"Up The Upstaircase" – Robonova-1 Climbs Stairs (Video)
By now most of you have seen videos that demonstrate how stable and flexible the Robonova-1 robot is. And, you've seen how it is capable of some really dramatic karate/kung fu moves. All of that's great, but can it handle more practical and pragmatic challenges? Tasks like walking up a set of stairs - something that is simple for a human being but extremely difficult for most biped robots. That's what Carl, his brother Paul, and their friend Jared set out to investigate. . .
Carl, who goes by the alias of "Pev" on the Robosavvy.com robotics forum, had some experience with robots, but the Robonova-1 is his first biped. Not only was the robot new for him, it was also new to the world since he finished its assembly just five days before they attempted the stairs test.
What they were able to accomplish with the Robonova robot in a very short period of time is really surprising, and encouraging. We've been to lots of Robo-One competitions here in Japan over the past few years, so we've seen how hard it is to just keep servo based robots upright while in motion, even on a flat surface.
One step at a time... Each step is 19mm (0.75 inch) high
and the middle step is 106mm (4.17 inches) deep.
It's easy to see from the photo sequence and the video below
how the robot (and us humans) go through a complex sequence
of weight and balance shifting to climb stairs.
It's very common for a Robo-One robot to topple over while trying to walk up even one stair. We're not being critical or negative about the robot designs or their operators - it's just that staying balanced is extremely difficult as the robot lifts its feet and shifts its weight back and forth between its feet.
Here's what Carl, Paul, Jared, and the Robonova-1 accomplished:
And here are a few comments that Carl shared with us-
"I'm still working on getting it smoother and am going to try going down steps too. If there is anything I can do to help promote hobby robotics I'd be happy to. Robonova is my first bi-ped but I do have a couple of hexapods and an Aibo. Working on getting a basic wheeled platform done as I have a CMUCAM I want to try too."
"I am always up to try something new lol, just hope my limited experience in bipeds doesn't let me down, my Robonova has only been operational for 5 days. But that in itself is a testiment to what a good tool it is as it's help me achieve a lot in a very short space of time."
"I don't really have a site for my robot work as it is just a hobby but please mention I can be contact at robosavvy if anyone feels the need to."
Very cool. It will be great to see what this trio of budding roboteers tackles with the Robonova next. We have a couple of challenges for them to try, and will definitely look forward to reporting how they fare. It goes without saying that if anyone else out there wants to try a biped robot challenge (we have several in mind), drop us a line and we'll let you know what's involved.
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