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Self-Sufficient Robots

I've been relatively incommunicado these past several weeks, but it's been with good reason. After a two-week trip to Japan, I got back in time to witness my company hit its second major milestone: our robot was able to plug itself in at nine different outlets in our building, which required it to navigate around our building as well as open eight different doors along the way. In a separate run, it also managed to do a 26.2-mile marathon, pausing only to be recharged -- that's 30 hours of faultless operation. I have no personal claim to the navigation, plugging, or door success, but I'm amazed that I work with talented people who face difficult goals knowing that we will achieve them.

I don't know if this sounds big to your average non-roboticist, so I'll try and put this in context: our robot is self-sufficient. Most robots have limited battery life and must achieve their tasks within that time. Most research robots are closely followed around by students, who stand ready with an emergency stop button to shut it down when something goes wrong (and it will). We've long since left our wireless emergency stop button hanging from the back of the robot. In order to complete the marathon, we even left the robot running while we went home to get some sleep (I use the royal 'we' here; I was in Japan). We didn't experience a single hardware issue, despite the heavy use required for testing and debugging the milestone. And now, it our robot can take care of itself.

If we are to start thinking about making robots take care of us, this is a crucial first step.

Comments (3)

Nice work!

That's super cool.


Who's a good robot? You are!

It's cute, because of the focus of the video, it just seems like this robot is perpetually hungry and on a quest to feed itself. I think it does a better job than I do! :)

Thats an awesome thing!...I tried to built the same but i was confused in the complexity of Navigation control! You did a great Job Dudes!

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This page contains a single entry from kwc blog posted on June 4, 2009 10:01 PM.

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