Autonomous Robotics Lab
Our lab has a fleet of heterogeneous drones with various capabilities. They are equipped with visual and thermographic cameras. In order to perform surveillance or monitoring tasks, we developed several centralized route planning algorithms. We are also working on the sensing aspect of drones. We try to achieve better positioning accuracy and thus better navigation of the drones. It can be achieved by using multiple sensors that are placed on board of a drone. Currently we focus on information fusion from the following sensors: the inertial measurement unit (IMU), GPS, and visual camera. We also investigate different network aspects and we are also exploring the network establishment, where all the nodes can communicate with each other.
Our flying robots lab is equipped with fleet of small-scale unmanned aerial vehicles:
- microdrone MD4-200 is a closed platform with payload of 200 g. The flight time is up to 35 minutes (without additional payload).
- microdrone MD4-1000 is a platform larger than MD-200 with payload of 1 kg. The flight time is increased to 88 minutes at most.
- Asctec Pelican (indoor and outdoor versions) is a good research platform, since it has a processing power on board. Its maximum payload is 650 g. With full payload it can fly up to 15 minutes.
- Asctec Falcon is a drone capable of flying in difficult weather conditions like strong wind. Since it was originally developed for aerial photography, it is not equipped with a processing unit.
- Asctec Hummingbird is a low-cost UAV for the indoor flights.
- Parrot AR.Drone is an indoor UAV that can be controlled with a phone or an iPad.
We investigate the coordination of heterogeneous multi-robot systems for autonomous exploration of unknown indoor environments. All robots are equipped with laser range scanners or Microsoft Kinect for simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). The goal of this work is to have a multi-robot system autonomously explore an indoor environment with self-organizing organization.
We use the following robots:
- Pioneer 3 DX robot
- Pioneer 3-DX with PTZ camera and 2-DOF gripper 
- Turtlebot Microsoft Kinect
Communications and Signal Processing Lab
The test and measurement laboratory of Lakeside Labs GmbH at the Lakeside Science & Technology Park in Klagenfurt is open for different measurement and testing services available. This laboratory enables, for example, encoding, decoding and analyzing of GSM and UMTS signals. Simulations of various digital circuits can be generated in various test scenarios.
The laboratory is equipped with these devices:
- Oscilloscope DSO91204A
This oscilloscope works with signals up to 12GHz. Furthermore, the device offers the possibility to analyze key characteristics of wireless signals.
- Signal analysis / generation 16822A
This device offers the possibility to analyze up to 68 digital signals simultaneously. Also 48 parallel digital signals can be generated.
- Vector signal analyzer N9020A MXA
The device is used to represent signals in the frequency domain. This can for example check whether a cell phone transmits at the correct frequency.
- Signal generation N5106A PXB
Here you can generate digital baseband signals by different cellular standards. Further, these signals can be superimposed arbitrarily, for example, to adjust the mutual influence of mobile base stations.
- Signal generation 5182A MXG RF
These devices are used for the data signals in a specific frequency band (e.g. 900MHz for GSM) to move so that they can be radiated from an antenna. The lab has 2 RF vector signal generators to the MIMO-signals that can be created with the N5106A to be able to radiate from 2 antennas.
Smart Microgrid Lab
The smart microgrid lab provides the tools for hands-on experience and research on smart microgrids. The laboratory is a smart microgrid on its own containing a renewable energy source, energy storage, and several reference loads. Energy is provided by a photovoltaic system at the rooftop. A data acquisition system provides data about the output power of the photovoltaic system in real time. The lab’s battery system is capable of storing up to 10 kWh of electrical energy. The lab can operate in grid mode or island mode, thus simulate a typical smart home as well as a fully autonomous system. Research experiments in the lab include smart metering, self-organizing smart appliances supporting demand response and load scheduling approaches.
Programmable Radio Lab
In the “Programmable Radio Lab” we implement and evaluate new protocols for (wireless) communications. For this we have several programmable radio platforms among which is the so called WARP-platform (see http://warp.rice.edu/ for further information). The implementation of this platform is fully customizable such that new protocol ideas can be implemented and tested in real-world environments. Measurement results are used to gain new insights to improve the performance of protocols.
Sensor Networks Lab
The lab consists of 100 low power wireless modules called Zolertia (Z1). Z1 follows the legacy design of Telosb nodes, equipped with a packet based, 2.4 GHz, low power CC2420 radio chip and a 16-bit ucontroller of TI MSP430 series. Z1 is a low cost, commercially available, off-the shelf wireless module for wireless sensor Testbeds with its small size to help in rapid buildup of an online network in indoor environments. The support for legacy OS i.e. TinyOS, is freely available and the advantage of using the same hardware as that of TelosB makes them easier to begin with.
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