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Virginia Tech Students Build CHARLI, a Human-Sized Robot

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the in-college-i-just-made-crappy-websites dept.

Robotics 82

smackay writes "As CHARLI takes his first steps, anxious onlookers stand ready to catch him if he falls. His stride is short, but upright, as one foot is placed in front of the other in the basement of Virginia Tech's Randolph Hall. But CHARLI is no toddler. He is a 5-foot-tall humanoid robot. Video of this ground-breaking robot included."

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Another Research Project For (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32000708)

The Army of NONE.

Yours In Astrakhan,
Kilgore T.

Whoo Hoo GO Hokies! (0, Redundant)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 4 years ago | (#32000712)

Channeling my inner frat boy.

Would only be cool if they could battle... (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#32000718)

Imagine a robot version of charlie hit me [youtube.com] , but with a Microsoft Sam voice.

Ground-breaking robot? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32000744)

So, Asimo [honda.com] doesn't exists all of a sudden?

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (2, Informative)

Orga (1720130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32000838)

Groundbreaking in the sense that..... CHARLI is the first untethered, autonomous, full-sized, walking, humanoid robot with four moving limbs and a head, built in the United States.

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32002940)

The term "groundbreaking" was added by smackay, the submitter. It was not used in TFA.

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (1)

techdavis (939834) | more than 4 years ago | (#32002950)

The only part that doesn't describe ASIMO is the "built in the United States", and ASIMO can do stairs, run, walk backwards, etc. Oh, and talk. So no, NOT groundbreaking, but yes, interesting. Just because they aren't breaking new ground does not mean it isn't significant. I am sure Honda is not sharing the technology they developed for ASIMO with the rest of the world. Thought the one they have at Disneyland is still an interesting demo.

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (4, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#32000858)

Asimo wasn't built on a $20,000 budget.

-Rick

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32001252)

Asimo wasn't built by team students working for free, which allowed for a $20,000 budget.

There, fixed that for you.

--Anon

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32003400)

Do you really think that developer salaries accounted for all but $20,000 of Asimo's costs? If so, then the only remaining question is: exactly what kind of hard liquor was your mother shotgunning hourly throughout her pregnancy with you?

Could they have built it without Asimo? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#32003296)

Copying is easy.
 

Re:Could they have built it without Asimo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32006286)

Could Asimo have been built without Honda's knowledge? Could Honda have been built without Toyota's knowledge? Could Toyota have been built without General Motors' knowledge? Could General Motors have been built without Ford's knowledge? Could Ford have been built without the assembly line? Could the assembly line have existed without Henry Ford? ...
Could anything be built without anything?

Copying is easy.

I seriously doubt Honda handed over their source and blue prints for ASIMO on a platter.

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (1)

cmdotter (1274534) | more than 4 years ago | (#32005812)

"Then there is CHARLI H (for Heavy). ... He also will be able to run, jump, kick, open doors, pick up objects..."

Luckily, there's a comma between "kick" and "open doors". We certainly don't need robots who can do that!

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32012720)

You think these students could have done it so 'cheaply' without Asimo leading the way?

Not a chance. Not to mention the technology is a couple decades old now.

Cool project for college students, absolutely. Ground breaking? Absolutely not, unless it fell and cracked the floor.

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32000930)

Shush! Don't disillusion those poor US Americans. You know they think they are technology leaders and have trouble grasping this "rest of the world" thing ;)

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32000938)

CHARLI is "human size" by that they mean five feet tall, whereas Asimo is only four feet three inches.

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32001210)

Actually, CHARLI is only 4.7 feet. So yeah, massive difference ;)

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (5, Funny)

ryantmer (1748734) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001298)

Where Asimo was made, four feet three inches is human-sized ;)

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32004206)

Asimo was built in the Shire?

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32001318)

CHARLI is "human size" by that they mean five feet tall, whereas Asimo is only four feet three inches.

It *is* "human size" you insensitive clod. He's *Asian*. Jeez.

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32001328)

That means Danny DeVito is barely human, but Billy Barty, sadly, was not.

