Virginia Cooperative Autonomous Robots (Team Victor)


How INDIE Helps

INDIE has sponsored The Team Victor student robotics teams in two international competitions.

Team VICTOR is named after Virginia Cooperative Autonomous Robots. The team started at Virginia Tech (VT) and has invited the University of Virginia (UVA) as the leading university, following Prof. Furukawa’s move from VT to UVA in 2019. Prof. Furukawa has led his team to DARPA’s Robotics Challenge, the preceding MBZIRC 2017 challenge, and other renowned international competitions where his expertise in robotic autonomy was of great influence. Prof. Furukawa has developed a generalized framework of Bayesian search and tracking, which uses non-Gaussian estimation to enable autonomy in unstructured environments. Having the team primarily nested in the mechanical engineering department, the team’s strength has been lying in their ability to develop fully customized robot hardware in addition to their knowledge and experience in robotic autonomy. The team, consisting of faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students, is challenging in MBZIRC 2020 by bringing fully customized solutions and systems.

The Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) developed for MBZIRC 2020, named DINGO, is a differential steering vehicle with two driving wheels. Motors and wheels are chosen such that the UGV can be navigated with high mobility and precision on asphalt ground. Universal Robots UR-10 has been mounted as a manipulator on the UGV due to its wide workspace and other features. Quad-rotor UAVs used in the competition have been developed in collaboration with THK Co., Ltd., one of the sponsors of the team. The UAVs have are up-to-date and upgraded so that they can be flown autonomously with state-of-the-art components. The software has been developed to enable all manual, teleoperation, and autonomous control.