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Date of Award

Summer 2011

Document Type

Thesis - ERAU Login Required

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Charles Reinholtz

Committee Member

Dr. Sathya Gangadharan


The purpose of this research was to demonstrate that an intelligent, autonomous, and cost effective robotic system can be developed from COTS (Commercial off the Shelf) hardware and quality custom software in order to perform a target identification task in a specific situation and environment using a computer vision system. Typically, the designers of autonomous mobile robots veer away from walking robots due to their mechanical and control system complexity. However, with the availability of current processing technology, low cost vision systems, and wireless communications, such autonomous robots should become more viable. To show that such a system can be developed, a walking hexapod robot kit was modified to include a wireless communication and computer vision system and outfitted with custom designed software in order to perform the task of finding, approaching, and identifying an orange ball in a controlled environment. While this experiment is not complex, it does demonstrate that for about $1000 in hardware, a specified behavior can be successfully exhibited in a hexapod. This research is intended to serve as a basis that can be expanded to create a more robust and capable hexapod system.