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Say Hello To The DARwIN-OP

It looks like the Robotis / Virginia Tech RoMeLa DARwIn-OP (open-platform, hardware and software) humanoid robot has been found at Sourceforge through the RoboSavvy forum.  Check out the comparison pictures to see some interesting changes, most notably the robot’s (seemingly) taller stature.

The older version

The new version

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States, DARwIn-OP is developed by RoMeLa at Virginia Tech in collaboration with Purdue University, University of Pennsylvania, and Robotis Co., based on the award winning DARwIn series humanoid robots in development since 2004.

DARwIn-OP is a true open platform where users are encouraged to modify it in both hardware and software, and various software implementations are possible (C++, Python, LabVIEW, MATLAB, etc.).  The open source hardware is not only user serviceable thanks to its modular design, but also can be fabricated by the user.  Publically open CAD files for all of its parts, and instructions manuals for fabrication and assembly are available on-line for free. DARwIn-OP can also be purchased from Robotis as a product.  The DARwIn-OP will be officially unveiled at the 2010 IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots.

Rumored to cost around $8,000 USD, the DARwIn-OP is roughly half the price of its primary competitor, the Aldebaran Robotics’ NAO, and has the advantage of Robotis’ popular servos (favored by RoboCup teams around the world) and its plastic parts can be printed at university labs to save money.  The robot measures 454mm (17.9 inches) tall, weighs 2.8kg, and has 20 degrees of freedom (head x2, 2 arms x3, 2 legs x6) powered by the new RX-24M servo (24kg/cm torque).  Its primary controller is the Intel Atom Z530 (1.6GHz) with 1GB DDR2 RAM, 4GB flash disk (miniSD for more storage), 2 USB ports, and can run Linux, XP, and Windows 7.  For the full breakdown check out the hardware specs PDF.

Michael Overstreet (of I, Bioloid) will be attending the DARwIn-OP workshop (December 6th ~ 8th), and has pledged to provide photos and video of the robot in action, so be sure to head over and bookmark the source link below!

[source: I, Bioloid]