Posts Tagged ‘humanoid’

Robocup 2011 Istanbul Trip

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

What some of you may not realize is that the life of a roboticist parallels the life of a total rockstar in many regards. That’s right- loud music, hordes of women, and international travel. Well, mostly just the travel aspect. Also, robots. There are a lot of robots involved. Just like a rockstar.

I had the pleasure of traveling to Istanbul, Turkey last month to attend the 2011 International Robocup. It. Was. Awesome.

The previous contender for largest robotics competition I had attended was the Korean Robot Games Festival in 2010, and I’m just going to come out and say it: Robocup blew it out of the water. I have never seen so many roboticists under a single roof; 3 massive conference halls were packed to the gills with robots and eager students and university faculty. I stuck to the 3rd hall almost exclusively, as it had what I love the most, humanoid robots. We had hundreds of Nao humanoids as well as hundreds of kid-size, teen-size, and adult-size custom humanoid robots. Another big thing to note is that the matches are significantly more exciting as the years pass, and this year was an amazing sight to behold. The kid-size humanoids were fast and agile, and the games had plenty of suspenseful and exciting plays. I watched a few Standard League (Nao) matches as well, but to be perfectly honest, the kid-size stuff was more entertaining. The Darwin-OP platforms would’ve literally run circles around the Nao. Industry competition is a good thing though, perhaps we’ll see some hardware improvements to the Nao in the next few years that will, literally, bring them up to speed.

Here are some pictures (taken on my iPad, unfortunately my camera didn’t survive being in checked baggage) of the event! The full gallery can be found here.

It’s worth noting that Virginia Tech RoMeLa took gold in the Kid-size league with their Darwin-OP based team. Check out their final match vs Japan below!

– Andrew – “Laser Scientist”

Bioloid GP Don’t Care.

Thursday, July 21st, 2011
This is the Bioloid GP. Watch it run in slow motion. It’s pretty bad-ass. Look, it runs all over the place. “Woah, watch out!” says that bird. Ew it’s got a snake? Oh, it’s chasing a jackal? Oh my gosh! Oh the Bioloid GPs are just crazy! The Bioloid GP’s been referred to by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most fearless animal in all the animal kingdom. It really doesn’t give a shit. If it’s hungry, it’s hungr-ew what’s that in its mouth! Oh it’s got a cobra? Oh it runs backwards? Now watch this, look, a snake’s up in a tree. Bioloid GP don’t care. Bioloid GP don’t give a shit, it just takes what it wants. Whenever it’s hungry it just- ew! And it eats the snakes. Oh my God watch it dig. Look at that digging. The Bioloid GPs really pretty bad-ass. They have no regard for any other animal whatsoever. Look at him just grunting and- ew! Eating snakes! Ew what’s that, a mouse? Oh that’s nasty. Oh, they’re so nasty! Oo look! It’s chasing things, and eating them.
The Bioloid GP’s have a fairly long body, but a distinctly thick set, broad shoulders, and you know, their, their skin is loose, allowing them to move about freely, and they twist around. Now look, here’s a house full of bees. You think the Bioloid GP cares? It doesn’t give a shit. It goes right in to the house to bees to get some larvae. How disgusting is that? It eats larvae. Ew, that’s so nasty. But look, the Bioloid GP doesn’t care, it’s getting stung like a thousand times. It doesn’t give a shit, it just, it’s hungry. It doesn’t care about being stung by bees. Nothing can stop the Bioloid GP when it’s hungry. Oh what a crazy fuck! Look! Ew, it’s eating larvae, that’s disgusting. There it is running in slow motion again. See, now what’s interesting is that other, other animals like these birds here the just like to wait around until the Bioloid GPs done eating and then it swoops in to pick up the scraps. It says, “You do all the work for us Bioloid GP and we’ll just eat whatever you find, how’s that? What do you say, stupid?” Look at this bird. “Thanks for the treat, stupid!” “Hey, come back here” says the Bioloid GP. Birds don’t care, and you know what, the jackals do it, too. Look at these little dogs. They’re like, “Thanks, Stupid! Thanks for the mouse! See ya later!” The Bioloid GP does all the work while these other animals just pick up the scraps.
At night time, the Bioloid GP goes hunting, cuz it’s hungry. Look! Here comes a fierce battle between a king cobra and a Bioloid GP. I wonder what will happen. Look at this, there’s the Bioloid GP just eating a mouse. And then look. “Get away from me!” says the snake, “Get away from me!” Bioloid GP don’t care. Bioloid GP smacks the shit out of him. The snake comes back and it lashes right at the Bioloid GP. Oh! Little does the Bioloid GP know, FYI, it’s been stung! It’s been bitten by the snake, so while it’s eating the snake- ew, that’s disgusting- meanwhile the poisonous venom is seeping through the Bioloid GPs body, and it passes out. Look at that sleepy fuck. Now the Bioloid GPs just gonna pass out for a few minutes and then it’s gonna get right back up and start eating all over again, cuz it’s a hungry little bastard. Look at this! Like nothing even happened, the Bioloid GP gets right back up and continues eating the cobra! How disgusting. And of course, what does a Bioloid GP have to eat for the next few weeks? Cobra.
The Bioloid GP.

