ROS gains full body telemetry

[Taylor Veldrop] has been playing with an NAO robot and ROS, mixed with a Kinect to get some pretty amazing results. The last time we saw any work done with ROS and the Kinect, it was allowing some basic telemetry using the PR2. [Tyler] has taken this a step further allowing for full body control of the NAO robot. Basic mimicking mixed with a little bit of autonomy allow the NAO to follow his steps around a room and even slice a bananna, or hammer nails. We think this is pretty impressive, especially if he were to mix it together with a motion tracking stereoscopic display. Follow along after the break to see it pull off some of these cool feats.

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Chumby takes its first steps

nice screen image, though I doubt he'll ever catch us at that speed.

[Eric Gregory] has gone a bit mad scientist on the Chumby, turning it into a bipedal bot. We expected all kinds of cool chumby hacking, but we can’t say we saw this one coming. [Eric] points out that with a 454Mhz processor, 64MB of RAM, 2GB of expandable storage and a USB host port, the Chumby is more than capable as a robotics platform.  With the addition of a mysterious and soon to be announced sensor board, he has made this chumby into a walking biped. While anyone who can write programs for linux, or even write flash applications can create software for the chumby, [Eric] chose to port the Robot Vision Toolkit over. This opens the doors to people who can write in Basic or who have written for the C64 or Apple][. You can see a video of this guy in action after the break.

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At first, watching this video of MABEL, a bipedal robot for studying dynamic gaits, we didn’t know if we should be scared or feel sad. By the end, we know that sadness prevailed. Poor MABEL, forced into a  grueling routine, is not even allowed to rest when her leg breaks.

To be serious though, MABEL is quite impressive. Instead of using a direct drive on the legs, motors are attached to springs that act like tendons. This helps compensate for variances in the walking surface, hopefully allowing for smoother transitions between gaits as well. As you can see, MABEL handles the height differences quite well, albeit a bit slowly. It is worth noting that there are no visual sensors on MABEL and everything is done through feedback from her gait.

Biped walks with eight servos

This tiny biped shows a lot of coordination in its movements. As you can see, eight servo motors account for the locomotion with an ATmega8 as the brains of the operation. Posts for the first and second generation of this little guy feature several videos. We gather that a spreadsheet is being used to tweak the preprogrammed movement sequences. Trial and error, that’s how humans learned to walk, right?

[Thanks Lazas]

Robo-one dance competition

This year at the creepy robot dace-a-thon, also known as the Robo-one dance competition, we get to see the creepy brought to new levels. We thought the Lou Vega decapitated head bot was creepy, but somehow these people managed to make a biped out creep a hexapod. Watch above as this uncanny valley resident tries to shimmy into your heart. We really are impressed by these bots though. The world of robot dancing has come a long way, those little servo bags are doing a better job than us on the dance floor.

BigDog’s bipedal brother

Boston Dynamics is at it again. This time, they’ve created a creepy biped with a natural gait. It may look very similar to BigDog, because it really is almost the same system. Named PETMAN, this biped system is being designed to help test chemical protection suits. This bot can stress the suit by walking, running, and even crawling in a room filled with poison gas. Not only can PETMAN walk, run, and crawl, but it can also sweat and change its temperature.  That’s pretty cool. Like BigDog, the most impressive part is when they give it a shove and it recovers with a motion that seems almost organic.

OmniZero.9 multi format biped

There are so many biped bots circulating the web that we tend to overlook them. This one caught our eye this morning due to its interesting ability to change its layout. Named OmniZero.9, this biped can drive on 4 wheels like a car, walk like a biped, and even carry a person. While it certainly doesn’t look like the most comfortable mode of transportation, it looks less awkward than some of the latest “innovations” coming from big names.

[via GetRobo]