The Robotics & Mechanism Laboratory (RoMeLa) at Virginia Tech. recently posted to YouTube a video of their latest humanoid robot of the CHARLI series, CHARLI-2, doing "Gangnam Style."
RoMeLa describes its latest of the CHARLI series robots, the CHARLI-2, as having improved,
"... stability and speed in walking, intelligence and autonomy, and soccer playing skills. CHARLI-2 is also designed to participate in the autonomous robot soccer competition, RoboCup, in the Adult size league. CHARLI-2 implements an impressive active stabilization strategy based on sensory feedback (filtered IMU angles, gyro rate readings and proprioception information based on joint encoders.) Stabilizing torques at the ankle joints are applied based on this information, and successful ly rejects external disturbances. CHARLI-2 is honored '2011 Best Invention of the Year' by Time magazine..."
According to Wired.com, the US Navy is using the five-foot CHARLI-2 for research on firefighting robots. The creator of CHARLI-2, Dr. Dennis Hong, of Virginia Tech's Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa), has a $3.5 million grant from the Navy to help design an Autonomous Shipboard Humanoid or ASH, based on the CHARLI series technology.The Navy's special interest in CHARLI-2 is because of its special balance and self-orientation capabilities (see video below) using a special software called SLAM, (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping).
Wired.com reports Hong says:“If a robot can do all the tasks that come with fighting a fire, it can do all these other things on ships, like mopping the deck. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of robotics."
It is hoped that future generations of CHARLI-2 will work with human sailors to put out shipboard flames. But we may one day see advanced CHARLI robots outdo human sailors in Gangnam Style dancing competitions.
Even worse, MSN Now already anticipates the robotic doomsday scenario where rebellious robots takes over the planet and thousands, and maybe even millions of robots, do the victory dance procession, Gangnam Style, to Capitol Hill, thanks to the nerds at Virginia Tech.