Bioloid_GP

This is the Bioloid GP. Watch it run in slow motion. It’s pretty bad-ass. Look, it runs all over the place. “Woah, watch out!” says that bird. Eww it’s got a snake? Oh, it’s chasing a jackal? Oh my gosh! Oh the Bioloid GPs are just crazy! The Bioloid GP’s been referred to by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most fearless robot in all the robot kingdom. It really doesn’t give a crap. If it’s hungry, it’s hungr-EWW what’s that in its mouth! Oh it’s got a cobra? Oh it runs backwards? Now watch this, look, a snake’s up in a tree. Bioloid GP don’t care. Bioloid GP don’t give a crap, it just takes what it wants. Whenever it’s hungry it just- ew! And it eats the snakes. Oh my God watch it dig. Look at that digging. The Bioloid GP is really pretty bad-ass. They have no regard for any other robot whatsoever. Look at him just grunting and- ew! Eating snakes! Ew what’s that, a mouse? Oh that’s nasty. Oh, they’re so nasty! Oo look! It’s chasing things, and eating them.

The Bioloid GP’s have a fairly long body, but a distinctly thick set, broad shoulders, and you know, their, their wires are loose, allowing them to move about freely, and they twist around. Now look, here’s a house full of bees. You think the Bioloid GP cares? It doesn’t give a crap. It goes right in to the house to bees to get some larvae. How disgusting is that? It eats larvae. Ew, that’s so nasty. But look, the Bioloid GP doesn’t care, it’s getting stung like a thousand times. It doesn’t give a crap, it just, it’s hungry. It doesn’t care about being stung by bees. Nothing can stop the Bioloid GP when it’s hungry. Oh what a crazy robot! Look! Ew, it’s eating larvae, that’s disgusting. There it is running in slow motion again. See, now what’s interesting is that other, other animals like these birds here the just like to wait around until the Bioloid GPs done eating and then it swoops in to pick up the scraps. It says, “You do all the work for us Bioloid GP and we’ll just eat whatever you find, how’s that? What do you say, stupid?” Look at this bird. “Thanks for the treat, stupid!” “Hey, come back here” says the Bioloid GP. Birds don’t care, and you know what, the jackals do it, too. Look at these little dogs. They’re like, “Thanks, Stupid! Thanks for the mouse! See ya later!” The Bioloid GP does all the work while these other animals just pick up the scraps.

At night time, the Bioloid GP goes hunting, cuz it’s hungry. Look! Here comes a fierce battle between a king cobra and a Bioloid GP. I wonder what will happen. Look at this, there’s the Bioloid GP just eating a mouse. And then look. “Get away from me!” says the snake, “Get away from me!” Bioloid GP don’t care. Bioloid GP smacks the crap out of him. The snake comes back and it lashes right at the Bioloid GP. Oh! Little does the Bioloid GP know, FYI, it’s been stung! It’s been bitten by the snake, so while it’s eating the snake- ew, that’s disgusting- meanwhile the poisonous venom is seeping through the Bioloid GPs body, and it passes out. Look at that sleepy robot. Now the Bioloid GPs just gonna pass out for a few minutes and then it’s gonna get right back up and start eating all over again, cuz it’s a hungry little bastard. Look at this! Like nothing even happened, the Bioloid GP gets right back up and continues eating the cobra! How disgusting. And of course, what does a Bioloid GP have to eat for the next few weeks? Cobra.

The Bioloid GP.

And just in case anyone is wondering what the hell is going on. Click here.

–Andrew “Robot Biologist”

Solid Bioloid Walking Gait Tutorial

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Our friend RobertLam18 put together a very straight forward explanation of how he develops custom walking gaits on his modified Bioloid Premium Kit. I had the pleasure of meeting him in South Korea earlier this year for the Korean Robot Games Festival and his tricked out Bioloid was certainly impressive! The same basic principles here apply to most humanoid configurations and it’s nice to see a step by step process put together and the results it produces. Definitely check it out if you’re interested in developing your own walking gaits!

Acroban Humanoid Robot Project

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Meet Acroban, a compliant humanoid project being developed by the Inria Flowers Research team in France. This humanoid robot, made mostly from RX-64 Dynamixels from the look of it, is impressive in that it uses a semi-passive dynamic locomotion and reliance on natural backlash compliance (along with structural flex & elastics) to portray some very lifelike movements.

Acroban is a lightweight compliant humanoid robot capable of robust semi-passive dynamic locomotion, life-like movements, and offers the possibility of a new kind of playful physical human-robot interaction. We developped this platform to explore how morphological constraints can simplify the developmental acquisition of complex sensorimotor skills, as well as to explore novel kinds of human-robot interaction.

The video demonstrates this very well, bringing a rather mechanical and utilitarian looking robot to life. Inria Flowers calls this the ‘Luxo Jr. Effect’ named after the pint size companion of Pixar’s lovable Desk Lamp mascot. It really is true though; something about the way this robot moves reaches out to our primal emotional response, making our brain think it’s something actually alive. In doing this, the robot effectively leaps over Uncanny Valley by coming across as very human-like without the increasingly creepy aesthetics that many humanoids fall victim to.

