Posted by: robotnews | March 16, 2006

ROBONOVA-I: Ballet-dancing robot


U0205233 Oh Ai Ni Irene

Edutainment robots have been developed over the decades. However, developing an edutainment robot from stratch is a difficult task for the amateurs and students, due to lack of hardware and programming expertise.

Hitec Robotics has released a full edutainment robot package named Robonova-I. It is a humanoid robot, which means its anatomy of the limbs and joints are designed to be as similar to the human body as possible. This means that it can perform many actions such as walking, running, doing flips, cartwheels and dance moves. This makes development of edutainment robots easy for students, researchers and hobbyists.

Developing a customized robot also requires the user to have adequate knowledge in robot programming. In this full robot package Robonova-I, the user can create operational functions with mouse click without knowing any robot programming language, with the supplied RoboScript programming software. RoboBasic is a programming tool based on the BASIC programming language and is provided For the more advanced users, RoboBasic, which is based on the BASIC programming lanaguage is provided.

In additional , there is a Catch & Play Function allows a simple way to program ROBONOVA-1. Using RoboScript or RoboBasic, the user can just move the robot into any position and click the mouse to “capture” that position. After that, the user can move the robot into another position and repeat the process as many times as desired. The software then links these “captured” positions and once activated, the robot’s movements are transited smoothly through the captured sequences.

http://www.hitecrobotics.com/Tony%20information/Dance_troupe.wmv

For a better insight on how the robot behave, check out the video above. It is surprisingly that even robots can dance ballet with ease and grace. And the more amazing thing is that one needs not be a rocket scientist to have fun with robots!

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Responses

  1. Is it a robot? or a remote control toy?

    What are the dimensions for this robot? looks like a big one? Size is everything in humanoid robotics..

  2. U0204714 Chan Hongjiang

    The video is indeed impressive! Especially the part where the robot does cartwheels πŸ™‚ The software described also seem to infer endless possibilities for the things the robot can do.

    As a toy, I am sure it will definitely set many a child’s (and possibly some adults’) heart racing with joy. And as an educational tool, it will be able to introduce the user to the world of robotic engineering through the use of the software for programming. Indeed this “toy” fits perfectly into the arena of edutainment robotics.

    An interesting thing is would this robot be scalable in terms of size? Right now it is on 12.5 inches high but if we were to scale it up to an adult’s size would it still be able to perform the moves in the video as gracefully and safely? If so, this could very well be the next generation of deadly ninja assassins and warriors.

  3. If programming these robots are simple, is it likely that amateurs and students can even instruct them to harm another human being? Or are the robots so basic and small that this is impossible? In any case, my concern is that easily programmable robots (such as in edutainment when they are designed to be interactive and user-programmable) can become dangerous in the hands of the wrong person..

  4. is the author of this post gonna answer my question? Is it a robot – i.e., does it fit the definition of “Robot” – or is it just another remote control toy?

    it looks like a remote control toy to me. And whats its height? looks pretty small!

  5. Dear anonymous,

    You should read the article more carefully. The specifications and height of the robot is already stated clearly in the 2nd diagram. It is 12.5 inch tall. And the motions are pre-programmed, not remote controlled.

    Best regards,
    Irene

  6. Regarding whether the robot will be able to harm another human being, my answer is no, as for the moment.

    Because if you look carefully, the motions the robot performs are actually pre-programmed. It will be very difficult to pre-program a robot to perform a task in unknown terrains, like assasinating someone or so. πŸ˜‰

    However in what we learnt in DARS, it is possible to develop robots with sensors and algorithms to react to different environmental conditions, to perform a task. That may have useful applications in the military. The idea of a robot harming a human being is possible, but I think it is quite far-fetched for now.

    U0205233
    Oh Ai Ni Irene

  7. Thanks Irene! To Mr “anonymous”, I think it’ll be better if u leave a name next time u leave a comment or ask a question lah. Not nice to stay anonymous when u are asking someone a favour. Just my thoughts. =0

  8. We can look forward to robotic dance competition soon. But if it is scale to a person size can it dance with a human? Dance is a social event, if robot also need to socialize….. and soon we will have the MATRIX. LOL.

    The inventor more or less is trying to show the level of control that can be done to a robot. Dancing is one good way to do it.

  9. We can look forward to robotic dance competition soon. But if it is scale to a person size can it dance with a human? Dance is a social event, if robot also need to socialize….. and soon we will have the MATRIX. LOL.

    The inventor more or less is trying to show the level of control that can be done to a robot. Dancing is one good way to do it.

  10. u0204781 Peh Meng Wee

    I must say that the video definitely impresses me. However, I must say that if this is used as a toy, it must be very robust to withstand being “accidentally” smashed by kids. Also , what age group of kids would actually appreciate it? Big kids like us. haha.

    It would be interesting to see the robot being scaled up to life size performing the same routine, as long as they do not KO anyone standing beside them while doing cartwheels.


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