DARwIn-LC robot presented at RoboCup 2010
As we announced on our Twitter account, we’re going cover this year’s RoboCup. As we said in our article about Robocup 2009, this event has a goal to develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players that could beat the human world soccer champions by 2050. On 24 June the RoboCup 2010 soccer finals took place in Singapore. The event had more than 500 entries from educational and research institutions in over 40 countries.
One of the competitors was Team DARwIn. Developers of Virginia Tech’s DARwIn teamed up with University of Pennsylvania’s UPennalizers to form Team DARwIn in the Humanoid League. The DARwIn (Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence) series robot is a family of humanoid robots capable of bipedal walking and performing human-like motions. DARwIn is a research platform developed at the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) at Virginia Tech for studying robot locomotion and sensing. It was enhanced by UPennalizers from the Standard Platform League are teaming up together to form Team DARwIn in the Humanoid League.
The latest version of the robot is 560 mm (22 inches) tall, weights 3.6 kg (8 pounds), has 20 degrees-of-freedom (DOF) with each joint actuated by coreless DC motors via distributed control with controllable compliance. Using a computer vision system and IMU, DARwIn can implement human-like gaits while navigating obstacles and traverse uneven terrain while implementing complex behaviors such as playing soccer.
DARwIn-LC is nicely designed robot which was presented at Robocup 2010. It was developed by the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (Romela) at Virginia Tech The robot features two joints in its head and another 18 in its body. Its algorithms and hardware need a bit of upgrade in order to make it more agile, but it is already able to track, follow and kick a ball in the right moment.
Although it looks a bit clumsy and reminds of low cost or kit robots coming from Japan, it is actually a first step on the way to developing a whole new “Open Platform Humanoid Robot”, kit which Romela plans to commercialize during the next year.