The Luxo Jr. Effect

Furthermore, Acroban provokes spontaneous highly positive emotional reactions, especially in children. Yet, as opposed to many other robots, its morphology is neither roundish nor cute. He has no big eyes. He is just made of metal, and its appearance shows it explicitly. At first glance, its visual appearance creates low expectation of intelligence and life-likeness. But when it begins to move and one can touch it, its natural dynamics, much more life-like than most other robots, triggers a high contrast and positive surprise. Life unexpectedly appears out of a neutral metallic object, much as Pixar’s Luxo Jr. This is the Luxo Jr. effect.

Enough talk, check out the demonstration video (especially the interaction with kids later on). If you’re looking for more info, the Acroban Page has a wealth of videos and writing on the project.

Giger v2.0 – Initial Walking Gait Progress

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

New upgrades! Giger now uses 10x EX-106+, 6x RX-64s, and 8x RX-28s for a total of 24 DOF.


Giger’s upgrades got finalized late Sunday night and I had a bit of time to sit down and start to work on the walking gaits (from scratch). The EX-106+ is roughly 4x more precise than all previous Dynamixels, so the positional values do not translate over well when upgrading from a previous model. What does that mean? It was far simpler to just start over rather than try to scale the values step by step. All new custom brackets used in the legs and feet, as well as new elbow/shoulder brackets and arm extensions. Brackets were designed in Autodesk Inventor 2008 and machined by Rapid Sheet Metal. It’s worth mentioning that all of the custom, as well as the stock, brackets and frames that are used in Giger’s arms and legs are available in our store on our Dynamixel Servo & Bracket page! Even his ankles/hip joints or his entire legs!

A lot of projects tend to only show updates after many dozens and/or hundreds of hours of progress, but I like to show the little steps as I feel it gives one a better view of the evolution of a project and what goes into making a robot work. Keep in mind; I have this gait tuned to a very slow rate so that I can work on the balance and COG shifting correctly, it can then be sped up to a more realistic, useful speed. Here’s a short video of my initial walking gait progress (about 2 hours of programming work so far) on Giger 2.0:

Boston Dynamics does it again

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Whoa. Just Whoa.

I won’t even pretend that I understand all that is going on in the walking gait here, but this is darn near human-like in every aspect. And being able to walk like that is one thing, being able to recover from a sideways push is an entirely different accomplishment all together. Absolutely brilliant.

Korean Robot Games Festival 2009

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Our friends across the Big Pond at Robosavvy were lucky enough to visit the Korean Robot Festival this year. They took tons of pictures and shot a lot of video showcasing some of the world’s top humanoid competition robots! From slightly modified Robonova and Bioloid bots, to fully custom towering humanoids, all shapes and sizes showed up to compete. Pedro from Robosavvy did an amazing job of documenting his time there in this forum thread, anyone interested in humanoid robots will be delighted to check it out.

The thread linked above has the full details, but this video stood out to me as awesome; it’s a custom built humanoid using AX-12 servos. Check out how quick and agile it is!

Hexbugs and Bioloids, Oh My!

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Our video crew has been hard at work showcasing our various robotic products, and recently highlighted the Bioloid and Hexbug robots.

Is your house tidy? Are you lacking pesky insects in your kitchen? HEXBUGs are your solution!

Why deal with real insects when you can fill that void with these cute little robobugs! Hexbugs are tiny, cute, and make the perfect gift or desktoy for a geek near you! You can pick these up at our online store, as well as at our booth at Robogames 2009 in San Fransisco!

The Bioloid Comprehensive Kit is a tried and true humanoid kit, literally one of the most popular robot kits on the market. We put together a quick video highlighting some custom motions that can be easily programmed into the robot, as well as the new Zig-100 wireless controller. Stay tuned to our blog for an upcoming tutorial on how to make your Bioloid humanoid robot completely remote controlled and competition ready!

Let’s give the Robonova a hand! Err, Stand!

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Humanoid robots are everywhere these days, and we encounter plenty of builders on our forums that come up with all sorts of ways to suspend their bots while creating new walking motions, dances, and kung fu moves. Hitec has decided to give their builders a hand by creating this inexpensive and awesomely designed Humanoid Robot Stand.

A humanoid robot stand for $25 bucks? We had to check it out for ourselves so we tore one open and got to building, and five minutes later our Robonova was kicking freely. We also found that the Bioloid humanoid fits pretty well, which effectively kills two birds with one stone!

MechRC Humanoid Back in Stock!

Monday, December 15th, 2008

When we first announced that we had the MechRC Humanoid Robot is in stock and ready to ship, they flew off the shelves almost instantly selling out. We now have limited quantities back in stock and are shipping out immediately, just in time for the Holidays! These won’t last long, so if you’re still looking for a great robotic gift for a loved one or even yourself, pick one up quick!

We’d also like to share this awesomely over-the-top promotional video: