Lilly interviews Chris Lee, a graduate student at Oregon State University. Lee explains his research on marsupial robots, or carrier-passenger pairs of heterogeneous robot systems.
A phrase coined in the late 1990s, “marsupial robots” are pairs of robots where a larger robot carries a smaller passenger robot.
The term ‘marsupial’ actually has its origins in biology, where it is used to describe animal species that carry around their young in a pouch, such as kangaroos.
The idea behind marsupial robots is that each of the two parts complements the other. The passenger robot, for instance, a UAV, might be better suited for sensing and exploration, while the carrier robot might have a much longer battery life.
They discuss the possible applications of marsupial robots including the DARPA Subterranean Competition, and some of the technical challenges including optimal deployment formulated as a stochastic assignment problem.
Chris Lee is pursuing a Master of Science in Robotics at Oregon State University, having received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Buffalo. His research is in robotic exploration, frontier extraction, and stochastic assignment.
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