For its “Open House” the Futurium will fill its laboratory with robots – small, large, cute and bizarre – for visitors to view and touch.
Small but powerful
Visitors can try out different robots and, in doing so, learn how a robot works. Cozmo, for example, is a very curious, decidedly cute, but also extremely cheeky fellow who explores and gets to know his environment all by himself. But you can also tell him who you are and let the droll tin box speak to you personally. At least as long as he’s not cross at that particular moment and busy knocking something down.
Cubelets Robots can be assembled from small cubes. Each cube has its own function. Some cubes can perceive the environment, others can move or blink. Depending on how the cubes are combined, different kinds of robots can be created. Be it a dancing robot or a tower-shaped disco light – there are no limits to creativity.
Ozobots drive autonomously and can be easily controlled with strokes and colour codes. Small sensors underneath enable the robots to follow a line. Visitors can create their own race tracks and solve tricky problems.
More than just a game
The university robot soccer teams from Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, TU Berlin and TU Dortmund University demonstrate what humanoid robots are nowadays capable of doing. All teams use the same type of Nao robot for the competitions. The challenge lies in how they are programmed. Ultimately, the Nao must be capable of deciding and acting autonomously in the game. It has 25 articulated joints and communicates with its team mates via WLAN.
Robot soccer is an important field of research. All those skills that a robot needs to play soccer are also essential in other situations. For example, the detection of objects, interaction with other robots or its behaviour in unfamiliar situations. In the future, care robots, self-driving cars and industrial robots will benefit from the experience gained from the soccer robots.
The RoboCup Junior teams will also be guests at the Open House. In the junior league, the robots of schoolchildren’s teams compete against each other. And visitors can also participate in this junior robot soccer.
Minimum professionality, maximum fun
Too much high-tech? There’s another way. For the Hebocon competition, you don’t need to be an expert to build a robot. This kind of technological sumo wrestling relies on the untamed creativity of ingenious amateurs. Moving mobs, converted-vacuum-cleaner robots or jumping metronomes? Anything goes as long as it moves. More information about the scrap-robot competition Hebocon, and how to take part in it, can be found here.
Visit the Futurium Robotics Lab on 16 September. There are no limits to technological imagination!