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2010 Int’l Conference on Humanoid Robots (Wrap-Up)

Robotis execs and Dr. Dennis Hong of Virginia Tech pose with DARwIn-OP (photo by GetRobo)

Yesterday’s workshop on the forthcoming Robotis DARwIN-OP revealed that the kit will cost a whopping $12,000 USD ($9,600 USD for Academia) – significantly more than the rumored $8,000 price.  That said, it should be interesting to see how much money one can save if they have access to a 3D printer – as the bot’s software and hardware design will be available for free.  The bot’s robust ball tracking capabilities and its rapid walking gait (which even unoptimized looks faster than the NAO) are certainly impressive.  Plus it’s durable enough that Dr. Dennis Hong and other presenters had no qualms about kicking it over to show its “standing up” routine (see the videos at I, Bioloid and GetRobo).  I guess the new Robotis servos (which feature metal gears) are cutting edge but expensive.  However it’s tough to get too excited, as it’ll have to come down in price before it can expand beyond university labs (which will take at least a few years).

Aldebaran Robotics was also on hand and gave a presentation outlining some of the improvements being made to their humanoid platform, such as new arms.  You can see slides of the presentation at GetRobo’s article here.  And don’t miss the photo showing the more completed PETMAN by Boston Dynamics – which now sports an upper body with arms!

The third and final day of the Humanoids 2010 conference is at hand, and once again we’ve looked at the schedule and have picked out some of the interesting lectures as the conference wraps up.

MARI-3: Researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology and Yokohama National University will present their walking algorithm on Kawamura Lab’s biped robot.  View the abstract here.

HRP-2 Promet: The famous bipedal robot has been programmed to step over obstacles.  View the abstract here.

Athlete Robot: In what might become Japan’s answer to Boston Dynamics’ PETMAN biped, researchers at Tokyo University have developed a musculoskeletal robot (pictured) with shock-absorbing legs.  The robot is said to be able to run at a speed of 3 meters per second, but falls over after 8 steps.  View the abstract here.

ARMAR-III: Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have gotten a trio of ARMAR-IIIs to cooperatively handle large objects.  View the abstract here.

ASIMO: The Honda Research Institute will present a new human-friendly control framework that allows ASIMO to respond to verbal commands and gestures.  ASIMO can track a person’s head pose without the need for markers using just its camera.  View the abstract here.

[source: Humanoids 2010]

  • “The future is already here—it is just unevenly distributed.”- William Gibson

    I would love to get a hold of DARwIN-OP, even a lab setting. It’s new servos are fascinating if you read up on them.