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Space Robots by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Earth Robots by the Institute of Robot

The Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics

Space Robots by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Earth Robots by the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics | The Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics presented the LRU rover and the walking robot TORO at the 2014 ILA.

LRU and Toro at the ILA in 2014

Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

"The LRU combines several of the latest technologies developed at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics such as the drive and joint units, the motors of which were already proven in outer space use for five years on the International Space Station in the ROKVISS experiment. A stereo camera and multi-award winning Semi-Global-Matching stereo vision (SGM) enable the robot to perceive its surroundings in three dimensions. From this, the Rover calculates maps of the environment and then autonomously steers towards predefined targets in unknown and uneven terrain. This independent navigation is essential, since signals from the earth require several seconds or minutes making direct remote control difficult. The enhancement of the LRU with a robotic arm mounted on the system allows it to manipulate known and unknown objects. In 2015, the LRU took part in the SpaceBot Camp of the DLR Space Administration."

"The humanoid robot TORO is being used to research the basic problem of equilibrium. Algorithms for robust walking and balancing as well as for multi-contact controls are being developed. TORO, like its big brother Rollin’ Justin, is based on lightweight robotic technology. In almost all of its joints, TORO can actively control torques so that the stiff robot can be artificially flexible depending on the active controller. Unlike position-controlled robots, this flexibility promises a greater degree of safety when interacting with people, as well as greater robustness in contact with the environment.TORO offers the possibility to compare position-and torque-based control concepts. It compares impedance-based, inverse-dynamic control concepts in the field of whole-body control."

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Credit: Melanie Gonick/MIT

"MIT's new mini cheetah robot is the first four-legged robot to do a backflip. At only 20 pounds, the limber quadruped can bend and swing its legs wide, enabling it to walk either right side up or upside down. The robot can also trot over uneven terrain about twice as fast as an average person's walking speed."

Credit: The researchers

"Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the Senseable City Lab have designed a fleet of autonomous boats that offer high maneuverability and precise control.The boats — rectangular 4-by-2-meter hulls equipped with sensors, microcontrollers, GPS modules, and other hardware — could also be programmed to self-assemble into floating bridges, concert stages, platforms for food markets, and other structures in a matter of hours."

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