PR2 Robot Wanders 100 Km Autonomously

The PR2 robot is the creation of Willow Garage; it is being taught to perform all manner of useful functions (for example, see PR2 Laundry-Folding Robot).


(PR2 Wanders Autonomously)

Our "Continuous Ops" team (Eitan Marder-Eppstein, Wim Meeussen, and Kevin Watts) just completed a new milestone that shatters all of our previous robustness records: 7 days, 70 km (43.5 miles) of continuous operation. The robot had to autonomously navigate around the office and plug itself in whenever it ran low on battery. The robot was allowed to announce it was "stuck" by sending a text message to the team. The team was then allowed to use a web page to get the robot out of the stuck situation, which they only had to do twice. As you can see from the photo above, the robot picked up some pieces of flair along the way.

Getting to this level of robustness with the PR2 and ROS took lots of hard work -- over 250kms of debugging Linux kernel panics, building lights that wouldn't stay on, overheating batteries, and overzealous safety lockouts.

Although I don't see it as a prediction, the increasingly capable PR2 autonomously wandering the offices of Willow Garage reminded me of the Aleph from Gregory Benford's 1983 novel Against Infinity:

He had left to him, without ever seeing it, the big luminous artifact with the jagged beam-cut slash and the V-shaped runners that in the millions of square kilometers of Ganymede had earned a name that held respect and some terror, for it was not like the other ruined and timeworn pieces of alien handiwork that were strewn through the whole Jovian satellite system. They called it Aleph. Some Jew had given it that, a blank name that was the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet: a neutral vowel that bespoke the opaque nature of the blocky, gravid thing, the bulk that humans had tried to write upon with their cutters and tractors and on which they had left no mark.

...the massive thing lumbered, not swift but with a ruthless determination, like a machine and yet like a man too; moving onward eternally on some course humans could not guess... moving by means that even high-speed cameras could not fix, gliding at times and at others just lumbering, seeming to shift the huge weight from side to side of the irregular chipped and scoured body...

From Willow Garage via BotJunkie.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/30/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Abundant Robotics Autonomous Apple Harvester Robot
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant... cutting off the ripe fruit.' Otfrid von Hanstein, 1935.

China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?' - Alice W. Fuller, 1895.

Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. ' - Frank Herbert, 1977.

Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....' Philip K. Dick, 1968.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

'Metallic Wood' Strong Like Titanium, Floats In Water
'A metal... light as cork and stronger than steel...'

Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
'Ken lay full-length in the padded body compartment, his feet resting on the controlling bars of the directional planes, hands on the torpoon's engine levers.'

Abundant Robotics Autonomous Apple Harvester Robot
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant... cutting off the ripe fruit.'

Charging An Electric Car In 2019 (Video), 1912 (Photo) And 1894 (Fiction)
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

Japan Uses Explosives On Asteroid
'...a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk. It hit, exploding into a cloud of incandescent vapour.'

Get Your Speeder Flying Motorcycle From Jetpack Aviation
'The flycycles were miracles of compact design.'

FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
These drones can provide situational awareness beyond visual line-of-sight capability.

Dockworkers Protest Driverless Trucks
'It resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'

Flying Car Concept By Kash Sirinanda
'Each one consists of a hub with many tiny spokes... On the end is a squat foot, rubber tread on the bottom...'

Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'

Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'

China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'

China Social Credit System Like State-Run Whuffie
'At least there was no mandatory Whuffie check on the monorail platform...'

Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. '

Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.