Humans have sensors and a memory to scan the environment and remember when they return to the same place. The human system for navigation can be replicated to robots using many electronics and programming lines. A project under development for a certain period of time is the humanoid robot Roboray. Samsung human-like robot called Roboray was improved with an advanced computer vision for localization and 3D mapping called SLAM developed in the labs of Bristol University.
Researchers from Bristol University working together with Samsung Electronics since 2009 and the result is an advanced humanoid robot with real-time navigation with 3D vision capabilities and a memory to remember places from where it has been before.
Roboray is a robot based on the Mahru 3 platform developed in 2007 by KIST and Samsung in order to enter into competition with advanced humanoid robots with the ability to walk or run and developed by Honda or Toyota. Roboray walks on human traces and comes with natural and independent characteristics for movement aiming to become a friendly robot accepted by people.
Its efficient movements are based on maps. These maps are built with 3D visual real-time systems developed in the labs of Bristol University. The system stores information with places to be used next time when the robot operates in the same place.
This new mapping system means a step closer to the next generation of autonomous robots that can operate in new places without any other information stored in his memory.
A new system for navigation closely to human behavior and without a classically GPS system.
Samsung Roboray has a flexible and more stable walking system with instability in relation with the ground and disadvantages for navigation system. Mapping in real-time for a human-like robot involve a high complexity compared with a self-driving vehicle which shows a greater stability in relation to a fixed point while a robot has a less contact with the ground.
Technology developed at Bristol University was used in robotics as well as augmented reality or commercial applications, a rapid 3D system that creates a map of environment while moving. A high definition camera and complex algorithms are key attributes of the advanced navigation system.
SLAM uses real-time technology for mapping based on Kalman filter with features including a robust localization in 6D and loop closing for relocalization.
Natural movements and autonomous capabilities raise Roboray up to a full time job robot and make them more acceptable for humans.
It has a tall of 140 centimeters and weight 50 kilograms. Up to 53 actuators working intensively aiming to ensure a high flexibility in the movements. Each leg has six actuators while in each hand are located twelve actuators. All tendon-drive actuators are torque controlled and can absorb impact for a more natural walking and energy efficient behavior.
On its head is located a stereo camera that capture image from the environment. Since the robot has a human-like walk movement system that uses gravity and falling at every step, objects from the environment are found in constant motion from up to down and left to right. The computer vision algorithm has to track all these objects for a clear overview of objects.
Inside of his brain the robot mapping the environment and navigate without traditional technology for navigation like GPS.
With an advanced design, movement systems, and no GPS system for navigation, Samsung Roboray can be used in research to understand how similar robots working with tools or in fields typically meant for people.