How Intelligent the Toy Robots are

Document Sample
How Intelligent the Toy Robots are Powered By Docstoc
					              How Intelligent the Toy Robots are?
      János Somló*, András Molnár**, Zoltán Vámossy**, Anna
                   Kutyepova*, Denis Olchanski*

          * Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE)
          ** John von Neumann Faculty of Informatics, Budapest Tech

Abstract: Some of the toy robots exhibit very intelligent behaviour. This is because
they are animal or human like. Examples are: the AIBO robot dog of SONY or
human like toy robots QRIO, HOAP, ASIMO.
In the paper we review those above and some other popular intelligent toy robots.
We outline some of the toy robot research works in Hungary. Many of the toy
robot features can be recognized without having expensive and difficult to reach
hardware using software devices like WEBOTS of Cyberbotics which allows
simulating and developing control programs for real robots.

Keywords: intelligent robots, AIBO, QRIO, HOAP, ASIMO, PLEO,

      I      INTRODUCTION                   diametrically opposite answers can be
                                            formulated - intelligence is shaped by
According to the definition given in
                                            heredity and environment. We will not
[1]: ‘A robot is a device (a machine)
                                            go deeply into this area. But if we
which performs transportation and/or
                                            merge these two answers, one can
manipulation in an automated way and
                                            consider intellegent a system where a
the actions of which may be
                                            control system acts on the basis of
programmed.’ This definition is valid
                                            gathering, processing, putting in order
for toy robots, too. But the goal of toy
                                            and       exchanging        information,
robot is to entertain, so together with
                                            estimating the level of goals,
motion they provide the audio, visual
                                            performance        and        generating
and other actions, too. Some of the toy
                                            commands to fullfil some tasks and to
robots are very simple, some of them
                                            reach the goals. The intelligent system
are very sophisticated.
                                            operation could be based on
But are they intelligent? Intellect is a
                                            sophisticated knowledge database
process that is studied in various
                                            developed before by an expert systems
scientific books on philosophy and
                                            or could be adaptable, cognitive and
psychology. Many renowned scientists
                                            learning, etc. Summarizing: an
devoted their works to this specific
                                            intelligent device is the one which
subject giving different definitions of
                                            developes and realizes sophisticated
intellectuality hierarchy. To find the
                                            control laws. In that order, implements
answer to the question ‘What shapes
                                            optimal, adaptive and learning
intelligent?’. As it is shown in [2] the
principles and methods and developes       commands (it depends on the model),
complex decisions and control signals      reacts    at     you    attention  and
based on sensory information.              demonstrates its emotions. New AIBO
In the following, in Section II, we will   model ERS-7 has high technical
give an overview of some of the most       characteristics,     such    as:  face
sophisticated intelligent toys. In         recognition, working with Internet,
Section III, we will describe some of      charge seeking. AIBO may be used as
the intelligent toy developments in        a house guard because they could
Hungary. Then, in Section IV, we           notice movements and make video
outline the main features of a software    material, which could be sent to the
solution for the solution of toy robot     owner’s computer. The old model is
planning     and     simulation,    the    available for buying from Internet and
WEBOTS system. In Section V we             costs about 1000 dollars and the new
present conclusions.                       one – 2000 dollars. It should be
                                           mentioned that the necessary software
                                           costs something about 2000 dollars.
                                           There is a remarkable person in
                                           Internet recognized as – AIBOPet.
                                           This man cracked all of AIBO
                                           defending systems and wrote programs
                                           that can do magical things with AIBO.
                                           This, of course, is no good for SONY.
                                           You can find information about
                                           AIBOPet on the following website –
                                  There you can
                                           search for many interesting facts and
                                           video about AIBOPet and his dogs.
