System of launchable mesoscale robots for distributed sensing

Kemal B. Yesin, Bradley J. Nelson, Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos, Richard M. Voyles, Donald Krantz

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A system of launchable miniature mobile robots with various sensors as payload is used for distributed sensing. The robots are projected to areas of interest either by a robot launcher or by a human operator using standard equipment. A wireless communication network is used to exchange information with the robots. Payloads such as a MEMS sensor for vibration detection, a microphone and an active video module are used mainly to detect humans. The video camera provides live images through a wireless video transmitter and a pan-tilt mechanism expands the effective field of view. There are strict restrictions on total volume and power consumption of the payloads due to the small size of the robot. Emerging technologies are used to address these restrictions. In this paper, we describe the use of microrobotic technologies to develop active vision modules for the mesoscale robot. A single chip CMOS video sensor is used along with a miniature lens that is approximately the size of a sugar cube. The device consumes 100 mW; about 5 times less than the power consumption of a comparable CCD camera. Miniature gearmotors 3 mm in diameter are used to drive the pan-tilt mechanism. A miniature video transmitter is used to transmit analog video signals from the camera.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 Microbotics and Microassembly - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: Sep 21 1999Sep 22 1999


Dive into the research topics of 'System of launchable mesoscale robots for distributed sensing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this