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Students from Stanford Robotics Showcase Class Projects

The Stanford Robotics students showcased their robots to their classmates on the concluding day of the Experimental Robotics course.


Professor OussamaKhatib, who took the classes, noted that by working on these projects, which spanned over three and a half weeks, the students have shown their creative side in solving the problems that cropped up while working. He regarded the course as an opportunity for the students to bring out their mathematical and programming skills to the fore in controlling a pre-fabricated robotic arm in performing various tasks.

One of the robots created by the students was the Robocook, the idea for the robot came up because the team was always hungry. The challenges they faced was that they had to enable the robot to distinguish between the burger and the grill. Khatib explained that the team used a force sensor for establishing the difference. Another interesting robot was the Jedibot who could sword fight a human. The challenge in developing this robot was to first teach it to locate where the human hand is positioned and then decide on an appropriate attacking move. To achieve this, the students combined the Microsoft Kinect sensor and a colour sensor for detecting objects in three-dimensional space. One of the students explained that they used a different colour for the sword and the background so that the robot would be able to distinguish between the two. The students extended their creativity by taking colourful time-lapse photos by attaching a LED light to the end of the robotic arm. Khatib found it rewarding to see students put their academic knowledge to use in solving real-world problems.



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