Abstract: Melanie Shafer
Mentor: Dr. Blank
A humanoid robot is a robot that is designed to have the appearance and body of a human. It typically has a head, a torso, and two arms and legs. Humanoid robots are also meant to be autonomous, meaning that they can perform tasks on their own without continuous human control. This summer I will be using a microcontroller to control my own humanoid robot. The control board is designed to control a variety of actuators, including the types of servo motors that are used throughout the robot. We will be working on optimizing the size and shape of the humanoid so that it can efficiently carry a small PC and power source while still enabling it to support its own weight. I will be controlling the positions of individual servos and also manipulating multiple servos simultaneously through the use of different applications designed for this specific control board. I plan to communicate with the control board over a serial interface, so that I can read and write to the serial device, specifically enabling the robot to respond to inputted values through initiating servo motors (i.e. move the robot's joints).
Through working on this humanoid, I hope to learn about the ways a robot can see and perceive its environment and appropriately react and respond to its world. A popular application of such humanoid robots is the "Robot Soccer World Cup," also known as "RoboCup. " In this competition, various categories of autonomous soccer robots compete in games against each other. My ultimate goal for the summer is to enable my robot to stand and walk on its own without constant need of human guidance, and to also enable the robot to play a simple version of soccer.