                                           QRIO by Sony is a small humanoid
                 Figure 1
                  AIBO                     robot with height 58 cm. Its special
                                           ability is fluent gait. That is why he
    II     INTELLIGENT TOYS                can kick or throw a ball. His
In the present Section we will describe    developers say that QRIO knows and
and analyze some toy robots. Let us        understands 2000 words. They are
start with Sony brand and its pets         very cute and mobile, especially when
AIBO and QRIO [3]. AIBO is one of          they dance in four person group.
the cutest robots ever. This doggy         SONY engineers made a good and
conquered the hearts of children and       precise control and movement
grown-ups all over the world, although     systems. Nevertheless, this robot was
it is not just a toy. It is a robot with   used only in entertaining purposes. On
pretty high intelligence level. You buy    the SONY official site you can watch
AIBO as a puppet and as life goes by it    video material with AIBO and QRIO.
grows up with different sides of           RoboScience is one of the pioneers in
character that depends on how will you     the development of next-generation
raise and educate your dog. It looks       lightweight robotic technologies. In
like Tamagochi but it also moves,          2000, RoboScience created the RS-01
talks, understands about 50-70             RoboDog technology demonstrator,
                Figure 2
intended to be the world’s most
powerful, most advanced and largest
commercial legged robot. RS-01
                                                            Figure 3
showed how to take leading-edge                             HOAP-3
technology out of laboratories and into
people’s living rooms [4].                   With 50 cm height it can stand on its
The concept of RS-01 has been                head, fall down and make a few
designed from the outset to be fun to        pressings and walk up the stairs.
own. The development of a robot dog          Unfortunately it does not have such
was a natural response to the proven         fluent gait as QRIO.
demand for such products and also
serves as a dramatic proof-of-concept
for RoboScience’s robotic technology.
It is also entirely appropriate to the
human environment. The RS-01 uses
802.11b wireless networking (Wi-Fi)
to link to its owners PC or home
network, allowing it to be permanently
on-line, giving it the versatility and
functionality that consumers want
from future domestic robots. RS-01
has a wide range of ‘senses’ that allow
it to interact safely with the world. Its
senses allow it to balance, understand
its location and give it hearing and
sight. Much like the biological
creatures,       on-board       artificial                Figure 4
intelligence utilizes the information                     ASIMO
from these sensors to allow it to            The new hope HOAP-3 is about 3 feet
interact safely with the world.              tall, user programmable and has many
A very impressive robot named HOAP           features such as 2 cameras, 1
was developed by Fujitsu Automation          microphone, LEDS for expression
Laboratory. Its balance system draws         display, 3 axis gyro, 3 axis
attention.                                   accelerometer, foot bottom sensor,
grasping power sensor, distance             skin is smooth, seamless and stretchy.
sensor, speech recognition, speech          Inside, however, the 3.3-pound Pleo is
synthesis, radio control for all            very robotic indeed. It is stuffed with
functions, 28 joints, and even has a        38 sensors to detect light, motion,
simulator for operation verification,       touch and sound. They feed
and of course has RT-Linux OS               information about Pleo’s environment
running on a 1.1Ghz Pentium(c) M            to one of eight processors that can
processor [5]! This thing would be a        handle a collective 60 million
homebrewer's delight! Fujitsu has not       calculations per second. A complex
announced yet when HOAP-3 will go           computer program determines what the
on sale or for how much.                    dino does next—howl over the edge of
The most intelligent robot nowadays is      a table, sneeze, crane its neck around
ASIMO made by HONDA. This 160               180 degrees to see who is scratching
cm high fellow can run with the speed       its back, or any of thousands of other
3 km per hour. This robot was the first     possibilities. As Pleo’s manufacturer,
who used close to human dynamic             Ugobe in Emeryville, California,
gait. All of the previous developments      develops        more       sophisticated
had their goal to approach this             personality coding, it is possible to
characteristic. There were many             upgrade the robot through its SD-card
prototypes that did not have a body         slot or from the Web through its USB
and HONDA engineers worked only             port. Pleo’s Jurassic competition, the
with humanizing their gait. At the          WowWee Roboreptile, successor to
present time ASIMO recognizes 100           the popular Robosapien, also hits
voice commands, 30 gestures and can         shelves this fall.
memorize and recognize 10 faces. He         Robots gradually become a part of our
has an excellent orientation in space,      live and this process can not be and
quickly reacts on environment               should not be stopped.
changing and freely walks the stairs. It
is really an intelligent robot. He can
change      his    behavior     real-time
depending without communicating to
PC. It is not possible to buy ASIMO
but it is available for rent for a year.
The IBM Company has already made
such an action.
