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Toys

Miniature Humanoid Robot based on 19th Century Toy 14

dbowden writes: "Recently, Slashdot ran an article about a humanoid robot which runs Linux. It weighs 121 lbs, uses two 750 MHz Pentium III processors, and runs RT-Linux. It also requires a technician to push around a huge power supply that's attached to the robot by an umbilical cord. I found another robot, Baps, which only weighs 6.6 lbs (3 Kg), runs on a single 133 MHz Pentium processor with 32 MB of RAM and 48 MB of flash memory, and is based on a child's toy that was designed in 1888. It also runs on Linux, but requires very little power to move (it can be run on CO2 cartridges), so it doesn't require an umbilical cord, or bulky power supply." (He's also got some tips on building your own below.)

"I remember playing with these toys as a child, and thinking how cool they were. For the ./ers who like to build robots, both of these walkers use McKibben Artificial Muscles instead of normal pneumatic cylinders.

I built one of these last week -- they're surprisingly easy to build, and I think they'll be fun to play with. For those with larger budgets, who don't want to build their own, The Shadow Robot Co. in the UK, and Images Co. in the US, both sell pre-made air muscles."

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Miniature Humanoid Robot based on 19th Century Toy

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  • To imitate or not... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 4n0nym0u53 C0w4rd ( 463592 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2001 @09:05PM (#2500623) Homepage
    One interesting issue that these guys confronted, and that others must confront as well is whether or not to attempt to imitate the way humans (or other animals) perform or to simply engineer a solution that works.

    As an example, imagine that you are creating a computer vision system. If you want to be able to have it measure aesthetic quality you may wish to rely on our knowledge of how humans judge visual pleasantness. Alternatively, if you are interested in the detection of faint patterns, you may find that humans don't do it as well as you'd like, and that an alternative approach is better.

    The discussion of the Honda Robot compared to this one is sort of the same thing. Just because someone else made a robot that doesn't do things like people do them, doesn't mean the robot is not as good. If the goals are to simulate people, then yes this robot is better. If however, the goals are different, then this may not be better (e.g., it can't carry as much weight).
    • The discussion of the Honda Robot compared to this one is sort of the same thing. Just because someone else made a robot that doesn't do things like people do them, doesn't mean the robot is not as good. If the goals are to simulate people, then yes this robot is better. If however, the goals are different, then this may not be better (e.g., it can't carry as much weight).


      You're right that your design criteria determines what is good and what isn't. However, I think almost all humanoid/bi-pedal robot designers would like to at least meet some minimum autonomous walking distance. The point of the Honda Robot comparison was the energy to weight consumption. Baps demostrates the success of the design; meaning that at least an order of maginitude of power consumption can be saved. I'm guessing that Baps could be scaled up to carry more weight. The point is that she has a method of walking that doesn't consume much power. It's the ratio that's important.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        The life force spent millions of years refining the design of humans. There are reasons for various aspects of the human design that are neither understood or misunderstood, but one interesting point brought up by Data in one of the Star Trek Movies. The robot is capable of maintaining a data matrix that is specific to the robot. Data is telling the kid that it must be hard being a child because when the kid wakes up in the morning, he has to relearn walking because his body dimensions have changed. The physical dimensions of a robot & the languages he speaks etc are all consistant to a specific apparatus, whereas a general device such as a human has nono specific quides but has to generate & maintain groups of associations that are quite extensive in order to define the context of it's exsistence.
  • WTF? (Score:1, Troll)

    by moopster ( 119808 )
    Posted by timothy on Monday October 29, @08:39PM

    Why am I able to make the second post on this story? It is now Tue Oct 30 19:06:10 CST 2001
    • This article never seemed to appear on the main page... I only saw it pop up in 'Older Stuff'.

      - CZ
    • It never made the front page -- see the FAQ [slashdot.org]

      My guess is that this story was too similar to the original [slashdot.org] story about Humanoid Robots to make the main page.

      • No - My mistake. It somehow got posted into the past. I didn't actually submit this story until Tuesday morning, around noon. I'm not sure how it got posted on Monday night at 8:39 pm.
    • Maybe you are all spending tooooo much time looking on Slashdot. I look at it once in the morning, the next day I see what I missed by looking in the Older Stuff section because I have a life during the daytime.

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. - Voltaire

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