The LOLA project is aimed at the integration of visual object recognition, orientation and retrieval components needed for achieving a degree of autonomy in mobile systems. The objective of the project is to provide a highly flexible hardware platform for the realization of this integration in an efficient and robust manner. The research activity includes issues in multivisual integration and fusion, navigation, and real-time computer architectures. The project activities consist of two parts: experimenta l verification of theoretical research issues and hardware platform development.

Sensory Processing

Artificial vision is the basis of many sensory processing techniques. In this project, a color and shape based object detection and recognition technique was developed for indoor color/shape recognition using images generated with a camera. This technique allows for objects of a desired color to be detected using the main visual camera. Once the the color is detected and the robot moves to its location, a second camera is used to determine the shape of the object by analyzing the distortion of a projected grid emmitted by an infrared laser.


Once the computer has determined if the color and shape of the object in question matches required parameters, the robot is equiped with a four degree of freedom arm and gripper combination that enables the robot to pick up the object and deliver it to a predetermined location.


LOLA is equiped with sonar sensors and a tactile bumper system for navigation. The sonars determine the range of objects in every direction. Three of the sonars are mounted at mid-frame on the front of the robot for better obstacle detection in the main d irection of travel. Contact on the bumper rails stops the robot to prevent any damage to objects that are missed by the sonars.

Hardware Platform

The hardware platform consists of a Nomad 200 robot base and turret from Nomadic Inc., an Intel 80486 processor, image frame grabber with a color camera, and a laser grid emitter and polarized camera. A four degree of freedom gripper is used for object re trieval. Sixteen permanent sonar sensors are used for distance measurements.

Last modified on Apr 24, 1998, by Russell Hunt