It looks as though Tomotaka Takahashi of ROBO-GARAGE wanted his robots to be able to jump for joy (after setting World Records with his Evolta robot at the Grand Canyon and Le Mans), so he created a new humanoid robot capable of jumping 8cm (3″) high. At 38cm (14″) tall, that’s about 1/4 of its total body height! During the demonstration, the robot was asked to jump more than 20 times so the photographers could get all their shots.
The robot, named ROPID (a combination of Robot and Rapid), can also “run” and can quickly turn in place. Additionally, Takahashi-san wanted the robot to respond to verbal commands, so it uses Raytron’s BSRM01-01E voice recognition chip which allows for speaker-independent word recognition. Currently, ROPID can understand about 8 words and phrases from a distance of about 3 meters – thanks to the chip’s noise-canceling properties. However, it appears there’s still some kinks to work out as ROPID had trouble with certain questions, such as, “What is your name?”.
ROPID’s head has a lower jaw which moves when it speaks and hands with moving fingers which add immensely to its expressive capabilities. It weighs 1.6kg and has 29 degrees of freedom (2 legs x7, 2 arms x5, trunk x1, head x4) and is made of carbon fiber and plastic. Each leg is equipped with 2-axis accelerometers, each with two 2-axis gyro sensors that help maintain its balance when running or after jumping, and feature a unique belt linkage mechanism which increases stability. Vstone’s VS-RC003 controller board, the same found in their line of hobby robots, was used to program ROPID’s movements.
All in all with its ability to understand commands as well as expressive running and jumping, ROPID is quite an improvement over Takahashi-san’s previous creations, Chroino (2004) and FT (2006). Considering he designed and built the robot himself, it is amazing how close he is to building a very QRIO-like robot. Takahashi-san plans to shoot a short film starring the little robot, which he plans to enter at film festivals and the like. Video and media after the break.
[source: Impress Robot Watch (JP)]
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