Hardware >> The arena

The arena

The arena was built in such a way as to reflect the scenario and to make it possible to run the forecast experiments. Two arenas were built; one in Lausanne and one in Brussels. The two arenas are very similar (see figure 1), the main difference being the global dimension: the arena at EPFL in Lausanne measures 5x3 meters while the one at IRIDIA in Brussels measures 4.80x2.40 meters.

Figure 1: Left: Arena of Lausanne Right: Arena of Brussels

For the different needs of experimentation, the arena is modular. The center zone can be changed in different ways. The basement of the arena is made by gas concrete bricks (Ytong). This allows to make holes, slopes, titled plans and different obstacles in a simple way. The bricks are covered by a synthetic carpet, to reduce friction. Two other different types of surfaces are also available and can be added on the top of the synthetic carpet to test more rugged terrain conditions:
  • Brown plastic isolation foils (see figure 2 left) help making a very regular rough terrain that remains mostly flat, but impossible to access for most standard wheeled robots. Only robots with tracks like the s-bot can move on it. The plastic is composed of a grid of cones, spaced 2.1 cm apart. The cones are 1.2 cm large and 0.7 cm high.
  • White plaster bricks that look like stones (see figure 2 right) can also be used to cover the ground and generate more random rough terrain conditions. The bricks measure 13x28 cm, their height measures up to 0.9 cm and 2.1 cm.

Figure 2: Left: Rough brown surface Right: Rough white surface

The light conditions in the environment have been carefully designed as a help to get better sensor readings. The ambient light is made of ten 20W halogen lamps, powered by an external regulated 12V DC power supply (computer power supply). The DC supply has been implemented to reduce the noise produced by the 50Hz frequency of AC network power (see figure 3).

Figure 3: Arena of Lausanne with controlled ambient lights

Hardware >> The arena

Swarm-bots project started
on October 1,2001
The project terminated
on March 31, 2005.
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Sat, 21 Aug 2010 19:46:15 +0200
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