Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rollin' Justin

I am working on an anthropomorphic robot. This video just makes me feel inadequate.  But I really love the base.. it gives me ideas.


  1. Yeah but can it cook me a good dinner????

    I certainly wasn't expecting to see him dancing. But it is very cool. I liked the clip where it was gently tapping on the bottle to knock out the contents, toward the end.

    I've always wondered why most robots tend to emulate the human body, aside from the familiarity aspect. Just because evolution (if you believe in such common sense things) made us the way we are (you know, a torso with a head, 2 arms and 2 legs sticking out, and the face on the front of the head, with 2 eyes, etc., etc.) doesn't mean that that is ideal. Perhaps for dancing, but not necessarily for other "tasks". I'm not saying that we are not ideal, but who knows???

  2. The narrator said that he has 56 degrees of freedom. My current robot has 15 and most of them are barely being used and I am completely overwhelmed.

    I have heard that the Japanese are emulating humans mostly because they are trying to create assistants for the elderly and they want the people to feel comfortable.

    The human body is far from the perfect shape, else we wouldn't have giraffes, octopuses, spiders, etc. I would venture to say that the human end effector (hand) is optimized, but the arm is not. Put a complicated gripper on the end of an equally complicated arm, and you got something. Now multiply that by 2, 4, 6 etc and you really have something. But you also have to have the processing power for that, and I think we are far from that yet.

    I would say too that there are tons of researchers out there trying to find the optimum robot shape.

  3. I agree with you. There is a 'comfort level' needed in the shape of the robot depending on what the robot is used for (i.e. for personally helping people, they will most likely be much more comfortable with something resembling a human).

    Concerning other issues, though, as you say, the human hand is pretty cool as-is, but could be improved. The arm could do with some work --- like allowing us more freedom in shoulder and elbow and wrist rotation, etc. But as you also aluded to but didn't say, the more freedom you have, generally the less strength you have as well. The needed processing power definitely goes up, but the physics behind the joints and such means that by definition they will all be a bit weaker. And you can't fight physics, though many of us try. I'd love to be abel to turn my head all the way around though ... my stupid neck gets in the way ...

    Also, don't feel badly that you "only" have 15 DOF. I assume the folks designing this robot do this as their full-time jobs and they have many people doing so and a big budget. You? I assume you have a day job you go to, it's only you, and though you may have buzzillions of LEGO parts, you are still restricting yourself to LEGO. That's pretty impressive with what I've seen you make. Looking forward to seeing your final robot when s/he's complete.