The Mars Rover's Father Was Walleye!

The Mars Rover's Father Was Walleye!

Jan. 17, 2004, All the news from mars about the Rover, Spirit, we forget he has his roots back here on earth. The Mars Rover came from very modest stock, his father, Walleye, worked for the sanitation department picking up trash. The Mars rover does get his competitive spirit form his father however, who did compete in the famous "trash picking up contests" of the 1990's.

Walleye has three 6811 microprocessors linked together through synchronous serial ports. One 6811 controls the motors and the gripper, another decides what to do next, and the last one processes the images. Walleye looks for Styrofoam cups and empty cans, picks them up, and delivers them to either a trash or a recycling bin. Walleye uses a small black and white camera (160 by 160 pixels) to recognize trash and trash bins. Walleye has competed in the IJCAI/AAAI 1995 Robot Competition (in Montreal, August 1995) and has obtained the third place in the Pick up trash event.

Walleye was named after the Minnesota state fish. Students in the University of Minnesota Computer Science and Engineering School created Walleye.


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