reBuilding EL-E (twice)
EL-E was the Healthcare Robotics Lab's first mobile manipulator. Since entering the lab I've been involved in two of the revisions as we changed code and hardware infrastructure, essentially rebuilding her from the ground up. I was responsible for hardware during the project and ended up redesigning the entire mobile base and mounting mechanism for the motors. I also afterwards cleaned up the Katana robot arm code to allow for updating joint trajectories on the fly which was previously impossible. Finally, I implemented a simple keyboard interface to show proof of concept teleoperation for an assistive robot in a home environment. See the image gallery and videos below.
We eventually took EL-E to a real apartment to test some of our algorithms. A lot of the clutter and natural arrangement of the rooms made it difficult for the robot to function or for the algorithms to be successful. I learned a lot from this experience about the importance of testing in realistic scenarios. See still shots below of some video we took while testing.