Robotics

COMAN-bot stays on its feet in face of moderate-to-pronounced shoving

COMAN-bot stays on its feet in...
COMAN stays on its feet despite being pushed around by its human masters
COMAN stays on its feet despite being pushed around by its human masters
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COMAN stands 95 cm (37 in) tall and weighs 31 kg (68 lb)
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COMAN stands 95 cm (37 in) tall and weighs 31 kg (68 lb)
A closer look at some of COMAN's components
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A closer look at some of COMAN's components
COMAN stays on its feet despite being pushed around by its human masters
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COMAN stays on its feet despite being pushed around by its human masters
COMAN stays on its feet despite being pushed around by its human masters
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COMAN stays on its feet despite being pushed around by its human masters
COMAN survives the ol' back-and-forth-on-the-trolley test
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COMAN survives the ol' back-and-forth-on-the-trolley test
Sensors in COMAN's ankles help it adjust to sloping ground
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Sensors in COMAN's ankles help it adjust to sloping ground
COMAN stays on its feet despite being pushed around by its human masters
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COMAN stays on its feet despite being pushed around by its human masters
View gallery - 7 images

We've seen robots optimized for stability before, but where, for example, Dr. Guero's modified Kondo KHR-3HV could withstand the odd gentle prod with a finger, the Italian Institute of Technology's COMAN is apparently made of sterner stuff, remaining vertical in the face of rather more determined jostling thanks to its sensor-equipped motorized joints.

Being a sensing, autonomous machine, COMAN is a robot in the truest sense of the word. Despite its apparent state of headlessness, the robot is not without a brain. In its chest is a dual-core Pentium PC104 CPU, along with a battery pack providing 150 minutes of gadding about.

Overall balance is assisted by inertial sensors in the pelvis and chest, but the key to its resilience against knocks is its series of motorized and elasticated joints which adjust stiffness when needed. That need is determined by torque sensors in each joint, as well as degrees-of-freedom sensors in the ankles with which COMAN senses the ground and adjusts to inclines.

Despite the apparent emphasis on staying upright, the researchers frame this as compliance, the better to increase safety in human-robot interaction (COMAN is short for Compliant Humanoid Platform). Other stated project aims include reducing energy consumption, and achieving faster machine learning.

COMAN brings us a step closer to the day when robots may make fine, upstanding members of human society (no again, Ed).

See the video below for a sense of COMAN's capabilities.

Source: Italian Institute of Technology, via IEEE Spectrum's Automaton Blog

CoMAN - Full Body Compliant Humanoid COMAN

View gallery - 7 images
3 comments
Daishi
If it has an onboard CPU and 2 hour battery pack why leave it tethered for the demo? I have been a biped robot naysayer for years, I guess I just don't see the point of giving machines human limitations like legs and feet. It is a minority view I confess but I wonder if that will still be the case if we are still looking at expensive limited biped experiments in 20 more years.
Marc 1
Anybody else get the overwhelming urge to see the robot smack 'em back ? :-) (I'm just imagining a voice over by Snoz Durante here as the robot hits the boke in the cods) "Pick on the little guy why don't ya...." lol
DaniellaRamón
I find it interesting how the researchers seek ways to make robot increasingly this updated, is also extraordinary in the way looking for the robot to have the skills of a human. I invite you to enter the following link in the career of Mechatronics of the Politécnica Salesiana University http://www.ups.edu.ec/ingenieria-mecatronica-cuenca