Hello guys. Today, I’ll be explaining a growing part of current global technology, including Robotics, and Artificial Intel. Today, I’ll be talking about Humanoids, so read this post to the end.A humanoid robot is a robot with its body shape built to resemble the human body. The design may be for functional purposes, such as interacting with human tools and environments, for experimental purposes, such as the study of bipedal locomotion, or for other purposes.
In laboratories around the world, though, researchers are working at solving those problems and others, opening the door for development of a robot that can mimic humans. Progress is evident in several arenas. For instance, within the last year robots have begun to populate nursing homes, where doctors use them as a “remote presence” to monitor patients. In the last two years, a major international robot competition added a humanoid category, with the ultimate goal of a robot-human competition. One company has developed a humanoid that it suggests could provide friendly conversation based on its owner’s interests. We could say that humanoid robots have great potential of becoming the supreme machine, with growing intelligence expected to surpass human intelligence by 2030, and with already augmented motor capabilities in terms of speed, power and precision. Initially used in research with the purpose of understanding the human body in detail and eventually sourcing motion and control solutions already engineered by nature, humanoid robots are becoming increasingly present in our lives. Their operating environments are no longer limited to controlled environments found in laboratories, humanoid robots are now able – to different degrees of course – to tackle a variety of challenges present in the real world. They are already employed for entertainment purposes, assisting the elderly or performing surveillance on small kids.
Maybe world domination is not in the future of humanoid robots. But making the world a more interesting place just might be. In general, humanoid robots have a torso, a head, two arms, and two legs, though some forms of humanoid robots may model only part of the body, for example, from the waist up. Some humanoid robots also have heads designed to replicate human facial features such as eyes and mouths. Androids are humanoid robots built to aesthetically resemble humans.
- C-3PO from Star Wars. ©Lucasfilm & TM. All rights reserved
- NASA’s The Robonaut, a humanoid robot operated with a telepresence control system, is considered a workable candidate for space station repairs , thus, it could keep human astronauts out of harm’s way. Photo courtesy of NASA.etc.
Some of them are up for sale already, and the ones in this category are listed below:
1. DARwIn-OP (ROBOTIS OP)
DARwIn-OP is a humanoid robot created at Virginia Tech’s Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) in collaboration with Purdue University, University of Pennsylvania and Korean manufacturer ROBOTIS. The robot can be used at home, but the main goal is to be used in education and research thanks to the fact that it is a powerful and open platform and its creators encourage developers to build and add features to it.
DARwIn-OP , aka ROBOTIS OP first gen is 45cm tall (almost 18 inch) and has no less than 20 DOF, each joint being actuated by Dynamixel MX-28 servos. Its brain is represented by a PC sporting an Intel Atom Z530 CPU with 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 4GB of SSD storage as well as lots of standard I/Os, communication and peripherals. Hardware level management is accomplished by means of a CM-730 controller module which also integrates an inertial measurement unit (IMU), a 3Mbps servo bus as well as other interfaces and hardware.
Guess what? ROBOTIS OP 2nd gen is a revision of the original platform, sporting more powerful hardware under the hood, several improvements and features, and a smaller price tag, but almost no differences in exterior design apart from color of course.
The updated CPU is a dual core 1.6GHz Intel Atom N2600 with 4GB DDR3 RAM and 32GB SSD storage, both of which can be upgraded by the user, and Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n WiFi connectivity. Thanks to improved hardware; the robot can now run not only Linux but also any 32-bit Windows version. There is also a revised slightly smaller CM-740 hardware controller.
ROBOTIS OP 2 can be bought at around US $9600, implying that it is about 20 percent cheaper than the first generation.
2. DARwIn Mini (ROBOTIS Mini)
The DARwIn Mini is a lightweight and of course much smaller humanoid robot kit aimed at makers and hobbyists. The 27cm (10.6 inch) tall robot is completely open source and its parts are 3D printable, making it an ideal and cost-effective development platform.
Its brain is represented by an OpenCM9.04 embedded controller board which is also compatible with Arduino IDE. There are also interesting software options available, the R+ mobile app lets you program the robot from an iOS or Android device, while R+ Task and R+ Motion let you program motions or more advanced tasks into it. DARwIn Mini has a very affordable US $499 price tag. Runs on native Android version.
Pepper is a cute faced humanoid robot designed by Aldebaran in collaboration with Japanese communications giant SoftBank. The robot is geared toward high level human interaction, therefore featuring some advanced capabilities. The robot is equipped with a highly complex cloud-backed voice recognition engine capable of identifying not only speech but also inflections, tonality and subtle variations in the human voice. It also has the ability to learn from its interactions, while its 25 sensors and cameras provide detailed information about the environment and humans interacting with it. Pepper is not only a master of speech, it can use body language as well, relying on 20 actuators to perform very fluid and lifelike movements.
