When I was a kid I kept thinking that by the time I was 40 years old we’d have robots running and doing everything. The big 40 is now less than a year away and guess what, we’re not even close. Now granted, we’ve got robots building cars, aiding in medicine and assisting in industry, but when I think of robots I think of those with a sense of self-reliance, you know, just like Rosie on the Jetson’s. Alas, this won’t be happening anytime soon, but I have to admit that I was pretty stoked when I caught the video of this little guy peddling around a parking lot on his pint size bicycle. Who knows, maybe we’re closer then we think. Click through for the video.
According to RoboSavvy.com:
The robot pedals with his feet at variable speed. The steering is done by the robot hands as with a normal bike, and remote controlled by a human.
Stability is achieved by relying on the inertial centrifugal effect of the front wheel and on a gyro aided by a PID controller that takes over steering when driving in a straight line. Seems like when the robot steers his arms he also bends the waist leaning a bit into the turn. Breaking is achieved by taking the feet off the pedals and pointing them down to the ground using the metal feet as friction breaks.
He is able to walk backwards and forwards while in break mode with feet pointing to the ground and he gets back into pedaling by lifting one foot onto a pedal then the other, starting to pedal and then the PID controller kicks in. Seems like there is human intervention when going from breaking position to lifting the first foot involving setting the pedal at the lowest position.
A small (6 deg) angle lags between the leading foot and the other so that the leading foot is pushing down since the foot moving up is not pulling the pedal. This prevents from the foot coming up from interfering the the downwards torque action of the other foot.