ActivMedia Robotics

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An ActivMedia Pioneer 3-AT robot at the Georgia Institute of Technology
A Pioneer 3-AT robot in the Gazebo 3D robot simulator with a SICK laser rangefinder mounted on top

ActivMedia Robotics, formerly known as MobileRobots Inc, is a company in Amherst, New Hampshire that designs and manufactures autonomous robots, commercial service robots, robot software and navigation systems for robot developers and manufacturers.[1]


Founded in 1995, it was an early developer of autonomous robots ubiquitous to universities and often the first serious robot used by students involved in learning to be roboticists, as evidenced by the fact that it was chosen by Microsoft as the reference platform on which to implement their new Robotics SDK and is supported by ROS and Player Stage Robot APIs. The 2003-2004 Centibots project, sponsored by DARPA and investigated by SRI International, utilized 100 ActivMedia robots to perform distributed tasks.[2]

In 2007, the company released a unique omni-directional Seekur security rover. The omni-directional wheels let it drive sideways as well as forwards and back, to perform in tight spaces. In early 2008, Seekur demonstrated autonomous navigation in GPS-blocked spaces around buildings. In 2009, the company expanded the capabilities of its Motivity robot autonomy to enable fleets to behave more like people, following site-specific traffic rules and varying its speech and other aspects of its "personality" in ways appropriate to its workplace.

On June 14, 2010 MobileRobots Inc. was acquired from founders Jeanne Dietsch and William Kennedy by Adept Technology.[3] Since then the company has been testing mobile conveyor robots and telepresence systems for use in corporate and hospital settings.[4][5]


The company developed security robots, but with more powerful computers and new autonomous techniques such as simultaneous localization and mapping, Monte Carlo localization, Markov decision process, and modified value-iterated search path planning to create a new generation of autonomous robots for delivery and security purposes in hospitals, offices, labs and other buildings.[6]

It also created flexible intelligent AGV applications, designing the Motivity control system used by RMT Robotics to develop its ADAM iAGV (Self-Guided Vehicle), used for complex pick and place operations, in conjunction with gantry systems and industrial robot arms, used in first-tier auto supply factories to move products from process to process in non-linear layouts. Smaller versions also work in semi-conductor plant clean rooms, carrying product from workstation to workstation.



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