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Warwick Mobile Robots 'rescue' Ortis on the Gadget Show

Pinky the robot in action
Pinky the robot in action

Pinky and Brains with a friend at the Gadget Show Live
Pinky and Brains with a friend at the Gadget Show Live

Two of the robots developed by Warwick Mobile Robotics have been featured on Channel 5's Gadget Show (9th May 2011).

Pinky and Brains the robots with Matthew Dodds and Ortis from the Gadget Show
Pinky and Brains the robots with Matthew Dodds and Ortis from the Gadget Show

The robots, built by Warwick students to compete in RoboCup Rescue competitions, are designed to search for survivors in collapsed buildings where it would be too dangerous to send human rescuers.

“Pinky” the larger robot is remotely controlled by a human operator and has two pairs of flippers enabling it to climb over stairs, ramps and uneven terrain. Equipped with a gripper and a “head” on a robotic arm, Pinky has a multitude of sensors for search and navigation. Last year Pinky won ‘Best-In-Class’ at the RoboCup Rescue German Open.

The second smaller robot, nicknamed “Brains” by Ortis, is autonomous so it does not need a human to tell it where to go; it can find its own way! It uses Microsoft’s X-box Kinect to help it “see” its surroundings, navigate and look for survivors. Brains has recently won ‘Best-In-Class Mobility’ at the 2011 RoboCup Rescue German Open.

Pinky and Brains were designed, built and programmed by undergraduate students from the University of Warwick. These two robots were at Gadget Show Live at the NEC in April in the Future Tech zone.

Currently the students are seeking sponsorship to get them to the RoboCup World Championships.

Brains the robot using Microsoft's Kinect to navigate its surroundings

For more information on Warwick Mobile Robotics and other projects which they are developing, please see the WMR website, or contact Dr Emma Rushforth.

"Recent disasters around the world have highlighted the importance of this work and the potential impact it may have in the future. Our students have shown great resourcefulness in designing these robots and have had a great learning experience competing so successfully in the RoboCup Rescue competition."

Dr Emma Rushforth
Project Director