Some of you might have already heard about the DLR’s (German Aerospace Agency) humanoid robot which was first presented in 2009. It looks like its designers spent the time effectively improving the construction, which is now capable of totally new and very impressive tricks. Generally, the robot is equipped with a 3D camera system that can do extremely precise tracking of an object, that makes it quite a good catcher.
What’s very interesting is that Rollin’ Justin can track and calculate the flight path of two objects (balls) which are thrown towards him at once. The system is then able to position its hands to be able to catch both balls. It takes around 5 milliseconds for the calculations and the precision level is up to 2 cm. That gives an overall catch rate of over 80% . Check this out on the video below:
If you feel it’s actually more than a human can do, you might cheer up a bit because Rollin’ Justin needs a link with external computers to do so. However, it’s probably only a matter of time, until the humanoid works on his own. Rollin’ Justin’s new tricks will be presented during International Conference on Robotics and Automation (9-13 May 2011, Shanghai, China).
Of course, it’s nothing else than a trick at the moment, but we should all be aware the research does not end on that. I’m pretty sure there are many busy parents, who might be interested in having a clever humanoid robot playing with their kids. And your catch rate might be lower than 80%…