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Chairbot Walks You Around While You Sit

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the stop-using-your-legs-like-a-sucker dept.

Robotics 241

Gary writes "What do you get when you combine a robot and a chair? The Hubo FX-1 chairbot, of course. In what is perhaps my favorite robot design yet, this giant chair with legs looks like it came out of some ridiculous 80's sci-fi movie or something, but it's very, very real. HUBO FX-1 is two meters in height, and weighs 150 kg. The person sitting can control the robot easily using the built in joystick. Each ankle has a 3-axis force/torque sensor which measures the normal force and 2 moments. Each foot has an inclination sensor which measures the angle of the slope. Also, the rate gyro and the inclination sensor of the body allow the device to stabilize itself."

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Protecting us (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418571)

This thing will protect us from the terrible secret of space.

Pak Chooie Unf!

Re:Protecting us (1)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419719)

That thing rocks and clunks like a drunk trying to pass a field sobriety test. I got motion sick just watching the video. Of course, now they need three other pieces that form its head/torso/cockpit assembly, and heavily armed upper appendages.

- Greg

One thought (3, Insightful)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418579)

Why?

Re:One thought (1)

GeneralHorel (851957) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418617)

why do people do anything? Because they can

Re:One thought (2, Insightful)

feedmetrolls (1108119) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418765)

why do people do anything?

"Because they're stupid. That's why anyone does anything." -Homer Simpson

Re:One thought (1)

Apathist (741707) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418999)

No kidding. Am I the only one who saw the first steps towards the opening of Terminator 2 in that video?

Not to sound like a Luddite, but doesn't this kind of heedless progress scare anyone else?

Re:One thought (1)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419027)

More appropriate Homer Simpson quote:

"...and here I am, using my legs like a sucker!"

Re:One thought (5, Insightful)

ross.w (87751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418729)

Maybe so that paralegics and quadriplegics can use stairs like everyone else? A lighter and slimmer version would be a superior solution to using an electric wheelchair, provided it can be done sufficiently cheaply.

Hey, they have to start somewhere!

Re:One thought (4, Funny)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418921)

Maybe so that paralegics and quadriplegics can use stairs like everyone else?

This was my first thought. Wheels are no good on rough and uneven terrain.

I just wonder WTF would buy a 2m tall 2 legged monstrosity, when 6 short legs would be much simpler to control and balance. This thing is rediculously impractical.

Then I read the end of TFA about soldiers on these things with chain guns and rpgs. My internal school boy nearly wet himself."Sure it may be a huge target on an inherently unstable pedal configuration with an inability to assume a prone position or find effective cover, but hey, it's a bit like a Mech!"

Wankers.

Re:One thought (2, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419503)

...but hey, it's a bit like a Mech!"

If enough armor can be packed on it, the "mech" platform might be more effective in urban combat than tanks. At least for patrolling an area, if not the original capture of an urban environment. Of course then we would only be a few years away from police in the US and EU from using "mechs" in riot control, and then we would be screwed. As it is G8 already has 1000 injured protesters. "http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6728303.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:One thought (4, Funny)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419885)

If enough armor can be packed on it, the "mech" platform might be more effective in urban combat than tanks.

With no armour whatsoever, a few million nanobots that eat ammunition would be more effective than tanks, _and_ they'd be completely uneffected by the tripwires that are so easy to set up in urban environments. Not nearly as exciting though.

Re:One thought (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419185)

There is a wheelchair that can climb stairs. It's pretty expensive, but I'd bet it's cheaper than this robot for any time in the forseeable future.

Re:One thought (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418743)

There is going to be a forklift version that can be used to fight aliens.

Re:One thought (4, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418815)

I've got a quad friend who'd buy one of these in a shot if they were cheap enough.

To go hiking in the hills, walking over dunes on the beach, all the things that wheels aren't really suitable for.

Re:One thought (1)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418819)

If you have to ask you don't deserve your geek card. Bow your head in shame.

Re:One thought (0, Offtopic)

V8Juice (665414) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419159)

hello

Re:One thought (1)

physicsnick (1031656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419387)

Dude, have you even *played* MechWarrior?

Re:One thought (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419887)

Why not?

If you're gonna build a chairbot, do it right... (4, Funny)

EvilRyry (1025309) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418591)

Chairbot is a great idea and all but its way too high off the ground to be useful in the office. If I built a chairbot, I'd do it right. It would have 8 legs and kinda crawl around like a spider, keeping you low to the ground. It would be so awesome.

Re:If you're gonna build a chairbot, do it right.. (3, Funny)

billsoxs (637329) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418811)

OK - but as Jay Leno would say - Are we really getting THAT fat?

