Robotics facilities (STAR lab)

Take a look at our robotics facilities.

Surface robotics testbed

  • Surrey autonoMous software And Rover hardware Testbed (SMART) - reconfigurable and customisable in terms of the rover chassis options including Mecanum wheels, normal wheels, tracks and the payload options including mono, stereo or panoramic cameras, 2D or 3D LIDAR. The testbed operates on standardised mid-ware ROS for testing of modular autonomy functions and applications, and employs a full range of control, data acquisition and analysis, and adjustable gravity effect.
  • Commercial robotic platforms for algorithmic validation and software testing, including Pioneer 3AT, Seekur Jr, Pepper and MIRO.
  • ESA PANGU Simulator of planetary surface topology, appearance and texture and potential environmental parameters (e.g. lighting, dusts) affecting visual sensing, perception and navigation performance of the rovers.
  • ESA APCI Framework for testing autonomy algorithms or decision-making software.
  • High performance computing servers/clouds supporting system verification and validation against ground truth and benchmarks.
Surface robots in various locations

Subsurface robotics testbed

  • Soil characterisation and preparation to simulate Martian and lunar (icy and non-icy) regolith for lab-based testing and experiments.
  • Subsurface drilling and sampling test rigs with force control, data acquisition and analysis, and adjustable gravity effect.
  • Motion capture system with infrared motion cameras and 3D motion tracking (sub-mm accuracy).
  • Numerical modelling capability based on DEM and FEM for design simulation and analysis of drills and samplers.
Subsurface robots in various locations

Orbital robotics testbed

  • Physical simulation testbed of 6DoF orbital dynamics and motion of cooperative or non-cooperative target objects in free space, provided by air bearing table and multiple robotic arms.
  • Physical simulation testbed of 6DoF manipulation and > 6DOF grasping mechanisms in a complete range of control modes from tele-operation to full autonomy, under disturbances and uncertainties caused by orbital dynamics, occlusion and sensor noise affecting precision and accuracy of the manipulation and capturing systems.
  • In-house developed Unreal Rendered Spacecraft On-orbit (URSO) photorealistic simulator of environmental parameters (such as lighting, occlusion and sensor noise) affecting sensing and perception in orbit.
  • System V&V against ground truth and benchmarks for proximity guidance, navigation, control and autonomy.
Orbital robots in various locations