Getting Your Humanoid Robot Under Control – How It's Done (Video)

In previous posts we introduced Taylor Veltrop's master/slave humanoid robot control system based on the Microsoft Kinect, Wiimotes, and Willow Garage ROS. Taylor is also one of the Aldebaran NAO Robot Developer Program participants and immediately ported his control to the NAO humanoid.


His implementation was a big hit with all the NAO developers attending the first Tokyo meeting, including the Aldebaran Robotics program leader, and they immediately wanted to try it out for themselves.


That being said, the master/slave system is still more of a feasibility demonstration than a polished finished product and needs some fine tuning. As Taylor explains in this, and subsequent, video clips, the system tracks the target operators body position then replicates the robots joint angles. By pushing a button on one of the handheld Wiimote controls the system can be switched into inverse kinematic mode where it determines the target operators hand positions, then calculates the arm movements/angles required.

It works quite smoothly as long as the wireless network speed is fast enough. We did notice some jerky movements when the network in the meeting room slowed down, no doubt due to the fact that there was a whole room full of active NAOs and everyones personal computers.

By the way, if you're as impressed by the NAO robot as we are, and would like to get involved in this exciting leading edge program, then check out the Aldebaran NAO Developer Program details and requirements and let us know.


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