Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog
26 mars 2014 3 26 /03 /mars /2014 12:20
Robotic Mule Gets a Throwing Arm



March 17th, 2014 by Bryant Jordan defensetech.org

Big Dog, the four-legged Boston Dynamics’ robot that until now looked more like a headless horse, finally has something resembling a head.

The company developing the robo-beast with the Army Research Laboratory funding calls in an arm, though, and in a recent video you can see it grabbing, lifting and hurling 35-lb cinder blocks to the side and rear.

“The goal is to use the strength of the legs and torso to help power motions of the arm,” a company official said. “This sort of dynamic, whole-body approach to manipulation is used routinely by human athletes and will enhance the performance of advanced robots.”

Big Dog funding originally came from DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, but was subsequently picked up by the ARL’s Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance. The objective is to field a fully autonomous robotic mule – something with “animal-like mobility,” says Boston Dynamics – that can operate in terrain too rough for vehicles.

It’s easy to see the advantage of having a robot mule able to clear its own path. In the video demonstration Big Dog’s best cinderblock throw was about 17 feet.

To date Big Dog still requires a human operator commanding it via wireless radio, according to the company. Its own onboard control system operates the legs and provides stability, so that even without command assistance it can handle rough terrain and react quickly to balance itself and stay upright if bumped, as shown in this video from 2013, when Marines put it through some paces as a pack robot.

But future versions will use computer vision, GPS, and light detection and ranging technology for accurately gauging distance to provide more autonomy. This will enable the robot to travel to pre-programmed locations without additional human input.

Ultimately, the Army wants a number of military unmanned ground vehicle systems of various sizes and abilities that can operate largely or entirely autonomously.

In a 2011 report, the alliance said the future of unmanned systems rests with the machines being able to function with intelligence-based technologies enabling them to team with combat troops.

“To act as teammates,” the report said, “robotic systems will need to reason about their missions, move through the world in a tactically correct way, observe salient events … communicate efficiently with soldiers and other autonomous systems, and effectively perform a variety of mission tasks.”

Partager cet article
12 juillet 2013 5 12 /07 /juillet /2013 11:20
Atlas Humanoid Robot Revealed Ahead of DARPA Robotics Challenge

July 12, 2013 By  J. T. Quigley - Tech Biz


Move over, ASIMO. The new humanoid robot from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) does away with the cutesy voice and toy-store design in favor of something much more Terminator-inspired. The hulking 6-foot 2-inch bipedal machine weighs 330 pounds and achieves unparalleled mobility thanks to 28 hydraulically actuated joints.

Atlas, built by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPS, is modeled after the ultra high-tech robotics firm’s Petman. Judging from Boston Dynamics’ earlier projects, including BigDog and Cheetah, it is highly unlikely that Atlas will suffer from an embarrassing loss of balance like its Honda-made predecessor. In fact, Atlas was designed to take a beating while remaining upright.

In a video released earlier this week, DARPA shows off the Atlas Proto robot jumping from a ledge, navigating over a gap in the ground, and quickly climbing stairs without falling. Then, the current Atlas is shown balancing on one foot and then being hit by a wrecking ball. It stabilizes itself while remaining on only one foot. Finally, researchers put wooden planks under a walking Atlas’ feet. The robot manages to take one step onto the plank, step off, and readjust its path to avoid the obstacle.

“It's designed to not only walk and carry things, but can travel through rough terrain outdoors and climb using its hands and feet. Its head includes stereo cameras and a laser range finder,” said CNET.

While Boston Dynamics’ other robots are primarily designed for military applications, Atlas will be accessible to civilians. For DARPA’s international Robotics Challenge (DRC), seven lucky teams will have the opportunity to program Atlas with their own custom software. The DRC kicked off in October 2011, and will continue this December in Miami.

The DRC will pit teams of robot engineers against each other in a simulated industrial disaster setting, reminiscent of the March 11 2011 disaster in Japan.

“DARPA specifically mentions the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident as an example of a disaster that would have benefited from more capable robots. In fact, the scenario DARPA is planning for the final competition closely resembles the dramatic events that unfolded in the first 24 hours at Fukushima, when human workers attempted but ultimately failed to fix one of the crippled reactors,” said IEEE Spectrum.

Tasks that the challengers’ robots must be able to complete will be breaking down a wall, finding a leaky pipe, and fixing a cooling pump.

The winning team will be awarded a $2 million cash prize by DARPA.

Partager cet article


  • : RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact


Articles Récents