Humanoid Bot from BITS Pilani wins accolades World over, here's a chit-chat with its creators
Akash Gupta, Tushar Agrawal, Apoorv Shrivastava, Deepak Gopinath and Dhairya Seth, all students of BITS Pilani have one thing in common! They are the proud creators of the AcYut 4, a humanoid robot that won accolades at the Robocup Iran 2011 and Robogames 2011, share their experience of creating the robot as well as of participating in the prestigious international competitions
Tell us about your team’s humanoid robot.
AcYut 4 is the humanoid developed by us (students of BITS Pilani). Built with two embedded microprocessors, AcYut functions with a processing power of 1.72 GHz. The microprocessors are assembled in a unique structure that allows one of the two processors to process images such that the humanoid can detect objects of various shapes and colours. The observed data is then processed with the help of a second microprocessor in the form of data packets that allow motor movements of the humanoid.
What are its distinct features?
AcYut-4 can walk long distances, bend and pick up things and climb stairs. It can detect objects and play autonomous soccer. AcYut also has an autonomous weight-lifting world record in its category for 40 CDs.
How was the experience of participating at the Robocup Iran 2011 and Robogames 2011?
Each competition we participate is a unique learning experience. Competitions are symposiums where robotics teams meet and share technical know-how with each other. The exposure to both new technology and new cultures through interactions is enriching. It certainly provides impetus for working for a ‘perfect robot’, incorporating the best of all technologies. Competitions apart, we had a fantastic time visiting places, meeting new people, clicking pictures and indulging in different cuisines!
What were the challenges you faced while inventing the robot?
Work on Acyut 4 started keeping in mind various improvements on the previous version. Introduction of vision and object detection algorithms, enhanced design of AcYut’s torso, development of a stabler walking algorithm with the use of inertial measurement unit (IMU), development of a graphical user interface for easy controlling of robot through computer were some of the major upgrades that had to be implemented over the year. Walking is a task which is taken for granted by humans, but in reality it is a humongous challenge to make a stable two-legged robot walk! This is the first time we introduced robot vision, keeping in mind the autonomous soccer competition we were planning to partake in. A large chunk of our effort was channelled towards these objectives.
What is the significance of the name of your robot AcYut4?
AcYut is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Achyut’ meaning ‘the indestructible’ or ‘the one who never falls’. Team AcYut has been churning out a series of humanoids since three years, each one with structural and technical modifications. The suffixed 4 represents the fourth version of humanoid robots developed at the Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems (CRIS) at our institute.
Could you tell us about any other robot that specifically interested you at the events? If yes why?
We come across a range of humanoid robots on our visit, a sign of improving research in this field. Team FUmanoids in Robocup, for one left us in awe. Their ball-approaching algorithms and inter-robot communication techniques were simply flawless. They were a league apart from all the other robots in their category. We were also pretty impressed with a small humanoid robot from Japan called Thunderbolt in Robogames '11. This robot had more to it than meets the eye, it could jump- a task considered hard to achieve for biped robots!
AcYut in Action--