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Topic: Latest: Video: Disney Research Creates Robot That Plays Catch and Juggles

Wed 11/28/2012 4:23a
This topic is for Discussion of Latest: Video: Disney Research Creates Robot That Plays Catch and Juggles

An incredible new video from Disney Research shows a robot playing catch and juggling. Imagine the possibilities. From the YouTube channel...

Robots in entertainment environments typically do not allow for physical interaction and contact with people. However, catching and throwing back objects is one form of physical engagement that still maintains a safe distance between the robot and participants. Using an animatronic humanoid robot, we developed a test bed for a throwing and catching game scenario. We use an external camera system (ASUS Xtion PRO LIVE) to locate balls and a Kalman filter to predict ball destination and timing. The robot's hand and joint-space are calibrated to the vision coordinate system using a least-squares technique, such that the hand can be positioned to the predicted location. Successful catches are thrown back two and a half meters forward to the participant, and missed catches are detected to trigger suitable animations that indicate failure. Human to robot partner juggling (three ball cascade pattern, one hand for each partner) is also achieved by speeding up the catching/throwing cycle. We tested the throwing/catching system on six participants (one child and five adults, including one elderly), and the juggling system on three skilled jugglers.


Wed 11/28/2012 4:33a
That's pretty neat, but I have to wonder what they plan on using it for. Realistically, it would be tough to have the guests involved (like the LCI things), unless it's in a small-scale and very low capacity venue like Innoventions.

They didn't show it in the video, but I wonder if the intent is to have two robots that play catch with one another. Depending how it's used, it could fit into an attraction pretty easily, and would be neat to watch (one of those things that people might not even realize how complicated it is, since it appears to be done pretty well)

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