Little but self-depended life form was
recently performed by Ugobe. Refer to
‘Pleo’ as a robotic pet, and its co-
                                                           Figure 5
inventor, Caleb Chung (of Furby                              Pleo
fame), will quickly set you straight:
Pleo is a designer life-form [6]. That’s        III    MOBILE ROBOTS IN
because, on the outside, everything                     HUNGARY
about the one-week-old Camarasaurus
                                            More than 45 years ago appeared the
is very natural. Its movements are
                                            first mobile robot in Hungary. The
fluid, not rigid; its actions are seemed
                                            ‘Szegedi Katica (Ladybird)’ was
to be spontaneous and natural; and its
                                            developed by Muszka Dániel at the
Technical University of Szeged. The        path in the direction of the previously
ladybird was able to turn away when        determined target position.
its sensor on its nose signed collision.   The first developed mobile robot was
After detecting a hiss the robot started   named EXPLORATORES, it had four
to go and pushing its fleck stopped.       legs, and was made of lightened
                                           aluminum. The three degrees of
                                           freedom legs were driven by
                                           servomotors and the robot was capable
                                           of executing a wide range of different
                                           Gaiting was achieved by applying
                                           various static and dynamical walking
                                           strategies [8, 9]. The robot could
                                           function either autonomously, or via a
                                           connection to a PC. The set of
                                           programs for the PC contains neural
                                           network based, rule based, wave
                                           propagation      based    and      GVD
                                           (Generalized Voronoi Diagram) based
                Figure 6                   path planning modules, as well as
              Ladybird [7]                 other versions of these modules, that
                                           have been modified and explicitly
  III.1   MOBILE ROBOTICS AT               matched to the robot [10]. The system
          BUDAPEST TECH                    tested and compared the efficiency of
In the last decade some mobile robots      various        routing       algorithms
were developed at the Budapest Tech.       possibilities. A so-called ‘learn by
Most of them based on simple toys,         experience’ algorithm has been
model cars, LEGO parts or similar          developed to aid the automatic
constructions. In this section of the      creation of the rule base, and
paper we would like to summarize           representative patterns for the neural
results. The researches included the       network. This algorithm generated a
study of development options of            table of size predefined, which
movement possibilities for mobile          contained the most often successfully
constructions, and also the automatic      applied rules. To achieve this, the user,
application of such robots in known        with the help of the simulator, can
and unknown environment using              introduce various obstacles that the
intelligence. The built wheeled robots     robot needs to avoid in order to reach
can work with high speed, however          successfully its target. The more
only at good lie of terrain. The           obstacles the robot managed to avoid,
developed walking robots are slower        the more ‘experience’ it obtained
but can move at worse terrain              about solving each situation.
conditions. In the experiments             The robot extracted information from
different sensors and cameras are used     its environment by the means of retro-
for detecting the environment, using       reflective infra and CCD sensors. It
this information the robots capable to     was also equipped with a camera that
avoid obstacles and to follow their        employs PAL (Panoramic Annual
Lens) optics [11]. The objective of the     The aim of the SILENT1project is the
sensors was to pinpoint the exact           examination of shape memory alloy
positions of the obstacles.                 (SMA) based actuators in walking

                Figure 7
                                                            Figure 8
The idea behind the creation of the six-
                                            robots [14]. Since the power-mass
legged mobile robot called FOBOT
                                            ratio of SMA’s is extremely high
[15] was to design a robot that is able
                                            compared to typically used actuators, it
to explore its unknown environment
                                            is reasonable to try SMA’s in robot
and send visual information from the
                                            applications as well. The experiments
area to the remote PC. To do this, it is
                                            resulted in a biped walking robot that
necessary for the robot to be able to
                                            is moved via shape memory alloy
adapt itself to its environment, to have
                                            based actuators. To test the different
high mobility and it has to be able to
                                            kind of actuators a pneumatically
transmit information at high rate. The
                                            droved six legged robot FESTHOR
cockroach-like movement of the robot
                                            was also developed.
is achieved by rotating legs, so it can
                                            The firstly developed wheeled mobile
use different walking-strategies for
                                            robot (HENRIK) is connected to a PC
rough terrain.
