School of Natural Sciences


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Suranga Hettiarachchi

Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Phone: (812) 941-2698
Office Location: LF 114

Academic Background

University of Wyoming
Degree: Doctorate
University of Wyoming
Degree: Bachelor of Science


Member: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Currently, students are working on two separate research projects. The first project titled "Implementing an Obstacle Avoidance Algorithm for X80Pro Robots" fo­cuses on designing, implementing and testing an obstacle avoidance algorithm for X80Pro robots. This project proposes to implement an obstacle avoidance algorithm using generalized Lennard-Jones (LJ) potentials combined with Physicomimetics approach. The student assistants help to implement required programs and test the feasibility of the new obstacle avoidance mod­ule. This work is still in early stages and the student participants have so far implemented the required system software on computers and the robots, established a communication module for the robots to communicate with its host machine, tested and verified all the sensors in robots for their accuracy, and designed a simple obstacle avoid­ance module to understand the working of the systems. Once the LJ based obstacle avoid­ance algorithm is implemented it will provide our robots much needed enhanced mobility to navigate effectively in obstacles laden environments.

The second project titled "Real-Time Robotic Sound Localization" focuses on finding the direction of a sound source which produces short sound bursts. We have already designed and implemented the hardware system needed, and currently testing the system with multiple sound localization techniques. The current sys­tem uses average loudness calculation to localize the sound source, but if a sound source is placed in between two of the microphones, the system is unable to determine that the sound source is between the microphones. We are currently working towards increasing the ac­curacy of the system and get the system to recognize short sound bursts such as a clap, which is much more challenging.