Underwater SLAM Test Rig

In support of underwater robotics research at the Field Robotics Center, I’m currently developing a test rig for evaluating a stereo-inertial sensor pod planning to be used for SLAM. The system will be deployed on a robot to inspect and evaluate structural integrity of concrete retaining walls that makeup spent nuclear fuel storage basins. This in cooperation with General Electric, the University of Michigan, and the Department of Energy Savannah River National Laboratory.

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The test rig is built around a large steel container and I designed and built a XY stage that is used to actuate the sensor pod with high fidelity as to serve as ground truth estimates of the sensor pod’s trajectory. The system is currently undergoing dry testing, with wet testing commencing in the new year. I machined, assembled, wired, and programmed all components and aspects of the test setup. It is controlled via a Teensy 3.5 that communicates to ROS, which controls the stereo-inertial sensor pod. This integration allows for automation of testing and integration of results with ground truth measurements.

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