Archives for July 27, 2009

Iowa State Robot is Master of Ceremonies

This ribbon-cutting robot from Iowa State was the master of ceremonies at the opening of its own new home.  Showing off a large pair of scissors, the robot cut the ribbon without hesitation or problem to officially christen the new Electrical and Computer Engineering building.  Built to research procedural learning in the Developmental Robotics Lab of Alexander Stoytchev, the bot “has two Barrett Whole Arm Manipulators for appendages, and a custom-designed head with stereo vision capable of simple emotional expression.  Its three-fingered hands are flexible enough to perform a variety of grasping motions, using fingers 1 and 3 as opposable thumbs when necessary” as is demonstrated in the ribbon cutting.

Plastic Pals’ website sums it up this way:  “The philosophy behind the research is to teach the robot the properties of its surroundings similar to the way a child or animal learns during early development, through direct experience.  The robot has already learned to identify objects from the sounds they make when being touched, pushed, held, and shaken.”

So, this robot is so much more than a mere MC for ribbon cuttings—it has been developed to do serious research into robot intelligence.  In many ways, this robot has more potential for interaction with humans.  Just take a look at the animation of the expressions it will be able to make.

Expressive Robot

Image Credit:  Developmental Robotics Laboratory at Iowa State University

Jul 27, 2009 Robots can travel in time, ride (stationary) motorcycles, and teach your children to disrespect you — but rarely do they have any sense of

Iowa State robot available for ribbon cuttings, birthday parties
(author unknown)
Mon, 27 Jul 2009 07:49:54 GMT