Re:If you're gonna build a chairbot, do it right.. (5, Funny)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419355)

Heh, that was my first thought: "Jesus, how soon before I see these things stomping around Wal-Mart?" I swear, I go there about five times a year, and every time it's like Bloated Freaks on Wheels week.

Re:If you're gonna build a chairbot, do it right.. (2, Funny)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418847)

Well yeah but if you are going to do that you need to do it right. I envision two sets of thousands of grippy legs (made out of rubber or something) mounted in a circular pattern on each side of the chair sharing a single motor.

By rotating this circle each leg would be able to grip onto the floor and help the engine propel you in the direction you want to go in.

Re:If you're gonna build a chairbot, do it right.. (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419057)

I think it's the obsession with Mechs. Add a bullet proof hood, a large caliber gun, etc.

Re:If you're gonna build a chairbot, do it right.. (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419613)

I too was disappointed about the lack of spideriness, even though I hate spiders. This just looks goofy.

*mumbles something about Asians and giant walking robots...*

Not enough capacity (3, Funny)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418595)

V2.0 will need to handle 2X or 3X the current device's 100kg payload if it is to sell in the U.S. The growing numbers of "enlarged" Americans that I see using those scooters is horrifying.

Re:Not enough capacity (3, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418979)

Ehn, just cut off their legs.

LipoBot (5, Funny)

Voice of Meson (892271) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419641)

If we could hook up some Liposuction equipment to it, then use the extracted fat of the occupant as a fuel for the machine we'd really be getting somewhere. Their fat arses would actually be hauling them around. Ha!

LipoBot - Patent Pending.

Ballmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19418599)

Sorry, my bad, that's the combination of chair and monkey.

Go Neimoidian Culture! (2, Funny)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418603)

I want one just like Nute Gunray had.

Re:Go Neimoidian Culture! (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418757)

Keep in mind, that his mechnochair had a built-in holographic communications link going directly to Darth Sidious. (Just so you know what you're getting!)

Oh, boy... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418613)

I just can't wait for the model with integrated gaming computer, toliet and soda dispenser for those long deathmatch games where it can walk you home after you pass out from playing too much.

Chairbot Mech moves 3/5/0 (5, Funny)

bughouse26 (975570) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418619)

I'll take one with 6 Medium Lasers, an AC/20, a PPC-10, and an LRM-6 please.

Re:Chairbot Mech moves 3/5/0 (1)

franksands (938435) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418827)

That's exatcly the first thing I thought. But I would be glad if it had just a marshmallow shooter [thinkgeek.com] ;-)



Man, I miss the Mechwarrior pc games...

Re:Chairbot Mech moves 3/5/0 (4, Funny)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418887)

not enough heat sinks for all that firepower, unless you plan on standing still Mr. Sitting-Duck Clan...

Re:Chairbot Mech moves 3/5/0 (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418893)

Better change your order to include some heat-sinks or you'll just keep shutting down all the time.

Payback (5, Funny)

SPrintF (95561) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418623)

Payback's comin', Ballmer... walkin' slow.

Re:Payback (4, Funny)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418895)

The first thought I had when I saw this article was 'At Soviet Microsoft, Chair throws you!' ;)

Sponsored by Steve Balmer (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419987)

Behind the scenes it's actually sponsored by Steven for his old age. What did you think an 80 year old Steve still wants to be throwing chairs? No senior citizen Steve's will throw themselves at you at his command!!!

Reminds me of ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19418625)

You know, that two wheeled gyro-stabilized scooter thing. It was going to be everywhere. It was going to take over the world. What the heck was it called?

if I had a successful .com startup... (4, Funny)

nbert (785663) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418637)

...I'd be ordering a couple. Just imagine doing job interviews in/on such a thing :D

I thought that said Chairboy. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418643)

I thought it said Chairboy [slashdot.org] , not Chairbot. :P

Steve Ballmer Version (5, Funny)

aschlemm (17571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418655)

The Steve Ballmer version of this chair will automatically throw itself across the room. :)

Re:Steve Ballmer Version (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419053)

I'm gonna F***ing KILL Chairbot!!!!

Re:Steve Ballmer Version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19419635)

In Soviet Russia Microsoft Boardroom, Chair throws YOU !!

Re:Steve Ballmer Version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19419989)

In Soviet Microsoft, chair throws you!

clicking on link... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418663)

... if thats the code it runs, I want nothing to do with it...

In the name of the South (1)

escay (923320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418675)

I have a little proposition to make. The unconditional and immediate surrender of the United States of America to the Loveless Alliance!

