Jeremie and I had an opportunity to attending the announcement event for Beakerhead!
Aiming to be a fusion of science, engineering and creativity (a video presentation called to mind the kind of wacky robotic contraptions you see at Burning Man), Beakerhead is the brainchild of co-founders Jay Ingram, best known for his work with the Discovery Channel, and his partner Mary Anne Moser. Collaborating organizations at this point include the U of C’s Schulich School of Engineering, Mount Royal University,SAIT Poytechnic, Telus Spark, the Glenbow Museum and local arts groups such as the High Performance Rodeo, the Calgary Animated Objects Society and the Green Fools.
Check out http://www.beakerhead.org/ for more info!
You can also follow them on twitter @Beakerhead
I’ve been following the online AI class from Stanford. Included in that was a video with descriptive commentary of the robot that won the DARPA challenge. The video is also on youtube. The ‘trick’ was to overlay very accurate but short range laser sensor data, with much less accurate but long range camera vision, to ‘infer’ what was further ahead than it could see with the lasers.
A news item for you. Theoretical research on walking, running, and the transition from one to the other. Nothing directly useful here for awhile, but if/when this gets better developed, it means that a legged robot can stably walk and run without needing a lot of sensors and fine control over the real time position of each moving part. Instead the mechanical design of the leg, plus fairly simple control over the angle that the leg meets the ground gives good control. Major reduction in sensors, feedback, and needed processing power.
Exploiting the Passive Dynamics of a Compliant Leg to Develop Gait Transitions
The article also includes a link to a link, that would allow buying the full 6 page Physical Review Article.