FOXIRIS getting ready for the Second ARGOS Challenge Competition
During last months, the FOXIRIS team, led by GMV together with IDMind, Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) and University of Malaga (UMA) has intensively worked to enhance the FOXIRIS robotics solution presented last month of June 2015 in the First ARGOS Challenge Competition.
From the mechanics to the navigation, localization and scientific subsystems all elements have been revisited and reworked extending its capabilities and performances. Major efforts have been directed to the placement of a robotic arm instead of the original telescopic mast and to the upgrade of the traction system; other elements have been already improved anticipating the stringent environments regulations of the Third and last ARGOS Challenge Competition.
Some of the new added capabilities are related to obstacle dimensions analysis, gas leak detection using ultrasonic microphones, pumps fault detection via noise checking, checkpoints pose estimation, new autonomous reactions, improved situational awareness, etc.; all these features have been carefully analyzed and investigated to prepare a full autonomous and easy tele-operable robot for the foreseen inspection and monitoring operations.
One of the most interesting new abilities is the climbing stairs skills: Foxiris can climb different types of stairs, with different inclinations and steps types, to inspect different floors, both in autonomous and teleoperation modes, being a versatile multi-floor robotic solution ready to work in diverse environments. This new ability also allows to overcome obstacles, even without touching them (crucial in the case of typical methane pipes encountered over the floor of oil and gas plants).
During February and March Foxiris is performing a detailed test campaign simulating different types of missions and conditions to prepare the robot for the incoming second ARGOS Challenge competition which it will take place in April.