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Virginia Tech's CHARLI-2 robot dances Gangnam Style


October 21, 2012

Researchers at Virginia Tech had some fun with their RoboCup soccer champ

Researchers at Virginia Tech had some fun with their RoboCup soccer champ

Just in case you haven't had your fill of PSY's viral K-POP sensation, the researchers at Virginia Tech's Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) have put out a new video of their robot dancing Gangnam Style. While the robot named CHARLI-2 doesn't display any fancy footwork in the video, some of its walking and balancing technology is being implemented in the Navy's Autonomous Shipboard Humanoid (ASH).

Already the team at RoMeLa, led by Dr. Dennis Hong, have developed a pair of legs based on CHARLI-2's lower half called SAFFiR (Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot), which will have to navigate in tight corridors and smoky environments later this year.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has been working on a firefighting robot called Octavia since 2010, but that robot is rather bulky and moves on wheels, which limits where it can go. Eventually the Navy would like to combine aspects of both projects into ASH, which will wear a protective suit to prevent it from overheating.

The CHARLI-2 spends most of its time advancing artificial intelligence in RoboCup soccer matches. In 2011 and 2012 it came out on top in the league's Adult size division, which typically involves a kicker and goalie. It sports 25 degrees of freedom and stands 4 feet 7 inches tall (141 cm), but is designed to be ultra light weight, weighing less than 33 pounds (15 kg). It can currently walk at a max speed of about 0.86 miles per hour (1.4 km/h).

CHARLI-2's PSY-inspired dance moves can be seen in the video below.

Source: RoMeLa website via YouTube

About the Author
Jason Falconer Jason is a freelance writer based in central Canada with a background in computer graphics. He has written about hundreds of humanoid robots on his website Plastic Pals and is an avid gamer with an unsightly collection of retro consoles, cartridges, and controllers. All articles by Jason Falconer
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