Humanoids: Training Students for International Collaborations

Paul Oh
This PIRE project is a collaborative project that engages each member’s unique resources, including electro-mechanical design (Korean collaborators), virtual HUBO (Bryn Mawr), online HUBO and co-op program (Drexel), mini-HUBO (Virginia Tech), advanced locomotion (UPenn) and human-robot interaction (Swarthmore). Humanoids are bipedal robots engineered to mimic human locomotion, balance, and coordination. The Honda ASIMO, Sony QRIO, and KAIST HUBO are adult-sized humanoids that have captured public interest and give researchers insight on issues including dynamic walking, coordinated motor control, perception, and human-robot interaction. A coherent, effective, and innovative model is presented for international collaboration and will enable faculty, undergraduates, and doctorial students to cycle through Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. The goal is to deliver a three-tier tool set—virtual, mini-, and online HUBO—filling a critical gap that prevents a vertical advance in robotics, namely the lack of platforms to consolidate knowledge, assess approaches, and benchmark performance. This toolset will provide the community with multiple points of entry to engage in advancing humanoid capabilities with far reaching impacts. To reach the next generation of robotic scientists and engineers, the PIRE team is working closely with the Philadelphia Please Touch Museum (PTM) to design exhibits featuring HUBO to inspire and motivate students to pursue science and engineering careers.