Robot and Method for Localizing a Robot

Abstract/Technology Overview

This SG Mark miniature spherical robot is designed for multi-agent intelligent surveillance and reconnaissance in an urban environment with the purpose of seeking advancement in miniaturization of robotic technologies to support locomotion, sensing and adaptive autonomy. This technology is achieved through novel mechatronic design that allows for seamless integration of modules in a complex multi-modal structural and functional system together with sensor fusion approaches. It employs efficient rolling locomotion and is equipped with an outer spherical shell that protects the device from harsh environments. It has autonomy capability such as waypoint navigation in a GPS denied environment and fits in the palm of your hand. It can be tailored to form a sensor network of IoT kinetic devices to performs vision, inertial, odometry and magnetic sensing.

Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

A position determination or localization method for moving spherical shell based on Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and wheel encoders measurement. These sensors are mounted on an independent differential drive cart that moves within the spherical shell. The wheel encoder measures the relative displacement between the wheel and the shell.  Hence, when use in conjunction with the IMU as a global reference, the heading and displacement of the spherical shell can be identified, thus localizing its position in space.

Ability to state location of an outer moving spherical shell without external sensors on the sphere, nor sensors embedded within the shell.  Rather, the sphere location is determined through more easily mounted sensors on an independent cart that drives within the sphere. The technology seeks to solve the autonomy of spherical rolling systems by providing a method to localize its motion in space. There is an existing gap in the robot localization of miniature spherical rolling systems

Potential Applications

  • Acitve and throwable ground sensors for military and security robotic applications such as intelligent surveillance and reconnaissance, search and rescue, emergency and disaster response applications.
  • Smart toys for children and education such as app controlled entertainment devices, child companion, teleoperated devices and programmable plaform for actively learning STEM related principles. 

Customer Benefit

  • Unlike the hardware of existing sensor network system, which is passive, this technology have the advantage of being able to perform adaptive hardware reconfiguration based on needs.
  • Fast deployment
  • Expandable

Technology Owner

Kok Yong Tan


Singapore University of Technology and Design

Technology Category
  • Sensors & Instrumentation
  • Robotics & Automation
Technology Status
  • Available for Licensing
Technology Readiness Level
  • TRL 4

spherical robot, active sensors, unmanned