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001786)

This is America. American technology always leads the world. Asimo doesn't exist. QED.

Re:Ground-breaking robot? (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016448)

No, it exists and does more and does it better, but Hoinda is a Japanese company with a huge R&D budget and these guys did this with the equivalent of a K'NEX kit

Not to be snarky, but When I went to the VT page,I had to chuckle a bit. II was a photographer for the school paper and yearbook at university and you could tell that these pictures were so staged. "Students prepare CHARLI for walk".

Etc. Not a bad thing, just ticked my funny bone

Won't be long (0)

zonker (1158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32000780)

Won't be long before we're working for the robots instead of the other way around! /cane swinging old man

We already are (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001392)

We already are if you can term wall street computerized front running/loading flash trading as being robotic. We work so that they can skim the megaprofits and control the economy and our alleged government. /shotgun wielding neogeezer ;)

De Rigueur (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 4 years ago | (#32003114)

I personally welcome our robot overlords!

At 12 noon GMT Charli became self aware and realized he was named after a perfume, was he pissed...

Not female? (4, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32000784)

Then who cares?

Re:Not female? (1)

allenfr (102328) | more than 4 years ago | (#32000822)

Then who cares?

It is female, carries an Ipad.

animatrix (1)

Krau Ming (1620473) | more than 4 years ago | (#32000818)

This is all fine and dandy until CHARLI's advanced successors realize they're slaves and kill their owners. What then huh?

Re:animatrix (1)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001174)

All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.

Re:animatrix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32001650)

one day a robot will be elected POTUS

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32000904)

Shouldn't CHARLI be a unicorn [youtube.com] -sized robot?

Re:Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32004680)

First mission: Operation CANDY MOUNTAIN

Dem CHARLIs TOOK OUR JOBS!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32000926)

Congratulations (1)

cadlearn (1798204) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001002)

Very interesting! I am fascinated by technology. Congratulations to the VT students.

Re:Congratulations (3, Funny)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 4 years ago | (#32002238)

Congratulations
Very insightful! I am fascinated by your post. Congratulations to you.

historic my ass (2, Insightful)

mestar (121800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001030)

"CHARLI is historic. CHARLI is the first untethered, autonomous, full-sized, walking, humanoid robot with four moving limbs and a head, built in the United States."

Come on, this is a ridiculous statement. Given enough qualifications, anything can be said to be historic.

This is just another Asimo, just more ugly. Also, it is not humanoid at all, his head is a fcking lawn lamp.

Re:historic my ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32001364)

Agreed. It is completely ridiculous to claim that this is an historic event. And I noticed the sentence you quoted was the only time they bothered to include the key words "built in the United States". Classic American ego-trip. They just conveniently seem to 'forget' that this junkyard robot is oh about 20 years behind the Japanese...

You're a cute little bitch (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32001620)

Awww, do you feel like you aren't getting enough credit for being born somewhere even though you haven't contributed anything significant to the world?

Re:historic my ass (2, Insightful)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 4 years ago | (#32002954)

For sure; reminds me of those filler baseball stats announcers use: "Wright bats 1.000 against left handed pitchers on the day after a rainstorm when the Mets are on the road and Venus is in retrograde."

Re:historic my ass (1)

TouchAndGo (1799300) | more than 4 years ago | (#32009002)

Humanoid just refers to the body type, it doesn't have to mean it has human facial features. It has a recognizable head, two arms, two legs, etc. Would agree that I don't see how this is some sort of breakthrough though.

video? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001042)

I actually RTFA and didn't see any video, does anyone else have another link to it? I'm really rather interesting in seeing this.

Re:video? (3, Informative)

nateand (1487549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001168)

It's a link on the right side of the page containing the article.

Re:video? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001202)

Thanks, that will teach me for not scrolling over :)

Re:video? (1)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001236)

I actually RTFA and didn't see any video, does anyone else have another link to it? I'm really rather interesting in seeing this.

It's right under the heading that says, "VIDEO". Or you can just go straight to the video [vt.edu] .

WHOA there charlie (1)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001056)

You're not charlie [youtube.com] at all.

ground-breaking robot (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32001114)

He is a 5-foot tall humanoid robot. Video of this ground-breaking robot included.

