Sunday, October 17, 2004

Great source of robot news

If you really want to be kept up to date you should check out redcone robot news. It has loads of news and links about robots.

HOAP-2 can even stand on its head. In the near future the robot will gain hearing capabilities such as speech and sound recognition. The long term goal is to give the robot independent artificial intelligence.

Here HOAP-2 mimics a sumo-wrestler.

HOAP-2 is an agile robot, it can get to its feet from a lying position. By the way, the black cable is a power supply. The robot can also run off a nickel metal-hydride battery.


I just recently went to Fujitsu's research centre in Atsugi. This is the home of HOAP-2, a toddler-sized bipedal robot that has been the focus of research for Fumio Nagashima and his lab for some years. The robot has impressive walking abilities, in terms of both speed and agility. It also uses a special kind of algorithm to walk. While most robots calculate their gait using a system called ZMP (Zero Moment Point) the area where the gravity and inertia acting on the robot meet the ground. Most robots try to keep this point within an area in which the robot is known to be stable. The calculations are, however, very complex and require a large amount of computing power. HOAP-2 by contrast uses diffrerent calculations using an NP (numerical pertubation) CPG (central pattern generator) whose equations are based on fluid dynamics. This system is much less intensive allowing HOAP-2 to calcuate its steps using nothing more than a pentium III. HOAP-2 is already on sale to commercial and academic researchers. You can find out more, including some nice movies here.