Dr. Dennis Hong was kind enough to give us a glimpse the CHARLI robot on The Engadget Show
this weekend -- or its leg, anyway -- but he and his students have just now finally revealed the full-sized bot that's been described as a "robot teenager." As we'd heard, CHARLI
is actually a series of robots that initially consists of the 5-foot tall CHARLI-L (or lightweight, pictured above), and the forthcoming CHARLI-H (or heavy), both of which are completely autonomous, with a full range of movements and gestures thanks to a series of pulleys, springs, carbon fiber rods, and actuators (not to mention some slightly more mysterious AI). What's more, while CHARLI-L is currently restricted to walking on flat surfaces, CHARLI-H promises to be able to walk on the uneven ground around the Virginia Tech campus, and eventually even be able to "run, jump, kick, open doors, pick up objects, and do just about anything a real person can do." Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any video of CHARLI-L in action just yet, and it is still somewhat of a work in progress -- the researchers say it will be able to speak soon, and they're also busily working to improve its soccer skills in time for this year's RoboCup
Video is now after the break!