27 Sep 2003 motters   » (Master)

I'm now doing the final testing on what will be my second generation humanoid. This project is more animatronic than the previous one, but uses much the same technology as Rodney. My aim was to build something which doesn't obviously look like a robot (looks more like an animal) in order to encourage social interactions.

So far the new robot has 8 axes all related to head and face movements. Although it does have arms and legs these are just passive at the moment. All the existing axes checked out apart from the neck tilt which wasn't quite geared enough to prevent the motor from stalling as the head tilted back. Replacing the neck tilt servo with a 5.5Nm unit fixed the problem. The cameras in both eyes also checked out ok. I was a little unsure as to whether they would both work since they've been hacked about a fair bit. For reasons of fitting the cameras within the space available inside the head one of them is mounted upside down, but this can easily be corrected in software.

The new robot isn't designed to be a replacement for Rodney. I'll still be using both robots, with Rodney mainly focussed on pure research while the new one (as yet unnamed) will be used as a technology demo geared towards social interaction due to its more organic appearance.

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