NCBI ROFL: Friday flashback: This robot is for science…yeah, that's the ticket…

By ncbi rofl | June 17, 2011 7:00 pm

A control system for a flexible spine belly-dancing humanoid.

“Recently, there has been a lot of interest in building anthropomorphic robots. Research on humanoid robotics has focused on the control of manipulators and walking machines. The contributions of the torso towards ordinary movements (such as walking, dancing, attracting mates, and maintaining balance) have been neglected by almost all humanoid robotic researchers. We believe that the next generation of humanoid robots will incorporate a flexible spine in the torso. To meet the challenge of controlling this kind of high-degree-of-freedom robot, a new control architecture is necessary. Inspired by the rhythmic movements commonly exhibited in lamprey locomotion as well as belly dancing, we designed a controller for a simulated belly-dancing robot using the lamprey central pattern generator. Experimental results show that the proposed lamprey central pattern generator module could potentially generate plausible output patterns, which could be used for all the possible spine motions with minimized control parameters. For instance, in the case of planar spine motions, only three input parameters are required. Using our controller, the simulated robot is able to perform complex torso movements commonly seen in belly dancing as well. Our work suggests that the proposed controller can potentially be a suitable controller for a high-degree-of-freedom, flexible spine humanoid robot. Furthermore, it allows us to gain a better understanding of belly dancing by synthesis.”

Photo: flickr/muddyclay
[Editor’s note: the photo above is not actually the robot described in the article]

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  • Old Rockin’ Dave

    Why fool around with belly dancing? What us geekly types need more is probably a robotic lap dancer.

  • shadegem

    Oh no! They’re working on producing belly-dancing fembots…Austin Powers flashbacks…

  • Maelstromdancer

    its over


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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