Watch the amazing video “Evolving Paradigms of Human-Robot Interaction,” which showcases many of the autonomous robots at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific that were developed several years back in pursuit of eliminating the traditional robot’s Operator Control Unit. The resulting human-robot interaction was modeled on the hunter/bird-dog paradigm. The robot automatically determines what it should do based on what it sees the human doing, plus what is in the surrounding environment, hence the Warfighter no longer needs to carry an awkward and heavy controller in addition to his or her standard equipment. Approved for Public Release, this video was noted by our Public Affairs Office as the best ever compiled during my 30 years at the lab.
Like its predecessors, ROBART III was a laboratory surrogate, never intended for real-world operation: 1) it was not waterproof; 2) its mobility was constrained to planar surfaces, so it could not ascend or descend stairs; 3) it was not defensively armored; 4) it was not rugged; and, 5) it could not right itself in the event it […]
Work on the second-generation ROBART II began in mid-1982, with four general objectives: Make the system more modular to facilitate maintenance and upgrades. Employ a parallel-processing hierarchy of distributed microprocessors. Incorporate a more sophisticated mix of sensors in support of advanced autonomy. Provide a more finished look to the modular body structure. Block diagram of the computer […]
One of the first behavior-based autonomous robots, ROBART I was my thesis project at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. This robotic security system was fully autonomous with no RF link or operator control unit (OCU). If desired, a small trouble-shooting panel with four toggle switches and a pushbutton for entry of two four-bit […]
During the latter stages of CRAWLER I development, I began experimenting with some miniature hydraulic cylinders fashioned by encapsulating 30- and 50-cc irrigation syringes inside copper-tubing sheaths with epoxy glue. Considerable force could be generated with one of these devices when operated at about 100 psi; solenoid valves from discarded washing machines were modified to […]
I had been bitten by the bug during the construction of Walter, it seemed, and was now fascinated with the idea of building a free-roaming robot unencumbered by any sort of tether. There was little point in trying to refurbish WALTER; structural damage notwithstanding, all the electrical components were rated for 117 volts AC. My […]
Watch a 1966 video of Walter. WALTER was a 5-foot-tall anthropomorphic robot I constructed my sophomore year in high school as a science fair entry. Strictly a teleoperated system with no onboard intelligence, WALTER was capable of forward or reverse travel, using two 8-inch rear drive wheels made of ¾-inch plywood and a pair of […]