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DARPA ATLAS Humanoid Robot is Here

Posted 11 Jul 2013 at 19:27 UTC by steve

Get ready for endless "Atlas Shrugged" jokes in the media. DARPA has made the first official news release showing video of their new ATLAS humanoid robot. ATLAS was built by Boston Dynamics and evolved from their PETMAN humanoid prototypes which you've probably already seen. ATLAS will be used by seven of the teams in the latest DARPA Challenge. The robot has some impressive specs:

  • On-board real-time control computer
  • Hydraulic pump and thermal management
  • 28 hydraulically actuated joints
  • Carnegie Robotics sensor head with LIDAR and stereo vision
  • One had built by iRobot and one by Sandia National Labs

It runs GNU/Linux and ROS of course. Read on for a DARPA video that includes an animated overview of the robots features, a series of video clips of the robot's evolution from PETMAN to ATLAS, and finally Atlas showing off his skills. You can also find more details on the DARPA ATLAS overview webpage.

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Robots

Random Robot Roundup

Posted 8 Jul 2013 at 21:26 UTC by steve

Lots of interesting news in this week's roundup!

Know any other robot news, gossip, or amazing facts we should report? Send 'em our way please. Don't forget to follow us on twitter and Facebook. And now you can add us to your Google+ circles too.

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Competitions

CMU Team Places 2nd at RoboCup 2013

Posted 2 Jul 2013 at 19:15 UTC (updated 8 Jul 2013 at 17:54 UTC) by steve

According to a CMU news release, CMU's robot soccer team, the CMDragons, placed second in the RoboCup 2013 finales small-sized league. They were beaten by the ZJUNlict team from China's Zhejiang University. In the news release, Manuela Veloso of CMU had this to say about the team's performance:

"We came in second place, in the closest possible way to first. The team from China even asked us to go up on the stage together with them for the award ceremony. Our CMDragons team was remarkably new, with new low-level skills and tactics, dynamic planning, a great goalie and defense, new robots and the best attacker robot ever."

For more, you can check out all the final scores for the RoboCup mis-sized league. We don't have video of the CMDargon's matches yet but you can check out other matches from RoboCup 2013 on Youtube include humanoid robot matches. You can also see video of prior competitions of the CMDragon team on their website. Congratulations to ZJUNlict for their win and to the CMDragons for their close performance. We're looking forward to next year's match.

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Competitions

DARPA Virtual Robotics Challenge Winners

Posted 1 Jul 2013 at 19:26 UTC (updated 1 Jul 2013 at 21:59 UTC) by steve

Remember that big DARPA Robotics Challenge for humanoid robots that we posted about in October 2012? The first phase, known as the Virtual Robotics Challenge, is now complete. Tim Smith over at the Open Source Robotics Foundation has got a new post up about the results. The quick version is that 26 teams from 8 countries qualified for the VRC and based on the result, DARPA has selected a total of 9 teams to move on to the the next phase which will involve physical robots. From the DARPA press release:


  1. Team IHMC, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Pensacola, Fla. (52 points)

  2. WPI Robotics Engineering C Squad (WRECS), Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass. (39 points)

  3. MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. (34 points)

  4. Team TRACLabs, TRACLabs, Inc., Webster, Texas (30 points)

  5. JPL / UCSB / Caltech, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. (29 points)

  6. TORC, TORC / TU Darmstadt / Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va. (27 points)

  7. Team K, Japan (25 points)

  8. TROOPER, Lockheed Martin / University of Pennsylvania / Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cherry Hill, N.J. (24 points)

  9. Case Western University, Cleveland, Ohio (23 points)

the Open Source Robotics Foundation received funding from DARPA to develop a cloud based simulator for the Virtual Robotics Challenge, based on the free software 3D robot simulator Gazebo. For more see the OSRF post, or take a look at DARPA's news release and the official DARPA Robotics Challenge website. And, of course, we've got video too. Read on to see an overview and video of these virtual robots in action

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #133: Robotics Business Review

Posted 30 Jun 2013 at 23:05 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

photo of Tom Green of Robotics Business Review

In Robots Podcast #133, Per speaks with Tom Green, editor in chief of the Robotics Business Review, a global robotics news and information resource headquartered near Boston, MA (USA). Green shares his view on how the focus within the robotics community differs around the world, and the roles public and venture funding play in this. According to him, it is not primarily technology but attitudes holding back the development of robotics at the moment, particularly in the United States. He also shares some success stories, providing examples of robotics making a difference in people’s lives.

Read On | Tune In

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Announcements

Robohub focus on frontier robotics

Posted 28 Jun 2013 at 17:25 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

photo of tiny robot with dice

Robohub has opened another focus topic, the risks and rewards of robotics on the frontier, the leading edge of technology and/or application. A tentative lineup of articles is available now, with links to be added as the articles are posted over the next couple of weeks.

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Robots

Random Robot Roundup

Posted 27 Jun 2013 at 20:19 UTC by steve

The editor's in box is overflowing, so it's time for another dump of random robot news!

Know any other robot news, gossip, or amazing facts we should report? Send 'em our way please. Don't forget to follow us on twitter and Facebook. And now you can add us to your Google+ circles too.

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Robots

Best Robot Photos of the Week

Posted 22 Jun 2013 at 20:55 UTC by steve

This edition of best robot photos of the week includes a medieval robot, a very large robot inside a library for no apparent reason, an R2D2 costume designed by kiddos, a lunar robot from the USSR and other robot treats. Every week we post a collection of the best robot photos submitted by our readers to our robots.net flickr group. Why? Because everyone likes to see cool new robots! Want to see your robot here? Post it to flickr and add it to the robots.net flickr group. It's easy! If you're not already a flickr member, it's free and easy to sign up. Read on to see the best robot photos of the week!

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Interviews

Robots Podcast #132: The OpenROV Project

Posted 17 Jun 2013 at 00:40 UTC by John_RobotsPodcast

Eric Stackpole & David Lang of OpenROV

In Robots Podcast #132, reporter Ron Vanderkley speaks with Eric Stackpole and David Lang from the OpenROV project. OpenROV (OPEN-source Remotely Operated Vehicle) is a telerobotic submarine built to make underwater exploration and education affordable. Initially funded out-of-pocket, OpenROV has become a wildly successful Kickstarter project. Eric currently works part-time for NASA at the Ames Research Center. David also writes the Zero to Maker column for the MAKE Blog, where he chronicles his crash-course into the maker world.

Read On | Tune In

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