bots IN BRIEF
TAKE OUT THE TRASHBOX
The idea behind Sociable Trashbox Robot is that you don't have to design a
complex robot that can detect and pick up trash if you can just design a robot that
will somehow motivate people to put trash into it.
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effective social cues,
behaviors, and other essential factors to facilitate children in their anticipation of the
behavior of a sociable trash box robot (intentional stance). The STB uses interactive
social cues and vocal interactions to build a social coupling with children in order to
induce their assistance in collecting trash.
Here’s a new implementation of an actuated tail that makes for one
seriously maneuverable robot car.
The robot is called Dima (a name derived from a Sotho word that
means "flash of lightning") and it was deliberately designed to be able to
achieve high speeds with a high center of mass — a combination that works
best (or only) when driving in straight lines. Turning at any speed that you
might charitably call exciting leads to an immediate toppling over, but the
addition of an actuated tail that can swing in the roll axis of the robot can
effectively keep it stable.
This is a bit different from other tail-assisted turns because, in this case,
the tail is being used to counteract the torque that the robot generates
while turning, rather than being used to generate torque to turn the robot.
Also, the tail is being turned in a roll axis instead of a yaw axis — an idea
the researchers got after watching how a cheetah's tail moves when it
makes high-speed turns.
After a bunch of experiments with both tail-less and tailed versions of
Dima, results showed that the addition of the actuated tail allowed the robot
to make stable turns at over twice the speed that it would be able to
otherwise ( 7. 5 m/s as opposed to 3.1 m/s).
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