                                            [12]. The rover controllable with high
The navigation is based on the analysis
                                            level commands generated via visual
of the pictures of the environment and
                                            information. The system contains a
the data from the global positioning
                                            CCD camera hung above the working
system (GPS) receiver. The camera on
                                            environment. During the image
the front of the robot is monitoring the
                                            processing phase status information is
area in front of the robot to detect and
                                            extracted like robot location and
avoid obstacles. The camera on top of
                                            orientation. The accessible and
the robot has a vertical-axis, mounted
                                            forbidden regions of the working area
with PAL-optics and produces a 360
                                            are mapped. If the selected target
degree omnidirectional image of the
                                            location is available, minimal cost path
outer world. With this system, the
                                            is sought. The occurring errors and
position of the robot can be calculated
                                            slips are balanced by continuous
more       accurately      in      known
                                            examination of the current visual input
environment.        For    getting    the
                                            and by dispatching new command
geographical position of the robot, the
                                            sequences to the robot.
data from the built-in GPS receiver is
                                            The CCExplorer project [16] took aim
at designing and building a radio          project [17] is about planning and
controlled wheeled mobile robot,           creating a software-pair (a client and a
based on a model car controlled and        server) that allows safe navigation of
navigated by an external computer.         the robot-dog named AIBO. The two
The car carries only the sensors, the      softwares were developed side by side.
accumulators and the sender-receiver       The task of the server is accepting
units needed for the communication.        commands from the clients and
Navigation in the macro environment        transmitting them to the AIBO if they
is based on the Global Positioning         are considered to be safe. In addition
System (GPS), while obstacles in the       to that, the server has to accept the
micro environment are recognized by a      AIBO’s camera picture, which is to be
monochrome camera and distances            forwarded to the clients after
measured with sonar. For avoiding          compression. The clients have to
obstacles, the program observes the        control the AIBO using the connection
field before the robot using the Optical   with the server, decode and display the
Flow method. Two frames following          compressed camera picture.
each other are compared. The               Notable      researches   have      been
displacement of each pixel is straight     underway in the area of development
to the distance of the object containing   and appliance in the last decade. We
the pixel. Controlling commands can        examined the prospects of the motion
be determined by the displacements         possibilities    of   mobile     robots,
recognized on the left and right side of   developed and implemented obstacle
the seen image.                            avoidance, motion planning and
                                           navigation algorithms at the Budapest
                                           III.2 SOME ROBOTS RESEARCH
                                             AT BUTE (Budapest University of
                                                Technology and Economics)
                                           Here we are speaking about intelligent
                                           toys and/or mobile robots which could
                                           be made of modules used for the toys
                Figure 9                   or even reengineering of the toys for
               CCExplorer                  our purposes that are mostly for
In the TARKUS project a camera is          education or research. In case of
mounted on a caterpillar robot. With       education purposes such intelligent
its own controller the robot is capable    toys can be used as rather fine
of separated operation for example         examples to demonstrate some
tracking selected objects.                 principles of the mobile and intelligent
Beside of the above projects a             robotics. As an example of walking
robotized sailing ship [14] was            robots, very simple construction is
developed. Using the signals of the        shown on the Figure 9 below. This
compass the ship is able to go in a        construction was compiled from
priori determined direction.               several hobbyist internet sites and
The ‘Platform-independent AIBO             could be used for basic walking
Navigation through the Internet’           machines study and demonstration.
The constructed robot uses            the   program shells to control it and
principle of quadruped static gait.         reprogram its onboard in-circuit
                                            controller through online global
                                            network by means of Delphi and Lab
                                            We achieved results in both. An online
                                            global     network      control    was
                                            programmed using Delphi. Client and
                                            Server parts were written, which
                                            included video transfer for remote
                                            control. All commands from Clients
                                            computer loaded in RCX block and
                                            robot reacted with little delay, which
                                            was suitable. In Lego robots standard
                                            software these functions were not
                                            In LabView we made online control
                                            from user’s computer. Robot reacted
                Figure 10                   instantaneously and adequately and it
               WALCKRO                      avoided      obstacles    during     his
                                            movements and had an ability to
To control the robot a simple
                                            program a sensor system. As it reacted
microcontroller is needed or even it
                                            on different situations depending on
could be controlled through personal
                                            signals from the sensor system and
computer parallel port. Simple servos
                                            shown his attitude so we could speak
for radio controlled models were used
                                            about intelligent behavior.
