Robotics

SRI is delivering the promise of state-of-the-art robotics to government and commercial markets. Our robotics teams invent, apply, and commercialize components, software, and systems that are spearheading the robot revolution. Examples of our innovations include:

SRI researchers have a long, rich tradition of pushing the boundaries of robotics. Our heritage includes the foundational intellectual property (IP) used in Shakey the Robot, Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci surgical system, and the enabling patents for electroactive polymer artificial muscle. Our pioneering developments in robotics have evolved into a solid, comprehensive program that spans multiple disciplines and features expertise in artificial intelligence, algorithm development, sensors research, and product development.

Projects

the ARM-H robotic hand

SRI and partners are developing highly dexterous low-cost robotic hands for military applications and other real-world uses.

ground vehicle with complex mapping sensor system

SRI is developing technology that will enable warfighters to easily maneuver a robot, precisely map an environment, and have 3D situational awareness.

illustration of a security camera with watching eyes

SRI’s visual intelligence system could enable a new era in unmanned robotic surveillance.

green boxes highlighting people walking on street

SRI’s vision-based systems enable safe operations of moving unmanned ground vehicles around stationary and moving people in urban or cluttered environments.

SRI's micro robots arrayed on a surface

SRI is developing new technology to reliably control thousands of micro-robots for smart manufacturing of macro-scale products in compact, integrated systems.

Products + Solutions

electroadhesive surface-climbing robot

SRI offers licenseable surface- and wall-climbing robot prototypes for surveillance, inspection, and sensor placement applications.

electroadhesion demonstrated with a wall-climbing robot

SRI’s breakthrough electroadhesion technology, available for license, allows electrically controlled reversible adhesion
 to most surfaces.

demonstration of artificial muscle

SRI has patented a thin, flexible, smart material dubbed “artificial muscle” because it behaves much like a human muscle. Artificial muscle, available for license from SRI for a variety of application areas, uses a breakthrough technology called electroactive polymers.

man remotely guiding a surgical robot

SRI’s telerobotic surgical system, M7, expands the reach of surgical intervention by enhancing the precision of minimally invasive procedures and enabling surgeons to operate from afar.

Karto software

Decades of leading-edge SRI robotics and artificial intelligence research has produced Karto™—robust software for use in robotic navigation, mapping, and exploration.

Taurus Dexterous Robot held by a researcher

SRI is developing Taurus, a potentially life-saving telemanipulation tool for military and domestic bomb squads to defuse vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs). Following field trials, Taurus enters commercial markets in 2012.

magnetic encoding equipment

Until recently, there has not been a reliable, accurate, and inexpensive means to sense the motion and location of machine components such as hydraulic cylinders.

Press Releases

event logo

Taking place during National Robotics Week, the event brings together some of the industry’s foremost thought leaders to discuss current trends in robotics while exploring the business, social and innovation implications for the coming years.

recovery of Bluefin-12 S from A-frame

Advanced hydrocarbon survey capabilities of the integrated system are ideally suited for oil and gas data collection requirements.

Grabit logo

Grabit, an SRI spin-off company, is commercializing cutting-edge electroadhesion technology for manufacturing and logistics.

robot arm

Leading thinkers and innovators will gather at SRI headquarters in Menlo Park, California on April 11 to explore how robots are transforming the economy at Xconomy’s "Robots Remake the Workplace."

SRI International, a leader in robotics innovations for more than 50 years, will host the Xconomy Forum: The Future of Robotics in Silicon Valley and Beyond, on Thursday, May 3 from 1 to 5 p.m. at SRI's headquarters in Menlo Park, followed by a networking reception.

Topics: Robotics

SRI will demonstrate its Taurus robot, a high fidelity telemanipulation tool with a 3D HD display.

On Nov. 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., SRI will join other San Francisco Bay Area science organizations at Discovery Days at AT&T Park, a family-friendly celebration of science.

Topics: Robotics

SRI International will exhibit dexterous telerobotics and demonstrate its wall-climbing robot during a Robot Block Party event at Stanford University’s Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab (VAIL) on Thursday, April 14, from 1 to 7 p.m.

Topics: Robotics

SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development institute, will demonstrate its M7 dexterous telesurgical robot at a Robot Block Party at Stanford University’s Paul Brest Hall from noon to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14.

