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Humanoid Robot That Sees and Maps


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The Roboray humanoid robot.

The Roboray humanoid robot uses cameras to build a map reference relative to its surroundings, allowing it to remember where it has been before.

Credit: Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology

University of Bristol researchers have developed computer-vision algorithms that enable Roboray, a humanoid robot created by Samsung, to build real-time three-dimensional visual maps for more efficient movement.

Roboray uses cameras to build a map reference relative to its surroundings, allowing the robot to remember where it has been before. The robot also uses dynamic walking, which means that the robot is falling at every step, using gravity to carry it forward while conserving energy. However, this way of walking is more challenging for the computer-vision algorithms as objects in images move more quickly.

"Robots that close the gap with human behaviors, such as by featuring dynamic walking, will not only allow more energy efficiency but be better accepted by people as they move in a more natural manner," says Bristol researcher Walterio Mayol-Cuevas.

He says the rapid 3D visual-mapping technology is a major breakthrough because of its ability to track and recover from rapid motions and occlusions, which is essential for when the humanoid moves and turns at normal walking speeds.

From University of Bristol News
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