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Roving Robot to the Rescue

By Northeastern University News

July 7, 2011

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A roving robot that can locate victims of natural disasters via their mobile phones or bombs that are detonated through mobile phones has been developed by students at Northeastern University.

WiLU looks like a Tonka truck and uses an algorithm developed by the student team for their senior capstone project. "You could send this robot into a search and rescue scenario where you don't want humans to go," says team member Ryan Whelan.

A smart antenna mounted atop WiLU measures the signal strength of a mobile phone that is connected to a wireless network. WiLU autonomously determines the location of the object by adaptively forming beams to pinpoint the direction and location of the wireless signal source. Humans also have the option of controlling WiLU remotely.

"It's a great example of an effective research platform that integrates multidisciplinary expertise spanning mechanical engineering, [radio-frequency] communications, embedded software development, and algorithms designs," says Northeastern professor Guevara Noubir.

From Northeastern University News
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