iCub Learns About Rolling Objects

Friday, May 25, 2012


The humanoid robot iCub is now being taught how to play with rolling objects.  By using kinematic control, the robot is able to correctly roll toys that are placed on a table in front of it.
Only certain objects roll well, and to make them roll requires matching the an action to the object's pose in an suitable manner. Researchers are now teaching these factors to the robot iCub.

The iCub is the humanoid robot developed at IIT as part of the EU project RobotCub and subsequently adopted by more than 20 laboratories worldwide. It has 53 motors that move the head, arms & hands, waist, and legs. It can see and hear, it has the sense of proprioception (body configuration) and movement (using accelerometers and gyroscopes).

Unlike other robotic systems that are programmed like a computer, iCub is programmed mainly via interaction.  In this way, the is intended to 'learn' as a human child would.

We have previously shown the robot iCub learning objects, and the researchers at have also uploaded very impressive videos of the robot learning about toys and how to pick them up.

The humanoid robot can locate familiar objects through vision and tap them from different directions using kinematic control.

In order to get the rolling distance, iCub segments the object and finds its orientation to then track it using a particle filter. To learn the rolling affordance the Least-squares support vector machine (LSSVM) technique is employed.

Once iCub has explored this affordance it is asked to tap the object to attain the maximum rolling distance. Watch the video below to see the iCub in action.

SOURCE  robotcub

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