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CSL High Bay building site for Norris, AUVSL


Lizzie Roehrs

The CSL High Bay is currently being used by ISE clinical associate professor Bob Norris and his research group, The Autonomous and Unmanned Vehicle Systems Laboratory (AUVSL), to rebuild a John Deere gator so it's capable of autonomy.  The chassis is based on a typical 6x4 diesel John Deere Gator with a CAN network, processors and actuators enabling drive-by-wire in robotic mode. Bob Norris poses for headshot

"The R-Gator (or Robotic Gator) was donated from Deere to the AUVSL lab with all of the robotic level computation removed," says Norris. " We are sorting through the proprietary messaging and analyzing how to operate the actuators.  Once that is complete, we will systemically add autonomous functionality."

Norris says students are able to turn theory into practice while gaining experience and a better appreciation of the John Deere Gatorsystem’s complexity and the engineering required to make a complex system where the subsystems reliably function seamlessly.

"The High Bay is an excellent place to do the work because it has the space needed to assemble and disassemble the vehicle, provides protection from the weather and ensures the security of our equipment," says Norris. 

For more information on signing up for time in the High Bay or to schedule time in our other robotics facilities, check out the Illinois Robotics Group website.