That seems silly (1)

Noose For A Neck (610324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418677)

Why use legs when you can use wheels? No fancy control systems necessary.

Re:That seems silly (1)

ross.w (87751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418753)

I'll race you up the stairs. You use a wheel chair, I'll use one of these.

Re:That seems silly (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418787)

wheels are great on smooth terrain, but legs are the only thing that will alow you to travel through really ruff and rocky areas. Also stairs are a lot easier with legs rather than wheels.

Also how will we build are mech warriors without this type of tech?

Re:That seems silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19418865)

Because wheelchairs have an attached stigma, for one. And two, wheels aren't so great going over rocky terrain, as these mecha eventually will.

Re:That seems silly (1)

DavidHumus (725117) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419671)

Two words: Starship Trooper.

It's a little large. (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418691)

But if they can get it down to a more manageable size, chairs with legs will be great for people who are otherwise stuck in a wheelchair... it will make all kinds of places accessible to them that weren't previously.

Re:It's a little large. (4, Informative)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419079)

The Ibot [ibotnow.com] is already available today. I did some development on it for a while and can tell you it's more comfortable than any powered device you've ever ridden. It can do stairs too.

Congrats! (2, Insightful)

reset_button (903303) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418695)

You invented an over-priced, overly complex, huge version of an electric wheelchair!

Re:Congrats! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19419845)

You invented an over-priced, overly complex, huge version of an electric wheelchair!

Sure, but you can't keep a straight face if you say that a soldier could ride around in a wheelchair with an RPG or chaingun mount and that the military might be interested in it.

Now, if you approach the military and tell them they can be equipped with RPGs, chainguns, and lots of chips and cola while riding around in plush Lazy Boys with legs, you just might be looking at some obscenely lucrative government contracts.

May I be the first.... (5, Funny)

Xinef Jyinaer (1044268) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418697)

May I be the first to say, "Goliath Online". And just in time for SC2

Re:May I be the first.... (0)

Bamafan77 (565893) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419019)

May I be the first to say, "Goliath Online". And just in time for SC2
Unless she gets attacked by a squadron of Wraiths, those Goliaths won't be around for long. :)

Ah yes I have fond memories of the Goliath, possibly the most useless of all Terran units. :)

Glavin! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19418699)

That sounds like my first invention, the Autochair 5000! Oh, would you look at the stuff they have you doing, it's-sad-and-alarming? Well, let's get you home to Frinky.

Technical Paper (5, Informative)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418715)

I found this interesting technical paper on the robot: Experimental Realization of Dynamic Walking for a Human-Riding Biped Robot, HUBO FX-1 [cmu.edu] . It has lots of pretty pictures and graphs and gets in to the control-system problems they had when they developed it. Each step runs through three different balance control strategies, which they outline in detail. It's almost enough information to build your own!

Fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19418809)

There's actually a guy inside that device. It's basically a hoax.

The first thing I thought of when I saw the pic (1)

dr_strang (32799) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418817)


Was Robotech. I can't wait. The future is Macross, baby.

Re:The first thing I thought of when I saw the pic (1)

Bamafan77 (565893) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419003)

" Was Robotech. I can't wait. The future is Macross, baby."
heh, the first thing I thought of was Evangelion. I read very carefully for any mention of NERV, Instrumentality, or SEAL. Anyway, the chick in the picture doesn't look like she has a high sync with her Eva. She's screwed once the Angels attack.

Do they sell upgrades for it? (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418851)

It looks a bit bare. Now with some extra armor, ER PPC and pulse lasers it would be really neat.

Re:Do they sell upgrades for it? (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418915)

Well I believe so, unless you got that Express edition where you are not allowed to even duct tape a flashlight to the seat.

Perfect office chair (1)

GFree (853379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418883)

Military is also one of its future applications may be in a decade or so it will be running on fuel cells with a soldier mounted on firing rpg's and chain guns.

Screw the military, this sounds like the perfect chair for my office.

Re:Perfect office chair (1)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419005)

Looking at the prototype, it looks like it'll make the soldier stand out from the others. "Shoot the tall one!"

I'll wait till the fully armored MechWarrior version comes out. And maybe even wait a couple of years later, when the Transformers Anniversary Edition is available. I've been wanting to drive an Optimus Prime for so long now...

good timing (5, Funny)

Jeek Elemental (976426) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418911)

was considering taking up jogging but havent cause of all the running involved, this might be the push needed.

Okay it seems impressive (1)

wyntek (1061720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418917)

but lets dump 4 cans of beer on that chair's circuit boards and see how well it walks. Stupid chair. You're better off storing pi out to 6 million digits!

Slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19418927)

Chairbot is down. Repeat, Chairbot is down.

