naobro: ROBOTICS FRONTLINE
The top 2 images are of PETMAN and the next 2 images are of ATLAS; both developed by Boston Dynamics (acquired by Google in late 2013) funded by DARPA.
Just imagine the brain behind these moves the robots are making…
Along with the senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell, we humans have proprioception: the sense of body orientation and movement.
Think of a tightrope walker. In order to avoid the fall, he may apply a force of a certain size and direction, to the rope he’s standing on; or he may spread his arms out tightening muscles in a certain way.
How does he manage to stay on the rope? In the case of a human, he does it utilizing proprioception aided by other senses, especially sight and touch. And of course, using spectacular human brain power. What needs to happen to make a robot do that?
(1) Create various efficient sensors to receive visual, tactile and proprioceptive (!) inputs.
(2) Link the sensors to transmit the sensory data to the robot brain, fast!
(3) Create the brain that not only can associate and analyze the data (!) to decide what body movements to make next, but do so really fast!!
(4) Link the brain to transmit the motor outputs (the instructions on how to move) to the servomechanisms, fast!
(5) Build efficient servos to make the right moves.
So you can easily see that squatting then rotating the upper torso while remaining stationary without falling on its behind or its face (the top image) is absolutely miraculous…
Take a look at the unprecedented move made by a robot in the 4th image from the top. ATLAS is bracing its arms against the walls and probing with its leg to secure a foothold. AWESOME…
Kudos to the engineers and scientists at Boston Dynamics!!
* From the top to bottom: The images created from videos on
youtube.com/watch?v=tFrjrgBV8K0, youtube.com/watch?v=mclbVTIYG8E, youtube.com/watch?v=SD6Okylclb8 & youtube.com/watch?v=FFGfq0pRczY. The bottom image, my Avatar, is created from that on jeffreycarr.blogspot.com.