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AIC Seminar Series

Webots: fast prototyping and simulation of mobile robots

Dr. Olivier MichelCyberbotics Ltd

Date:  Wednesday, October 20th 2004 at 4:00pm

Location:  EJ228  (Directions)


Fast prototyping and simulation has become increasingly important stage in the development of mobile robotics applications. It allows the researchers to explore a large number of design options without having to deal with mechanics and electronics continuously. Webots is a software package specialized at such prototyping and simulation tasks for mobile robotics. It covers several development stages. The first step is the modelling: it includes defining a complete mobile robotics setup, with possibly several different robots situated in a customized environment. For each object in the environment, properties such as shape, color, texture, mass distribution, friction, etc. have to be defined. The robots have to be equipped with sensors and actuators which needs to be configured and calibrated to match the real devices they are supposed to simulate. The second step is the programming of these robots, running the simulation and optionally transfering the resulting programs onto real robots. This prototyping and simulation process allows researchers to focus on the most interesting parts of the project: robot design and AI. This saves months in the development of real mobile robotics applications.

   Bio for Dr. Olivier Michel

Dr. Olivier Michel is the founder and CEO of Cyberbotics Ltd. He received a PhD from Nice University, France in 1996 and worked as a postdoc researcher in LAMI at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switterland from which he created Cyberbotics in 1998. Cyberbotics developed the Aibo robot simulator for Sony Corp. and is now developing Webots which has become a reference software in mobile robot prototyping and simulation. Webots currently has over 200 universities and research centers worldwide as paying customers.

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