    • MSP430F2617 microprocessor
    • 802.15.4 radio
  • Accelerometer boards for ground vibration sensing (Travis M.)

CAD Tools/Users:

  • Cadence tools/server for IC design
  • Cadence/Orcad tools for printed circuit board design
  • SolidWorks
  • MSP430 programming IDEs
  • 802.15.4 packet sniffer
  • (limited access) single-access rate table
    • co-owned in BSAC

Full Lab and via CIBER (Center for Integrative Biomechanics in Education and Research): Ardian, Jean

  • Muscle lever system to study muscle function
  • EMG workstations for recording muscle activation patterns
  • Faraday cage for low-noise biological recordings, e.g. electrophysiology
  • Force platforms for terrestrial locomotion studies (small and large scale)
  • 3D kinematics analysis system with high-speed video cameras
  • O2 and CO2 measurement systems
  • Material testing instrument (Instron)
  • Wind tunnel
  • Water flume to study fluid dynamics
  • Particle image velocimetry for flow visualization in air, water, and sand
  • Planer laser-induced fluorescence system for mass-transport studies
  • IR imaging camera and spectroradiometer
  • Dissection microscropes
  • Musculo-skeletal and whole body dynamics software simulation workstations
  • Air-suspended sphere to simulate inertial forces of locomotion
  • MEMs accelerometer backpack to study center of mass kinematics and kinetics of running insects
  • Treadmills (small and large)
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