Ruixiang Du

Highlighted Projects

Control and Motion Planning for Quadrotors in Simulation

This project is to support my research work at SRCL on motion planning of UAVs. It started from the “robot simulation toolkit” project with special attention on quadrotors and a lot of features have been added since then. A complete set of functions have been implemented from attitude/position control, graph search, sampling-based search, polynomial trajectory generation, logging, data visualization, etc..  

Robot Simulation Toolkit

This project aims at making a collection of tools for robot simulation. The project takes advantages of existing open-source libraries and frameworks, making modifications to best accommodate robotic applications. Currently V-REP is used for the physics-based simulation. G3LOG is integrated to provide the logging function for debugging and system performance evaluation. LCM and ROS are experimented to bridge different frameworks and provide access to various robotic packages.  

DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC)

The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) was introduced after the Fukushima nuclear disaster which happened in Japan, 2011, and it aims at pushing the boundaries of technology so as to make life saving robotics systems available for future disasters. WPI’s entry of the DRC started from the Virtual Robotics Challenge phase, in which we got the 2nd place and won an Atlas Robot built by Boston Dynamics. We competed in the DRC Trials in Florida, December 2013 and entered the final phase of the competition as one of the finalist teams. In California, June 2015, our team successfully finished the DRC Finals and ranked the 7th out of 23 competing teams from all over the world.  

Robotics Enabled In-Home Environment Screening for Fall Risks

Fall risks present in living environment are the leading cause of mortality in older adults. Limited number of trained professionals to assess a house for fall risks and higher costs make the prevention of fall risks inaccessible to many necessitous patients. This project focuses on the design of a robot control system for in-home environment screening. The system is designed to be capable of supporting both manual and autonomous fall-risk assessment, including measuring distance between 2 objects, assessing lighting conditions, and interacting with the patient using telepresence.  

Intelligent Portable Aerial Surveillance System – IPASS

Intelligent Portable Aerial Surveillance System (IPASS) is aimed at developing a low-cost, light-weight unmanned aerial vehicle that can provide sufficient battlefield intelligence for individual troops. This project was defined as an addition and improvement to the original MQP project sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory. Instead of focusing on the mechanical design and system integration which were done by the IPASS team, this project concentrates on the system modeling, dynamic simulation and high-speed image stitching.  

Autonomous Flight Control of a Quadrotor

Unlike conventional helicopter, the quadrotor have 4 rotors and does not require mechanical linkages to vary the rotor blade pitch angle as they spin. The simplicity in mechanical design and the capability of agile maneuver makes quadrotors ideal platform for research in control and motion planning. The goal of project was to help myself get familiar with both the hardware and software of a quadrotor and accumulate basic knowledge for further research on this type of platform.  

3D Visualization and Representation of a Simulated Robot

For a surgical robot, it’s often desired to preview the planned operation virtually before actually asking the robot to operate on the patient. This project is to develop the visualization of a brain surgical robot built in the AIM lab at WPI. Basically there are two parts of work to be done to fulfill the needs: calculate the pose of each part of the robot at a specific configuration and visualize each part in a virtual scene. VTK was used for the visualization and other work were done in Java.  

High-Speed Trajectory Planning and Tracking of a RC Car

This project originated from the Freescale Cup Intelligent Car Racing competition. The goal of this competition is to enable a RC car to follow guiding lines on a track and run as fast as possible. The track includes elements like long straight segment, S turns, crossing section, slope etc. All computation must be done onboard the RC car, which equips with a MCU as well as a camera or a set of binary sensors. The challenge is mainly from the requirement of high speed, with limited sensing and computation power.  

Hobby Projects

I put most of my project source code on Github and Bitbucket. Some of the projects are my hobby projects and some are created for learning. I put a few of them here. The goal is to maintain a log for the ongoing hobby projects and to keep a reference for those I feel useful for learning a specific topic.