Robots

Robot Evolution Through Intelligent Design

Posted 21 Jan 2010 at 18:50 UTC (updated 21 Jan 2010 at 18:52 UTC) by steve Share This

That's the motto of RoMeLa, the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory at Virginia Tech. At RoMeLa, Dennis W. Hong, PhD and his students have been creating a lot of really interesting new robots. In the video above from the TEDxNASA conference, Hong offers a short overview of their research. Of particular interest to hobbyists should be the DARwIn humanoid robot. According to an Industrial Embedded Systems article, a low-cost open hardware version of is planned. Oh, and if you're wondering about that motto, Hong tells us:

Though it has both "evolution" and "intelligent design" in the sentence, it has nothing to do with either - "we" push the boundaries and come up with the next generation robotics (robot evolution) through us doing rigorous research and designing them intelligently (intelligent design). I think it is a clever tag line for our lab.

If you're interested, you can find out more about several of the robots and their unusual modes of locomotion at the RoMeLa website including STriDER, CLIMBeR, IMPASS, and HyDRAS-Arm. There is also a website for TEAM DARwIn and their efforts to win the RoboCup Humanoid League soccer competition. Hong and his robots were recently highlighted by Popular Science in the article Ten Young Geniuses Shaking up Science Today.

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