bots IN BRIEF
CARE-O-BOT OPENS UP
Remember Care-O-bot 3 from Fraunhofer IPA — the lovable little
robot that’s missing a limb? Well, Fraunhofer IPA recently open-sourced
The Care-O-bot 3 software platform was recently ported to ROS
and is fully available as open source. You can now go to the ROS.org
wiki and find documentation on the many software packages that
This is great news since developers will now be able to collaborate
in making these robots do some truly amazing things — like accurate
object recognition which is becoming increasingly prevalent in
consumer robotics as technologies develop. In Care-O-bot 3’s case, objects are first scanned in three dimensions via a
camera in the head. Once the bot has a 3D image saved, it can compare that saved image to live images from its camera
to determine which object is which.
The Care-O-bot 3 stands 4' 3” and has a single arm which is designed specifically to “relieve us of heavy, dirty,
monotonous or irksome tasks.” One of its primary functions is to serve drinks. Since many drinks come in varying
containers, it can actually learn the shape of each bottle or can.
To teach it a newly-shaped container, simply place the bottle or can into its hand, and it will produce a 3D rendering
which will be stored in its memory. There are also sensors in each finger which allow it to grip the container with the right
amount of pressure, so as not to destroy your drink in the process of transporting it.
Currently, the Care-O-bot 3 takes orders via a touchscreen menu. However, there currently is a test unit which can
receive audio commands, as well.
FUTURE LIES IN THE ATOM
FutureBots ( www.futurebots.com/walk.htm) is advancing robotics to
support the needs of mankind in space, healthcare, commercial, hazardous rescue
activities, and chemical and biological disposal applications with the introduction
of the ATOM-7xp humanoid robot.
ATOM — which stands for "Advanced Technology for Optimizing Motion" —
was built by Dan Mathias, an electrical/mechanical/software engineer. ATOM-7xp
has 49 degrees of freedom, is made of aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber, and is
all hand built in the USA in the FutureBots Labs by Dan. The bot has many high
powered processor units running some of the world’s most advanced operating
systems. It also has advanced stereo vision
system and an advanced walking system that
imitates humans. Definitely check it out.
24 SERVO 04.2010