Thinking robots

My mind is on robots right now (it is actually directly on target of the core mission of this blog… more to be revealed later)… follow me there and watch this clip. The beginning is ok, but my favorite is the last third when they start the “Pacific Islander” dancing.

5 thoughts on “Thinking robots

  1. Interesting. They appear to be about one meter tall? Do you know if they are operating from onboard software or are they responding to radio instructions? If radio directed, do you have any information regarding present range?How about power storage and operating run per charge?
    I noticed they’re anatomically close to humanoid. (Odd that we automatically choose ourselves as a template. Something Freudian there or maybe some of that G_d thing?) Anyway, is a humanoid shape optimal for a warfighter?
    Last pesky question and then I’ll stop annoying you: the figures remain upright with bent knees. Is there a balance problem if the knees are locked?
    Thanks for finding the clip. Fascinating.

  2. Re control, these are Sony’s Qrio robots and are likely given commands remotely, but the robot executes the command locally (remote: “Run!”, local: how to run, how far, etc).As far as power, I don’t know but that’s a good question.
    On the form factor, you’re probably right on both counts as to why they appear they do, but for function, none of the current warbots are humanoid. From the packbot to the mule to bigdog to EOD devices, they’re more like tanks or various animals.
    When the knees are locked, you don’t have flexibility of motion, just like a human isn’t suppose to lock his/her knees when standing. There’s another video of a running humanoid (Asimo) robot that’s fascinating: right before it starts, it crouches a bit. I didn’t save that video and couldn’t find it (the one I saw was in a lab, but there are plenty of Asimo running on YouTube) in a quick search, but here’s a video of the Qrio running. Asimo looks better and doesn’t sit back as far.

  3. Hey Mountainrunner! Thanks for sharing this video. Really fantastic.Their movements are soo smooth and they’re actually synchronized. I’ve met Asimo and seen him run, his balance is really good. The bad thing about Asimo is that his parts are so sensitive and delicate that at one time, he fell down and they had to delay the next demonstration for about an hour just to make sure he’s ok to go up again.
    In response to Lurch’s comment about them looking like humans, I’d say it may be the influence of movies (Star Wars?), Anime(Gundam) and cartoons(Transformers?). Just like how depictions of aliens are mostly scrawny looking creatures with oversized heads.

  4. Bitbot (and Lurch of course), thanks for posting. Yes, I think there’s something about sci-fi and reality feeding each other in selecting the shapes of some robots. But for practical purposes, non-human forms seem to dominate. I’ll post on those laster.

  5. Data on the QRIO (pronounced ‘curio’):killed by Sony not long ago, it was, as you can see, very advanced for a little robot.
    CPU 64 bit RISC Processor, OS: Aperios, 2 CCD Camera very high-res cameras, 1 infrared in the forehead,
    7 Microphones to detect the direction of noise
    source, Image and Voice recognition, Wireless LAN, Real time adaptive control
    algorithm for 38 motors… 38 Degrees of Freedom (DOF): 6 DOF /each leg, 5 DOF / arm, 5 DOF /hand, 2 DOF body, 4 DOF Neck
    For more, see this page.

    The new 2005 QRIO robot shows advanced features, including a “third eye” camera which allows it to notice and track individuals in a group of people. The new model also has improved dexterity – the fingers actually work! In a December 2005 demonstration, QRIO showed off its ability to identify blocks by size and color, lift them using its lower body and stack one on top of the other.

    Also see this cool video for more radical movment. And then watch them sing.

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