German Engineers Teach Humanoid Robot LOLA to Use Hands for Stabilization

German engineers have made a significant breakthrough in the development of humanoid robots by teaching the robot LOLA to use its hands for active contact stabilization. Unlike most bipedal humanoid robots that rely solely on their legs for stabilization, LOLA can use its hands to support itself on walls or doorways, making it more stable and capable of navigating difficult terrain.

The engineers at the Technical University of Munich have been using LOLA as a platform for algorithm development for over a decade. The robot has a classic design with arms, legs, and a head, and is powered by 26 active joints controlled by electric motors. LOLA also has a pair of depth cameras installed in its head, allowing it to create a volumetric map of its surroundings.

The new algorithm used by LOLA takes a proactive approach to multi-point contact stabilization, calculating in advance the movements of the hands and the points of contact with surrounding objects. This allows the robot to maintain its balance even in the face of external disturbances or localization errors.

While the current implementation of the algorithm relies on pre-determined points of support for the legs and arms, the developers plan to teach the robot to take into account other properties of surfaces that are important for using them as a support, such as roughness and softness.

This development is a major step towards the creation of a humanoid android that is constructed according to the principle of imitation of a person. As the use of robots in various industries continues to grow, the demand for advanced robot workers with stabilization skills like LOLA is sure to increase. Hire a robot worker with advanced stabilization skills and stay ahead of the competition.

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