Monday, August 13, 2012

Robot to Watch: Hanson Robokind

This is one of the humanoid robots to watch that will help change the robotic world.

Excerpt from Hanson RoboKind website.
Hanson RoboKind robots bring you amazing Hanson facial expressions on walking bodies, for the most lifelike robots in the world. With high-definition cameras, numerous sensors, software API, Maxon motors, and a powerful embedded computer, RoboKind robots are perfect for RoboCup, robotics, and psychology research.

About the robot head.
Our robots are capable of the full range of human expressions. The key is our skin, made of our patented Frubber™ material. Frubber™ is a biomimetic polymer that contracts and folds just like human skin. This allows the robots to achieve life-like expressions in a low power, robust package. Because of our skin, our knowledge of anatomy, and our sophisticated robot engineering, RoboKind robots can accurately simulate the action of over 32 facial muscles. The eyes move independently, and contain separate cameras for true binocular stereovision. The eye action allows for natural eye motion, simulating natural eye saccades. The eye and neck DoF redundancy is important for expressive gestures and gaze fixation. The eyes contain high def cameras that are 720p, 30fps with USB 2.0. The eyes have natural eyelid action. The head nods, turns, tilts and pitches. The head also contains two microphones, located near the ears, for full audio processing.

About the robot body.
Our bodies are built stronger, faster, and they feature the powerful Dynamixel Servos. For those models that walk, they use RX-64 servos in the legs, allowing quick movement and consistent performance. Models with gestural arms use RX-28 and RX-64 servos in the arms, allowing for strong movements, as well as fine precision. Our bodies also contain an amazing sensor array, including an IMU with a 9 axis gyro/accelerometer/compass, temperature, torque, and touch sensors, and many other sensor options. It is all controlled by our on board computer. It is fully featured, and directly controllable.

The current models for sale are R-50 Expressive face with full motion body $16,750, and R-30 Expressive face with gestural, non-walking body $11,500.

Software to use.
As of now, they are planning to release an open-source and complete SDK for software development on any RoboKind platform.

For more information, please visit Hanson RoboKind website.