Robotics

Roboy team aims to build robot toddler in nine months

Roboy team aims to build robot...
The University of Zurich’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory is building a robot toddler called “Roboy"
The University of Zurich’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory is building a robot toddler called “Roboy"
View 44 Images
Roboy's chest assembly
1/44
Roboy's chest assembly
Roboyboy's neck assembly
2/44
Roboyboy's neck assembly
Roboy's chest assembly
3/44
Roboy's chest assembly
Roboy's chest assembly
4/44
Roboy's chest assembly
Roboyboy's neck assembly
5/44
Roboyboy's neck assembly
The AI Lab team
6/44
The AI Lab team
Roboy muscle unit
7/44
Roboy muscle unit
Roboy's neck assembly
8/44
Roboy's neck assembly
Page from the Roboy brochure
9/44
Page from the Roboy brochure
Roboy's arm
10/44
Roboy's arm
Roboy's head
11/44
Roboy's head
Roboy's features
12/44
Roboy's features
Results of the poll to choose Roboy's face
13/44
Results of the poll to choose Roboy's face
Detail of muscle unit
14/44
Detail of muscle unit
Detail of muscle unit
15/44
Detail of muscle unit
Roboy's neck assembly
16/44
Roboy's neck assembly
Timeline of Roboy's development
17/44
Timeline of Roboy's development
Roboy's neck assembly
18/44
Roboy's neck assembly
CAD diagram of Roboy's muscle simulation
19/44
CAD diagram of Roboy's muscle simulation
Roboy's neck assembly
20/44
Roboy's neck assembly
Roboy's neck assembly
21/44
Roboy's neck assembly
Roboy under development
22/44
Roboy under development
Roboy's hand
23/44
Roboy's hand
ECCE
24/44
ECCE
Roboy components
25/44
Roboy components
ECCE
26/44
ECCE
Roboy components
27/44
Roboy components
ECCE
28/44
ECCE
Roboy components
29/44
Roboy components
ECCE
30/44
ECCE
Roboy muscle unit
31/44
Roboy muscle unit
ECCE
32/44
ECCE
Roboy component
33/44
Roboy component
Roboy components
34/44
Roboy components
Roboy components
35/44
Roboy components
Roboy components
36/44
Roboy components
Roboy's chest
37/44
Roboy's chest
Roboy's hand
38/44
Roboy's hand
Roboy's chest
39/44
Roboy's chest
Roboy riding a bicycle
40/44
Roboy riding a bicycle
Roboy development timeline
41/44
Roboy development timeline
Roboy
42/44
Roboy
Roboy's chest assembly
43/44
Roboy's chest assembly
The University of Zurich’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory is building a robot toddler called “Roboy"
44/44
The University of Zurich’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory is building a robot toddler called “Roboy"
View gallery - 44 images

If robots are going to be part of our everyday lives, they’ll need to fit into our homes rather than the factory floor. Few people would be comfortable living with a metal spider on tank treads, so the University of Zurich’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AI Lab) is building a robot toddler called “Roboy.” Using “soft robotics” technology that mimics the human body, the 1.2 meter (3 ft, 11 in) tall humanoid robot is part of an effort to make robots that people are more comfortable with in day-to-day situations.

Roboy doesn't look very endearing at the moment. In fact, it looks more like a cyborg skeleton than a charming child, but it’s still a work in progress. The laboratory’s goal is to build Roboy in only nine months. Work began last June with 15 project partners and over 40 engineers and scientists. These parties are providing expertise and funds through sponsorship and crowdfunding that includes auctioning space on the robot for logos, and hiring it out for business functions when completed.

Roboy's features
Roboy's features

Roboy is based on the laboratory’s previous project, the humanoid, frighteningly cycloptic Eccerobot. Built out of plastic, Roboy is modeled on the human musculoskeletal system, but this mimicry goes beyond the aesthetic. Instead of motors in its joints, Roboy uses motor assemblies that pull elastic cables, so the system operates in a way similar to muscles and tendons. AI Lab claims that this will allow Roboy to move “almost as elegantly as a human.”

Currently, Roboy is more of a research project than an engineering enterprise. The team is developing new technologies with an eye toward scalable production using CAD and 3D printing to allow for full production of robots within days of development.

Roboy's chest assembly
Roboy's chest assembly

The purpose of Roboy is to push for the acceptance of service robots by making people more comfortable having them around all the time. With an aging population, AI Lab believes that such service robots will be increasingly important in helping the elderly to continue independent lives.

Roboy is currently getting a new face chosen by a Facebook contest, and can move its arms. Later, the robot will be covered with a soft skin. Roboy will make its first public appearance at the “Robots on Tour” exhibition on March 9, to celebrate AI Lab’s 25th anniversary.

The video below shows Roboy in action.

Source: Roboy, AI Lab

ROBOY: Tendon Driven Humanoid Robot

View gallery - 44 images
4 comments
Slowburn
I would prefer a Nova SAINT. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e8/Johnny5_03.jpg/220px-Johnny5_03.jpg
grtbluyonder
Will the toddler upchuck , poop, and be colicky? Why would anyone want this?
Tyson Key
I'm sure that it embodies some rather advanced technology (and I'm all in favour of progress) - but if anything, this robot just looks incredibly creepy.
jimnorcal
They didn't discuss the AI part. I'm curious to know if they're taking any new directions in an attempt to make the bot actually think like a toddler, or if they're just using (well) known AI algorythms to make the bot function.