May 11, 2009 It plays drums, serves drinks and learns whatever you care to teach it – it’s Hawk, your very own bot for the home. Designed and built on an i90 robot base, Hawk is a human-like robot with hawkish head and long claw-like arms. Ergo, it’s moniker.

The robot is the work of small Canadian robotics company Dr Robot, which was established in 2001 by a group of scientists and engineers who had previously designed robotic systems for various space agencies.

The 1.4-meter Hawk uses a dual-camera animated head, an indoor GPS system and various sensors to both navigate by and provide precise information about the layout of the house, including obstacles. Its arms have six degrees of freedom, which give each arm a fair degree of mechanical movement. Sitting on a wheeled base, Hawk can be controlled by wireless remote “tele-operation” or a small touch screen on the robot’s chest.

According to its makers, Hawk operates anywhere between two and eight hours (depending on which battery option you choose) before it needs recharging, which it does autonomously. The robot can lift up to 1kg, which should be enough to bring you a tray of drinks.

Dr Robot describes its goal as providing “cost-effective, high performance robots for industrial, commercial and academic end-users alike”.

Here is the full list of specs:

  • Dual arms with 6 joints (DOF) + 2DOF gripper, reaching 60cm (2ft), with max lifting weight of 800g (optional 1kg)
  • 6DOF animated head with dual 640x480 color cameras
  • A 3.5-inch color display on chest, playing video (.wmv), audio and displaying images
  • Overall height of 1.4m; Dimension: 43cm(L) x 38cm(W) x 140cm(H)
  • Navigation and localization providing collision-free point-to-point autonomous navigation
  • Vision-landmark base indoor localization (indoor GPS, position/orientation) sensor and the landmarks together provide precise position and direction information covering every inch of the floor
  • Auto-docking and recharging station
  • Fully wireless networked 802.11g
  • OS independent application development tools
  • Navigation sensors including six sonar and 10 IR range sensors
  • Max speed 0.5m/sec
  • Comprehensive circuit protection
  • High-resolution pan-tilt-zoom (10X) camera
  • Max payload of 10kg (optional 40kg) with body weight of 21kg
  • Tele-operation and remote monitoring
  • Extended operating time: two hour operation time on each recharge
  • Upgrade options: laser scanner; power and battery systems for four, eight hours operation time are available

To order your own Hawk, email Dr Robot at No prices available as yet.

Paul Best

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