Algorithms help robot dogs trot more like real animals
Robot dogs can move efficiently, but not all that naturally -- and no, twerking doesn't count. Virginia Tech researchers think they can do better. They're developing a combination of algorithms and sensors that help robots move with gaits more like those of real animals. The system mimics the behavior of vertebrates, whose balance control comes largely from oscillating neurons in the spinal cord, using a combination of encoder sensors (to read relative positions for joints) and inertial measurement units (to measure the body's orientation relative to the ground). The result is a mechanical canine that can walk, run and trot with more grace and speed than usual.
Thanks to a new web-based API, developers can now teach Sony ’ s Aibo robot dog new tricks. Sony just released software update 2.50 for the ERS1000 Aibo Both allow Aibo owners to program new actions . However, and we’re not sure why Sony wouldn’t allow for this, users can’t change Aibo ’s
Have you ever imagined a robotic pet? The new Sony Aibo may just be what you’ve been waiting for. The new Sony Aibo will begin to ship in September (United
Aibo, the robotic dog by Sony, recently received a software update that lets developers customize the pup's actions.
For years, Sony has been developing robot dogs that have the capacity to emulate the behavior of real pups. Last year, the sixth generation of Aibo went on sale in the US complete not only with pooch mannerisms, but also with AI and cloud-connected technology.
Since this launch, Aibo has become as much of a house watchdog as a companion thanks to software updates that take advantage of the device's cameras and sensors to send owners live reports of their house while they're away. Most recently, the robot dog received an update that allows developers to program Aibo to perform specific actions like eating a virtual cookie.
Version 2.50 of the ERS1000 model comes with a web-based API which gives owners access to the "Aibo Developer Program" and "Aibo Visual Programming" tools. While developers ranging from beginner to advanced can program Aibo to make original movements and tricks, "they cannot change the emotion, character or mood of Aibo through programming."
Sony hopes that such tools can be cooperative in the future so that they can be shared between users.
Robots arrive, but what for?
To inform people, act as personal assistants or simply keep company, robots arrive in our lives. But these creatures evoking Star Wars are not yet very developed, and the uses in a domestic setting remain largely to invent.Shares in this article
This is especially in shops, railway stations, airports, museums or congress centers that we should soon be able to meet more or less futuristic robots deployed to meet the public. They understand your questions, follow your eyes, speak several languages and do not get impatient if they have to repeat themselves.
The two Normans of Event-Bots have thus created Tiki in their garage of Rouen: it is a funny slender machine with a screen instead of the belly and a small triangular head animated by leds. Of very different appearance, Leenby, an imposing robote helmet proposed by the Limoges of Cyberdroid, can also guide the people, and even serve petits-fours on a plate.
Featured Innorobo this week in Paris, the best known is undoubtedly Pepper, very talkative humanoid robot designed by SoftBank Robotics (new name of the company Aldebaran), already marketed in Japan.
Tested in recent months in Carrefour stores and railway stations, Pepper will now be available in Europe, for companies interested in contacting application developers to configure it according to their needs.
If he thinks that Pepper has its place "in all the places where we need to welcome people", Julien Seret, in charge of the professional market at SoftBank Robotics, is much more cautious about his future with individuals.
This nice media robot has certainly found its place in 7,000 homes of Japanese technophiles since last year but the market is not yet ripe, according to Seret: we are still waiting for the return of the Japanese experience to refine the uses, and invent the necessary applications.
- Robot to adopt -
"It must work when you take the robot out of the box," he notes.
For Alain Goudey, marketing professor at Neoma Business School, robots are not yet developed enough to enter our homes: their batteries are too weak, they do not understand anything as soon as there is a little noise ...
"The first reflex is + wow it's great! + And then we wonder: + OK, it's great, but what's that? +", fun researcher .
The level of expectation is all the higher as manufacturers have often chosen humanoid forms, he notes.
With disappointments when the conversation with the little metal marvel quickly turns empty, even though some robot-companions - like Nao, who made Aldebaran known before the birth of Pepper-- have proven themselves in houses of retirement or with autistic children.
Where could be the birth of Buddy (boyfriend, in English), a funny digital animal on wheels with a tablet instead of the head, who recognizes the people around him, patrols the house, detects the entrances and exits, organizes videoconferences, makes revising the lessons to the children ...
"Buddy is there to be adopted", notes Marc Gourlain, the product manager, who sees him as "a new member of the family".
Designed by Parisian start-up Blue Frog Robotics, this smiling companion robot is a continuation of tagamotchi - a Japanese virtual pet that made a splash in the late 1990s - or a robot dog. from Sony, Aibo. It also aims to become a central remote control for connected objects in the house.
"The future of robotics lies in the service robot, with robots that are at the service of the human for tasks and repetitive and easy at home," says Fabrice Goffin, co-director of Zora Robotics, a Belgian company who provided operating systems to Aldebaran.
Himself announces the release this summer of James, "a butler connected with everything and anything", who can place orders if your fridge is empty.
PiBo is a robotic companion for single people .
It can get lonely living on your own, especially when you've got a landlord that doesn't allow pets or roommates. But instead of dropping two grand on an Aibo, check out this unnervingly cute companion robot from Korean developer, Circulus. Say hello to piBo. PiBo is built with service in mind. It can act as an alarm clock, recount the day's weather and top news stories, play music, take pictures and remind you of upcoming appointments. Its functionality is easily expanded to include home security integration, voice and facial recognition and more thanks to a dedicated app store. You can even code your own programs and features if have the skills.