Robosoft unveils robuDOG, a 4-legged robot at the RoboCup

Atlanta 07 July 2007Robosoft, a worldwide expert in service robotics solutions, has presented its proposal to an open call for tender issued by the RoboCup Federation. During the live demonstration, Robosoft showed the robuDOG, a 4-legged robot specifically designed for the open call, with major innovations such as abduction of front legs to kick the ball with accuracy, auto-adaptative feet for increased traction on the floor and powerful programming environment including a 3D simulator based on the Robosoft's robuBOX and Microsoft Robotics Studio.

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The robuDOG brings new opportunities to researchers, teachers and hobbyists to investigate and develop advanced robotics solutions, as they can now program their robuDOG in the simulation environment and then transfer this code for execution on the real robot dog.

Joint development of this robotic dog started with the Institute for Intelligent Systems And Robotics (ISIR), a world-renowned lab with cutting-edge knowledge in advanced robotics system design, modelling and control.

"The main idea in the design of the RobuDOG, was to go beyond existing 4-legged robots abilities", stated Philippe Bidaud, Director of the ISIR. "We considered adding new functions to give developers more flexibility for the soccer game, such as going faster, better contacts on the floor for reducing slippage or adding an ankle to better control the ball trajectory. We also worked a lot on gaits and behaviours synthesis methods, as well as onboard sensors to get a powerful robot for RoboCup, but also for other research and education activities."

Thanks to the Robosoft's robuBOX, the computing power embedded on robuDOG is far beyond standards seen to date. With enough power to manage and work on such complex robot, the embedded robuBOX allows fast and reliable development, based on 3D simulation tools that come with the robot. Built on Microsoft Robotics Studio (MSRS), the Windows-based environment for robotics developers allowing a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) for robotics controllers, the robuBOX is the ideal tool to quickly bring robotic functions, behaviours and build standalone or fleets of robuDOGs.

"robuDOG is probably the best example of advantages given by simulation tools in Microsoft Robotics Studio", stated Tandy Trower, general manager of the Microsoft Robotics Group at Microsoft Corporation. "robuBOX and MSRS help speeding up developments of software for teams involved in the RoboCup competition, thanks to a compatibility between simulated and real robots."

RobuDOG extends Robosoft's range of mobile robots with a high-performance 4-legged robot perfectly fitted with education and research needs, also opening new areas for automated mobility.

The Institute "Systèmes Intelligents et Robotiques" is a multi-disciplinary research laboratory which belongs to the University Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris 6). In addition it is associated to the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). The ISIR performs fundamental research and developments on the base of several collaborative research projects involving different fields of the engineering sciences related to Intelligent Systems and Robotics (mechanical sciences, automatic control, signal processing, and artificial intelligence) and computational neurosciences.

Ongoing research projects focus majors issues in interactive robotics, surgical robotics, micro/nano-manipulation, perception of human activity and expressions, sensori-motor control and rehabilitation, autonomous field robotics, bio-inspired robotics and humanoids. The ISIR is participating to a Technology Resource Center - the CRIIF acting under a CRT label from the French Ministry of Research - which provides a means for developing partnerships with companies and supporting technology development.

Robosoft is the European expert in service robotics. With more than 20 years of recognized scientific and industrial expertise in this field, Robosoft provides advanced robotics solutions for transport, cleaning, surveillance, health care and research markets since 1985. Beyond professional applications, the era of personal robotics is now starting. Robosoft thinks that its service robots called "robuters" will be part of everyday life within 5 years.

According to forecasts of Japan Robotics Association: in 2010 worldwide personal and service robotics market will reach 17 billion dollars. Robuters will make easier everybody's life in activities such as entertainment, education, culture, health care, assistance to elderly and handicapped people etc. In order to bring these applications to life, Robosoft already integrates 80 percent of software complexity in its robuBOX, a software module based on Microsoft Robotics Studio, which is already incorporated in Robosoft's robots, but can also be licensed to integrators and robots manufacturers for mass production.

More Robosoft news is available in the VMW May 2007 article Robosoft unveils ESTELE, worldwide first health care robot for tele-echography.


Leslie Versweyveld

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