BERTI (Bristol Elumotion Robotic Torso 1, or RT-1), is a humanoid upper torso robot designed and built in the UK by Elumotion, a company started in 2002. Programmed by researchers at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, BERTI was unveiled to the public at the London Science Museum in February 2009, where it played a game of rock-paper-scissors with visitors. Rather than using visual information, the robot relied on data from a sensor glove worn by its human opponent to determine the game’s outcome. Originally built to perform conversational gestures in human-robot interaction, other applications such as telepresence, teleoperation, haptic technology, and prostheses are also being explored. The RT-1 cost approximately £200,000 ($288,800 USD) in parts and technology.
Elumotion is currently gearing up to unveil the RT-2, which will make use of 2nd generation hands and arms. The compact ELU2-HAND, for example, has 9 degrees of freedom and is capable of grasping a variety of objects. When connected to the compliant RT2-ARM (roughly the same size as an adult human arm with 7 degrees of freedom) the robot is capable of interacting safely and smoothly with people. BERT2 has been given an expressive face with animated eyebrows, eyes, and lips, and the team at BRL are working on giving it artificial skin.
Video (BERT2 facial expressions):
Some photos and video follow after the break.
Gaetan Lee | Bristol Robotics Lab | Elumotion