Friday, August 19, 2005

Stand-up Robot Goes With the Flow

Rock ‘n’ roll robot regains its feet
* Will Knight

A humanoid robot with an exceptionally nimble knack for getting back on its feet after a fall has been developed by researchers in Japan.

Named R Daneel, the robot kicks up its legs and rolls back onto its shoulders to gain the momentum it needs to rock up onto its feet and into a crouching position. This might be fairly easy for a human to do, but for the 60-kilogram bot, it requires a relaxed attitude to body control.

R Daneel

"The robot is not controlled all the time through a predefined trajectory - as is typically done in robotics," says Max Lungarella who developed the R Daneel with colleagues at University of Tokyo in Japan. R Daneel – the R is for Robot – takes its name from a humanoid robot that appears in several books by science fiction author Isaac Asimov.

The Japanese bot boasts a sophisticated series of sensors, including gyroscopes, accelerometers, and torque sensors. But unlike most humanoid bots, it is designed to embrace a lack of constant control and instead follow the trajectory determined by the weight and shape of its body during the rocking motion, until it lands square back on its feet.

Link to video

New Scientist Breaking News - Rock ‘n’ roll robot regains its feet


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