State of the art in Robotics

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Potato Pudding, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. Potato Pudding

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
  2. nerdegutta


    Dec 15, 2009
    ... and there goes my Saturday evening down the drain... :)

    Thanks for the tip.
  3. tubeguy

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2012
    The 'bot must be too busy texting to focus on driving.
    #12 likes this.
  4. Potato Pudding

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    Absolutely right. Not autonomous to any significant degree.
  5. MaxHeadRoom


    Jul 18, 2013
  6. Metalmann

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012

    That's always been my beef about robotics.

    Seems they always make them too bulky, expensive, and over-engineered; to do even simple tasks.
    They could streamline them with hydraulics.
  7. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    But then they wouldn't make those neat whiny motor noises like Robocop.:eek:
    Metalmann likes this.
  8. Potato Pudding

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    The door problem seems like it should be simpler.

    It is primarily an issue of crowding management.
    To handle this as well as a person they need to work out at least the following.

    The robots need an intrinsic sense of proprioception, knowing themself.
    They need a better mapping of external environment.
    They need a touch and force sensitivity for physical feedback.

    I noticed that some of this would have helped in the driving challenge too.
    I also thought the following would help. With some accelerometers on board and a feedback loop to jog the touchy throttle control on that utility vehicle, they could have crawled through at a much faster speed than the point and shoot method they had to use.

    I don't know how many times I noticed binding. They really need to work on establishing loose, float, or slackly, responsive actuations. In some cases it is just a matter of added a tremor. Say you are grabbing the valve lever and twisting it. As it rotates, a slack or tremor in the grip will allow some slip that prevents binding and damage to the robot or valve, and makes the action more natural and simple.
  9. tcmtech

    Distinguished Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    Similar sentiments here as well. Almost every design is overdone or way to analytical in concept. If you ever watch yourself grab for something our brains do not start out making a 3D map of everything between our hand and he object we are reaching for.

    We instead just aim for the general area and do an on the go fine tuning of the aim until we hit the spot we wanted.

    Same with once we hit he object we are searching for. Most often we do not calculate and exact gasping pressure but just go for a good enough to hold on approach.
  10. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    This reminds me of the phrase, "successive approximation".
  11. Potato Pudding

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    Humans have a better = simpler 3D mapping in our brain. It is an extension from our mapping of our own physical form. We map the world through touch, as the first and key sense. They need to wrap their robots in a pressure sensitive touch skin. Kinesthetics, and postural morphology expands our map out as we bounce around. That is what I wanted to see with the door traverse.

    There is the door.
    Push on it. (doesn't open = latched)
    Twist handle and push on it again.
    If it doesn't stay open then hold it open.
    - Interesting to watch the Tartan bot operators realize that if the door is going to open to the right and they need to hold it open, then it is easier to adjust their techniques and grab the handle with their right hand, even though they had to reposition to get to the handle where it naturally tended to be directly faced by their left side when closed the door was closed.

    Move towards and through doorway.
    Natural skills - To prevent binding set the hand on handle as a fixed point and allow force limited collapsible float in the arm actuation. Don't tear your arm or the door handle off.
    - When shouldering and crowding through the door, collapse and pivot posture as needed. Don't get stuck.

    Let go off door, maybe even block door open so you can get back more easily!

    PS: I saw hydraulic hoses on at least one robots shoulder actuators. Hydraulics have uses without argument. Hydraulic power systems are mostly tied in and managed by electronics. I also looked up the LADD actuators touted by the team from Utah.
  12. Georacer


    Nov 25, 2009
    Being involved a bit with robotics, I too, will admit that the broadcast was painfully slow and unnerving to see. The movies have built up so much hype on robotics that we simply cannot come to terms that this is the state-of-the-art in legged robotics.

    But I disagree that things could be done more simply yet with better, more fluent results. The major differences with us against a robot is that we had years of time to learn how to control our bodies, we could learn how to do it with more than one medium (senses), have bodies that are overspecced for day-to-day tasks and have a processor much more advanced that any computer.

    On the other side, a robot must be programmed within usually a few months, via clunky, verbal programming language, using very weak and heavy actuator and all this being controlled by computing systems that are hardly real-time for most applications.

    Robotics is at its peak, but don't expect to see Robocop patrolling anytime soon.
  13. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
    They have passed needing robotic police ,the other devices are working so well

    they can be there in seconds ,or track you with cameras and cell phones. D.O.D.

    has some tough looking robotic dogs.