as actuators for the robot. To get the
                                            Intellectual robot toy is not just an
information about outside world the
                                            electromechanical device, which has
infrared proximity sensor was
                                            an electronic stuffing and software. A
implemented. This sensor was
                                            program model that does determined
mounted on the third servo which was
                                            operations without human help could
installed on the top-front of the robot
                                            be considered as a robot, too.
and moved the sensor from one side to
                                            Nowadays, computer technology and
other scanning the area in front of the
                                            human mind can create a virtual robot
robot. The control algorithm gets this
                                            model and test it in programmed
movement (angle) and information
                                            environment.      Using     this   idea
from sensor to make the robot avoid
                                            specialists provide great economy on
the obstacles. To program this robot it
                                            unsuccessful       experiments      and
was necessary to reprogram the
                                            exemplars and could give life for their
microcontroller,        some          of
                                            most unexpected dreams.
microcontrollers have to be unmounted
                                            In this case it is a good idea to use a
from the circuit board and putted to the
                                            kind of computer simulation to try
programmer, some times it is not
                                            different constructions and algorithms
                                            and even to demonstrate or study the
Using this idea several projects with a
                                            robot behavior in the modeled
Lego robot was developed in our
                                            environment before realization.
laboratory. We used two different
   IV      WEBOTS SIMULATION                     parameters of the environment, such as
             PROGRAM                             gravity, slippage, transparency of the
                                                 obstacles, etc. To develop and to
Simulation is a powerful tool for
                                                 design custom robot it is necessary to
robotic tasks. There is specialized
                                                 represent it like a complex of the
software for mobile robot simulation.
                                                 primitives, such as spheres, boxes, and
This is Webots by Cyberbotics which
                                                 cylinders, all this should be linked
allows to simulate and program
                                                 together into one hierarchical list using
existing robots such as Sony’s AIBO
                                                 the internal language of the software, it
or Toshiba’s human like robot etc.
                                                 is very important to define which parts
This software allows not only making
                                                 of the robot are moving around which
simulation studies and developing
                                                 axes in 3D. Also, there are pre-defined
different algorithms but it gives
                                                 main classes which should be used in
possibility to control the real existing
                                                 the customer’s robot model, such class
models, too. Webots gives an
                                                 which defines the servo behavior and
opportunity to construct and develop
                                                 used to simulate servo or more
custom robots, too. Allow to simulate
                                                 complex class which could be used to
them in different physical environment
                                                 model the robots with differential
and under different conditions such as
                                                 drive. In our research work we use
gravitation, slippage, etc.
                                                 Webots to check behavior algorithm
The advantage of Webots is 3D
                                                 for our developed mobile robot on the
graphical environment, which could be
                                                 basis of the RC toy automobile and
built by user, including custom robots
                                                 AIBO programming.
or already developed robots by
                                                 At the Conference we intend to
Cyberbotics which are coming with
                                                 demonstrate some simulation results
the program.
                                                 which were obtained by Webots.
The simulation software makes the
development and construction of real
prototypes easier
and helps to
develop         the
control system
parallel with the
First of all it is
recommended to
build           the
nt in which
user’s robot will
be simulated. It
is possible to
build it in the
program. It is                                      Table 1
necessary to set                      Intelligent features of toy robots
the       physical
Conclusions                                 [6]
The intelligent features of some of the
toy robots are given in the Table 1.
                                            [8] Brünner, R., Molnár, A., Varga,
This table shows that some of the toy
                                                 L., Vámossy, Z.: Exploratores,
robots have very intelligent features. In
                                                 Quadruped Robot, In: Proc. of 7th
the near future these intelligent
                                                 International     Workshop     on
features     will    have     significant
                                                 Robotics in Alpe-Adria-Danube
development. That is, toy robots, like
                                                 Region - RAAD'98, Bratislava,
other robots, will become more and
                                                 Slovakia, 1998, pp. 215-220
more intelligent. Nowadays the most
                                            [9] Vámossy, Z., Molnár, A.,
intelligent robots are the military ones.
