The main objective of the humanoid robotics is the study and the robotic implementation of neuroscientific models of sensory-motor coordination on humanoid platform. This has a twofold benefit: improving the performances of the robotic platform interacting with the real world and validating the neuroscientific models through a comparison between robot and biological system performances. A biped humanoid robot, named SABIAN, ahs been built at the Robot-An joint lab, as a copy of the WABIAN robot developed at Waseda University in Tokyo. The SABIAN robot is equipped with a robotic head and two cameras. On this platform neuroscientific models for gaze-guided locomotion are implemented and tested. The behaviour expected in the biped humanoid is the capability to follow a visual target by coordinating the eye, head, and leg movements, with a good head stabilization, walking smoothly and effectively in an unstructured environment, with a robust reactive behaviour, improved by the predictive behaviour with respect to the predictable part of the environment.
An upper-body humanoid robot has been developed, as an experimental research platform for neuroscience. This platform includes an 8-dof anthropomorphic arm and a five-fingered underactuated hand with tactile sensors, and a 7-DoF robotic head with a retina-like vision system. This humanoid platform has been used for investigation of sensory-motor coordination in grasping and manipulation and to reproduce the human eye movements (saccade). On the same platform, we have been investigating anticipation-based perception-act loops and we formulated a novel scheme of “Expected Perception” for robot sensory-motor coordination. In this scheme, the perception-action loop is not based on the traditional feedback concept, but on the ‘prediction’ of perception, to be compared with the actual one.
Humanoid Robotics group:
- Egidio Falotico, Post-Doc Research Assistant
- Nino Cauli, Post-Doc Research Assistant
- Lorenzo Vannucci, PhD Student