The new research and test laboratory called the Cyber Zoo opened on March 5 on the TU Delft campus.
“It started when we wanted to buy a motion capture system for our Zebro robot. It turned out that our aerospace colleagues wanted the same. So we partnered and more people got involved,” explains Dr. Gabriel Lopes of Delft Centre for Systems and Control (DCSC). It all falls under the initiative of the TU Delft Robotics Institute that unites and connects all the research in the field of robotics of the university.
The zoo is a ten by ten meter space in the aircraft hanger at the faculty of Aerospace Engineering. There's a seven meter high net in place to prevent flying robots from escaping and the floor is set up with obstacles, all monitored by twelve motion capturing cameras.
The robots navigating the space include: DelFly, a Micro Air Vehicle reminiscent of a dragonfly, Zebro is a six-legged search and rescue robot that can navigate treacherous terrain, and other quadcopters.
There is a wide range of experiments and ideas for the new space. “Our vision is to create a heterogeneous ecosystem of autonomous ground and flying robots that can live for a long time without human intervention,” says Dr. Lopes.