Being able to move autonomously in an unknown cramped environment and create its detailed map. This is the role of a six-legged walking robot whose “brain” was programmed by our researcher and PhD student Jan Bayer. For his precisely elaborated diploma project "Autonomous Exploration of Unknown Rough Terrain with Hexapod Walking Robot" with great societal potential, he won the first place in the international IT SPY competition, which annually announces the best IT diploma theses.
The winning project was chosen unanimously by an expert jury. The diploma thesis, which was supervised by Jan Faigl at our department, solves the fundamental problem of exploration of the unknown environment as part of rescue missions during natural disasters, industrial disasters, mine collapse or search for people in cave systems. The program designed by Bayer that manages the robot can propose a way to map the area as best as possible and determine the terrain throughput. This can help rescuers decide if the area is safe for entry.
The system was developed for a six-legged walking robot that was deployed in various scenarios both indoors and outdoors. At the same time, the proposed solution was deployed in the American elite competition DARPA Subterranean Challenge on a wheeled and crawler robot with various sensory equipment, which is used to test the solutions of NASA GPL, MIT or CMU laboratories. The solution will now be deployed, for example, in an urban underground exploration scenario under a simulated rescue mission.
Jan Bayer wrote and successfully defended his diploma thesis as part of his master's program Cybernetics and Robotics at FEE CTU in Prague. However, his research work is definitely not over. He continues in the field of robotics as a doctoral student at our Department of Computer Science, where he works in the Computational Robotics Laboratory of the Artificial Intelligence Center alongside his supervisor Jan Faigl.
The IT SPY competition was held for the tenth time this year. It was attended by 1579 graduates from the academic year 2018/19 from 17 IT faculties in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In addition to academic recognition, the winner also received 1 000 EUR for further development of the project.