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University of Warwick engineering students use Xbox to aid award winning rescue robot

Jonathan Greensmith, Peter Croook and Alex Pallister are hoping the Xbox Kinect will give them a competitive edge in the European RoboCup Rescue Championship.Engineering students at the University of Warwick are building an innovative rescue robot which uses the Xbox Kinect to help navigate the machine - in a bid to retain the European RoboCup Rescue Championship title which was won by a team of Warwick students last year.

They are currently trialling the XBox Kinect to see if they can use it to provide a method of real time visual communication and 3D mapping, which will ultimately aid in the navigation of the autonomous robot to give the team an edge over the competition.

If this is successful the team could save thousands of pounds but using the technology instead of buying existing sensors.

Last year’s team developed a robot to crawl over difficult terrain such as destroyed buildings in search of trapped survivors. This robot won first place overall and best in class for mobility at the European championship in Germany.

This year the cuThe Warwick Mobile Robotics team are building an innovative rescue   robot which uses the Xbox Kinect to help navigate the machinerrent Warwick Mobile Robotics team of seven students want to go one better by using the popular games console and win at the Robocup Rescue World Championships,  which is being held in Istanbul, Turkey.

The first challenge the team face is to raise enough sponsorship money to enable them to compete in both competitions in Germany and Turkey. They need about £20,000 to pay for new robot components  plus travel costs for both Championships.

Plans are already afoot to enhance last year’s impressive robot by improving the human-machine interface, increase manoeuvrability and design an arm with added manipulator to carry supplies to trapped survivors.

The team is supervised by Dr Peter Jones of the School of Engineering and WMG academic, Dr Emma Rushforth, who believes the project will give the students an excellent opportunity showcase their skills."The team is being backed by WMG academic, Dr Emma Rushforth, who believes the project will give the students an excellent opportunity showcase their skills.

She said: “As well as giving each team member experience in solving  real engineering problems, the project offers them the chance to acquire unparalleled expertise in mobile robot design which, in future, companies will need to have.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring the team should email mobilerobotics@warwick.ac.uk.

Notes to Editors

Warwick Mobile Robotics can be followed on twitter - @wmrobotics

More photography is available on request.

For interviews  or filming opportunities with the Warwick Mobile Robotics team or for more information contact Luke Hamer, Assistant Press Officer, University of Warwick, on 02476 575601, or on 07824 541142. Alternatively email l.hamer@warwick.ac.uk