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Why Humanoid Robots?* : 

Why Humanoid Robots?* Çetin Meriçli Department of Computer Engineering Boğaziçi University 06.10.2006 * Largely adapted from Carlos Balaguer’s talk in IURS’06


Outline Motivation What is a Humanoid Anyway? History of Humanoid Robots Why Develop Humanoids? Challenges in Humanoids Bipedalism and Cognition Bipedal Locomotion Stability via ZMP Active vs. Passive Locomotion Humanoid Robot Applications Social Aspects


Motivation One of the greatest dreams of the mankind Being a creator, giving life

Motivation (cont’d): 

Motivation (cont’d) Possibility of overdevelopment and disobey Will robots ever manage to take over the world?

What is a Humanoid Anyway?: 

What is a Humanoid Anyway? Humanoid refers to any being whose body structure resembles that of a human: head, torso, legs, arms, hands. But it is also a robot made to resemble a human both in appearance and behavior. The difference between a robot and android is only skin-deep, looks exactly like humans on the outside, but with internal mechanics of humanoid robot.

Why Develop Humanoids?: 

Why Develop Humanoids? More rational reasons They can work in human environment without a need to adapt themselves or to change the environment Our environment and our tools are adapted for us Why adapt all to robots?! It is easier for a human being to interact with a human-like being Because it is a dream of generations

Challenges in Humanoids: 

Challenges in Humanoids Bipedal human-like locomotion Stable gait Changing model during one/two feet support walking Two legs, two arms, head, torso Hyper DOF system (>20) Complex kinematics and dynamics Complex real-time control architecture

Bipedism and Cognition: 

Bipedism and Cognition Bipedism and cognition has a very close relationship Is it possible to have cognition without locomotion? Is it possible to have bipedism without cognition? HAL 9000 Monkey

Human Evolution: 

Human Evolution Bipedism frees the hands to create tools and start cognition

Human Evolution vs. Humanoid Evolution: 

Human Evolution vs. Humanoid Evolution

Humanoid Evolution (cont’d): 

Humanoid Evolution (cont’d) Nowadays, humanoid robot researchers are focusing on bipedism more than they do in cognition Stable and robust bipedal locomotion is still a good lab example It is mandatory to solve it in order to be able to implement cognition We are in the pre-robotic era compared with the human evolution

Bipedal Locomotion: 

Bipedal Locomotion ZMP (Zero Moment Point) specifies the point with respect to which dynamic reaction force at the contact of the foot with the ground does not produce any moment, i.e. the point where total inertia force equals 0 (zero). ZMP is the indicator of the stability of the robot: if it is in the foot shadow – stable, İf not – unstable. The shadow depends on single or double support phase.

Active vs. Passive Locomotion: 

Active vs. Passive Locomotion Common humanoid uses all their DOF to perform the movement: Continuous motor consumption (including arms) Continuous motor control and synchronization Extremely complex real-time control How is possible to reduce complexity? Reducing number of active DOF Using DOF only when it is strictly necessary Using energy of previous step to generate the next These actions reduce also the consumption

Passive Dynamic Walking: 

Passive Dynamic Walking Human walking strategy: Let their legs swing as they would on their own, Then add a little control and power, yielding a gait with inherently low energetic and control demands. Advantages: In contrast to rigidly joint-controlled robots, walking robots based on passive-dynamic principles can have human-like efficiency and actuation requirements. Disadvantages: Movements are mostly in sagital plane and in straight line, being extremely difficult to turn, go back, seat,etc. The motion is mostly symmetrical.

Passive Dynamic Walking (cont’d): 

Passive Dynamic Walking (cont’d) Active Gait : Always stable Passive Gait : Sometimes unstable

Humanoid Robot Applications: 

Humanoid Robot Applications

Social Aspects : What Are You Prefer: 

Social Aspects : What Are You Prefer Humanoid as a slave New electrical appliance? Will they be a new tamagotchi? Will they be adapted to the master? Back to slavery? Humanoid as a companion Will they get socially accepted? Will they have social rights? Who will be responsible for them? Will they be able to acquire some conscience? Will they evolute?

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