Lund University Cognitive Science Orienting Robot (LUCSOR) was developed by Christian Balkenius and Lars Kopp during summer 1994. It is the main experiment system in the project A Robot with Autonomous Spatial Learning.

The robot wis equipped with eight ultrasonic sensors and a number of tactile sensors. For vision, it uses one video camera in the front directed toward the ground and one movable camera on the top of the robot in a head with two degrees of freedom. The whole system is controlled by two computers and a microcontroller.

What Can It Do?

The following behaviors have been implemented in the robot:

  • Visual Orientation The robot orients the movable camera to visually detected motion. This behavior plays the role of a simple attentional system.
  • Visual Motion Tracking The movable head can track a (slowly) moving target. The algorithm used is able to separate object motion from self motion fairly well despite being very simple.
  • Ultrasonic and Tactile Obstacle Avoidance The ultrasonic system is used to build a two-dimensional map of obstacles around the robot. This map is used to guide the reactive avoidance behavior of the robot. If the tactile sensors are in contact with an obstacle, a close range avoidance behavior is activated.
  • Visual Follow Behavior When the vision system has found a moving target, the robot’s body tries to follow the direction of the camera. As a result, the robot will move toward the target. In the current implementation, the camera and the body are controlled almost entierly independently. The follow behavior requires only one byte of information transfer between the two control systems.
  • Complex Emergent Behavior (!) The four behaviors above interact to let the robot find, track and follow a moving object while avoiding obstacles. When the body avoids an obstacle, the camera continues to track the target until the obstacle is negotiated. The follow behavior continues again when then path is free.

Technical Specification

  • 1 PC 386/25 MHz with custom cards designed by Lars Kopp:
    • 1 Ultrasonic
    • 1 Motor Controller
  • 1 PC 486/80 MHz with Matrox videocard
  • 2 Geared Motors
  • 1 Pulnix 526 CCD Camera with wide angle lens (110×110) on a movable head controlled by a HC11 microcontroller (a miniboard).
  • 1 Video Camera MTV-231CM(CCIR) (65×88) directed toward the ground.
  • 8 Ultrasonic Sensors (Separate Transmitters and Receivers)
  • 8 Tactile Sensors (Bumpers and Whiskers)
  • Power System: 2x12V Accumulators, 2h 140 W.