Japanese Humanoid Robot Dominates DARPA Challenge

A Japanese robotics team dominated the field after an ambitious two-day competition that saw robots driving cars, climbing ladders and wielding power tools. A two-legged robot built by engineers at SCHAFT Inc., a Japanese robotics firm, won the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials(Dec. 21), scoring the most points across tasks that tested the robots’ mobility, dexterity, perception and autonomous operations. Florida-based…

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Driving Sideways

There was a really interesting article on autonomous vehicle. The article was presented in opinion page of The New york Times. The driverless car, like other utopian pursuits, seems always to be just out of reach. It’s captured the imagination of many for at least a century: in 1918, the Oakland Tribune reported (in a section I wish all newspapers…

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SandFlea – Leaps Small Buildings in a Single Bound

Sand Flea is an 11 pound robot that drives like an RC car on flat terrain, but can jump 30 ft into the air to overcome obstacles.  That is high enough to jump over a compound wall, onto the roof of a house, up a set of stairs or into a second story window.  The robot uses gyro stabilization to…

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Underactuated Robotics

< Online open course, MIT > Underactuated robotics There is an interesting online open course made by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with Prof. Russel Tedrake. This course treated the nonlinear dynamics, optimal control, motion planning and so on. The underactuation is a technical term used in robotics and control theory to describe mechanical devices that have a lower number of…

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