The robot is available for sale since June 2015 – at the price of198000 Yen, equivalent to US $1,600, in concordance with the price stated last year. It is worth noting that the price tag does not cover production costs entirely, however hopes are that the difference will be covered from cloud subscriptions and maintenance fees totaling about US $200 per month.
Romeo is a cute-faced character from plastic and metal with a height of 143 cm. This robot is under continuous development with new features being added as we speak. Romeo is built to order and customized according to requirements. The idea of developing a robot to help people with disabilities or health problems is not new, but Romeo is one of the best robots built for these tasks. Besides the care shown to people, it can be a real family member. It can have a discussion, can work in the kitchen, or empty the garbage. Interaction between people and Romeo is done in a natural way using words or gestures. Even if has four fingers on one hand, the robot can grasp objects, manipulate and feel objects of whatever form. Its degrees of freedom add to a total number of 37.
RoboThespian comes from the United Kingdom and is in continuous development since 2005. The current iteration – RT 3 – is available since 2011 and can be bought at prices starting with approximately US $78,000 or rented for various events. The robot is designed to be used in museums to guide visitors, education, or research. It is a good public speaker, and impresses by gesturing and emotions displayed on its face. Also it has the ability to dance, sing, or recite text. The two eyes are made up of LCD screens and change their colors in relation to the robot’s movements. Some of the moves made are created in the 3D animation program Blender.
The robot can be controlled remotely from a browser while the user can see what the robot sees at all times. The browser interface also allows for customizing high level functions via Python scripts running on a proprietary software architecture, while processing is ensured by Intel NUC units.
The robot’s body is made of aluminum while components are covered with the very common PET plastic material. Instead of electric motors, RoboThespian uses muscles driven by air pressure created by well-known German company Festo, these actuators allow for delicate and precise hand movement.
ASIMO is the most advanced humanoid robot which can be bought but also the most expensive, it costs no less than US $2,500,000. The latest version appeared in 2011 and brings significant improvements in autonomy, new balancing capability, new recognition system and other technological improvements. It can move in crowded places such as shopping malls, station or museums. It has the ability to adapt to the environment, can walk on any terrain, can climb or descend stairs!. It has a height of 130 cm and weighs 48 Kg. The 57 DOF enable the machinery to perform amazing maneuvers and it can also run with a speed up to 9 km/h.
Now at version 2.5 iCub is actually a spoiled baby, that’s how advanced this robot is. With a price of US $270,000 (250.000 EUR) without tax this is an extremely advanced social robot, the good part is that it is also modular so parts can be bought separately. It has a height of 100cm, weighs 23kg, it has ‘human features’ such as skin, sensors in fingertips and palms, complex tendon articulations, elastic actuators and is able to recognize and manipulate objects.bEach hand of this has 9 DOF and can feel objects in the same way a human does. The head is an essential component for moving, recognition and commands. It has 6 DOF and has integrated two cameras, two microphones, gyroscopes and accelerometers. Its brain is controlled by PC-104 controller board powered by an Intel CPU.
However, neuroscience continues to make tremendous strides in understanding how brain disorders lead to mental illnesses, and how brand new drugs and devices can literally cure those disorders. One of the most promising areas is that of electrical stimulation of the brain to treat diseases like epilepsy, depression and Parkinson’s disease.
The first thing that probably comes to mind are those horrible images from the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, of a patient strapped to a gurney as psychiatrists and staff apply electricity through electrodes on either sides of the patient’s head, rendering him unconscious. The reality is that today, patients sleep through the procedure, and today’s advanced brief-pulse machines apply carefully calibrated “doses” of electricity that minimize many of the negative effects of traditional electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) treatments, like amnesia.
What is remarkable is that even today, scientists still don’t understand why these treatments work. However, neuroscience is the closest to an answer. So much so that Philips Research recently published an article titled Solutions for the Future of Neurotherapy, where Principle Dr Professor Michel Decre reports that new brain stimulation therapies offer great promise for “curative therapies”.
As we progressively get to know more about neurons and how to influence their function, we can develop more organic brain stimulation techniques, as opposed to the current electrical or systemic drug solutions.A humanoid robot, no matter how smart or intelligent it may be, is still a man-made and programmed machine and not a living organism. Unless we were able to program all our capabilities into a robot, there is no fear of robots posing a danger to human beings. What do you think?