                                                 Brünner,      R.,   Varga,     A.:
Medical, service and other not
                                                 EXPLORATORES II., the Four-
industrial application robots will
                                                 Legged Mobile Robot, In:
closely follow the level of those. Toy
                                                 Proc.of International Symposium
robots are very important in this
                                                 on Climbing and Walking Robots
process because the responsibility,
                                                 -     CLAWAR’98,         BSMEE,
when dealing with them, is lower. So
                                                 Brussel, Belgium, 1998, pp. 41-
the developers can be rather brave.
Some of the toy robots, with small
                                            [10] Vámossy, Z., Molnár, A.,
changes, can be applied in house hold,
                                                 Brünner, R., Varga, L.: Path
security, etc., businesses. In industrial
                                                 Planning      Methods     for   a
robotics the toy robots intelligence, as
                                                 Quadruped Mobile Robot, In:
the quickest, can give benefits at
                                                 Proc. DAAAM’98, Cluj-Napoca,
assembling applications.
                                                 Romania. DAAAM International,
Acknowledgement                                  Wien, Austria, 1998, pp. 483-484
                                            [11] Vámossy, Z., Molnár, A.:
The authors are grateful for the support         Obstacle Avoidance for a
to National Development Plan Office
                                                 CLAWAR Machine, In: Proc. of
of Hungary (Contract: GVOP-3.1.1-                2nd International Symposium on
2004-05-0182/3.0)                                Climbing and Walking Robots -
References                                       CLAWAR’99,            Portsmouth,
                                                 Professional          Engineering
[1] J. Somló, B. Lantos, P. T. Cat:              Publishing Limited, London,
    Advanced        Robot      Control,          1999, pp. 597-603
    Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest,              [12] Vámossy, Z., Novák, A.,
    1997                                         Horváth, M.: I. Henrik Wheeled
[2] A. Meystel: Autonomus Mobile                 Mobile Robot - Optimal Path
    Robots Vehicles with Cognitive               Planning and Tracking Based on
    Control,      World      Scientific,         Visual Information, In: 8th
    Singapore, ISBN 9971-50-088-4,               International     Workshop     on
    1991                                         Robotics - RAAD'99. Munich,
[3]                                 Germany, 1999, pp. 171-176
[4]                     [13] Szilágyi, A., Boskó, G., Kóré, L.,
[5] Fujitsu's HOAP-            Vámossy, Z.: Robotvitorlás,
    3 Humanoid Robot                             Banki Dónát Műszaki Főiskola
       Jubileumi Ülésszaka, In Proc. of            M.Sc. Thesis, Budapest, 2003,
       the      Jubilee      International         (Russian language)
       Conference, Budapest, 1999, pp.        [21] Ulyanov Vladimir: Control of the
       401-406                                     Robots via Telecommunicating
[14]   Molnár, A. Vámossy, Z.:                     Systems, M.Sc. Thesis, Budapest,
       Experimental Biped Robot Using              2005,(Russian language)
       SMA Actuators, Proc. of
       International Symposium on
       Climbing and Walking Robots -
       CLAWAR’2001              Karstruhe,
       Germany, pp. 811-818
[15]   Vámossy, Z., Molnár, A., Balázs,
       A., Pécskai, B., Supola, B.:
       FOBOT, the Hexapod Walking
       Robot,      35th      International
       Symposium on Robotics (IFR),
       Paris-Nord Villepinte, March 23-
       26, 2004, abstract: pp. 15-16,
       (CD issue)
[16]   Vámossy,       Y.,     Tóth,      Á.
       Hirschberg, P.: PAL Based
       Localization Using Pyramidal
       Lucas-Kanade Feature Tracker,
       In: 2nd Serbian-Hungarian Joint
       Symposium         on     Intelligent
       Systems, Subotica, Serbia and
       Montenegro, 2004, pp. 223-231
[17]   Szabó,     Zs,     Vámossy,      Z.:
       Platform-independent          AIBO
       Navigation through the Internet,
       In: 2nd Romanian-Hungarian
       Joint Symposium on Applied
       Computational          Intelligence,
       SACI 2005, Timisoara, Romania
[18]   Olchanski Denis: Mobile Robot
       Development        and     Walking
       Constructions Application, M.Sc.
       Thesis, Budapest, 2004
[19]   Kutepova Anna: Development of
       the Multipurpose Measuring
       Computing        System,       TDK,
       Budapest, 2003
[20]   Levykh Sergey: Development of
       the Autonomous Mobile Robot,