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VR Interfaces: Mahru-R


Overview of Mahru-R
Like all of the Mahru series, Mahru-R was developed by KIST - the Korean Institute of Science and Technology. Moving on from the extremely slow moving Mahru-M, the R robot was an attempt to fully master walking. Up until the R, all versions of Mahru used linear polynomials to guide their walking process. Whilst this worked on a smooth, solid floor, it was less than stellar for any other conditions. What was needed was an omni-directional walking pattern method, to cope with any terrain and significantly speed up the movement process.

Maahru-R used a linear inverted pendulum model originating around its centre of mass to increase movement performance drastically - as the videos below demonstrate. However, whilst walking performance was indeed increased, the R series proved a little too quick to react, to be safe in a working environment such as a kitchen. The model was superseded in early 2009.

The name 'Mahru', is a generic one, referring simply to a male robot. A female robot would be called Ahra. KIST use these definitions in each robot they create. Different generations are differentiated between by the letters after the Mahru or Ahra prefix.

Of course that means there were many models before Mahru-R. Unfortunately, we lack detailed information on all but one of them - Mahru-M. The Mahru and Ahra robots take somewhat unique different approach to AI. They are what KIST refers to as 'network based humanoids'. This means that most of the actual processing does not occur in the robot body, but on external computer systems, networked together with the robot receiving a continual wireless data feed.

This novel approach means that the robots can be controlled by remote servers, and one-day, directly by humans, located elsewhere through the net.

A short video of Mahru-R moving.

A more detiled investigation of the movement. This movement style and method of locomotion is incorporated with tweaks, in all successive models.

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