DARwIn (Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence) is a family of fully autonomous humanoid robots capable of bipedal walking and performing human like motions. Developed at the Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) at Virginia Tech, DARwIn is a research platform for studying robot locomotion and autonomous behaviors, and also the base platform for Virginia Tech’s entry to the RoboCup competition.
Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence
|Principal Investigator||Dr. Dennis Hong|
Dr. Bohee Lee
|Motors||Robotis Dynamixel RX-28, RX-64, EX-106|
|Computing||Gumstix Verdex Pro XL6P|
Analog Devices Blackfin BF561
|Vision||VT-Cam system with dual HDR camers|
|Power||Dual 7.4v 2000mAh LiPo batteries|
Goals & Objectives
DARwIn is a research platform for studying robot locomotion and is also the base platform for Virginia Tech's entry to the RoboCup competition. In this research, we study the issues of mechanical design, kinematics, dynamic bipedal gaits, ZMP control, vision tracking, and complex autonomous behaviors needed for playing soccer.
Current Areas of Research
- Particle-based Localization
- Bipedal Locomotion
Many versions of DARwIn have been developed, each an improvement on its predecessor.
To investigate the feasibility of controlling a 21 DOF humanoid robot, the Cycloid robot which was designed and fabricated by Robotis was used as the testing platform. Since this was not the first physical iteration of DARwIn this testing iteration is called DARwIn 0. The motors used for controlling the robot's motion were the Dynamixel DX-117.
DARwIn 0 proved to be a success, demonstrating that the core software developed for the robot worked for controlling the robot to stand up and walk.
DARwIn I was the first humanoid robot created by a senior design project at RoMeLa. DARwIn I has 21 degrees of freedom, 4 force sensors on each feet (which were never used), a 3 axis rate gyro, a 3 axis accelerometer, and space to house a computer and batteries for powering the motors, sensors, and computing equipment. DARwIn I's links are fabricated out of bent sheet aluminum. This robot also uses Robotis Dynamixel DX-117 motors for the joints.
No sensor information was used for stability control and the gaits were not generated from mathematical functions. Therefore the robot would not walk successfully unless a sufficient sequence of stances was recorded. Additionally, the robot would fall over in the presence of any external disturbances.
DARwIn II was designed and fabricated by the 2006-2007 senior design team. Two versions were created, DARwIn IIa in the fall and DARwIn IIb in the spring. DARwIn IIa builds on its predecessor with improved mechanical design, more sensors, and added intelligence. The links were cut out of solid blocks of aluminum on a CNC mill to maximize stiffness and reduce weight.
DARwIn IIb is based on the design of DARwIn IIa, but with improvements in all categories. The motors used for articulating DARwIn's joints were replaced with a motor with twice the torque. DARwIn's link design was further refined to create even lighter weight parts. The entire computer, sensors, electronics package, and computer ports were mounted to a custom designed heat sink as a single module. This module is attached to the robot body using shock mounts, which allows easy access and removal while protecting the equipment from shock when falling.
DARwIn III was an attempt to perfect the designs before it. Successful in many ways, DARwIn III improved in a few key areas. RX-64 motors were used for almost the entire lower body in order to gain more power. RX-28 motors were used for the yawing motor in the hip to reduce the height of the robot. An RX-64 motor was used in the waist to add strength.
DARwIn IV was a radical change from DARwIn III. The decision was made to move away from the PC/104-Plus platform to a Gumstix, thereby allowing us to reduce the size and weight of the robot.
- Hurdus, J., Hong, D., “The Use of Hierarchical State Machines for Behavioral Programming in the DARPA Urban Challenge and RoboCup”, Springer-Verlag of Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering (LNEE), 2009 (in print)
Refereed Conference Papers
- Muecke, M. and Hong, D. W., “Investigation of an Analytical Motion Filter for Humanoid Robots”, 5th International Conference on Ubiquitous Robots and Ambient Intelligence, Seoul, S. Korea, November 20-22, 2008
- Hurdus, J., Hong, D., “The Use of Hierarchical State Machines for Behavioral Programming in the DARPA Urban Challenge and RoboCup”, IEEE International Conference on Multisensor Fusion and Integration for Intelligent Systems, Seoul, Korea, August 20-22, 2008
- Muecke, M. and Hong, D. W., “The Synergistic Combination of Research, Education, and International Robot Competitions Through the Development of a Humanoid Robot”, 32nd ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, New York City, NY, August 3-6, 2008
- Muecke, M., Hong, D. W., and Lim, S., “Precision Circular Walking of Bipedal Robots”, 32nd ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, New York City, NY, August 3-6, 2008
- Muecke, K., and Hong, D. W., “DARwIn’s Evolution: Development of a Humanoid Robot”, 2007 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robotics and Systems, San Diego, CA, October 29-November 2, 2007
- Terpenny, J., Dancey, C., Goff, R., Nelson, D., Ellis, M., and Hong, D. W., “Success Strategies for Capstone Design Courses with Large Classes, Diverse Project Types, Small to Large Student Teams, and Varied Faculty Interests and Approaches”, 2007 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii, June 24-27, 2007
- Hong, D. W., “Biologically Inspired Locomotion Strategies: Novel Ground Mobile Robots at RoMeLa”, 3rd International Conference on Ubiquitous Robots and Ambient Intelligence, Seoul, S. Korea, October 15-17, 2006
Non-Refereed Conference Papers
- Muecke, K. and Hong, D. W., “Development of a Fully Autonomous Humanoid Robot for Novel Locomotion Research and as the First US Humanoid Entry to Robocup”, NI Week, Worldwide Virtual Instrumentation Conference, Austin, Texas, August 7-9, 2007 (Most Outstanding Application of Virtual Instrumentation, Editor’s Choice Award Winner for Best Application of Virtual Instrumentation, Best Application of Virtual Instrumentation, Mechatronics Category Winner)
- Muecke, K. and Hong, D. W., “Development of an Open Humanoid Robot Platform for Research and Autonomous Soccer Playing”, 22nd AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Vancouver, BC, Canada, July 2007 (Technical Innovation Award, Judges’ Award for Mechanism Design)
- Muecke, K. and Hong, D., “A Reactive Approach to Behavior Based Control of a Soccer Playing Humanoid Robot”, US-Korea Conference on Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship (UKC2007), Mechanical Engineering & Robotics Symposium, Washington DC, August 9-12, 2007
Other Selected Publications
- Muecke, K. and Hong, D. W., “PC/104-Plus: The Brains Behind the DARwIn Humanoid Robot”, PC/104 and Small Form Factors, Journal of Modular Embedded Design, Vol. 12, No. 3, Summer 2008, pp. 26-30
- Muecke, K. and Hong, D. W., “DARwIn’s Evolution: Development of a Humanoid Robot for Research and Education”, Industrial Embedded Systems, OpenSystems Publishing, December 2007
- Hong, D., Muecke, K., Mayo, R., Hurdus, J., and Pullins, B., “DARwIn’s Fist Soccer Tournament: America’s First Entry to the Humanoid Division of RoboCup”, Servo Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 9, September, 2007
- Muecke, K., Mayo, R., Hong, D. W., “DARwIn: Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence, Part 3 – DARwIn 2.0: The Next Generation”, Servo Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 2, February, 2007
- Muecke, K., Cox, P., Hong, D. W., “DARwIn: Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence, Part 2 – Parts, Wires and Motors”, Servo Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 1, January, 2007
- Muecke, K., Cox, P., Hong, D. W., “DARwIn: Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence, Part 1 – Concept & General Overview”, Servo Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 12, December, 2006