Aug 1, 2017 | By David

A team of robotics researchers in Iran have been implementing 3D printing technology to create robots of all shapes and sizes for years now, and their latest creation is one of the most unique they have built so far. The adorable Surena Mini is no taller than your knee, but can perform all sorts of impressive actions. It is intended primarily for educational purposes, as well as to help out children with disabilities and developmental disorders.

Just over a year ago the team, which is comprised of 15 researchers from University of Tehran’s Center for Advanced Systems and Technologies, unveiled the Surena III robot, which is one of their most advanced projects to date. It is the size of a fully-grown person and weighs 98kg and it can imitate someone’s actions with the help of its onboard sensors and camera. The Surena III performs tasks like picking up bottles, standing on one foot and kicking a ball with a level of skill that would put many an inebriated or uncoordinated human to shame. The robot was developed as a way to study bipedal locomotion, human-robot interaction, and other challenging concepts for robotics research.

The 50-centimetres tall, 3.4 kg Surena Mini, which the team has been working on ever since completion of the Surena III, is not quite as adept as its larger predecessor but does boast a number of other appealing features. The robot’s internal CPU is an Intel Core and it has infrared sensors and speakers as well as 2 cameras inside its eyes. The sleek white body was 3D printed, and it makes use of 22 different servo-motors to power its arms, legs and neck. It is able to move around with ease due to the IMU (inertial measurement unit), and it can push things around but not pick them up, as its hands haven’t been designed to grasp. Gesturing, dancing, and karate chopping, however, can all be pulled off with style.

Aghil Yousefi-Koma, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Tehran, said that the idea for the Surena Mini arose because the team wanted to create a “kid-size version of Surena.” According the the professor, the “main purpose of this robot is to provide researchers and students with a reliable robotic platform for educational and research applications”. The smaller size meant that it would be more marketable and allow more people interested in robotics for research (or just entertainment) purposes to access it.

The programming environment for the Surena Mini has a graphical environment, which means that users with little to no technical expertise should still be able to get it to work for them. It was “designed to be attractive and user-friendly,” Professor Yousefi-Koma said, “so even beginners can make the robot walk and move its arms and head.”

The Surena Mini is not the first robot of its kind, following as it does in the miniature footsteps of other pocket-sized humanoids like the Nao, developed by French robotics company Aldebaran (now SoftBank Robotics), and the Robotis OP2, created by U.S. and South Korean roboticists, both of which have been used in schools and hospitals for almost a decade now. Nor is it quite up to their level of ball-kicking prowess, as the increasingly competitive but still laughable RoboCup robot soccer competition continues to be dominated by the latter two creations. In terms of cost, though, it’s a slight improvement on these $10, 000+ machines. The Surena Mini is currently available for a mere $8,000, a price which should hopefully go down in the near future as mass production of the robot becomes easier.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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John wrote at 8/7/2017 12:07:07 PM:

Is there Any jobs with buildings robots

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