Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The work beyond

New challenges? New trials?

Even tough no news have been published the Lunatic's Team is quite active.

We are working to acquire data for a paper, we are preparing a new travel for David (Shunk - Expert Days)... the work on David never stop. 

On few days news and comments on new trials.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We came in second!

ESA officialized the second position of the Team of the University of Pisa!

Our robot and the robot of Bremen were the only vehicles to find the sample inside the crater.
Except for two teams, all the others could descend the crater, but wihtout finding the sample.Thus, we are really happy for the result fo the competion, even if did not win.

We would like to thank all the people who supported us, and who worked with us so hard, and a special thanks to our partner SCHUNK S.r.l., that provided DC motors for our vehicle, thus allowing us to gain this excellent result!

DAVID ready to run!

DAVID inside the crater during the Challenge

Our Team after the competition!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Good result for The Lunatics Team!

The competition is over, and the result is very good for us!

Not all the teams descended into the crater,
and only two (Bremen and us) could find the sample.
Finally, only Bremen came out of the crater with the sample and therefore won.
Among the remaining five teams, some weren't able to make the descent
and others couldn't find the sample.
Even if there as of now there is no official ranking, we think that Jacobs
and University of Pisa are tied for second.

We were a little unlucky: due to some problems to
the motor of the Casting Manipulator, we had to
reconfigure the vehicle to go down
the crater without the Casting.
SCHUNK employee brought overnight personally an optimized
drive unit from Germany to Teneriffe.
But due to surrounding conditionsand time schedule it was not possible
integrate it completely the way we planned it.

At any rate found the crater, descended, and found the sample to collect.
The original mecchanism designed for collecting the sample
(a drill designed to collect samples at various depths) was not
adapted to the way ESA had set up the sample (on the crater surface).
We on-the-fly modified the gripper in the days right before the competition
and were able to collect the sample.
Unfortunately, while ascending the crater to return to the base,
one wheel blocked against a rock, and thus the motor near the wheel
stopped. At the same time, the other wheels got caught up in anylon sheet that
ESA had put under the sample material to keep it from polluting the environment

...and so we stopped :-(

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Lunatics Team in streaming from Tenerife!

You can follow the competition of the Lunatics Team at the addresses:



to watch the video open QickTime Player, select "open url" and digit one of the two addresses above.

[Free Download QuickTime Player: http://www.apple.com/it/quicktime/download/]

Our team will run Saturday, October 25th. the competition will start at 9 p.m. and the Lunatics are the fourth team scheduled (around 2.30 a.m.)

Now the Team is running the last tests on the vehicle.
In the picture: Riccardo, Giorgio and Manuel working on the vehicle in Tenerife.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

DAVID leaves for Tenerife

DAVID, the lunar vehicle realized by the Team of the University of Pisa, is ready to run for the moon!

Last saturday the Lunactics Team left for Tenerife, where the final of the ESA Lunar Robotics Challenge will take place.
Before leaving, DAVID has made his official debut in front of the Faculty of Engineering of the University.

In the picture, DAVID and the Lunatics, professor Antonio Bicchi, coordinator of the project, and professor Emilio Vitale, Academic Dean of Enginering.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Visit of our Japanese collaborator

Dr. Hitoshi Arisumi, the inventor of casting manipulation, has visited our lab to see the new casting manipulator.

(from left to right) Luca Greco, Riccardo, Hitoshi, and Adriano

Hitoshi, Michael, Federico, Gaetano, Manolo, Fabio, and Adriano

Hitoshi, Soumen (the Indian member of our team), and Adriano.

Now our team looks so international!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Night Tests & Sample

Last Night we performed some "night tests" to verify the efficiency of the vision subsystem, the remote interface and the sample retrieval subsystem.

Look at the video for David maneuvers and the sample retrieval backup subsystem in action.

In the video the box for collecting the material is missing... next video will involve the main retrieval subsystem and the full operational backup one!!!


The vehicle

Retrieval subsystem

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tests inside the Regional Park of San Rossore

Different profiles of wheels have been tested in San Rossore. Our rover has been able to climb over a 35 degree incline.

We would like to thank Ente Parco of San Rossore for allowing us to run the tests inside the park.

Test in San Rossore

In-lab tests on very fine sand

Wheels capacity to climb over a sandy incline has been preliminary tested in our laboratory. Very fine sand that is able to remain at almost 40 degrees of slope was used. Obtained results are encouraging!!

Sand inside the College of Engineering!

Manolo and Fabio working on the rover chassis.

Federico trying to find out new solutions...

The Lunatics Team in the Lab

Friday, September 19, 2008

First Test on the Lunar Vehicle

The Lunatics Team of the University of Pisa has run the first tests on the Lunar Vehicle, in order to determine the mobility performance of the prototype vehicle operating in sand.
The test has been held on the beach of Tirrenia (Pisa).
All the components of the vehicle are well functioning, albeit the weels and the wifi connectivity need to be improved.