The objective of the subject is to transmit to the students knowledge about field robots. Contrary to industrial robots, which work in closed spaces and structured environments, field robots operate in open and normally unstructured environments. This fact leads to rethink, among others, the issues of locomotion, control, sensors and decision making. Many of the techniques used in classical robotics do not work in these environments where uncertainty is very high.
The types of autonomous robots that will be studied in this course are divided into four groups: 1) ground robots that include, among others, quadruped robots of the Spot © type from Boston Dynamics or ANYmal © from Anybotics; its sensors, learning and control structures will be presented, as well as its main applications; 2) civil infrastructure inspection and maintenance robots (roads, bridges, tunnels) that allow complex tasks in large outdoor environments (RoboSpect and TunConstruct robots) and underground robots (Badger robot) where the environment supports the robot and they are needed GPR-type sensory systems; 3) agriculture and agrifood robots for tasks, on one hand, planting, pest control and harvesting (Sweeper robots) for precision agriculture, and, on the other hand, milking and cattle care (Astronaut © robots by Lely), and 4) marine and underwater robots with special attention to the marine environment where communications must be with USBL-type acoustic sensors (Giron500 robot © from IQUA Robotics) in autonomous guidance applications for exploration of the seabed, inspection of marine cables and pipes, and ecological control of marine fauna.