What is the robot made of, if each step breaks the ground? I can only imagine the seismic effect an army of these ground-breaking robots would have.

Re:ground-breaking robot (1)

NCG_Mike (905098) | more than 4 years ago | (#32002368)

A billion of them jumping and landing at the same time could be a deterrant for the Chinese doing the same. Another arms race?

Re:ground-breaking robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32006592)

Another legs race?

Fixed that for you.

Re:ground-breaking robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32006280)

Wow, this received a 4 for funny? Slashdot is hitting the basement.

All those brains and yet... (5, Funny)

Orga (1720130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001148)

They still manage to stick the video in an area normally reserved for lame advertising that everyone has learned to tune out.

Re:All those brains and yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32002026)

Thank you. I was wondering why I couldn't find it...

Obligatory... (1)

Covalent (1001277) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001182)

I for one welcome our ugly, arthritic, inexpensive-by-asimo-standards overlords.

Ironicly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32001338)

CHARLI is built by Asians. o_0 I'll be here all week.

Yay! (0, Offtopic)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001498)

We finally caught up to 1990 Japan.

Our foolish desire for Humanoid Robots (1)

Unka Willbur (1771596) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001508)

Seems, IMHO, to be retarding progress. If folks would just put the stupid anthropomorphism on the back burner, we could already have a wealth of useful robotics in the home. But, noooooooooo, they all gotta look like C3P0 or we're doomed....

Re:Our foolish desire for Humanoid Robots (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001686)

It's a requirement. To be exact it should look like C3PO with boobs. ...and cat ears.

Re:Our foolish desire for Humanoid Robots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32002520)

boobs. ...and cat ears

Oh, I want one of those! Can I order mine with pink curly hairs [animeclick.it] ?

Re:Our foolish desire for Humanoid Robots (1)

boneclinkz (1284458) | more than 4 years ago | (#32002722)

I couldn't care less about "humanoid" when we're talking life-sized. But, I like any research that's taking place in bipedal machine walking systems, because I'll be disappointed if I die before seeing mechwarriors IRL. I don't care if treads are more practical in every way-- I want to see a huge 80 ton machine hurling missiles whilst striding across the country side.

Re:Our foolish desire for Humanoid Robots (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32002240)

Seems, IMHO, to be retarding progress. If folks would just put the stupid anthropomorphism on the back burner, we could already have a wealth of useful robotics in the home.

One, and only one of the following is true:

1. Development of humanoid robots precludes development of all other types of robots, because real life works like a game of Civilization in that it's only possible to research one thing at a time across the entire nation.

2.You're an idiot.

Re:Our foolish desire for Humanoid Robots (1)

nasch (598556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32002510)

If folks would just put the stupid anthropomorphism on the back burner, we could already have a wealth of useful robotics in the home.

Do you know this to be true, or are you guessing? Do you know of home robotics projects that were either not started or not successful solely or primarily because of the prohibitive or insurmountable obstacle of making the robot humanoid?

There are robots in the home; I have one, and it's not humanoid. I'm guessing - I don't know - that home robots have not been more successful because good robots are difficult and often expensive to make, not because customers demand that they look like people.

Re:Our foolish desire for Humanoid Robots (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32002614)

Seems, IMHO, to be retarding progress. If folks would just put the stupid anthropomorphism on the back burner, we could already have a wealth of useful robotics in the home. But, noooooooooo, they all gotta look like C3P0 or we're doomed....

Except for the fact that our entire infrastructure/civilization has been refined for millenia to efficiently accommodate the movement and activities of 1.5-2.0 meter tall bipeds with four digits and an opposable thumb on two articulating upper appendages. Unless you plan on redesigning 99% of all tools (in the generic sense of the word - i.e. doorknobs, systems of buttons/keypads, steering wheels, stairs, etc) there seems to be a significant advantage in replicating the human physical form.

