Tuesday, November 26, 2013

One big wobbly step for a humanoid robot preparing for challenge


 Good Day World!

 Have you ever noticed that most robots basically mirror humans?

 Not all of them of course. Robots come in all shapes and sizes.

The first known robot was created around 400-350 BC by the mathematician Archytas and was a steam powered pigeon.

Archytas, who coincidentally is known as the “father of mechanical engineering,” constructed his bird out of wood and used steam to power the movements of the robot.  This bird was then suspended from a pivot bar and at one point the bird managed to fly as much as 200 meters before it ran out of steam.

Leonardo da Vinci designed and built the first known humanoid robot around 1495. This robot was an armored knight that could sit up, wave its arms, and move its head while opening and closing its jaw. You can imagine how many jaws dropped when it first appeared in public!

Isaac Asimov formulated the Three Laws of Robotics, and in the process of doing so, coined the word "robotics."

And speaking of robotics, the first real Robotics Challenge trials will be held at Homestead Speedway in Florida on Dec. 20th and 21st.

It's open to the public and free to attend, so local robotics enthusiasts can come and see a few state-of-the-art robots trying to drive, operate machinery and get across rough terrain.

“The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition put up a video

Atlas got some modifications to compete in new challenge
last week to show how even without using its sophisticated sensors, which the researchers disabled, their robot – Atlas - could make its way across reasonably rough terrain.

IHMC is modifying the Atlas, originally built by Boston Dynamics (of BigDog fame), to compete in DARPA's Robotics Challenge. DARPA, the research arm of the Defense Department, is offering a $2 million prize to the best-performing robot in a series of tests made to simulate "disaster response operations."

IHMC took first place in a virtual version of the challenge performed in June, and was awarded an Atlas robot to use for the next phase, a trial run of the real-world tasks due to take place in December.”  full story here

 More information on the event will appear here as DARPA makes it available.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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