Watch several asimo videos on youtube. Notice that the robot is
lining itself up with squares on the floor. Doubtlessly it is lining
itself up with pre-placed squares on the stairs as well. At the end
of the demonstration they have it "walk off stage". It is not doing
that at all. It is walking towards squares that it sees on the floor
through the door.
I watched this video over and over in slow motion and I can't figure
out what happened. Did the back foot slide out? Did the back foot get
caught on a stair? It doesnt look like either case. It looks like it
just lost power suddenly.
I did notice that asimo seems much lighter in weight than I would
assume. I thought one of the tricks they were using for balance was
VERY heavy feet. This doesnt seem to be the case. Asimo looks like
its made of mostly empty plastic.
It looked to me like the leg simply gave out from under the robot. The
knee joint just buckled. This could have been the result of losing
power, an internal short or other fault that caused it to power down
immediately, or a mechanical defect in the joint.
Something broke off the robot when it hit the floor, but I bet that
damage was less than if a short had started a fire in its wiring. I'd
wager it went into safe mode, and just "feinted."
Seems like Asimo's right foot touched step but continues moving forward as
prescribed relative to body; as result whole body and left foot moved
backward; left foot lost support, but right foot leaned on previous step -
so body throw over back because center of mass is back from support point.
Obviously Asimo's control system is not used sensors feedback as intensively
as human and most of animals, so it is nice doll rather than useful autonomous
creature. Vehicle witch so primitive control system don't have chances to win
forthcoming Grand Challenge :-)
Some "safety" feature!! Umpteen kilos of robot in close proximity to
humans toppling over like a tree. What happened to the first law of
robotics?? The least it could do is say "Whoops!" on the way down, and
then something appropriate like "You call this job satisfaction? Cause
I don't :("
Or to quote the Doctor: "Well it's not worth fifteen million pins if
it doesn't work, is it?"
"I like to be organised. A place for everything. And everything all over the
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