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Humanoid robots fascinate us - they appear in nearly every science fiction universe. Compared to Mr. Data or C-3PO, humanoids in reality are rather disappointing. Not only do they lack anything resembling human-level intelligence, but even their walking is slow and fragile - most of them only work on perfectly even ground. While we still have to wait a long time for true artificial intelligence, the recent years have brought substantial progress with respect to motion.
Unfortunately, most of that progress is proprietary - the leading groups, such as Schaft and Boston Dynamics, publish very little beyond Youtube videos. University projects are more open, but still usually do not publish source code or construction drawings. We think that bipedal robots are way too important to be left to the proprietary world, so we decided to learn from what is available and start to build our own, completely open one. In the talk, we will try to share what we have learned so far.
The first part of the talk will be on simulation, which allows us to test control algorithms and to get an idea about the mechanical requirements without having to build actual hardware. We will introduce the basics of rigid body dynamics, discuss the physics of walking and show how a successful walking machine can be built, at least a virtual one.
In the second part of the talk, we will discuss how a physical, human-size robot might be built without needing a 100,000+ € budget. We will present our plans and experiments on sensors, motor drivers and actuators.