Leo Rover: The Ultimate Tool for Research

Discover how this mobile robot can help you advance your scientific progress.

May 17, 2023


Aleksandra Szczepaniak

Leo Rover as an equipment platform

Research is a crucial aspect of scientific progress, and the use of innovative technologies can greatly enhance its efficiency and accuracy. This article will show you that the Leo Rover mobile robot can be a valuable tool for researchers looking to gather data in various environments.

Why should you consider using Leo Rover for your studies?

Thanks to its mobility, versatility, and ability to carry a wide range of equipment, the Leo Rover is the very robot you need for conducting experiments and taking measurements in an array of diverse environments. Did I mention it’s also watertight? Because it is, learn more here :). 

Besides, using a mobile robot for research is one of the primary advantages of studies that require data collection in remote or hazardous locations. Plus, by using a robotic platform, you can save time and resources while increasing the accuracy and reliability of your data. All of this makes the Leo Rover an ideal solution for field research. So, the real question is: why shouldn't you consider using a Leo Rover for studies? :) And with this robot, you can approach your research in more than one way.

Leo Rover as a platform for research equipment

The Leo Rover mobile vehicle can be used in branches not directly related to robotics but ones that call for examining a certain parameter in a given area, such as measuring radiation, temperature, insolation, etc. This can be done with the rover that moves remotely over a given terrain and doing so maps it, while an appropriate measuring device placed on it collects the necessary data. 

This is how a research team from the University of Bristol used their Leo Rover in Fukushima, Japan. The robot was tasked with navigating a specific area, while a Geiger counter (among other devices) mounted on it collected radiation readings (speaking of hazardous locations ;)).

For more on this use of the Leo Rover, see this article.

Integrating sensors into the Leo Rover

Another way of performing research with the use of the Leo Rover is to do it inside the robot, namely, integrate the needed equipment into its system. And that’s exactly what we would do. But how would we do it?

We know the Leo Rover robotic platform inside out, so we know what works and how it works. For example, we would probably use the Power Box to, well, power the necessary external equipment. Depending on the stability of our solution, we would most likely plug in the sensors through an Arduino, and in the case of a more stable solution, we would probably go for sensors that work directly via a USB.

Basically, we would rely on the system that’s in the rover and, if possible, we would store the data on the robot; if not, the data would be sent to the operator.

ROS-integrated sensors

So, there seem to be 2 approaches to using the Leo Rover for research purposes – as mentioned, either you do it independently of the robot, that is, you use the rover as a moving platform for all the necessary gear – what the University of Bristol team did – or you integrate sensors and other instruments into the rover based on its internal system. The easiest way to do the latter is to find something that already works with ROS, that is, has drivers for ROS. 

Otherwise, you may come across various issues that will require deeper knowledge, for example, you may have to write a driver or change the driver’s firmware. A good example here is the Kinect tool for Microsoft’s Xbox game console. Since it wasn’t open-source, it was never compatible with robotics until a bunch of programmers simply hacked it and released the drivers to the public. Since then, Kinect could be used in robots, including ROS.

Sensor integration support via Slack

You don’t have to be an expert in robotics to use the Leo Rover mobile robot for conducting various kinds of studies. Naturally, robotics knowledge will certainly prove helpful when integrating a particular piece of hardware into the rover. However, whether you are a pro in robotics or not, our team is always there to help :).

If you need to integrate a measurement device into your rover, we're happy to help you via Slack and:

  • guide you on how to integrate an off-the-shelf sensor into your Leo Rover,
  • integrate the sensor for you, e.g., you send it to us and we'll send you back an already integrated one,
  • work out the best solution if it’s something more complicated in your case.

The goal of the support we provide on Slack is successful integration. Whether it’ll be a completely Leo Rover-independent solution or not, we’re always committed to helping you achieve the desired result :).

Ace your scientific progress with the Leo Rover

Whether used as a platform for carrying equipment or as an integrated laboratory, the Leo Rover offers you a powerful tool for scientific advancements. 

Don't miss out on the opportunity to enhance your research capabilities with the Leo Rover. Reach out to us at contact@fictionlab.pl.


See more blog posts:

<- get back to the Blog