Topics: Robotics

SRI In the News

SRI micro robot
A Swarm of Ant-Sized Robots, at Your Service

SRI's little army of bots, called “Magnetically Actuated Micro-Robots,” are designed to build small things on small scales. They look like a swarm of ants, and they can be controlled by a central computer.

Micro Magnet Robots Can Build Mini Super Structures

Magnets and their properties have long fascinated everyone from children to scientists, but it's unlikely you’ve ever seen them harnessed quite like this.

event attendee looks at the UBR-1 robot from Unbounded Robotics
Robo Madness 2014: The Story in Pictures

This annual robotics forum was a celebration and exploration of entrepreneurship and technology in robotics, here in the Bay Area and around the continent.

Topics: Robotics
SRI micro robot
SRI Unveils Tiny Robots Ready to Build Big Things

SRI has developed a new generation of ant-like robots that can work as a coordinated swarm of miniature builders.

Topics: Robotics
SRI's micro robots arrayed on a surface
Watch SRI's Nimble Microrobots Cooperate to Build Structures

SRI has been developing construction robots on a small scale, with swarms of magnetically actuated microrobots that can work together to build macro-scale structures.

SRI's micro robots arrayed on a surface
Microrobots, Working Together, Build with Metal, Glass, and Electronics

Tiny robots that work together like ants could lead to a new way to manufacture complex structures and electronics.

Robo Madness 2014 Takeaways: Jobs, Education, & Redefining Autonomy

Xconomy brought together big hitters to chat about the future of robotics at Robo Madness, their third annual Silicon Valley robotics forum. Nearly 200 entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, and students showed up at SRI to hear speakers from top robotics companies on both coasts.

Topics: Robotics
We Have the Technology: SRI Wearable Robots Make Soldiers Better, Stronger, Faster

A team of researchers at SRI International, which gave the world the mouse, surgical robots and Siri, is stitching together lightweight under-suits embedded with batteries, wires, computers and motors.

Cheaper Joints and Digits Bring the Robot Revolution Closer

Efforts to build robot hands and humanoids more cheaply could make them affordable enough for businesses and even homes.

Topics: Robotics
Will Robots Rule the World? Find Out at Robo Madness Next Thursday

What will be the positive and negative effects of advances in robotics on human employment, and what we can do to anticipate and adapt to the coming changes? These and other important issues are on the table next week at Robo Madness, Xconomy’s third annual Silicon Valley robotics forum.

Events

event logo

At Xconomy's third annual robotics forum—hosted by SRI during National Robotics Week—we'll grapple with the social, economic, and entrepreneurial questions arising as the robotics revolution hits home.

Publications

In this paper, published in the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), we demonstrate our approach provides highly-accurate solutions on large-scale real data sets using multiple sensors in GPS-denied settings.

Autonomous robotic “fetch” operation, where a robot is shown a novel object and then asked to locate it in the field, re- trieve it and bring it back to the human operator, is a challenging problem that is of interest to the military.

In this paper, published in Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2012. We present a system for detecting pedestrians at long ranges using a combination of stereo-based detection, classification using deep learning, and a cascade of specialized classifiers.

High-performance dense stereo is a critical component of computer vision applications like 3D reconstruction, robot navigation, and augmented reality. In this paper, we present a low-power, high performance FPGA implementation of a stereo algorithm suitable for embedded real-time platforms.

In this paper, published in IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. We present a novel computationally efficient approach to obstacle detection that is applicable to both structured (e.g. indoor, road) and unstructured (e.g. off-road, grassy terrain) environments.

In this paper, published in IEEE. International Conference on Robotics and Automation. We present a novel LIDAR streaming architecture for real-time, on-board processing using unmanned robots.

In this paper, published in IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). We present an innovative path following system based upon multi-camera visual odometry and visual landmark matching.

In this paper, published in SPIE, Unmanned Systems Technology XII. We present an on-the-move LIDAR-based object detection system for autonomous and semi-autonomous unmanned vehicle systems.

In this paper, published in IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR 2009, we present a system that combines multiple visual navigation techniques to achieve GPS-denied, non-line-of-sight SLAM capability for heterogeneous platforms.