Maybe they needed a beowulf of these things.

Ok, Dude, (5, Funny)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19418963)

Stephan Hawking NEEDS this thing. All it needs is a set of grasping hands on long arms so he can crush his enemies like Robo-Nixon. That would be so awesome. In any case, add some lasers and missiles and you've got a fully functional Gundam!

Re:Ok, Dude, (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419695)

Talk about timing...

From bash.org (#765367)

(08:57:00 PM) Nick: If I had could anyone as a Street Fighter character, it'd be Stephen Hawking.
(08:57:31 PM) Nick: You know his special move would be...his wheelchar would fly up in the air and then slam down into the other guy like a meteor or something.

What the? (1)

hexed_2050 (841538) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419017)

While I understand the sheer implications of each successful progression of walking biped robot mobility systems, I have to wonder what sort of use this certain implication could have besides being a prop for Austin Powers and Mini Me in the next sequel.
h

That's nice... (0, Offtopic)

GFree (853379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419025)

...but does it run... Vista?

Damn, and I just bought a Segway. (1)

MLS100 (1073958) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419087)

It will irk me to no end that while I look down on the lowly 'walking' class that there will be some guy in a chairbot looking down on my now-lowly 'standing' class. Perhaps I can skip a tier and wait for the la-z-bot?

This could be much cooler.. (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419095)

..with 8 spider-like legs instead of the biped legs..

Where's the options? (1)

denttford (579202) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419099)

How much for reactive armor? A GAU-19 option, perhaps?

Man, it's the extras that kill ya.

Fred is smoother (1)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419135)

Hint: Ginger.

In Soviet Russia... (1)

rekab (990669) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419197)

You walk around while chair sits on you!!!... I've got nothin'...

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19419537)

Oh! oh! I've got it!

In Soviet Russia, chairs sit on you... no wait! Chairs ride you. Err...

Dude! (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419233)

Dr. Mung Mung will love this thing!

Step 1 (1)

Higaran (835598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419273)

Step one is building and Atlas Mech, figure out how the legs work, and build them up to a larger scale. Theres also a Dadashi or a Kodiak, but then again they need a couple of guass rifles on the sides.

In all seriousness.... (4, Informative)

grimdawg (954902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419337)

....the applications of this and derivatives seem fairly extensive.

There's an inherent advantage of legs over wheels - that's why we have to go out of our way to make ramps for the wheelchair-bound. This device represents, to me, an important step (HAH!) in design of legged machines. Having a robot which can walk intelligently over unpredictable surfaces would be pretty useful.

Just off the top of my head, here are some areas this could come in handy:

Construction/mining/etc. - As it is, everything needs to be carted around by trucks, which aren't maneuverable in the way a set of legs can be;

The disabled - as mentioned by a few, the wheel in wheelchair makes things very tough for our legless friends. With a legchair, they could maybe climb stairs and go over rougher terrain;

Military - same deal. It's basically the first step toward a genuine Mech;

Automated factories - no longer are we limited to wheels/tracks/conveyor belts. There's gotta be some advantage to that.

Space? - The idea of a droid repairing your spaceship just got a little less out there, maybe?

There are probably more, too. I think the chair itself is retarded, but the research that's gone into getting a set of functioning, intelligent legs is pretty useful.

Hedonism Bot (1)

Three Letter Acronym (665094) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419343)

I apologize for nothing!

No Wai! (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419407)

this giant chair with legs

A chair with legs! What'll they think of next, a bicycle with wheels?

Those legs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19419437)

So the legs make it more interesting, but wouldn't it be much easier and more robust to just use tank-style treads, or even wheels?

Disappointed about only two legs? (1)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419471)

Am I the only one disappointed that it doesn't have four spindly little chair legs? It just looks like some odd monstrosity as it is. Even if it was the same height, it would look cooler to me if it had four smaller 'chair-like' legs.

looks like it came out of some ridiculous 80s ... (1)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419703)

...Sci-fi

I was alive in the 80s. This predates the 80s by decades. More like turn of the century, industrialization.

So... (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419715)

after you throw them, they walk back to you? Genius!

a bit unstable isn't it? (1)

blowtorch (1092271) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419787)

Its looks too unstable for any use in the real world. Add a couple more legs for much more stability. At least that way it won't topple over sideways.

Spider car! (3, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 7 years ago | (#19419837)

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this thing [youtube.com] . It's kind of scary to see it in motion.

Can the Techno Trousers be far behind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19419853)

This chair...it's gone wrong!

Palpatine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19420027)

Does anyone remember Emperor Palpatine's hologram riding around on such a chair?
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