Waterloo RoboHub

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario
What the facility does

Research on, and education about, robot-robot and human-robot collaboration using fixed-base, walking, rolling, flying and magnetically-levitated robots

Areas of expertise

A state-of-the-art robotics research and training facility with a globally unique fleet of fixed-base, walking, rolling, flying and magnetically-levitated (maglev) robots. Our core research themes address the four fundamental challenges currently facing collaborative multi-robot and human-robot teams: control, planning, perception, and interaction.

Established via the largest single investment in robotics research by the federal and provincial governments in more than a decade, our facility enables researchers, industry partners and students alike to develop and deploy heterogeneous robot teams and simulate complex, real-world environments. To support academic and industry projects, the facility has dedicated infrastructure including an advanced 360° 3D indoor positioning system, a control centre for effective fleet management and visualization, and switchable privacy glass for confidentiality.

The potential to combine various robots, each with its own strengths, into effective and efficient autonomous teams will revolutionize industry and have far reaching societal benefits. Our diverse group of researchers are at the forefront of international robotics research and their collective knowledge is critical for developing the next generation of robotics and other innovative technologies.

Research services
  • Heterogeneous multi-robot and human-robot systems integration
  • Collaborative and mobile robotics development and deployment for startups/SMEs
  • Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) algorithm implementation and verification
  • Supply chain, commercial, and retail process analysis and optimization
  • Machine learning and AI-based robotic controller development and deployment
  • Education and training on the state of the art in collaborative robotics
  • Globally unique fleet of over 30 diverse robots, including full-size humanoids
  • High-speed VICON motion capture system for sub-mm localization at > 1KHz
  • Full-room gantry crane for testing of walking robots, exoskeletons, and assistive devices
Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Automotive
  • Construction (including building, civil engineering, specialty trades)
  • Defence and security industries
  • Education
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Manufacturing and processing

Equipment

Function

PAL Robotics TALOS

Large torque controlled humanoid robot. Torque sensing at most joints, force-torque sensing at wrists and ankles, and a large workspace with high payload limits.

Kinova Robotics MOVO

Medium dual-armed mobile manipulator. Omnidirectional base, dual laser scanners, and a raisable body with a pair of Gen2 mounts and a Kinect One on a pan-tilt mount.

SoftBank Robotics NAO V6 (3)

Small position controlled humanoid robot. Directional microphones, dual cameras, text-to-speech, built-in natural language processing and image recognition.

Kuka AG LBR iiwa 14 R820

High performance heavy-duty 7-joint cobot. Sensitive to contact for safe collaborative operation and to achieve delicate material handling and assembly tasks.

Franka Emika Panda Powertool (2)

Medium-duty 7-joint cobot. Programmable via easy-to-learn touch interface, while sensitive enough to move lightweight parts safely near people.

KINOVA Gen3 (2)

Light-duty 7-joint cobot with wrist-mounted RGB + depth camera. Torque sensing in each joint, hot swappable controller base, and several infinite-rotation joints.

KINOVA Gen2 (2)

Ultra-lightweight 7-joint cobot. Torque sensing in each joint, three compliant fingers on a custom gripper, and several infinite-rotation joints.

Clearpath Robotics and ODG Warthog UGV (unmanned ground vehicle)

Heavy-duty amphibious outdoor platform. Rugged design and traction tires for all-terrain mobility, modular payload bay, and a Velodyne VLP-16 LIDAR.

Clearpath Robotics Ridgeback AGV (autonomous ground vehicle)

Omnidirectional indoor research platform. Dual laser scanners, a precision holonomic drivetrain, passive suspension, and high-resolution encoders.

Clearpath Robotics Husky UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) (3)

Medium outdoor research platform. Large payload area with integrated power, a rugged design, a high-torque drivetrain, and a large user base.

Clearpath Robotics Jackal UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) (2)

Plateforme extérieure moyenne de recherche. Fast entry-level field robotics platform with onboard computer, GPS, and IMU, camera, and Velodyne VLP-16 LIDAR.

Quanser QBot 2e (3)

Indoor expandable mobile sensor platform. Open-architecture system with > 30 sensors and many digital and analog I/O channels available for custom sensing.

Quanser QDrone (5)

High performance indoor quadrotor platform. Carbon-fibre frame with an Intel Aero Compute Board, with integrated Intel RealSense and optical flow cameras.

DJI Matrice 210 RTK (4)

Large outdoor quadrotor platform. Precision outdoor localization using D-RTK GPS, multiple sensor mounting gimbals, and long battery life.

VICON Indoor Positioning System

With 20 Vantage V5, 2 Vue cameras, and a Lock+ analog/digital sensor sync box. On-board marker processing, fast calibration, sub-mm precision at 1 KHz, and localization streaming interface.

Overhead gantry crane

To support walking robot and exoskeleton work. Full-room support system with one free axis and one powered axis and a remote

  • Clearpath Robotics / OTTO Motors
  • Kinova Robotics
  • PAL Robotics
  • Gastronomous Technologies
  • Cardon Rehab
  • General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada
  • NSERC Canadian Robotics Network
  • Open Roboethics Institute

Title

URL

Waterloo RoboHub

https://youtu.be/Ccq9s1IYHS4

RoboHub 360 Degree Virtual Tour

https://youtu.be/CjazqnDp3GM

Age of AI Episode: Will a robot take my job?

https://youtu.be/f2aocKWrPG8

Waterloo amazes on The Amazing Race Canada

https://uwaterloo.ca/news/waterloo-amazes-amazing-race-canada

Robotics: The Waterloo Advantage

https://youtu.be/t6vsH6WKVSA

RoboHub opens in University of Waterloo engineering building

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/university-waterloo-engineering-building-robohub-…