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The goal for the study year 2010-2011 is to build the first working prototype of the robot moving along ceiling. The first demonstration model will be realized using existing hardware with minimal procurement or building of new one. Study results from two previous semesters are applied as much as possible.

The Fall 2010 will concentrate on review on available hardware, component selection, detailed design (hardware, operations, software, control system) and preparing the infrastructure. During Spring 2011 takes place implementation and demonstration.

Detailed construction and operations of the demonstration model are yet to be defined. Below is described a hypothetical structure and operations that could be a target for the demonstration model

Possible mechanical description: A monorail is mounted on the ceiling, running inside one room or between two or three rooms. There may be a rail switching system or turntable to allow use of several rails and routes. (Some commercial alternatives.) A car runs along the rail with its own traction system. The car carries a laser scanner and a web-camera. In addition, a robotic manipulator will be designed and demonstrated -if not complete functional yet, but at least showing basic construction. (Some ideas for manipulator constrcuction.)

Possible operational description: User wishes for a can of soft-drink. He communicates his wish for the robot -using user interface yet to be defined. The robot plans the route to the target. If it does not know where the can of soft-drink may be found, it asks. Then robot operates rail switches or turntables -if present, and travels close to the location where the can is supposed to be. After reaching the target the robot uses its laser scanner and camera to find objects being present. It detects many objects around and may be able to recognize one of them being the can. Robot then calculates the exact position of the can and is so prepared to grab it and take it to the operator. If the robot is not able to recognize the can, he presents images of available objects to the operator and asks which is the one the user desires to have. In case the manipulator is being installed the robot will grab the can and deliver it to the operator.

A Related project for inspiration:
Acroboter illustrative pictures and movies

Research topics

Needed subsystems to realize the operation described above include at least -but not limited to- the following:

  1. Demonstration environment consisting of 1-3 small rooms and appropriate furniture
  2. Possible automatic doors and hatches needed to allow robot mobility between rooms
  3. Rail system with optional curves, swithes and turntables
  4. Modular rail-mounting system on the ceiling
  5. Car traveling along the rail
  6. Laser and camera systems for object detection
  7. Optional manipulator system (some simple hardware exists)
  8. Power delivery system (batteries, cables, sliding brush)
  9. Communications system for user interface, car, camera, laser, rail switches, sensors, manipulator, etc.
  10. Car localization system (odometry, sensors along rail, vision-based positioning)
  11. Map building algorithm
  12. Control software for car, rail switches, manipulator, doors, laser and camera
  13. User interface incl. commanding and information exchange
  14. Upper level software to coordinate all operations
  15. Safety measures: evaluation of risks, emergency stop, failure detection...
  16. Aesthetic design: covers for rails and car and manipulator

Development of each subsystem needs to start with a clear operations description and requirements definition which shall be evaluated considering the complete system. All subsystems must be made to work together fluently which will require tight co-operation and information exchange between all participants and effective project working and project leading.

Additional activities that can be performed in preparation for next steps

  1. Further detailed evaluation of possible ceilbot operations at home/indoors and related requirements
  2. Market / business opportunity review on ceilbots and related technologies
  3. Evaluation of manipulator requirements and definition of suitable manipulator structure
  4. Design, modeling and demonstration of elephant-trunc -like manipulator
  5. And similar. Propose your own research topic suitable for your own studies:


Students would participate and gain credits from a project work course suitable for their own studies while performing the actual research within Ceilbot project under coordination of Ceilbot project staff. Suitable project work size is 4-6 credits, while also performing individual deeper and larger study for 10 credits or even more can be negotiated. Extension of the work as a Thesis research may be negotiated.

Requirements for class AS-0.3200 'Automaatio- ja systeemitekniikan projektityöt'

Students wishing to gain credits from class AS-0.3200 shall do the following:

  1. Enroll to As-0.3200 via Oodi.
  2. Study the instructions in As-0.3200 Wiki and follow those.
  3. Upload research plan, midterm report and other reports as requested.
  4. Have a presentation on AS-0.3200 final presentation day. Also a demo or video is appreciated, if available.
  5. Upload the final report to As-0.3200 wiki pages in time.
  6. Reporting instructions available in As-0.3200 Wiki
  7. Other reports and presentations, including work plan, according to weekly meetings with Ceilbot project group.
  8. No student numbers in reports since they are placed on Wiki-pages.