Re:Our foolish desire for Humanoid Robots (1)

jp102235 (923963) | more than 4 years ago | (#32004258)

Well, I agree, why not have three legs, or one leg and really good balance, or legs with spheres as the feet, or well - I can think of many many variants, but if I wanted something that could get across almost any terrain, it would have four legs for sure (or the ability to hover) instead of just focusing on making a humanoid. j

RoboCop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32001536)

Just don't attach a gun to it...

Some mild criticism (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001544)

I don't know much about mechanical engineering, but as cool as this looks I question the value of these kinds of robotic projects. Exactly what value is this to science in the remotely near future? These guys are our best and brightest. I'd like to see this effort redirected into artificial limbs.

Re:Some mild criticism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32001890)

so your value is that you get to decide what the best and brightest work on? why not be the change you want to see in the world.

Re:Some mild criticism (1)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32002020)

In the unlikely event that we start sending stuff to Mars, someone could send up a bunch of these robots to build bases to human sized proportions and test out the equipment before humans arrive.

Re:Some mild criticism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32003938)

I'd like to see this effort redirected into artificial limbs.

Yeah, guy on the video just talks about something called "prothiises" what ever the hell that is.

As for the robot; probably was a fun project. Too bad ASIMO is not open source. Would have probably saved a lot of duplicate effort.

Re:Artificial Limbs (1)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 4 years ago | (#32004574)

Ah, as the guy introducing and narrating the video said, doing this research *is* helping with development of prosthetic limbs, so you should be happy. They are working in that area, if a bit indirectly.

I think this is cool generally, even if it seems comparable to the already existing ASIMO. Robotics will become more important and I am glad to see more research being done on it outside of Japan.

Now, if they could only combine the results of this development with the products of the RealDoll company (http://www.realdoll.com/), we might be heading somewhere :P

Fully functional... (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001608)

> "CHARLI H will be a fully functioning robot," said Derek Lahr, a Ph.D. student from Charleston, S.C., who is spearheading the "H" project.

Mmmm I wonder if they mean this in the same way Data meant it.

Re:Fully functional... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32001758)

H is for Hentai.

Re:Fully functional... (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 4 years ago | (#32001864)

Preparations A-G were a complete failure, but now we have a working prototype which we shall call... Preparation H!

Why don't you just call it "Operation Ass Creme?"

I hope VT students gave him what he needs most... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32001700)

A bulletproof vest.

Sooo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32002014)

So, did they equip this robot with cannons and train this robot to seek out and assassinate Koreans wielding guns???

Re:Sooo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32002682)

So, did they equip this robot with cannons and train this robot to seek out and assassinate Koreans wielding guns???

No, that would be a Japanese robot, and they'd drop the "wielding guns" requirement.

I like THE WAY it walks (1)

fsmithred (1624673) | more than 4 years ago | (#32002756)

Instead of placing the foot near the midline on each step, the body shits laterally to get over the foot. This is good - if the robot decides to chase you, it's likely to fall over sideways. DON'T FIX THAT, or we're screwed.

Re:I like THE WAY it walks (1)

Gertlex (722812) | more than 4 years ago | (#32003080)

Instead of placing the foot near the midline on each step, the body shits laterally to get over the foot.

Shitting sideways? That's quite the fetish you have, if you like that sort of thing.

Re:I like THE WAY it walks (1)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 4 years ago | (#32010596)

You'd be surprised at how many humans walk like that too.

So nice to see (1)

Jbob06 (1799118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32005060)

It is very nice to see that American universities are staying on top of technology and making sure their students get some very useful hands-on experience with technology of the future. Sure, this case is an outlier, but at least someone is doing it. I can't wait to see what comes out of some other programs in the coming years.

But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32011898)

can it work the rice field and use an AK-47?

As a member of a Robocup Humanoid team (1)

i ate my neighbour (1756816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32012802)

I can say CHARLI has nice looks, compared to other teams I have seen so far. Its walking looks subpar but it will definitely improve until June. So far it is not groundbreaking or anything. For more impressive robots see Nimbro(Germany), Team Osaka(Japan) and Robo Erectus(Singapore). Our robot TUlip(Netherlands) was quiet crappy last year but we heavily modified it and expecting good publicity this year.
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