Vision Robotics Corporation (VRC)

Operational Concept

Autonomy requires robots to understand their environment. Once the robot has an accurate map, it is straightforward for it to move precisely, quickly and confidently through the environment. When the robot precisely knows its location, creating an accurate map is simple. The difficulty occurs when the robot neither has an accurate map nor precisely knows its location. The process where the robot moves through an unknown area while creating the map is known as Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM).

VRC has developed stereo vision-based 3D SLAM algorithms enabling robots to autonomously create three dimensional maps of unknown areas, which can be used for a variety of purposes including navigation, finding specific items and interacting with the world. Our current system uses low cost off-the-shelf image sensors and processors. In general, robot speed is based on processing power. VRC has developed mapping, navigation, and localization technology enabling excellent performance with today’s electronics. Using a more powerful computer system lets the robot operate faster.

VRC has several key innovations that enable its robots to perform at significantly greater speeds than other similar systems. However, we are already preparing for the time when Moore’s law makes it practicable to utilize significantly higher performance processors for inexpensive robots.

Optimizing the existing SLAM algorithms for the next generation of processors will enable dramatic increases in speed, up to 20 miles per hour. These processors do exist today and may be used in appropriate applications.

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