October 29, 2004 The popular RoboSapien developed by WowWee for the toy market has come third in the 2004 RoboCup in Lisbon with the addition of a Pocket PC to give it autonomous functionality. Team NimbRo, from the Institute for Computer Science at the University of Freiburg in Germany, created the robot Frankenstein by hacking off the head, arms and arm motors from the toy, which was renamed the NimbRo RS. The head was replaced with a Toshiba e755 Pocket PC that communicated via infrared to the robot and a LifeView FlyCam. Team NimbRo then wrote software to make the robot totally autonomous and have released the API and details on their website.
As NimbRo RS, the robot took part in the RoboCup 2004 Humanoid League competition, coming third in the Technical Challenge when it walked up and down a ramp without falling.
The NimbRo and its toy counterpart the RoboSapien are just the tip of the iceberg in autonomous robot prototypes being developed worldwide.
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