Final Year Thesis Project Wins the Honeywell Best Automation and Control Project Award

November 12th, 2020

Peter Condoleon, a final year Mechatronics Student at The University of Queensland’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering won the Best Automation and Control Project Award sponsored by Honeywell at the recently concluded UQ Innovation Showcase event for his final year thesis project.

Peter conducted his final year thesis project titled Affordable Smart Hexapods for STEM Education at CSIRO Data61’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems Group under the supervision of Ryan Steindl and Dr. Navinda Kottege.

In completing his project, Peter designed and developed a sensor system for CSIRO’s hexapod robots with 12 time of flight (ToF) range sensors, implemented it in hardware, developed the low level device drivers as well as designed and developed the high level obstacle avoidance algorithms to make use of the novel sensor system.

The high level software was implemented using the Robot Operating System (ROS) to easily integrate with CSIRO’s legged robot control software suite OpenSHC to provide autonomy in obstacle avoidance for the hexapod robots.

The motivation for the project was to develop a low cost yet effective sensor system that can be integrated with CSIRO’s hexapod robot Zero, providing an affordable robot with autonomy capability suitable for STEM education.

Peter’s project was successful in demonstrating that this is indeed an achievable goal. The developed sensor system is called VSM, short for VL53L1X Sensor Module and is versatile enough to be used on robots other than the hexapod it was designed for as well.

Peter has already demonstrated the versatility of the VSM by integrating it with some of the other robots at CSIRO Data61’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems Group. The poster presenting this project at UQ’s Innovation Showcase can be viewed here.

VSM in action on Zero

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