Requirements from Ceilbot project group

  1. Participate in kick-off meeting and definition of tasks and goals.
  2. Prepare a workplan to cover each week's activities til delivery of final report.
  3. Participate on project meetings and weekly meetings, present the latest results with a weekly report and short presentation.
  4. Document format for Wiki-pages is Adobe PDF. Additional videos, animations and simulations are welcome.
  5. Document shall include diary of work hours spent, identifying also the task where spent.
  6. No student numbers in documents.
  7. Output from each working group is:
  • Work plan
  • Weekly report + presentation 5-10 min (ppt + pdf)
  • Final report 20-50 pages (pdf)
  • Poster A0, informative, not commercial (pdf) (To be confirmed)
  • Final Presentation in Project course final session. (pdf + ppt)
  • Any hardware, software, simulations or animations to be produced.

Ceilbot project Fall 2010 length is 14 weeks; 6 ECTS stands for approx. 12 hours of weekly work.

Agenda for the Ceilbot kick-off meeting

  1. Define the tasks for the semester and form the working groups to fulfill those. Check what has been described on web-pages.
  2. Check the expected output from the project, as described above.
  3. Agree on study credits to be given. 6 ECTS is assumed preliminarily. Changes in both directions can be negotiated also later during project progress.
  4. Advice the groups to create a workplan for the semester (14 weeks). Goal and main activities for each week shall be identified, including final reporting. The workplans shall be presented, commented and published on the second meeting in pdf+ppt formats.
  5. For the second meeting a state of the art study shall be initiated. Current status shall be presented on the second meeting, but the research may continue later parallel with other activities.
  6. Agree on meeting schedule on weekly basis, at least for the first period; day, time and place.
  7. Remind that students shall not put their student number in documentation, since they will be published on web.
  8. Remind about responsibilities regarding class AS-0.3200 in case students wish to have credits from that class.
  9. Any other issues.

Meeting schedule and progress plan. On Wednesdays at 14:00 in room TUAS 1593, unless otherwise specified.

Date Tasks Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5 Group 6 Group 7
Infrastructure Rail system Trolley Localization Software Design & Safety Manipulator
Preliminary group members and task assignment Ceilbot_groups_2010.docx Matthias, Miguel, Tomi, David Melchior, Tapio, Tomi Tapio, Juhana Riccardo, Juhana Miguel, Klaus To be nominated Matthias
Notes: Make system GIM-compatible. Refer to and Design and build a modular structure for rail-system mounting.
21.9. TUAS1592 Kick-off meeting
28.9. AS-0.3200 Research Plan Presentation (postponed)
29.9. Design Factory Forming of groups, task assignment for group member. Start state-of-the-art study, innovate applications and structural/operational solutions for the robot, definition of architecture.
5.10. AS-0.3200 Research Plan Uploaded in wiki. Ceilbot-rail_system-ProjectPlan.pdf pdf Trolley_group_work_plan.pdf pdf Riccardo_s_Localization_ProjectPlan.pdf pdf Software_Plan_Doc.pdf pdf Software_slides.pdf pdf A10-17_Trunk_projectplan.pdf pdf
6.10. Present work plan and architecture. Start State-of-the art and robot's structural/operational solutions, existing components and designing the structures. Develop functional description, block diagrams and software structure.
13.10. TUAS1594 Schematic presentation of structures, operations and software. Start detailed design of those. Re-create architectural design to present GIMnet architecture. Create components list and budget. Ceilbot_GIMnet_chart.pdf pdf
20.10. Review on progress.
27.10. DF Review on practical progress.
2.11. AS-0.3200 Midterm Review Software_Midterm_Report.pdf pdf Software_Midterm_slides.pdf pdf Trunk_Midterm_Report.pdf pdf Trunk_Midterm_slides.pdf pdf
3.11. Review on construction state.
10.11. Review on construction state.
17.11. Review on construction state.
24.11. Review on construction state. Grid is assembled. Hoisting fixtures are ready. Waits for hoisting components and mounting on ceiling. pdf Proposed track routing. Joints and discs are ready. Shafts between joints being manufactured.
30.11. AS-0.3200 Final Presentations at 2 pm. in AS1
1.12. Review on construction state in DF.
8.12. Final presentations at 2 1593 Raw materials ordered. Rails ordered. Mapping_Final_Report.pdf pdf Mapping_Final_Presentation.pdf pdf Odometry_Final_Report.pdf pdf Odometry_Final_Presentation.pdf pdf Software_Final_Report.pdf pdf Software_Final_Presentation.pdf pdf Manipulator_Final_Report.pdf pdf Manipulator_Final_Presentation.pdf pdf