Jennifer, who you last saw outside playing Hockey and is one of our most experienced FIRA HuroCup robots, has now learned new skills: cross country and alpine skiing. Cross Country and Alpine skiing is our entry to the 2015 DARwIn-OP Humanoid Application Challenge at ICRA-2015 in Seattle in May (ICRA is the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's flagship conference ).
This is the latest extension of our work furthering our research into dynamic balancing and walking under realistic conditions. The changing nature of snowy ground, and the rapid control response required by alpine skiing, present significant challenges to gait design and dynamic balancing in Humanoid Robots, as does the challenge of operating this equipment in cold weather.
Please see the Youtube Video for Jennifer in action, and thanks to Gadgetify for creating the gif below from it. This work has really made the rounds of the media, including CBC, CTV, FOX (we like the phrase "the future looks adorable!"), Der Spiegel, German Radio 7, The Winnipeg Free Press, Metro, many international papers through the UPI, IEEE Spectrum, Gadgetify, Design Engineering, Motherboard on Vice,, CNet and Tomorrow Daily.
Our team just got back from the FIRA 2014 Hurocup, co-located with the International Robot Olympiad, in Beijing. HuroCup is the most challenging humanoid robot competition out there, with a single robot has to compete in 8 events: sprint, marathon, weight lifting, obstacle run, lift and carry, united soccer, basketball, and wall climbing. 30 teams took part in the event. Our team did well winning 2nd place in Wall Climbing with our smaller robots (45cm tall) and 3rd place in Sprint with our new larger robot (85cm tall).
There is also a gallery of pictures from FIRA 2014, and two new publications presented at the symposium in the publications section.
We were very successful at RoboCup 2014 in Brazil! We won first in the technical challenge in the teen-size humanoid league, and came in fourth overall in the soccer tournament. We came in third in the technical challenge in the kid-size league, and made it out of the first round robin in soccer. Many thanks to our partner in the teen-size team, Amirkabir University of Technology.
We won second prize out of twelve teams at the Computer Vision Competition at the 27th IEA-AIE conference in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The competition task was counting people passing through various shopping mall entrances in different situations and angles, with or without shadows. Congratulations to Amirhossein Hosseinmemar and Joshua Jung, the two students who did the work for this competition. There is also a gallery of pictures from the competition.