Various enterprises and personal interests, such as Man-Machine Interaction (MMI), gesture studies, signs, language, social robotics, healthcare, innovation, music, publications, etc.

Month: March 2009

BERTI RT-1 Plays Gesture Game

BERTI, a fully automated Robotic Torso, goes through his paces prior to appearing at the Science Museum during February 2009. More details at

Video credit: BERTI is a joint project between Elumotion (hardware and low level control) and BRL (movement/high level control).

Having achieved this level of rock-paper-scissors, with three gestures, perhaps they could move on to the more complicated versions of rock-paper-scissors involving anywhere from 5 to a 100 gestures (see here).

Robot Overlords – Don’t be afraid of the Robots

Robots Will Rule the World soon, of course- so why not watch it happen in real time on Hack Virtual TV?

In this clip we expose robots already running amoke in both military and civilian applications. A whole new meaning to the term “Extension of Power”… over the masses.

Electric Six provides the backing track with their soothing “don’t be afriad of the robots”- and of course D3fwh33z3r kickz it!

Here is a nice ‘artists impression’ of what the future of robotics will bring. Perhaps a tad raw. Personally, I like my future well done.

Gestural Entertainment Center

Designed by Kicker Studio for Canesta.

Here is similar work, also from Canesta, in a Hitachi TV.

Finally, a soldier who doesn’t think

“Should I stay or should I go?” That seems to be the only concern of the robot that features in a demo movie made by researcher at Brown University. It takes its gestured orders in a way that is easily associated with the way soldiers on a patrol would gesture to ‘stop’ or to ‘go’ to the next soldier in the line. Or at least it looks similar to a man of my limited experience. And having DARPA as a main sponsor also helps the association.

A first impression

It looks like they have done quite a good job with the robot, given the current state of gesture recognition. I especially like it that people don’t have to wear sensors. This is achieved in part by using a depth camera (the CSEM Swiss Ranger) Besides that, the recognition of individuals does still seem to be a bit shaky, since you appear to have to show you face quite clearly before it sees who you are (but then again, given current face recognition technology that is no surprise either, and they have actually done a nice job of getting it up and running in the first place).

The contributors:
Chad Jenkins, Brown University
Matthew Loper, Brown University
Nathan Koenig, USC
Sonia Chernova, former Brown graduate student
Chris Jones, iRobot

Technovelgy posted a good description (here) of the system and some first impressions and associations (lol @ the HHGTTG quote).

A movie of the robot in action, following people and taking orders by gesture (here).

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