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Open Source LabVIEW Code: Humanoid Robot Walking Gait May 19, 2010

Posted by emiliekopp in code, labview robot projects.
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This is the latest update to the MiNI Hubo series I started awhile back. You may recall the previouis video of MiNI Hubo walking, which used LabVIEW code that was simply playing back a recorded motion.

This video shows MiNI Hubo walking using a parametric gait generated dynamically and online:

And best of all, Karl Muecke, NI R&D engineer, is sharing all of the LabVIEW code that controls MiNI Hubo’s walking gait.

You can download the VIs and see how Karl designed the control code on the NI Robotics Code Exchange.

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MiNI Hubo Walks: Part 2 of series April 9, 2010

Posted by emiliekopp in labview robot projects.
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Karl Muecke, one of our newest engineers on the LabVIEW Robotics development team, picked up MiNI Hubo the other day and decided it was time walk.

Using his background in humanoid locomotion and some VI libraries he developed for DARwIn back in grad school at Virginia Tech, Karl was able to get MiNI Hubo walking in less than two days.

Here’s MiNI Hubo’s first steps, at Karl’s desk:

NI Develops Cybernetic Leadership Team in Preparation for Longterm Future April 1, 2010

Posted by emiliekopp in robot fun.
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Check out the latest news release I found on our site this morning:

NI LabVIEW Robotics Helps Implement Founder’s 100-Year Plan – Literally

April 1, 2010 – Austin, Texas – National Instruments is known for providing design, control and test solutions to engineers around the world. Additionally, NI is known for creating easy-to-use graphical programming for domain experts in every industry from robotics to green to medical. And stakeholders know NI for its long-term planning. The company’s lasting view, known as the “100-year plan,” looks decades into the future to ensure the needs of these stakeholders are given appropriate consideration. To fully execute on this initiative, the management team chose to create a plan that will actually be around for all 100 years. Today the company is unveiling robotic clones of founders Dr. James Truchard and Jeff Kodosky.

Introduced by NI CEO and cofounder, Dr. James Truchard, the 100-year plan balances the long-term NI vision with short-term goals and defines which company philosophies, ethics, values and principles are necessary to guide the company’s growth through future generations. Powered by LabVIEW Robotics, the JT-76 and the JK-86, respectively, are ready for anything that comes their way, be it design challenges that threaten cost overruns or intergalactic overlords seeking to enslave the human race.

Read more from the news release here.

Needless to say, the entire company is buzzing with this latest news. Will the rest of the leadership team also be migrated to robot clones? Will the robots be programmed for good or evil? Are the cyborgs’ artificial intelligence VIs open source and will they be shared on the LabVIEW Robotics Code Exchange? And does anyone else think the cyborgs have a striking resemblance to MiNI-Hubo?

I, for one, welcome our NI robot overlords.

Meet Mini Hubo: part 1 of series March 31, 2010

Posted by emiliekopp in labview robot projects.
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Meet Mini Hubo, a small, humaniod robot based on an original,  full scale humanoid design by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). The original Hubo was replicated and scaled smaller in size by RoMeLa at Virginia Tech  since not everyone has the funds or resources to have their own life-size humanoid walking around the lab; Dr. Hong and his students created a more accessible version. The goal of Mini Hubo is to serve as an affordable and open-ended research platform to expand knowledge in the human robotics field.

Since we’re good friends with the engineers at RoMeLa, we recently got our hands on a Mini Hubo here at NI. One of our interns, RJ Gross from Drexel University, spent some quality time with the robot, which we began to refer to as MiNI Hubo, since all of our robots have some sort of emphasis on “NI” (see NIcholas, DaNI, NIro, NItro, GreeNI, etc). As a result, RJ will be sharing a lot of the LabVIEW code he developed to control MiNI-Hubo (coming soon!).

In the meantime, here’s some mechanical specs on our MiNI Hubo:

Height: 46cm

Weight: 2.9 kg

DOF: 22 (but don’t worry, Mini Hubo comes with documentation that includes his forward and inverse kinematics, whew!)

Motors: Robotis Dynamixel RX-28 (LabVIEW drivers for these particular motors will be published soon, so you can get your hands on them too)

Controller: We chose to use the FitPC2 to controller our MiNI Hubo, although the humanoid platform is flexible, so you could use practically anything, like Gumstix, NanoATX, PC104, etc.

OS/SW: Our MiNI Hubo is programmed using LabVIEW Robotics and runs Windows on the FitPC2. RJ will be publishing a white paper on running LabVIEW on the FitPC2 soon as well. But again, depending on what controller is selected, the OS/SW is flexible.

Vision: We used a USB webcam. This is also a flexible option for Mini Hubo.

Power: Lithium-ion polymer batteries

We’ll be getting more up-close and personal with this robot in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. I have some video of MiNI Hubo walking at one of the cubicles in R&D that I look forward to sharing.

For anyone considering who’s interested in a Mini Hubo of his/her own, be sure to contact RoMeLa. They sell the Mini Hubo platform to researchers.