The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

DARwIn-OP Humanoid Robot Demo

Virginia Tech roboticist Dennis Hong shows off the new DARwIn-OP open-source robot

2 min read
DARwIn-OP Humanoid Robot Demo

darwin-op

Dennis Hong is a Virginia Tech roboticist who has been building some really cool robots. He's also a good salesman. Watch him showing off his "new baby," DARwIn-OP, at this week's IEEE Humanoids 2010 conference in Nashville, Tenn. Designed by Hong's RoMeLa team and collaborators at University of Pennsylvania's Grasp Lab, Purdue University, and Korean company Robotis, DARwIn-OP has both its hardware and software open source. That means that in principle you can fabricate the parts, choose your own electronics and actuators, and build your own. Or maybe you'd prefer to buy one already assembled? Robotis is selling it for around U.S. $8,000 . (Update: Robotis announced that it will be $12,000 MSRP and $9,600 educational discount price.)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/v/0FFBZ6M0nKw?fs=1&hl=en_US expand=1]

Specs below from Robotis:

DARwIn-OP (Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence-Open Platform)
* Height: 455 mm (17.9 inches)
* Weight: 2.8 kg (6.3 lbs)
* Head: USB camera (HD); status LEDs on eyes and forehead; USB mic; two microphones on sides of the head (optional)
* Torso: Speaker; 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer; Mini SD; WiFi; two cooling fans; two USB interfaces; HDMI; audio line-in; audio line-out; battery; external power input; power switch; Ethernet port; seven status LEDs; removable handle
* Feet: FSR X4 sensor (optional)
* Default walking speed: 24.0 cm/sec (9.5 in/sec); 0.25 sec/step (user modifiable gait)
* Default standing up time from ground: 2.8 sec (from facing down) and 3.9 sec (from facing up)
* Built-in PC: 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z530 on-board 4 GB flash SSD
* Management controller (CM-730): ARM CortexM3 STM32F103RE 72 MHz
* 20 actuator modules: Robotis Dynamixel RX-28M (6 DOF leg x2 + 3 DOF arm x2 + 2 DOF neck)
* 1 spare actuator (for maintenance and expansion)
* Self-maintenance kit
* Standby mode for low-power consumption
* 4.5 Mbps high-speed Dynamixel bus for joint control
* Battery (30 minutes of operation), charger, and external power adapter
* Mechanical and electronics information and source code: http://sourceforge.net/projects/darwinop

The Conversation (0)

The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
Horizontal
A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof
DarkGray

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

Keep Reading ↓Show less