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Mechatronics
NASA Explores Humanoid Robot Design
5/8/2012

NASA has designed Robonaut 2 to perform a series of tasks with its hands much like humans would. The robot is currently helping astronauts aboard the International Space Station.   (Source: NASA)
NASA has designed Robonaut 2 to perform a series of tasks with its hands much like humans would. The robot is currently helping astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
(Source: NASA)

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lsdjv893h4
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Iron
print postcards
lsdjv893h4   5/30/2014 5:32:41 PM
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A postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope. There are novelty exceptions, such as wood postcards, made of thin wood, and copper postcards sold in the Copper Country of the U.S. state of Michigan, and coconut "postcards" from tropical islands.

In some places, it is possible to send them for a lower fee than for a letter. Stamp collectors distinguish between postcards (which require a stamp) and postal cards (which have the postage pre-printed on them). While a postcard is usually printed by a private company, individual or organization, a postal card is issued by the relevant postal authority.

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Jack Rupert, PE
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Re: Creep Factor
Jack Rupert, PE   5/13/2012 12:37:20 PM
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What I've noticed with this one is that they didn't try to give it a face - which I think tends to be a major failing with a lot of the humanoid robots.  The "helmet" look prevents the "creep factor" of something that looks "almost" human.

apresher
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Creep Factor
apresher   5/10/2012 11:30:33 AM
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Beth, It's interesting to me that the creep factor is a major consideration for you. Clearly there is a trend to mobile robots interacting more with human workers, from autonomous vehicles that are transporting materials in tire manufacturing plants, for example, to surgical assistants helping with organization and sterilization of instruments.  In any of these applications where there is human interaction, I guess there is an adjustment to working with the robot.  I guess it's the upper torso design that makes the difference in this case.  It's interesting that GM sees the possibility long-term of service robots used in assembly areas, working in conjunction with human workers as a possibility.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Design by intent
Beth Stackpole   5/10/2012 7:02:20 AM
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I think it would have to be relegated to applications where people weren't exposed to it otherwise the creep factor would be too much of a distraction.

Charles Murray
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Re: Design by intent
Charles Murray   5/9/2012 8:04:33 PM
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Good point, Beth. I wonder how the octopus would fare on the creep factor scale (the so-called "uncanny valley.)

apresher
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Humanoid Robots
apresher   5/9/2012 9:21:51 AM
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We did a story with GM on this, and part of their motivation is to explore the possibilities of humanoid robots being used in assembly areas. That would require working closely with human workers which creates interesting issues related to safety and productivity.  Interesting technology.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Design by intent
Beth Stackpole   5/9/2012 6:49:43 AM
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Talk about the stuff of nightmares ... but given the issues that Ann mentioned, an octopus design might have more applicability in terms of serving up more "hands on deck" for jobs that require dexterity when it comes to small motor skills.

TJ McDermott
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Re: Design by intent
TJ McDermott   5/8/2012 10:42:20 PM
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jhankwitz, I can accept HAL in an R2D2 body.  Your image of an autonomous octopus is the thing of nightmares.

Human interaction with automation is branching out in many interesting ways.  Engadget.com (sorry for the reference to another technology site) has numerous articles about studies of ever-more-realistic human-form robots.

An octopus is absolutely a smarter, more efficient form factor.  It may not be accepted by its users though.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Science fiction movie
Nancy Golden   5/8/2012 9:53:42 PM
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I agree Beth, it is a shame that space exploration research has been curtailed. Not only did it generate new technology and bring people a level of enthusiasm and solidarity in past decades that little else could come close to - it also created invaluable spin off technologies that both improved life and stimulated the economy.

That is another important aspect of STEM, keeping space in front of our kids so that they still grow up with a sense of wonder that only the stars can bring about. We are frequent visitors to the McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis and brought our son on his 13th birthday for a special viewing that is only held a few times a year through the 109" telescope. I am guessing there were about thirty people in our group and our son was the only kid...

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Design by intent
Ann R. Thryft   5/8/2012 1:33:22 PM
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jhankwitz has an interesting point--how much do robots in space need to have human parts or features when gravity isn't an issue? I think part of the answer is that gravity is an issue in a space station, and that fingers or some such appendage for manipulating is needed, at least when Robonaut 2 needs to flip switches, or when surgical robots are being deployed to service or refuel satellites:
http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=237609

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